How to Choose and Construct a Killer Case Study
Storytelling is the natural but often overlooked element in corporate website copy. From childhood, we are fascinated and drawn in by stories, and our human condition naturally responds to and remembers stories better than mere facts. There are recognizable patterns to stories, they involve positive and negative forces at play, and of course there are conclusions, whether satisfying or frustrating. Storytelling is the natural way for humans to convey complex structures, share ideas, and find meaning in situations around us.
Why does this matter for your business? Because your organization, and the people within it, have stories to tell. These stories not only make up the fabric and history of your organization, they give a glimpse into your company’s personality that will be more readable and more memorable to anyone visiting your website.
The easiest way to begin implementing storytelling into your website is through Case Studies.
These are the medium-length stories that go beyond testimonials and buzzwords, showing real examples of how your company works. In a recent study of buyers of B2B products and services, case studies were cited as the most sought-after type of content among those making purchasing decisions.
Case Studies are incredibly useful to your audience because they provide:
- Social Proof of Your Competence
- Specific, Real Life Problems that You’ve Faced
- Evidence of Your Breadth of Problem-solving
- A Personality to Your Company and a Way to Bring Your Staff to Life
- More Authenticity Than Most Mission Statements and Overly-used Phrases
What makes a good case study?
Choosing the right topics for your Case Studies is key. Ask yourself and your team the following questions to brainstorm and pull out the best stories. Start with many possibilities, and then choose 3-10 that balance each other and show off your strengths.
- Think of cases when a customer presented you with an unusual, unprecedented, or new type of challenge.
- Were you able to address the needs of the customer, surpass expectations, and/or surprise the customer (or yourselves)?
- When did you show innovation, foresight, problem-solving, or great teamwork? Or other attributes you want to illustrate?
- When were you an industry leader? Do something new? Try something different?
- Did you solve a problem for a customer when no one else could?
- Did the customer sing your praises?
How do you construct a case study?
Writing your case study well, and getting that story told effectively, is just as important as choosing the right topic. Make sure you are clear on your brand’s voice and how you want to be perceived (i.e., thought-leaders, timeless and classy, clever and sassy, formal and no-nonsense, etc.). Use a professional copywriter and get your case study out there! Follow these 4 steps to build out your case study.
- Present the challenge
- What is the context? What is the industry or nature of the customer?
- What was the singular problem in the situation?
- Why was this challenging?
- How did you respond?
- What specific steps did you take to solve the problem and find a solution?
- Who got involved?
- What are you proud of?
- What secondary challenges came up or had to be solved through the process?
- It may be helpful to draw this out, and later edit it down if needed. Don’t be afraid of boasting a bit here!
- What about this story makes it special?
- What made you think of this case in particular?
- Conclude with how can this story or these attributes can be extrapolated to other customers.
Here are some examples of Case Studies that show different approaches to the practice.
Case studies vary in length, they can highlight a product or internal processes, and they can serve as a platform to highlight your work as well as your client’s products:
- Shake, Rattle and Robot: Unity Precision Manufacturing’s robotic equipment
- Pandora Opens the Box on Data for Improved Revenue and Relationships
- Brewing a Strategic Partnership
The art of corporate storytelling is one that offers potential and current clients unique insights into how you approach problem solving as an organization. Implementing case studies into your content library will help convert prospects into customers by showcasing your creativity, ability to adapt, and willingness to go the extra mile for your clients.
How to combat this modern mobile office dilemma?
Company Portals and Intranets.
Intranets have been around for years, but have recently become much more advanced, customizable, and affordable. You no longer need to dread logging in to some monochromatic bulletin board of boredom, provided you can even remember your password.
Today’s intranet systems can handle group chats, individual messaging, file sharing, large numbers of employees, and fun components like staff photos, company event calendars, polls, and forums.
Many distribution companies or those with sales agents use Intranets for their reps to be able to log in, find documents and information, and get what they need easily—no matter where they are. Member-based organizations can use intranets in similar ways.
Take Cazarin for example. Our former intranet had fallen out of use, so we created and implemented our own upgraded Intranet system, and we highly recommend this product for other small businesses.
- Staff can collaborate on Forums and Discussions, which are updated with comments in real time instead of keeping track of emails
- HR forms, such a Vacation requests and Payroll submission, can be done online
- Branding assets, such as logos, branded documents, and brand guidelines can be accessed from anywhere, with the knowledge that you’re using the newest version.
- The Projects capability allows a project leader to determine tasks to be done, assign them to people, and watch the progress of an endeavor.
- Polls and voting allow us to easily manage our internal contests. Yes, we do internal contests.
- An admin can grant different access levels to different people, and can place people in private groups according to department.
For all these reasons, we’ve created bWell Software.
Check it out here: www.bwell.software
Designed by our in-house designers, and built off the dual meanings of the word “well”—bWell is both a place to “come to the well” to catch up and discuss, and also has the goal of keeping our company and our people well.
bWell is extremely customizable for the company that uses it. We help identify what will help a company Be Well, based on your industry, your size, and the way you would use the system. Then we build the intranet around your needs. For us, we included Group Chats, Polls, and Forums for quick discussions on topics, and use the File Manager and HR forms regularly. Starting at $95/month, plus a one-time set-up fee, there are several affordable options.
Want to try a demo?
Request a Demo of bWell to see how this intranet solution would fit your company’s needs. Or Contact Cazarin Interactive for more information on this and our other digital marketing solutions.