How To Write A Compelling Case Study
Nearly two years ago, we published our take on case studies. Since then, we’ve put out several more case studies on residential and commercial applications of our Classic, Kassel & Irons, and Green American Home products.
Our first piece focused on why to write a case study, but I’d like to delve into the how. Case studies are a great outlet to show off your brand, service, and expertise to potential customers, so here are some of the methods I recommend when writing them.
First, any good case study starts with an angle. Maybe you get a picture of a completed job, hear the story behind a project, the client shares something that sticks out in your mind, or a new product is featured. Highlight the theme or wrinkle that makes this project noteworthy.
Whatever it is, once you take note of it, gather all the relevant information. Record the product and color, the job’s size, location, important people to interview, and any tidbits you want to include.
The following interviews are the critical part of every case study. They provide the material for the body of the study right from the people who made the project possible. I recommend getting the homeowner’s and installer’s perspectives if you can.
The body should portray several things to the reader: the problem at hand, the methods to find the solution, implementing the solution, and the feedback/fallout at the end. Put your spin on this template and tailor it to your audience. It might take some experimentation but be clear with each step of the journey. Make it easy for readers to follow along and arrive at a satisfying conclusion.
Now, you don’t have to exclusively feature special examples of your work. If you have a solid project that went off well and all parties are thrilled with the results, that can be a great candidate to spread the word. Ideally, you create a diverse portfolio of case studies so customers can see your range and find something similar to themselves and their projects. A variety of studies shows off your capability too. Maybe a customer isn’t sure exactly what they want, but a creative solution from your team sparks their interest and solves their problem.
We’ve found that the best use for case studies outside of a passive place on your website is an active one: targeted sharing with prospects. Working from a solid backlog of material makes sharing that much more effective, and case studies provide undeniable proof of your prowess.
This isn’t part of writing a case study, but I’d be remiss to exclude it. Pictures, videos, and any other media are vital. You can have the best copy on the planet, but a dramatic before and after or gorgeous gallery will suck readers in. Work with what you have, but if you need to enlist a local photographer, do it. Special mention to drone photos and videos too. With drones as cheap as they are, consider investing in the training and knowledge to use them well; they elevate your visuals tremendously.
Keep your message clear, focus on explaining how you solved the customer’s problem, and make it relatable for prospects to identify with. If you can do those three things, you’ve cooked up a compelling case study that will pay dividends. And great case studies provide a unique window into your company and how it does business; invaluable marketing in a neat package.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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