What is a Case Study?
Well, if you have never heard of a Case Study before, this will be a little treat. The Dictionary defines a “Case Study” as;
- a process or record of research in which detailed consideration is given to the development of a particular person, group, or situation over a period of time.
- a particular instance of something used or analyzed in order to illustrate a thesis or principle.
Essentially you are taking a deeper look at the details of a situation, usually one that parallels something you are looking to do in business, and learning from either their mistakes or successes. Both positive and negative turnouts can provide valuable information and help to further illustrate a “Blueprint for Success”.
Case Studies can come from a variety of sources. As the format for Case Studies can be rather ambiguous, you do have to perform some digging when looking for Case Studies that are in line with the type of information you are looking for. Depending on your industry, there are many Universities with online libraries open to the public that you can use to search within the business resources. You must be vigilant to note whether the studies were done using a real or fictitious source, as some schools will create fictitious Case Studies to mimic the real life scenarios when teaching students.
1. Know Your Niche
One of the best things about a case study is how specifically targeted they are. Good Case Studies are honing in on a niche, and providing laser-focused information on problems and solutions. Knowing what your niche is will point you directly to the Case Studies that will shed light on obstacles that you have had or will experience, things that work and those that don’t.
2. Position Your Brand as an Expert in Your Industry
Case Studies are a fantastic method of bringing in cited examples filled with statistics. You can use these in your Business Plan for when you are preparing to apply for a Small Business Loan, or Start-Up Loan, and you can use Case Studies when you are pitching ideas to your team, or even in creating content for your digital marketing. When you use cite Case Studies it shows that you have done your due diligence, you know your audience and you can speak to specific problems that occur.
3. Find Solutions to Problems
In any new business, unforeseen circumstances will give you a run for your money. Most Case Studies are created to show you how specific problems were solved, and provide you with solid statistics. Instead of throwing out vague statistics like, “watering your plants with this solution will kill some weeds”, you can specify “will kill 94.5% of weeds”. People need to hear the numbers. Using Case Studies will also help to save you from all the trial-and-error that wastes time. Being able to see what has actually worked for others in your situation is a great time-saver.
4. Social Proof
With all the false information and statistics that are out there on the internet, polluting our solid facts, it is understandable that people have become very skeptical of the information that the read on the internet, or even that their CEO is citing from the web. Customers are scouring your copy to find any trace of error. That is why people take peer reviews and factual findings seriously. Take a look at our online review culture and you will see how great of an effect social proof has on a consumer decision. Use this to your advantage whenever possible!
Creating a Case Study
Aside from gathering information and data from existing Case Studies, you can create your own. If you thought that it was valuable to use them from others, just wait until you see the impact of gathering your own data and formulating your own studies. However, it takes time, dedication and a lot of research to develop Case Studies on your own.
When you create your own Case Studies – or any other content for that matter – you should be publishing it to multiple channels, promoting the content with paid-ads, and looking for widgets that will allow for mailing list opt-ins for those who are checking out your content. Learning to make the most out of Case Studies, along with any other content you generate, will continue to improve your business and lead you into lifelong success!
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