Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Seven Ways to Turn Your Dry Case Study into a Compelling Read

Case studies can be tedious to write and even more tedious to read. Even the term “Case Study” is off putting. It sounds like exam prep. These days, few people want to spend a long time reading intricate details about a business case. People want quick tips that are easy to read. So how can you make your case study more readable and compelling? Read on and I will tell you!
1. Divide and conquer: If you look at all the information in your case study, you will realize that you can probably divide the information into smaller components with separate key messages. You can create more interesting subject matter simply by avoiding information overload.
2. Create a How-to:  Within your case study there are probably several elements that can be repurposed into a How- to article. Your blog post can be turned into something like: “Five Ways to …” or “Three Things to Watch Out for When…” Yes, for some reason people like reading numbered lists, so seize the opportunity to create a blog post around one.
3. Describe a process: If one of the purposes of your case study is to let people know the full extent of the services you provide your customers, then take the opportunity to describe a process you use. This can be another form of a How-to, or it can simply be positioned as a form of advice such as, “What Every Business Owner Needs to Know...”
4. Pay attention to your format: You will notice a lot of my blog postings look very similar. I like to build a tip sheet with bold points for easy reading. I want people to learn as much as possible without necessarily having to read every minute detail of my post. That is because I know that most people will only skim an article. The format I like to use is very “skim friendly”.
5. Keep it short: Bearing in mind that most people won’t take the time to read anything long and wordy, keep your postings short and pointed.
6. Educate your reader: Content marketing is all about educating people. Avoid talking about yourself and try engaging people’s minds. Teaching people useful things gives you the opportunity to get people thinking about what you’ve said and the value you provide. Don’t be like the guy at a party who talks incessantly about himself. People will not respect your work.
7. Include a blurb about yourself: Naturally, content marketing needs to be in part about driving business toward you, so make sure there is a small spot at the end that tells people who you are, what you do and where to find you. Notice my blurb below.
Here's one final piece of advice. If what you are writing feels painful to you, it is probably going to be even more painful to your reader. If you can't figure out how to make it feel light, then get a pro to help you, or scrap the idea entirely. 
Renée Cormier is a Public Relations & Communications professional located in Burlington, Ontario. She is passionate about business and the power of content marketing. Her other specialties include strategic planning, branding & positioning, reputation management, media relations, social media, presentations & speeches, copy writing, and media training. Need help with your PR or Marketing? Visit www.reneecormier.com or contactrenee@reneecormier.com .
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