We live in a research-before-you-buy age. Millennials especially tend to do their homework before purchasing any product or service, from eyeliner to digital marketing services. With so many reviews and testimonials at our fingertips on the internet, it is much easier to get an accurate idea of what something will be like before spending our hard-earned money on it.
This changes the game when it comes to marketing. It used to be that people looked to advertisements and other marketing campaigns to determine which brand or company to give their business, but now more than ever, they are looking to other people just like them to make that decision.
So, what does that mean for those of us who are trying to promote a product or service? It means that we need to learn the fine art of creating a good case study. Here are some quick and dirty tips to up your case study game.
What is a Case Study?
A case study is a write-up outlining how a past customer benefitted from buying your product or using your services. It shows potential and current clients a concrete example of your company helping someone just like them achieve what they were hoping for (or more!). This is an extremely valuable marketing tool if you know how to create one that is both data-backed and creates an emotional connection.
How to Create an Engaging Case Study
Use the Hero’s Journey
The Hero’s Journey is a well known narrative formula that has been used in the storytelling of all kinds for thousands of years. It is helpful to integrate a simplified version of the Hero’s Journey into your case studies in order to present an appealing story that feels human and exciting. Here is the basic formula we recommend for any case study:
- The hero (that’s your client) experiences a loss, struggle, or challenge.
- The hero tries to solve the problem through conventional or obvious means and fails.
- The hero joins forces with a new ally or finds a new way of doing things that enables them to resolve the issue.
- The hero returns to tell the tale of their success (that’s the case study!).
You can see an example of this kind of case study here.
Make it Data-Driven
It is very important to make sure that your case study reads as credible and reliable, and the best way to do this is by presenting the facts. Make sure that you are tracking as much data as you can on your clients, and leverage that data to your advantage! In your case study, show the specific data that proves how your business helped the customer in question. Use hard numbers, percentages, and talk about what those numbers were before you came on the scene.
Make it Visually Appealing
If you present someone with a huge block of text, they’re probably not going to read it. That doesn’t mean you can’t still write out all of the information you want to, you just need to be strategic about how you make it look. Reduce text density by breaking it up with white space, use bold type and block quotes to make parts of the text stand out, and add visual elements. Graphs, tables, charts, and pictures of happy clients really go a long way.
Following these tips will have you creating engaging case studies that will captivate your audience in no time!