Case studies can be powerful promotion tools, thanks to the many ways they can help your business. But figuring out how to write a case study, interview questions to ask, and the best ways to use your case history can be tricky. Like other aspects of your content marketing, case histories seem overwhelming.
With a little guidance and inspiration, they’re a piece of cake.
To help you get started writing your success stories and maximizing their benefits, we’ve compiled the basic steps you’ll follow to write a case study and some great interview questions you can use.
How to Write a Case Study
At its most basic level, a case study is a success story, and the most powerful success stories clearly show before and after situations and results. Follow these steps to write a winning case history outline, then use the case study interview questions to flesh out each section.
Step 1: Describe the problem your customer or client had. Talk about specific pain points, their struggle to make things work, and what led to the decision to find a solution.
Step 2: Show their search for a solution. Explain the criteria for a perfect product or service and other solutions they considered but rejected.
Step 3: Describe the solution you provided, including what it is, how it works, and why your customer or client chose you over the competition.
Step 4: Outline the specific results and benefits the client achieved by implementing your solution.
Beyond these steps of how to write a case study, keep in mind that most case studies range from 500 to 1000 words, giving them the credibility of a white paper and the speed of a blog post.
Case Study Interview Questions
Even when you have an outline in front of you, knowing what questions to ask during an interview can sometimes be tough, especially if interviewing makes you nervous. Consider these interview questions from SmartBug Media Inbound Marketing Blog, or tweak the following questions to fit your situation and help you uncover the best information and great quotes for your case history.
Questions about the Problem (step 1):
1. What challenges in your business or industry influenced you to look for a solution?
2. Did you have a previous solution that could no longer meet your company’s needs? If so, how did your needs change?
Questions about the Search for a Solution (step 2):
1. What criteria did you have in mind for a solution?
2. How did you search for a solution to your problem?
3. Tell me about some solutions you considered but rejected.
Questions about Your Solution (step 3):
1. Why did you choose our firm over our competitors?
2. Did you encounter any challenges implementing our solution, and how did you surmount them?
3. What did you find most attractive about our company and/or solution?
Questions about Results and Benefits (step 4):
1. What benefits have you experienced from working with us?
2. What specific results have you seen from implementing our solution?
3. What business processes does our solution enhance? Does it save you time or money?
Tips on Writing a Case Study
A proven outline of how to write a case study and tried-and-true case study interview questions go a long way towards the power of a great success story, but there are a couple other things you can do to make the most of this soft-sell opportunity.
One of the best things you can do is keep an open mind. Whatever feedback your customers gives you is their reality, so don’t let what you think about the situation affect what you take away from the interview. Make sure everyone involved in the interview knows you want candid, honest feedback.
Use at least two methods of recording the interview, such as handwritten notes and a tape recorder. Try to collect at least two or three quotes per person you interview, and be prepared to interview more than one person to get the full story.
Finally, consider sending your questions to the interviewees a couple days before the interview. This gives them time to find specific data you ask for and consider the best responses.
Have you used case studies in your business?
What interview questions and tips did you use? Please share your experiences in the comments!
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