“What do I need to include in my case study?” Sound familiar? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Having case studies on your organisation’s website is a key part of establishing yourself within your sector, building trust with your audience, and showing your expertise, but they can be a real challenge to get to grips with if they’re not something you’re used to doing.
Lucky for you, we’re sharing a few tips and tricks to help you along the way. By the end of this article, you will be confident writing a health case study that:
- Engages your audience right from the beginning
- Is representative of your organisation
- Shows the impact that your work has had
Take it from the top
When writing your case study, you need to be able to sell it from the top down. What’s at the top of every great piece of writing? An engaging headline. You want to instantly draw in your readers and make them want to read on.
To start, take a moment to think about the topic of your case study and the reasons why you’re writing it. Are you writing about a piece of research that you did? Are you talking about a specific piece of technical software that you’ve used to help you achieve a goal? Whatever it might be, your case study is all about showing your reader the impact that you’ve had.
From here, ask yourself these two questions:
- What did you improve?
- What was the impact of the change?
Once you’ve done this, you’ll have the basis of the opening title for your case study. But, just in case it’s still seeming a little confusing, here’s an example of a case study that we worked on for our client, Liverpool Health Partners (LHP).
- The topic of the case study: Liverpool Health Partners
- Why we’re writing it: To showcase the impact that we had working with them
- How we improved LHP: We helped them with their brand identity
- What impact the change had: It helped them to define their brand, tone of voice and gave their staff confidence
If we were to simplify this all down into a sentence, it’d look something like this:
“We worked with LHP and helped them with their brand identity.”
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this, but it isn’t exactly going to make you want to read on if it’s at the top of an article, is it? So, from here, think about what adjectives you can use to describe the project. Let’s start with how LHP describes its brand. “Liverpool Health Partners is a thriving network of 12 world-leading organisations who are working together to develop groundbreaking research.” What adjectives can we pick out of the LHP mission statement?
With this in mind, we applied similar adjectives to our initial statement and ended up with this heading and subheading:
Liverpool Health Partners:
Transforming the brand identity of an impactful health organisation.
Do you see the difference? With a few tweaks, readers understand exactly what LHP is (an impactful health organisation) and the impact that we had on them (transformed their brand identity). When you’re creating your own headline, bear this in mind.
Set the scene
After your heading, it’s always a good idea to include an opening paragraph to set the scene of the case study. This is the perfect opportunity to go into a bit more detail about what the project or task at hand was, and what needed to be done to achieve the desired impact.
Some key points that you might want to include here are:
- A few details about the case study topic. For example, you might have done more in-depth research into newly released data.
- Background information to put the case study into perspective. This could be a short sentence about what the situation was before your case study. For example, if you’re talking about heart health research, you could include a sentence about what research had been done before doing your own research.
- The goals that you wanted to achieve. This gives you a chance to explain what you set out to do so that once your readers have finished the case study they can understand the impact that you’ve had.
Tackling the challenge
With your intriguing headline all boxed off, it’s time to start thinking about the content of the health case study itself. We recommend beginning with the challenge at hand e.g. what problem did you solve? Here’s an example of the challenge that we were facing with LHP’s brand identity:
Writing the challenge down like this will give your reader a clearer understanding of the impact that your research has had. It will also help you to acknowledge your own impact and assist you in writing the rest of the case study. If you can see what the challenge was then you’ll be able to see exactly what you did to achieve it.
After laying out exactly what your challenge was, you’ll want to move onto how you completed it. Some of our best advice for this would be to break this section down into smaller, more manageable paragraphs. It’s likely that this section is going to be the bulk of your health case study so, breaking it down will help make it a lot more digestible for your reader.
A few tips to keep in mind when writing this section:
- Keep it clear, concise and break up text
- Use bullet points to vary the way your case study looks
- Think of this as a chance to showcase your brand tone of voice
A great example of a health case study is this one from Diabetes UK. What makes it stand out?
- Visual timelines & images to help get the point across
- Bullet points to break up text
- Branded colour scheme
- References and statistics that help to back up the case study
- Written in a tone that’s representative of their company
Write for your audience
Knowing your audience is a key part of any piece of writing. But, it’s especially important when you’re writing a case study for your healthcare organisation. Think about who it is that you are looking to target. Is it healthcare professionals who have worked their way to the top of their craft? Is it inexperienced people who are just entering the healthcare sector? Maybe it’s both. Whoever it is, you’re going to want to make sure that your health case study is representative and inclusive of them.
When writing for your audience, there are a few things that are worth considering:
- SEO & relevant key terms. What is your audience searching for? Do some research to find out what terms they’re looking for and adapt your case study to reflect it. If they can’t find you then they can’t read your content.
- Don’t go too heavy on the jargon. You have to be careful of excluding your audience, and jargon can most definitely do that. Keep it informative without isolating your readers. A good way to do this is to make sure that you’re spelling out acronyms and explaining specific terms. They might seem like common knowledge to you but, to the reader, it might not be the case.
- Back up your points with data and evidence. Your audience is more likely to see you as an expert within the sector if you can back your health case study up with some facts. This is also a great opportunity for you to include more about the story behind the data to help place it in context.
Talk benefits, not features
It’s easy to get carried away with ideas and technology when writing up your case study. Maybe the work that you did for your healthcare organisation involved using a new state-of-the-art piece of software, which is amazing! But, it’s important that you put yourself in the readers’ shoes. Is everyone who reads your case study going to understand the value of that piece of tech if it isn’t explained?
Readers want to understand the impact of your work. So, rather than highlighting the features of the software or tech that you used, talk about how those features helped to benefit your healthcare client e.g. we used X software to help gain an understanding of X. Because of this, we were able to achieve X goal within X months.
What was the result?
Every case study should finish with the results of your work. In this section, take the time to talk about what you achieved and ask yourself these three questions:
- What was the outcome of the work?
- How was the challenge successfully addressed?
- What did you learn?
The outcome of your work will dive deeper into what the end result was. Were you able to achieve everything that you’d set out to do? Were there any challenges along the way that you had to overcome? Sometimes, (in fact, a lot of the time) things won’t go exactly to plan. But, provided that you were able to learn and adapt to the situation to achieve your goals then it’s still a success. The end result section creates the perfect opportunity to talk about what challenges you faced along the way, how you overcame them and what you learned as a result. By explaining more about the details of how you reached your outcome, readers will be able to understand more about how you, and your organisation, work.
Over to you
Hopefully, we’ve managed to make writing a health case study seem a little bit less daunting for you with these tips. But, if you’re in any doubt about what to do next, we’ve put together three key things that you should bear in mind when you go to write your own case study:
- An impactful heading will go a long way. If you want to keep your audience reading, then it all starts with the heading. Even if you’ve written the most inspiring health case study, without the intriguing heading, you’ll lose your audience.
- Always write with your audience in mind. Once you’ve got them reading, you want them to stay. Make sure you understand what they want out of your case study and write in a way that’s reflective of them.
- Benefits over features. Your audience wants to know exactly how you benefited your client. Keep your case study clear and to the point, and ensure that they understand the value that you added.
Want to know how to perfect your own case study? Check out our Liverpool Health Partners case study and discover how we transformed their brand identity.