You probably don’t need me to tell you how effective video case studies can be in selling your business, but where do you start? How do you take your random real-life daily business and make it into an interesting and engaging story. Here are 8 steps to a great case study.
1. Think about what aspects of your business you want to promote.
Is it your expertise? Your experience in the market? Your sensitivity with clients – or all of the above. Write these down as a reminder so you don’t go off track as the case study develops.
2. Think of an existing client or project that might embody and demonstrate these qualities.
Are they the kind of client that would be in a position to help you? Could you present it as something of mutual benefit to give them a stronger reason for helping you out?
3. Rough out a simple story with a beginning, middle and end.
Broadly – what was the clients specific challenge? >> how did you engage with them to solve that challenge >> how was a successful outcome reached and how did the client feel about your work? Keep it simple – a punchy story, around three minutes in length based round an interview from your side and an interview from the client’s side.
4. Tell your story with pictures as well as words.
Don’t forget the cutaway shots that will accompany the interviews. This may mean mock-ups of things that have already happened, shots and animations of product materials, designs and prototypes etc. This side of the story is important as it allows your audience to see what you’re like and how you operate.
5. Start early.
The most time consuming part of creating a case study is the setting up – getting everyone on board, matching up diaries and arriving at a date and time that works for everyone. The most cost-effective way to approach this is to film everything in one day if possible, which is challenging, but achievable if you’re working with a competent film-maker. One day is generally enough to get enough material for a simple three minute case study, if it’s well planned and visualised.
6. Be resilient and persuasive.
Many people are initially wary of appearing on film and might be justifiably nervous. A little gentle persuasion and reassurance might be required. Give people a clear idea of what will be required of them and over what period of time. Some people expect large, surly crews to turn up when usually it may be a friendly crew of two helpful and supportive people (with Go Vocal it is, anyway!)
7. Have a plan but don’t over prepare.
If there’s a clear timetable of what you would like to do along with a few pre-agreed questions for the interviews, that will be enough to make everyone feel comfortable and in control of their contribution. Make sure no-one is tempted to write a script for their answers – this rarely sounds natural or interesting. Make sure everyone who may appear in the film – both interviewees and background people – are happy to do so. Either get them to sign consents or post signs to warn people that if they don’t wish to appear they should make this known.
8. Keep it people focussed.
Whatever your industry, business is about people and you should take every opportunity to focus on the human aspects of your story. It will make it more engaging for your audience and, in turn, make them more likely to buy from you.