Are Case Studies All That They’re Cracked Up To Be?

Are Case Studies All That They’re Cracked Up To Be?

They are…and a whole lot more.

Case studies are one of the most effective means to get your product/service message across—complete with an endorsement from a satisfied customer.

The content can be contained within a single sheet or within a short video, told in a simple problem-solution format—or, it could be a rather elaborate and detailed treatise on the subject, including a whole host of graphics and any number of peripheral documents and multi-media presentations. Or something in between.

Whatever you decide, the important things to remember are:

  • Answer five basic questions.

    • Who is the customer?
    • What was the challenge before them?
    • How was the challenge met?
    • What was achieved by meeting this challenge?
    • How can the results be quantified?
  • Include strong, intriguing headlines and subheads that move the story along in a logical way.

    • For example, don’t say that “X product met all of Y company’s needs.” Be precise: Say, “X product helped Y company realize a cost savings of Z.” (Then the question to the reader becomes: you too?)
  • Include quotes from the customer.

    • A good quote can be hard to get, since some customers like to soften their “in print” statement. But with a little more probing you can usually get a stronger, more extraordinary quote.
    • Be sure to highlight these hard-won quote(s), making them central to the case study.
  • Make sure that your case study is search engine optimized for maximum internet visibility.

  • Use the information from the case study (including those all-important quotes) liberally.

    • Include on your web site.
    • Include in all appropriate internal and external communications materials.
    • Make it part of your media outreach program.
    • Use as a handout at trade shows.
    • Use the quotes on trade show graphics.
    • Make them part of your PowerPoint® sales presentations.
  • Make the case study part of your media outreach program.

  • Include it in your social media strategy.

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