Do you hold webinars, seminars, and online workshops? If you use teaching as part of your content marketing strategy, consider embracing the power of case studies.
What Are Case Studies?
Case studies are reports or papers that present a problem and then demonstrate (using facts, research, and interviews) how that particular problem was solved.
For example, a pet blogger might create a case study on how to train an old dog to do new tricks. The problem to be solved is that an old and newly adopted dog just wouldn’t cooperate with its new owners and other pets. The solution, which takes some time to discover, might be a specialized training technique.
So How Do You Teach with a Case Study?
Case studies are valuable business building tools. In fact, there are many ways in which you can embrace the use of case studies to build your business and provide value to your audience.
#1 Teach to Sell
Let’s say you have a dog training business. You might use a case study to help demonstrate not only why your training technique is effective, but also how to use the training technique. The case study would back up your teaching and add credibility to your claims.
#2 Teach to Educate
Consultants often hold seminars and workshops on their specialization. A sustainability expert for example, might hold a workshop on how to make your home more green. By using case studies, they can demonstrate not only how to make homes more green but also what the benefits to owning a “green” home.
Every case study should ideally provide factual, supporting information and help your audience move through the process of understanding the topic.
#3 Teach to Connect
Whether you charge for your educational content or you provide it for free, teaching with case studies helps connect you to your audience. Using case studies in your material shows your readers and students that you care about solving their problems. It takes time to find relevant case studies. It takes time to create them, too. And case studies often foster a conversation. Online, this conversation can help you engage your prospects. And the conversations can provide material for future content.
How to Create Your Own Case Study.
Case studies are not that difficult to build. Even a project that goes wrong can be used as a case study because of what you learn from the project.
#1 Identify the Problem
What is the problem you’re trying to solve? Theoretically, if you’re creating a case study to boost your business then you already know the solution is your product or service. From that point, work backward.
What problem does your product or service solve? Get specific here. For example, if you’re a dog trainer then your problem may be dogs pulling on leashes, barking, or having accidents inside.
A case study ideally focuses on one issue.
#2 Find Your Data
The next step is to gather data and facts to further demonstrate the problem. You can interview clients and utilize data that’s already been compiled and organized, either online or in books. For example, you might find that 1 in 10 American pet owners have problems with their pets having accidents indoors. You could also discuss the problems that these accidents cause including bacteria, odors and so on.
The third step to conducting a case study is to interview clients who have had success with your products or services. When interviewing, ask in-depth questions. Ask them about their problem and the stress that it caused. Also ask about the other solutions they tried.
Then ask them what led them to try your product or service. Finally, ask them to share their success story.
#4 Wrapping It Up
The final step in a case study is to summarize the material and draw a conclusion. This is usually no more than a paragraph or two and it’s a nice way to lead into a call to action, for instance signing up for your newsletter so they can receive more great content from you.
Case Studies Aren’t Just for Selling.
Case studies shouldn’t be seen as just for selling. You can also use them to provide value to your readers and strengthen your credibility as an authority in your industry. By creating a case study you’re positioning yourself as a valuable source of information and thus driving traffic to your site.