How to Write a Case Study 7 Helpful Steps to Create Engaging Customer Stories

7 Helpful Steps to Create Engaging Customer Stories
21st, 2020
Keyhole - Digital Marketing Agency - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder
21st, 2020
Keyhole - Digital Marketing Agency - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder

Customers stories are one of the oldest marketing tools in the book because, if you know how to write a case study, they can work wonders.

Case studies tell the world how valuable your products or services are and go beyond simple testimonials by showing real-life examples of how you were able to satisfy your customers’ needs and help them accomplish their goals. Great case studies highlight your successes in a way that will make your ideal potential customer become your customer.

That being said, case studies must be compelling enough to grab their attention. Our world is saturated with brands, products, services, social channels, etc., and writing a compelling case study that grabs the attention of your ideal customer can be challenging.

In this post, we will focus on some of the best suggestions for how to write a case study and how to make it engaging and enticing to your audiences.

How to Write a Case Study Others Want to Read

1. Use Customer Interviews to Add Authenticity

Potential customers don’t want to hear why YOU think your product or service is great. Rather, they want to hear why one of your customers or clients think you’re great.

Our first tip in how to write a case study that impacts people is to talk to a real-life client or customer. When identifying the right person to interview, think about your ideal customer. The people you highlight in your case studies should match the decision-makers or audience you are trying to reach. Use real quotes and ask them questions about why they selected you, what problems they had previously had, and how your services or product provided a solution.

2. Make It Relatable

Do you know your audience well enough to speak to them in a language they understand? Once they read your case study will they leave feeling as though you understand the industry pain points and issues they often encounter?

It’s your responsibility to address industry topics specifically and ensure readers feel confident and clear as to what you’re trying to communicate. When done right, people who read about results attained in their industry will feel like the same products / services will work for them as well.

Knowing Your Customer Pain Points
Whether you have a new business or are already established and growing, identifying and addressing your customer pain points are critical to your success.

3. Tell a Story

While it’s important to include specific results in your case study, people enjoy reading stories. Strive to create a logical flow and use your customer interviews to build the structure of an actual story:

  1. Introduce the Conflict — what the customer was lacking.
  2. Identify the Protagonist — your business.
  3. Conclude With the Resolution — how your business fulfilled the customers’ needs.

Include a bit of emotion (genuine of course) and you’ve got a story that will hopefully compel your reader to engage.

Pro Tip: Follow-up on your case studies a few months later and update your readers on how your products or services are continuing to benefit the customer or client.

4. Focus on the Positives

Above we told you to identify the conflict as part of your storytelling process. While this is true, we highly recommend that you project this part of the case study in a positive light. Don’t dwell on what the customer was doing wrong or what you would have done differently. Instead, introduce the need the customer came to you with and focus on how you were able to fulfill those needs.

Once again, use customer interviews to tell this story. The more positive focus you put on the satisfying previous customers, the more compelling the story becomes.

5. Talk About Specific Strategy and Results

Case studies are your time to show off the tangible results you’ve driven for clients or customers. While telling your story, be sure to include specifics on the “how” of your strategy and weave in real numbers that indicate growth. For example, instead of saying, “online marketing programs that increased the growth of the brand,” instead say, “social media campaign using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram tactics that increased brand engagement by 25% over a 6-month period.”

It’s also important to note in this section not to display numbers that can be misleading. If you “doubled growth” for a client last year, but it turns out it was only from 2-4 new clients, it might be wise to choose another example. The more compelling results come from doubled growth that went from 20-40. Be honest and direct the reader’s attention to statistics that have meaning.

6. Keep it Clear, Concise, and Skimmable

When telling your customer’s story, focus on being clear and concise. Compelling copy ensures that your message is understandable and increases the chances of your case study being read by your ideal customers. Additionally, consider using formatting elements to break up the text and make it easier to read. These could include: headers, images, bulleted lists, and bold/italicized text.

Most importantly, don’t forget to include a clear, specific call to action at the end of your case study. This should include specific ways in which readers can learn more about your product/service and contact info.

7. Make it Creative and Consistent with Your Brand

Once you’ve mastered the art of writing compelling copy, it’s time to decide how you’re going to present your story. We recommend selecting a channel that most appeals to where your audiences spend their time. Expand your options with audio, visual or video representation. Consider compiling your information in the form of a podcast, YouTube video, or infographic. The added benefit of these “alternative” formats is that they are easier to share on social, as opposed to sharing longer form PDFs. This way, your case studies can be found in multiple places (not just on your site) and lead to increased engagement.

When attracting new customers, case studies continue to be one of the most effective methods. Whether it be in the form of a blog post, video, white paper, or something completely out of the box, always remember to keep your ideal customer in mind and use concise language to tell a compelling story.

Our team is prepared and ready to help create and write your next case study in whatever form you choose: infographic, written word, or podcast!

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