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Yes, we want to create a useful, helpful resource for prospective customers, but let’s be real – nobody’s winning a Pulitzer for a case study, and it won’t be going viral on social media, no matter how well-written it is.Case studies are little more than tools to be used by either self-motivated prospects researching your company, or by sales professionals as tools to help convince prospects to convert – nothing more.However, the storytelling label most definitely does (or should) apply to case studies, because stories are exactly what case studies are.
We introduce the protagonist of our story – the client – as well as the problems they are trying to solve. Although I never use strict rules when writing case studies, this section usually runs between 200 and 300 words in length; just enough to introduce the hero of our story and tease the problems they face, but not too much that it would dissuade more casual readers.
In Act II, we introduce the solution, namely our software.
Just like a story, good case studies have a beginning, a middle, and an end, as well as a protagonist – your customer – overcoming a problem and achieving their objective, just like the main character of a story.
By the end of a case study, the reader should be able to visualize themselves as the hero of their own story.
Most people won’t have a “favorite” case study, or even be able to remember one at all.
Before you sit down to create your magnum opus, it’s important to realize that case studies aren’t that important to your audience.Or, even worse, they simply can’t stop themselves from harping on about how great their company is, the gravest of sins when case studies are concerned.Case studies may not be as sexy as a viral blog post, and as such they’re often overlooked in favor of other content formats.Well, just as any good story has a beginning, middle, and end, so too do the best case studies.Here at Word Stream, we typically structure our case studies in a similar way every time.This begs the question – why create marketing case studies at all?The answer is because they’re Now that we’re clear on what a marketing case study is (and isn’t), as well as why you should be producing them, let’s talk about how to actually write a case study worth reading.They’re designed for audiences that are already strongly considering becoming your customers, which is a smaller but more qualified group of people than your general audience. Don’t be disheartened if a case study blog post doesn’t perform as strongly as your best content.Word Stream publishes case studies regularly, but they never receive as much traffic as our most popular blog posts, and that’s okay.My first thought was whether there were any similarities between training difficult dogs and getting to grips with Ad Words as a new advertiser.This thought became the basis for the entire case study.