What case studies can do for your communication strategy
As communicators, both in the private and public sectors alike, we’re always looking for new ways to demonstrate the value of our work.
Whether a brand seeking yet another way to say “here’s what the new ultra absorbent paper towel made with a unique combination of unicorn tears, eucalyptus extract and Ethiopian ground twig will do to transform your kitchen!” Or maybe it’s a government simply telling the story of how a new service offering can improve the way citizens access public service, communicating in a way that isn’t “same old same old” can be a challenge.
The good news is there are plenty of tactics that can add some variety and credibility to your approach. There’s one in particular that can be a bit of an unsung hero, the humble case study, of course.
So, what is a case study?
In its most basic definition, a case study is an opportunity to demonstrate the value of your services by providing a real-life example. Rather than you telling everyone that your content communication approach is a sure-fire way to help government engage with citizens (guilty), bring it to life through case studies.
Why case studies?
When it comes to communicating, your audience cares more about what others have to say about you rather than what you have to say about yourself.
Recommendations from others are widely considered the very best kind of advertising, hence the rise of the influencer. And while you might not expect it, influencer marketing can be extremely useful in the public sector.
If you need convincing, here are five of the benefits of using case studies:
- Building case-study creation into your approach means committing to evaluating your work, considering what worked, what could have been more effective and, importantly, what you learned.
- For a prospective client, customer or citizen, having access to a track record of times when the product or service they are considering has worked, naturally instils confidence.
- In a culture that is increasingly valuing transparency (particularly in the government space), being clear and honest about the work that you do is critical – case studies contribute toward an image of openness. Here’s an example of a Government case study; around the Department of Human Services’ use of social media.
- From a content perspective, one single case study can provide a range of content to satisfy your audience across a whole lot of platforms. Let’s take, for example, a hypothetical example of when you shoot an excellent case study video of an Australian citizen describing their experience of how they accessed a hypothetical educational grant. You’ve got a great video, that you can turn in to a blog post, a Q&A document, an infographic, a range of social media graphics and social media posts.
- The repurposing of content and fully leveraging it to create a suite of communication products is highly cost-effective. Consider it a way of getting the most mileage out of the creation of a case study.
What questions should case studies ask?
So, now you know you want to do case studies (a wise decision, I must say). All case studies should cover off on the following:
- What was the problem being solved?
- What was the strategy to solve the problem?
- How was the strategy successful – what was the outcome?
- What were the lessons learnt?
- How could the strategic approach be improved for next time?
At contentgroup, we are skilled in creating case studies. With our full suite of services in-house, including video and graphics production as well as our expertise in writing, we’ve got you covered. Get in touch with us to talk about how we can help.
Also published on Medium.
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