Elementary, Holmes! 3 Tips For Creating Compelling Case Studies

by Lindsey Sjouwerman December 14th, 2013 

On the 3rd Day of Content, SEP gave me three case study tips.

Case studies are a great way to understand what is relevant and what will resonate with your targeted audience. You have the ability to tell the whole story including supporting documentation, data and strategies that helped you along the way. This allows your business to indirectly sell your services or products to the consumer " giving then a real life example of how their own personalized products/services worked for another consumer.

There are a wide variety of case studies that can be utilized by business to maximize engagement with an audience. By using various methods organizations can reach different individuals who may have not have been reached because the median used to communicate. Below are tips to help you create and write an informative, compelling and interesting case study.

Elementary, Holmes! 3 Tips For Creating Compelling Case Studies

Tip 1 – Write About Topics Your Consumer Can Relate To

Write about a relevant individual, problem or concept that your target audience would like to read about. Being relatable to a consumer is crucial " this demonstrates that you understand what they are looking for and what they need.

You have an extremely interesting topic and case study but not understanding the way your consumer processes information is detrimental to the success of your content.

Content can be explained or written in two ways – complex and simple. It is crucial to understand what your target audience can comprehend and who you are targeting, when writing. Using the preferred language or tone of the customer will increase engagement.

Don't Forget The Details!

Tip 2 – Structure, Structure And More Structure.

Start a case study from the very beginning to the very end so the consumer understands the whole picture and isn't left with unanswered questions. Not only is content the major player in case studies but layout as well " the way in which you format your content is crucial to the readability of documents. For every case study you should have

  • Relevant Titles
  • Sub heads
  • Bullet points
  • Enlarged Quotes
  • References

Having the structure and format down you can now decide how much content you have or will need to have to complete either one of the two variations.

Tip 3 – Short Versus Long Form

Case studies can be filled with information that spans over multiple pages — making them look more like research papers than case studies. Case studies typically follow two streams of formatting: long form and short. These two types of case studies should be worked into your routine of writing content to help maximize engagement among the audience.

Long form case studies tend to be released, published and promoted quarterly due to the extended length and work that goes into them. With a long form case study you would typically target researchers and evaluators interested in that particular industry. Long form content typically contains aspirational information " ways to improve the current business, different plans and strategies that are new to the industry.

Short form case studies are frequent, typically posted bi-monthly and tend to be on the shorter side roughly around 500 words. The typical audience consists of evaluators and buyers, it is crucial to remember some personas will never read a long case study. Topics that are usually written are used to spark interest, highlight what the company is currently doing and introduce new products.

Both forms benefit from summarizing key points giving the consumer take ways, highlights of the up most prominent information. They leave your consumer with lasting messages.

Stay tuned for more optimization tips from our 12 Days of Content series.

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