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Case Study Copywriting

Case Study Copywriting

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Published by Michael Gladkoff
This article will help you write more effective case studies to promote a product or service. When copywriting case studies the indirect approach is most effective. This article will help experienced copywriters and anyone interested copywriting.
This article will help you write more effective case studies to promote a product or service. When copywriting case studies the indirect approach is most effective. This article will help experienced copywriters and anyone interested copywriting.

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Published by: Michael Gladkoff on Mar 14, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Case Study Copywriting:Using the Indirect Approach in Your Copywriting for Maximum ResultsBy Michael Gladkoff – Word Nerds
The importance of the indirect approach in copywriting shouldn’t be underestimated. I thinkevery copywriter should read
by B H Liddell Hart. The author was a historian whogreatly influenced armoured warfare in the twentieth century. In his book
he showshow the indirect approach has led to military victories throughout history. Here is LiddellHart’s summary of the indirect approach.
In strategy the longest way round is often the shortest way there; a direct approach to the object exhausts the attacker and hardens the resistance by compression, whereas an indirect approach loosens the defender's hold by upsetting his balance.
I’m not saying that your prospect is your enemy, but most people view unfamiliar companieswith some scepticism. Everybody has had a bad experience with a company, so if they don’tknow your organisation, you need to win the customer over to your side with goodcopywriting.
How Can The Indirect Approach Be Applied To Copywriting?
Let’s look at one way the indirect approach is applied to copywriting. Case studies are agreat example. These are used mostly in a business to business context. When you use acase study to promote your product or service it’s not what you call a ‘hard sell’. Instead youshow your prospect how you solved a problem or met the needs of a company or person.
Copywriting Tips for Better Case Studies
I’ve seen many bad examples of case studies. The most common problem with many casestudies I’ve analysed is that copywriters use a sales approach that’s best for copywritingother promotional formats (such as brochures or websites).You don’t want to keep saying that your company is the best when writing a case study. In acase study, you want to show how your product or service met a customer’s needs or solvedtheir problem.The basic outline for writing a case study is:
Background and introduction of the problem
Solution – how it was chosen and implemented
Results – how the situation has improved
Copywriting the Case Study Introduction
In the background to the case study you explain the customer’s problem. It’s best to showhow the issue was hurting their organisation. Emphasise their pain in the case study, butdon’t exaggerate. I wrote a case for an automation equipment provider that helped a dairyproducts manufacturer reduce waste when packaging yogurt. At the beginning of the casestudy I wrote that they were wasting 3,000 kilos of yogurt each day because their automationequipment couldn’t accurately fill the yogurt containers.
When writing your case study, you might show how your client tried another product orservice that didn’t help them. It’s best not to give the name of the competitor. Criticising yourcompetitors by name in your copywriting can be counterproductive – it only draws attentionto them. Also, you could end up in court if the competitor feels you haven’t covered the caseaccurately.When copywriting your case study, don’t forget to quote company personnel who benefitedfrom the product or service. Direct quotes from clients show that your case study is real. Italso helps readers, who may be facing similar problems, relate to the situation.
Copywriting Your Case Study Solution Section
When copywriting a case study solution section you want to show how your product orservice solved the problem – you explain the rationale for choosing a particular solution, andthen how the solution was implemented. This can start at the very beginning when yourcompany first got involved. You can show how you took the time to fully understand theclient’s challenge. You might write about heroic efforts made to complete the project.I wrote a case study about an IT company that develops software for the telecommunicationsindustry. When developing and testing the software in Australia, they had to communicatewith partners in Europe to test the software. This meant they had to spend many late nightsworking to get the job done. I mentioned these extraordinary efforts in the case study to showthe dedication of the IT company’s personnel.When copywriting a case study it’s good to include these human elements, especially ifyou’re selling a service. This will take time. You’ll need to research and interview the peoplewho worked on the project you want to write about. A copywriter who can uncover interestingstories and information will be more effective at writing a case study than a copywriter whoskirts around the edges and doesn’t cover the important details.
Copywriting Your Case Study Results Section
The results section of your case study is where you tell the readers what you achieved. Tryto be as specific as possible. When copywriting the yogurt manufacturing case studymentioned earlier, I included details on what the new automation equipment achieved; itreduced spillage by 97 per cent – from 3000 kilos per day to 90 kilos per day.It’s not always easy to get this amount of detail when copywriting your case study. Somecompanies won’t have that type of information to give. Others are reluctant to give away theirtrade secrets. In these situations you might want to write a case study without specifying thecompany that benefited from the product or service. For example, you could write about ‘amajor Australian manufacturer of dairy products’ without giving out their name. But this won’tbe as credible as specifying the company and quoting key personnel.In some cases, company personnel don’t know how to express their achievements. When Iwrote a case study for a software development company, the project manager would answermy questions with one-word answers. In the end I had to speak with other people whoworked on the project to understand what they had achieved for their customer. This is onechallenge you may face when copywriting.

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