How to Craft an Engaging Case Study

Have you been the recipient of a painfully boring case study? You know the kind I'm talking about. It typically starts with a far-reaching overview of the business' suite of services, then mentions the name of a client they worked with, then they tell you about all the other types of clients the business serves (if you made it that far). But you can do much better! You can craft an engaging case study that helps your prospects see themselves in the same role as your happy client.

Let's get started. First, what type of work do you want to bring in? Perhaps a particular service line is hot right now because of a new regulation or other outside force driving change. The important thing is to first identify the work to be brought in.

Next, who have you done this for recently? And were they happy? I hate to ask, but it's worth repeating. Don't ask an unhappy client to be part of a case study.

So you have your happy client, and you've done work for them recently that is akin to work that you would like to get from others. Perfect! Time to start your outline.

Three Elements of an Engaging Case Study

  1. What was the problem facing your client? Outline this portion clearly so others can see themselves in the same predicament.
  2. How were you able to solve this problem? Define the steps that you took to address the problem and get the client back on track.
  3. What are the key takeaways? Tell the audience about 2-3 aspects of your solution that could apply to other clients.

How to Deliver the Story

Next, consider the best method to deliver this story to your audience. If your outline is multiple pages, you may need to think about a video or graphic-heavy piece that moves your story along quickly without losing the benefit of demonstrating your depth of knowledge and expertise.

If your outline is brief, it may be easiest to keep writing and create an article. If the word count gets north of 1,200, consider dropping the content into a branded PDF for ease of reading. This method provides for plenty of white space to help your reader skim and find relevant information quickly and easily.

And if the sky's the limit, you can always repurpose your outline into more than one delivery tool. Just remember to keep your audience in mind. Why will they care? Because you can solve their problems. Now show them how you do it!

Katie Gilmore