Case study – what is it and how to write it?
With a case study, you can show a potential client your professionalism and methods of success. This is one of the best ways to convince them to use our services. But what is a case study, what is the purpose of a case study and how do you write it properly? These and other questions will be answered in the following article.
What is a case study?
A case study is a presentation of the performance of a specific, successful project. We show what our task was and how we carried it out. Finally, we present the result of our work and its benefits. The result of our action should be measured and presented in figures that appeal to the audience.
What is the purpose of a case study?
To begin with, a potential client is usually not familiar with exactly what we do. It is therefore difficult for him to imagine how he can benefit from the end result. Only when they are aware of what exactly was done in a specific case presented to them will they be able to appreciate the contribution of our work. It is therefore worth showing him the path we took to achieve a given success and, even more importantly, how much our client benefited from it.
The case study is therefore a factor that makes our client aware. He can relate the case study to his project. This is facilitated by the fact that it is usually supplemented with advice and ideas. It thus allows him to draw his own conclusions.
What distinguishes a case study from a normal advertisement is that here we show how we perform our tasks in practice. This form of presenting your achievements will therefore be more credible for the customer. In the long term, it will be much more convincing to use our services.
What should a good case study include?
We should keep the following points in mind when writing a case study.
- It must have a clear and comprehensible structure. It should be described in chronological order and include an introduction, development and conclusion,
- It should have a central theme. This will make it more coherent,
- You will gain more credibility if your case study is supported by figures and graphs,
- Avoid industry jargon to make it as accessible and understandable as possible,
- Avoid industry jargon to make the case study as accessible and understandable as possible. This will better convey the volume of work you have done,
- Including images and photographs will give us a more attractive and user-friendly format.
We will address each of these aspects later in this article.
Chronology and shape of the case study
A case study is the history of a given process, so care must be taken to ensure that it is properly shaped. It accumulates information about the point from which we start solving a problem, the activities performed, the tools used and the final result. A chronological approach, which includes an introduction, development and conclusion, is the natural way to do it.
We should also make a cause-and-effect relationship between the two, so that the whole is as logical and comprehensible to our audience as possible. Together with the chronological approach, these are the most standard ways of presenting most stories and narratives. The client is used to them – a case study that includes them will therefore be the most accessible to them. Otherwise, the case study is chaotic, more difficult to read, relate to their situation and draw conclusions.
The course of a case study
Here is the flow of a sample case study.
- Introduction – here we should outline the context of the whole case study. This will make it clear and transparent. This should include who our client was and what his or her problem actually was.
- Development – here we present our approach to the problem. We explain how we planned our work and which methods we used. For the sake of completeness, we can also mention here which ideas we had, which we used and which we abandoned.
- Conclusion – here we present the effects of our actions, the benefits obtained by the client and a summary of the entire case study. It is worth using figures here to compare the state before we started our work and after we finished it. Tables and graphs used by SEOgroup are a good example.
The main theme of the entire case study
Another point that helps the client to understand a case study is its guiding theme. It helps to shape the case study and makes it more coherent. We can use the client’s specific problem as the main theme, as well as the actions we took to solve it. Here we can emphasise their uniqueness.
The main theme must be emphasised in the introduction. In the development, we should refer to it in the context of the work we have done. In the conclusion, it should be summed up by showing the benefits achieved by the client. A case study can address a number of issues, but we should make the most important issue our central theme. In this way, we will maintain a proper shape and a coherent whole.
By sticking closely to the key theme, we also avoid presenting unnecessary content in our case study. This will make it more structured and accessible to our audience. In addition, the focus of the project should be on problem solving, not on documenting our work.
Figures and graphs – the greatest concretes of a case study
The factor that strongly appeals to most clients is concrete data. It is best to show them in the form of numbers. Our recipient can draw his own conclusions based on them and decide whether to use our services or not. With such an emphasis on honesty, we will certainly stand out in the eyes of the consumer.
To make our case study credible, we should support it with infographics, charts and statistics. It is worth showing effects and achievements based on them. This will also emphasise our competence, reliability and the quality of our work. We can, for example, show by how much the organic traffic on the website or the total number of conversions for a given period increased.
Aesthetics and images
Another issue that we must not neglect is the aesthetics of the website itself with our case study. It should stimulate the imagination of the viewer. We can use images and the aforementioned infographics to help visualise our achievements.
Industry jargon in the case study
A common mistake we make in the case study we are discussing is to resort to industry terminology. Sometimes this is necessary, but it must not be exaggerated. We should keep in mind to make the case study as accessible as possible to our potential audience. In order to explain to them what our work is about and what results it brings, we should stick to simple language.
Long or short case study?
It is also worth considering the size of the case study you are preparing. It is accepted to create both short, heavily saturated with content – and correspondingly longer forms. So which one should you use?
Most clients, before choosing a particular agency, want to have a fuller picture of the services it offers. If only for this reason, it is worth creating long case studies. It is also natural to want to show how much effort was put into a given project. It is therefore good to size up the description – to reflect the amount of our work.
Add to this the fact that extensive content has a much better effect on Google search engine positioning. The longer the case study, the greater the chance that the algorithm will find it valuable to the viewer. However, do not artificially expand the text – this could disrupt the logic and shape of our case study.
The case study thus fulfils a number of functions. It shows the potential client the benefits of working with our company in a suggestive manner. It provides an opportunity to refer to one’s project and draw conclusions on one’s own. Demonstrating how we perform our tasks in practice is also an educational factor for our recipient. It lends credibility to the competence and high standard we represent. So if we want to highlight the successes of our brand in an appropriate way – the case study will be the perfect solution.
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