Let’s say you’ve got a happy SaaS customer teed up to participate in a case study for you—and you’ve also got a case study writer ready to work on the project. Now all you have to do is put the two together and let the magic happen, right?
Whether you’re working with an in-house, contract or freelance writer, it is well worth your time to create a detailed writer’s brief. It’ll help your case study writer execute on your vision as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Why a writer’s case study brief works
A well-prepared writer’s brief:
- provides clear context and direction
- lays out your expectations and goals
- provides clarity on tone, messaging and target audience
- allows you to be hands off, knowing your writer has what they need to produce on-point content
A good writer’s brief will smooth out the content creation process and save both you and the case study writer time. You’ll be more likely to get the final product you want quickly, and the writer will have more confidence in their work.
As a bonus, preparing a writer’s brief will help you hone in on exactly what you want your case study to achieve.
6 essential elements every case study writer needs in a writer’s brief
Of course, your writer’s brief should include the topic and deadline, target word count, your style guide, SEO keywords and other formatting requirements. But the bulk of the brief is going to take a little more thoughtful crafting.
To get content that will resonate with your potential SaaS customers, be clear on your purpose and your goals, and communicate these to your case study writer. In the writer’s brief, you must:
1. Introduce yourself.
What does your organization do? How does your service make your customers better? What problems do you solve? Introduce your brand and how it reflects the vision of your business. Try to describe your brand’s personality in 5 words. Give the writer the tools to establish a voice that’s consistent with your other content.
2. Introduce your audience or buyers.
Who are you trying to reach? Link to a persona document so your writer can visualize the reader. This will help establish tone and ensure relevant content.
3. Outline your goals and objectives.
Why are you commissioning this case study? Are you trying to raise awareness of your organization? Showcase a particular use case? Demonstrate how you can solve a specific challenge? Provide details.
4. Highlight the main takeaways.
What key messages do you need to burn into the minds of readers? Write them in sharp bullet points, and make sure they tie back to your goals and objectives.
5. Summarize the story.
A case study has to have momentum—think of it as a story with a beginning, middle and logical end. Briefly outline your history with the customer you are featuring and why you selected them. What challenges were they facing? What solutions did you offer? What was the end result?
6. Detail the project’s nuts and bolts.
This is where you can include formatting, style and structure guidelines, as well as a suggested workflow for revisions and approvals.
And 2 things to avoid in your writer’s brief
Don’t write the whole piece yourself!
Be concise. Try to limit yourself to a 1- or 2-page brief. However, in addition, you may want to provide examples of other marketing content written for your organization, or case studies from competitors that you admire. Give the writer as much relevant information as possible without being overwhelming.
Don’t take shortcuts.
An incomplete or vague writer’s brief is only going to lead to more questions from your case study writer or, even worse—unfocused, unenthusiastic and off-brand content. A well-briefed writer will ensure a smooth production process, and an engaging and effective case study.
Now you’re ready to chat with the customer to gather details about their story. Find out how to conduct an informative (and painless) case study interview.
And if you missed the previous post in this 7-part series on case study best practices, you can learn how to identify the right customer for your next case study—and get them to say yes to participating.