Do you want to get more business? Case studies are a great way to do that. In this article, we will go through the case study writing process, from start to finish.
We’ll discuss how to find a company that’s right for you, what information you need for the case study, and what kind of content it should include. Case studies can be an excellent addition to any marketing strategy!
The point of content marketing is to establish your brand/business as a trusted authority in your industry. Customers want to see a real-world demonstration of a company’s product or service and how your solutions can address their needs. And the best way to show this is through a client case study.
- What Is a Case Study?
- Why Create Marketing Case Studies?
- How to write a case study in 7 steps
- How to write a case study specifically for marketing
- Case study writing tips
- You're too busy to interview clients and write your own stories. Are case study writing services worth it?
- Where to from here?
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What Is a Case Study?
Case studies are detailed stories about a customer overcoming their problem with your company’s products. By the end of a case study, it’s important for the reader to visualize themselves in that position.
Good case studies all have a beginning, middle, and end. They also have an active protagonist – your customer – who overcomes a problem and achieves their goal.
Business case studies allow you to describe the results of implementing your services from the customer’s perspective. Your case study should highlight how your product or service is the best solution for specific customer problems.
Your customer case study can be presented in different formats – article/blog post, video case study, social media post, email, or even podcast audio.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on the blog post format and how to create a compelling case study that will get customers wanting to know more about your business and solution.
Why Create Marketing Case Studies?
Marketers often prioritize other marketing content formats over marketing case studies.
In a recent report, B2B Marketing asked a cohort of marketers how they felt about various content formats, including case studies. 67% of marketers surveyed said case studies were ‘very effective’.
Customer case studies are fantastic tools for marketing because they can be used to highlight customer success. When you share customer stories, it’s easy for potential customers to connect with the customer and feel hopeful that they too will have a successful experience.
Case studies also provide an opportunity to demonstrate your company’s expertise in customer service or product development by highlighting specific results achieved through implementing certain strategies or approaches.
How Do You Write a Case Study?
Case studies are about how a particular consumer/client used the goods or services to solve their problem. A good case study has a beginning, middle, and end, just like a story.
Always start with a case study strategy
Before you begin writing a case study, ask yourself: where do case studies fit within your broader content and marketing strategy? This is critical to identify upfront so you can plan your case study appropriately.
The following questions are important to ask when considering a case study strategy:
- What customer success challenges does your business face?
- What customer pain points do we want to address through the use of content and marketing efforts?
- How will this help our customers achieve their goals faster or better than they would without our product/service?
Is there an opportunity for customer testimonials, customer reviews, customer feedback as part of the design process with customer success team input on what is most helpful information in each stage of product adoption (e.g., early adopter feedback)?
Do case studies offer value outside of just generating leads by driving awareness about products that may drive viral reach, social media, or other customer-generated customer referrals?
What’s the intrinsic value of case studies in terms of customer research, customer engagement, loyalty, and also retention?
Don’t have a strategy yet for using case studies to market your business? Watch our free 5-min training and download our PDF worksheet.
Identify a Compelling Angle for Your Case Study
The more engaging your case study is, the better. It is important to choose an interesting customer for the next case study. Have any of your customers used the services you offer on a particularly difficult or unusual problem?
Think outside the box when searching for someone to serve as the basis for a case study. The more engaging your story, the better it is to be heard.
This is why it’s important to consider where your case study will fit within your customer journey and have a strategy for using case studies to market your business.
Once you’ve worked out which angles will speak to prospective clients, and you’ve identified which client(s) would be best suited to profile, it’s time to plan your case study blog post.
How to write a case study in 7 steps
Here at Simple Creative Marketing, we developed the “7P Framework” for writing compelling case studies.
Here’s a video walking through each of the 7 P’s of our case study framework.
Prefer to read? Not a problem. Let’s break down what each “P” stands for. While case studies can be shaped differently, the following components are a must in any client success story.
1. Punchy Headline – Case study title
The title creates the first impression of your study, and it should be able to reflect the accomplishments or use case of your product effectively. You can even use the client/consumer’s to make it more authentic.
Here are some examples of case study titles that we came up with for our clients:
- How Ally Nitschke Quit Her Day Job And Went Full-Time On Her Coaching Business In Just Five Months
- Reducing Bento’s Bookkeeping Time to 5 Minutes Per Month
- How eCommerce Growth agency hit growth targets consistently for 3 months straight and achieved a 76.57% profit margin
2. Profile – About the Client’s Company
The next step in your case study is to turn on the lights and set the stage. Since the story is not about you but the client, a brief introduction to your client’s world helps the audience connect and identify your target audience and relate with the challenges accordingly.
This is also a great opportunity for you to let your readers know what type of clients you typically work with. For instance by stating clearly that the client being profiled is a 6-figure course creator that immediately lets readers know that’s who you serve.
3. Problem Statement – Describe The Challenges
Moving forward with the case study story, describe each problem in a few paragraphs and state the challenges faced by the client before they opted for your product/service.
Keep in mind not to deviate from the subject of your study. When talking about the challenges that your client faced it’s important to provide the context in the form of statistics, stories, and quotes.
You can consider this the “before” snapshot of what was happening before the client discovered your product or service.
This is the background context that really makes the final case study valuable to a prospective client during their research phase i.e. when they are evaluating whether or not to engage your company for a problem that they’re looking to solve.
For example, in a case study that we did for Bean Ninjas client Bento, we painted the picture of how the founder was struggling with poor quality work of their previous bookkeeping service.
The best way to identify the actual challenges a client experienced is to interview them.
We like using Zoom because it’s a great way for clients to speak directly with our team members, so they can be much more thorough in describing what they experienced. We’ve also found video or voice interviews to be far more effective than email interviews as we can ask for clarification and go much deeper during the calls.
These calls also double as customer research calls as often clients will reveal valuable insights that can go straight to sales and marketing teams.
4. Process – Share the Solutions your company provides
After introducing the customer’s problems in your case study it’s time to define the measures you took to resolve the issues.
This is your company’s time to shine!
This is the part where you explain and demonstrate ‘how you made their journey simple’. What was the methodology or process that you used to provide an effective and remarkable solution for the client?
We recommend you don’t hold back and share enough of your process to provide evidence that you have a repeatable system for producing results and solving your customer’s challenge.
You can always slide in some of your strategies that benefited your client. It enables customers to gain a better understanding of your client’s experience as well as the impact of your work.
One of the best ways to go about it is to show screenshots of the relevant analytics and marketing dashboards that back up your claims of success. Visuals like this can really add to the story.
5. Payoff – Describe the final Outcome
The result is the end goal, or even the champion, of your case study, and it should be given due importance.
Show how your solutions led your client/customer to achieve their targeted goals. The outcome should speak of the benefits your client has received after hiring you.
Example: As a marketing strategist, you can talk about the improved traffic statistics from before you started to how they improved after implementing the customized solutions.
6. Praise – Client Testimonial
Focus on what your happy client has to say.
Your case study isn’t complete without what your customer has to say about your services.
Everyone has their way of storytelling, and who can be the better narrator than your client themself?
Adding client quotes lends credibility to your case studies.
7. Propose Next Step – Add a call to action
Adding a call to action at the end of your case study article can help encourage your readers to take the desired action.
You could include a call-to-action button in every case study that includes a form for people to sign up or subscribe, create an account, request a demo, book a call, buy something, etc.
How to write a case study specifically for marketing
As mentioned earlier, case studies have become one of the most effective content strategies to boost leads and sales for business owners. However, only a few businesses understand how to go about their case studies effectively.
There are many ways to create a marketing case study, but you should always keep an eye on these markers:
1. Highlight the Key Takeaway
You should describe the key takeaways and a summary of the outcome when writing a case study. Use engaging language for summarising this information in a single sentence. You could also include this part as the header of the case study.
This is where you get more particular about the subject.
2. Be Realistic About the Case Study’s Objectives
Provide prospective customers with a valuable, beneficial resource that’s also fair.
Depending upon the type of marketing case study you want to create, keeping honest and achievable goals is necessary. It maintains fair competition and promises loyalty to your customers.
3. Identify a Compelling Angle for Your Case Study
What you do is unique, so should be your content. A case study can be an excellent lead magnet — all it takes taking some time out to chat with your client.
Collect all the information and get creative with it – but remain truthful. Understand what a case study is and what it isn’t. It’s not a sales pitch. It is a success story.
Example: What are the most popular ways that your goods or services are used? Are your services being used by any of your clients to address complicated or unusual problems?
Should you use a template for case study writing?
Using a template is an excellent way to go about a case study. It also gives a structure to your inputs.
Also, case study templates easily summarise details and can be used as visual prompts to help the reader skim through it and grasp the relevant information as needed.
Templates also add uniformity to the content of your case study and help keep a check on the length, data points, information to be included. As a result, you don’t miss out on anything important in your case studies, and your readers get a complete package.
Want our case study process and email templates in free PDF download? Download our Winning Case Studies guide.
Case study writing tips
- Tell a success story – Your case study should be able to tell the story of success. A story that the audience can relate to and would want you to replicate for them.
- One Challenge at a time – You should mention all the challenges without confusing the readers. Talk about each challenge one by one and bring out the solutions accordingly.
- Promise Results – Your audience seeks trust and loyalty along with an effective marketing strategy. Your business case study must provide promising examples of how you helped your client overcome the challenges and excel in the market.
- Don’t forget keywords – Keywords are the real players in the world of content marketing. No matter what type of marketing you do, keywords matter. Keywords determine whether people looking for businesses online can find your YouTube videos, read your posts, or visit your website. While using keywords might sound forced in your case studies, using related, long-tail keywords does help. Also, people tend to search a lot for ‘case study,’ so ensure you include that in your title and content.
- For instance, a title can be ‘Case Study: How XYZ scaled their organic content to 1 million users in a year.’ This would help your content rank for search queries such as ‘content marketing case study’, or ‘organic traffic case study’, etc.
You’re too busy to interview clients and write your own stories. Are case study writing services worth it?
Today, business case study writing services are one of the most in-demand services. They provide quality content writing & publishing for time-poor business owners.
A service that provides well-written case studies can help set you apart in a highly competitive market and show potential clients how you are different from the competition.
More significantly, they free up more time, from research to writing to optimising – all of it so you can focus on sales, customer support, or building your team.
Interested in hiring us to write case studies for your company? Check out our done-for-you packages.
Where to from here?
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what to include in your written case study and how it can help grow your business.
A well-written case study blog will help prospective customers to understand your process and value proposition so that they can make their decision about working with you.
A well-written case study is a valuable tool in your content marketing strategy.
A compelling case study will include the following elements:
- A persuasive and compelling case study of a successful company
- The story behind the success, including why this particular company was successful
- How this case study is relevant to your business and what you can learn from it
- Details of the methods used in building a successful campaign
Don’t have a strategy yet for using case studies to market your business? Watch our free 5-min training and download our PDF worksheet.