13 November 2018

Case Study Brief: 6 Reasons You Need One

Congrats on getting a happy SaaS customer teed up to participate in a case study with you. Whether you’re working with an in-house, contract or freelance writer, it’s well worth your time to create a detailed case study brief. It’ll help your writer execute on your vision as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Why a case study brief works 

A well-prepared case study 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 case study brief will smooth out the content creation process and save both you and the 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 case study brief will help you hone in on exactly what you want your case study to achieve.

6 essential elements every case study brief needs to include

Of course, your case study 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 writer. In the case study brief, you need to:

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 case study brief

Don’t write the whole piece yourself!

Be concise. Try to limit yourself to a 1- or 2-page case study 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 case study brief is only going to lead to more questions from your 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.

Next step?

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 B2B case study best practices, you can learn how to pick the right customer for your next case study—and get them to say yes to participating.


Need help with your case study?

At Uplift Content, we work with high-growth SaaS companies to share their untold success stories and showcase how their products enable their customers to solve tough problems. Check out our case study writing service.

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Emily Amos
Emily Amos

As the founder of Uplift Content, Emily leads teams in creating done-for-you case studies, ebooks and white papers for high-growth SaaS companies. Check out her bio.

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