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6 tips for engaging case studies

by Michele Hackshall on August 14, 2015

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Case studies are now, more than ever, the go-to content for marketers – both B2B and B2C. Their effectiveness is proven to be memorable, measurable and drive results. 73% of B2B buyers review case studies to aid their purchasing decisions. Why? Because they demonstrate and prove the success of a product or service.

We’ve produced hundreds of case studies for our clients in 80 countries across the globe. As a result, we’ve identified some key points to ensure we deliver case studies that count.

What makes a great case study? One that’s authentic, demonstrates strong and measurable results and presents new information that engages the reader.

If you’re a brand that engages an agency to write your case studies, be sure both you and the agency are aligned on the following points. These are some of our top tips for engaging case studies.

1. Know your audience

A case study offers a fantastic opportunity to resonate with the reader. It demonstrates how your brand solved a client’s problem; similar ones the reader is facing. Who will read your case study? Do you know what keeps them up at night? Be sure you understand the role of the reader and what pain points they are experiencing. The story needs to be engaging for the reader so take the time to figure out who they are.

2. Understand your key message from the start

What makes your solution different? This is the question that the reader (potential customers) will be looking to answer. Identifying your key message will set the outline of the case study and solidify the reader’s understanding of your solution if done well.

3. Show, don’t just tell

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, your case study will be most effective if its story is tangible and meaty. This means displaying strong results and visual content when you can; infographics, videos and charts all help sell the story. 

We produce infographics for a number of brands. An infographic for case studies should quickly illustrate the impressive results and entice the reader to discover more. They are designed to quickly illustrate the impressive results while a leading question entices the reader to discover more…

  • Rani Float - Twitter infographic by Wings4U B2B marketing
  • Samsung Galaxy - Twitter infographic by Wings4U B2B marketing
  • WWE - Twitter infographic by Wings4U B2B marketing
  • Pandora - Microsoft infographic by Wings4U B2B marketing
  • Twitter infographic by Wings4U B2B marketing

4. Remember that it’s a story, not only a business document

Avoid industry jargon and stick to plain English. Stay authentic and let your customer be the hero of the story. Tell the story of struggle and overcoming. Everyone loves a happy ending. Define a structure that works best for your case study stories. Typically it is:

  • customer challenge
  • the solution
  • results

Twitter’s case studies focus on customer-led strategies teamed with Twitter Ad Products. By putting the reader in the client’s shoes, it’s easier to imagine the possibilities using Twitter campaigns, like the Fred Hollows Foundation.

 

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5. Magnify the possibilities

Let’s face it – case studies are all about success. Use this opportunity to showcase the most important or significant results. Do this succinctly; don’t lose the key results in too much text. Consider bullet points, key results or another snappy way to highlight the results and allow the reader to consider the successful outcomes for their own challenge.

6. Add a personal touch

Whenever possible include a quote from the customer. As well as making it more personal, a quote adds authenticity to the case study and is one of the most engaging points for your reader.

Case studies are a proven B2B marketing idea that has stood the test of time. Each one should be unique and compelling. The trick is to know your audience, think of the story you are telling and know how to take the reader on the journey with you. It’s not about big-noting either the client or the vendor, and as a final word of caution - it shouldn’t be too pushy. Instead, it should entice the reader and allow them to see for themselves what’s possible.

 

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