This is a condensed version of David Chapin’s original whitepaper, “8 Fundamental Principles for Creating Compelling Case Studies“.

Case Studies are Crucial Marketing Tools

Case studies are one of the most powerful marketing tools in your arsenal. They can compel users to engage with your brand in a way that other marketing initiatives cannot.

However, like all tools, it’s possible to mishandle them. Many life science brands do a poor job of leveraging their case studies in a compelling way. If you’re concerned you might be losing leads due to lackluster case studies, this post is for you.

Your customer should always be the hero of your case studies, and you should be seen as a loyal sidekick who helped them achieve success.

We’ve put together a handy list of core principles that are proven to lead to stronger case studies and more user engagement. If you’re interested in hearing more about how Forma can help elevate your business using the power of compelling content, contact us today!

Rule #1 – Follow the And-But-Therefore storytelling structure

We’ve written extensively about how And-But-Therefore storytelling is proven to improve audience engagement, which is why you should absolutely be using it in your case studies.

A-B-T storytelling is essentially a three-act narrative structure that engages the audience by introducing and resolving tension. A normal A-B-T case study will typically begin by describing the situation (the And). After the situation is defined, tension will be introduced and intensified (the But). Finally, the case study will conclude with a resolution that describes the results (the Therefore).

This method is proven to increase engagement rates and compel users to take action on your site. Never underestimate the power of storytelling!

Rule #2 – Clearly define the source of tension

Since the dawn of storytelling, tension has always been a source of interest. The greater the tension, the more interesting the story will be. This is a core tenet that should be implemented in your life science case studies.

If the problem is mundane or easily solved, then it won’t result in a very interesting narrative. If you’re able to demonstrate how you were able to solve a complex, high-tension challenge, it’ll make your case study that much stronger.

Rule #3 – Articulate your competitive advantage

Case studies are a great opportunity for you to clearly define what makes your brand unique. In other words, your brand’s position.

Your position clearly states many things, including what you offer, who you offer it to, and why your offering is different and better. The core of your position is your unique value proposition. While it may be a small overstatement, all of your marketing touchpoints should communicate your unique value. This is especially true of your case studies.

By highlighting your unique value proposition, you elevate your advantage over your competition.

Rule #4 – Case studies are about your customers, not you

Every story needs a protagonist, and case studies are no different. It can be tempting to think of yourself as the protagonist, but the truth is that your audience needs to see themselves in your case studies. If you spend too much time elevating your brand over your client’s, it can be seen as arrogant and dissonant.

Your customer should always be the hero of your case studies, and you should be seen as a loyal sidekick who helped them achieve success.

Rule #5 – Always include a call to action

The point of all marketing it to create a change—a change in attitude, belief, or behavior. The best way to do this is to make it incredibly easy for your audience to take the next step in the buying process.

Always include a big, attractive button that compels users to engage further. You never want to strand your users on a page with no links or calls to action, and you always want to make your content accessible. Including a call to action in your case studies checks both of these boxes, and will help increase engagement with your brand.

These are just a few key components to crafting killer case studies. If you’re interested in taking the next steps to effectively leverage your content, contact Forma today.