Copywriting for print

What’s the story? Why case studies work…

There’s nothing like a good story. One of my favourite characters on the TV show Seinfeld is Mr. Peterman. He has the most amazing stories that nobody ever wants to hear. Probably because they are always about him. It’s a mistake many case study writers make. The case study should be about the problem solved and not the problem solver.

Case studies work for a number of hardened marketing reasons, one of them is connected to your childhood….yes, I just said that….no really…. We’re conditioned from an early age to look for a beginning, middle and an end. The case study document is an easy piece to read for that reason. You must make your message as easy as possible to take in by a prospective buyer. Case studies work as marketing tools because they‘re easy to read.

When someone gets to the case study on your website or marketing materials, they’re at least considering using you or your services. You need to persuade them to do just that.  They’re flexible and can be used in any number of scenarios and not just lost on your website. At a meeting you can reference the story or tell it (very quickly!!). And then leave the printed case study behind for them to read.  With hundreds of templates on the web and free graphics packages available, you can put together a presentable document and make a lasting impression about how you help people and companies – just like them. Or you can get a graphic designer to help you out.

Where to start with your case study writing? Write three for your three ‘most-typical’ categories of clients.  For me, that might be technology, charities and that catch-all ‘business services’. They work like testimonials but have a much bigger impact.

You’ve helped many customers and have plenty of success stories. You should tell prospective customers how your company can help them. Demonstrate how your product or service has helped many organisations, just like them.

Case studies often work better than standard direct marketing tools. Simply because people like to read stories. Stories about people with similar problems to theirs that can be solved. These can be used not only on websites but also in presentations, brochures, direct mail and information packs.

Case studies work. Use one this week.

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