(including templates so you can use them too!)

There’s one piece of content companies continually approach in the wrong way: the case study

Why?

Because they write it about themselves.

Yes, a case study exists to showcase what your company and its products/services have done for your customers, as well as the impact it’s had on their business. But a case study isn’t really about you.

Case studies are the most valuable content you possess because it’s a third-party endorsement of the value you deliver.

Case studies also create what’s known as ‘a relatable middle ground’ – a company that is just like a prospect. It means that when your prospect reads your case study, they think, “Oh, if you helped Company ABC achieve that outcome and I’m just like Company ABC, perhaps you can help me too.”

So what does a ‘good’ case study look like?


A case study writer starts with a good briefing

A customer interview is one of the most important elements of your case study – but there’s a more valuable place to start: your project documentation

Laid out on the pages of your proposals, project status reports, and PowerPoint presentations is the whole story, ‘warts and all’. It’s a great repository of information for a case study writer, because they can understand why the project was necessary, as well as what happened along the way that could be of interest to a wider audience.

Furthermore, these internal documents contain the insights of your senior leaders and subject matter experts – so injecting some of this to your case study provides huge value to your audience.

Once your case study writer is familiar with the project, they can craft specific interview questions that help tease interesting or useful details from your customer. It’s this granular detail that will make your case study more relatable, because you can speak to your audience in terms that really resonate.

TEMPLATE: briefing questions
Image of briefing questions PDF
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A case study writer doesn’t wait for the end to share the big payoff

When writing a case study, it’s tempting to tell the story from beginning to end – the customer had this problem, so we delivered this product/service, and they achieved this result. But that’s a bit boring.

A better approach is to think of your case study like the front page of a newspaper. What’s the headline that will make people pick it up and read?

For example, “Company ABC saves £50k by repatriating workloads

Then you need to follow through. Here, a case study writer taps into a journalistic technique to share the who, what, when, where, why, how in the first 1-2 sentences – just as you would do when writing a press release. Writing in this way ensures all the value is delivered upfront, which then allows the rest of the case study to elaborate on the finer details.

TEMPLATE: case studies
Image of case study PDF
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A case study writer uses headings to tell the story

I’ve read far too many case studies that section the story into:

🧁Background

🧁The problem

🧁What we did

🧁The results

Imagine you only want to skim read the story – these headings tell you nothing.

You don’t have to structure your case study the same way everyone else does. It’s your story, so tell it your way.

Top tip! Write the case study first and then go back to write your headings at the end, ensuring each one tells the audience something important, and when read together, they communicate the key points of the value you delivered to your customer.

For example:

🧁Overprovisioned by 30% (background)

🧁A rush to migrate to the cloud (the problem)

🧁Repatriate and right size (what we did)

🧁Saving £50,000pa (the results)

TEMPLATE: headings
Image of headlines PDF
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Want to learn more about what a case study writer can do?

DOWNLOAD: The Little Book of…Case Studies
The Little Book of...Case studies_cover
Get your copy here…