Case Study Q&A

If you’re going to invest in creating a high-performing case study, you’ll want to make sure it’s strategically planned long before the first word is ever written.

Q: How long should your case study be?pen-and-paper-case-studies
A: It depends. What’s the price range of your products? When you’re asking a prospect to make an expensive decision, you should offer more info on how your product solves problems. That generally translates to a one to two page case study. If the price point is lower, a brief three-paragraph study (problem — action — solution) can be sufficient.

Q: How can we add sizzle?
A: Don’t make the mistake of injecting your case study with urgent calls to action and flashy copywriting. If your case study feels like a brochure, you’ll lose the audience’s trust. Instead, increase the appeal of your document by creating a beautiful layout (constructing a template will stretch the budget for future case studies) and adding side-bar features such as charts, tables, and pull-quotes.

Q: Should we write it in-house or hire a freelancer?
A: If you’ve got a strong writer on staff, who can not only present facts clearly but can also script an engaging story that will keep the audience interested, go ahead and write your case studies in-house. If not, find a professional writer. They’ll have the ability to construct a persuasive document that your sales team can rely on. Most full-time freelance writers will be able to bring a selection of capable graphic designers to the table as well, so you can create an elegant piece with a single team.

Q: What should a case study SAY?
A: This is the fun part. Unlike most marketing copywriting, your case study shouldn’t be a “salesy” piece of writing. Instead, you get to become a storyteller. A case study covers:

  1. A problem faced by your customer (low sales, high expenses, overwhelming workloads, etc.)
  2. What your company did for them (your product or service)
  3. What the results were for your customer (increased sales, lowered expenses, reduced workload, etc.)

Q: How is a case study used?
A: There are plenty of opportunities to include case studies in your marketing efforts.

  • Handouts at trade shows
  • Leave-behinds at sales calls
  • On your site (along with testimonials)
  • Articles in industry magazines
  • Blog posts
  • In proposals for new clients

Q: Can I see an example?
A: Of course! Here’s one of Gemstone Media’s case studies.

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