How to write great case studies


Summary

Can you believe it’s Monday again already? How time flies. In today’s vlog, Matt and Chris are talking about case studies, what their value is to your business, and one good way to go about them.

Case studies are a great way to show the world how great you are at what you do, rather than telling them. They’re unique content that tells a story of the value you brought to a client, and they’re a great way to get your message across.

Here’s the overview:

  • What are case studies? (00:26)
  • Why write case studies? (00:28)
  • How do you write a good case study? (01:28)

In the vlog, Matt mentions using rich snippets to make your case studies work harder for your site. If you want to learn more about rich snippets, take a look at this article from Moz.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, just stick them below and we’ll try and address them in a future vlog.

Hit subscribe for more inspiring content from the Rusty Monkey team, and leave a comment with your ideas of subjects you’d like us to tackle next.

Finally, check out our very own video page for information on how we can help you make cool vlogs and other video content.

Happy viewing!


Video transcript

Chris: *Kiss*

Matt: Thank you for that. Chris just blew me a kiss. *Mwah* There you go, there you go back Chris.

Chris: Aw, thank you. That’s nice of you.

Matt: So, happy Monday, everyone. It’s a Monkey Monday, and today we’re talking about case studies.

Chris: Yes, and everyone on the planet pretty much knows what a case study is.

Matt: Yeah, but we do this format so let’s go through it. It’s the story of a successful project. But why do we tell these stories? Why do we have case studies?

Chris: Well, it demonstrates your expertise. I can nearly say that. And it showcases your happy customers to everyone on the planet.

Matt: Yeah, and I think also it generates unique marketing content. No one else can tell this story. No one else can show what you did for the customer, how you helped the client. And the other thing it can do is, it creates a sense of familiarity. So if somebody has a similar project, they can look at how you helped them and it can create trust that you’d be able to do the same thing for those guys. So it can bring real value to your marketing to tell these stories. It’s a much better way of saying how great you are at a certain job, by demonstrating it rather than just saying, ‘We’re the best at this, we’re the fastest, we have the lightest graphic design department in the world,’ whatever you’re trying to say.

So how do we do it? How do you create good content? How do you approach writing a case study?

Chris: Well, first of all, we have to plan ahead, and we would assume that every project which we start would become a case study. And that would really help, because you would probably do the best job you possibly can for a client, because you know you’re gonna be promoting it at a later date.

Matt: Yeah, I think it helps weed out projects that maybe you shouldn’t even take on, actually. Because if you can’t at the end of that project determine what great value you’ve brought, then perhaps it’s not a project you should be taking on in the first place. If it’s something that doesn’t interest you or isn’t aligned to you, you wouldn’t wanna use it as a case study.

Planning ahead like that and assuming that every project you’re going to do will be a great case study as well means you might document as you go, so rather than trying to retroactively go, ‘Oh, what did we do for this person, how did we help them?’ If you start recording your journey with them, it’ll help you get that case study written really well.

Chris: Yeah, and if we start in the same way and we follow the same structure, for each case study, it’s gonna look a lot nicer on your site and people will be able to follow the story through.

Matt: So when we get back to that familiarity side of things as well, if people check a few case studies and they’re all formatted in the same way, and they absorb the information in the same way, that’s gonna work better than just case studies written by different people in a different way.

Chris: Yep, so we’ve broken out into yellow here, and this is a structure that we suggest you go for.

Matt: I mean, it depends on your industry as well, because there’s lots of different types of industry, and how you would wanna demonstrate – I dunno – big commercial sector stuff you might wanna have the value of the project in there if that’s important to your customers. So this is our guide. So number one, identify the problem or the goal of the project – so what are you trying to achieve for the customer?

Chris: Number two, explain your approach and how you’re going to work through that project.

Matt: How you implemented it. So what did you do, what actual parts of the project did you deliver, how did you begin to solve these problems and goals?

Chris: What results did you get and how did that affect the company that you did the work for?

Matt: Yeah, and how happy was the customer at the end of all of this? If you format it like this and you know at the end of every single case study you’re gonna put together that you’re gonna ask that client for a testimonial, it’s gonna help you make sure that that testimonial is as positive as it can be and it’ll help you give that customer the best service you possibly can.

Chris: Yep.

Matt: And finally, market and promote the case study. So, certainly if you care about online marketing, what you don’t wanna do is create a huge library of case studies that nobody’s looking at and you have low-value pages and it won’t help your whole SEO make-up if nobody cares about these pages or these things that you write.

Chris: Yep, and these things can have really rich content that will really help your site. So these testimonials can be written and they can also be video, so you can put them on Facebook, and they’ll be really engaging for potential clients.

Matt: Yep, and if you wanna get really nerdy, you could even microformat or rich snippet this up. If you’re not sure what those terms are, perhaps we’ll put some links at the bottom there that explains them a little bit further.

Chris: Hopefully we will.

Matt: Hopefully we will.

Matt: So, thank you very much for watching. We are going to be taking a little break now for the summer.

Chris: Yeah, we’re gonna go off on our holidays.

Matt: Yes, relax in the sun for a little bit. But we will be coming back with more Monkey Mondays, starting early in September. So keep us posted if you’ve got any requests or anything you’d like us to talk about, drop them in the comments below, and we’ll certainly take a look.

Chris: Alright, have a good summer everyone.

Matt: Thank you very much!

Chris: Seeya!


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