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How To Create a Good Case Study.

LAST UPDATED:

February 6, 2024

2022.10.05.How To Create a Compelling Case Study
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How To Create a Good Case Study

Case studies are an important component of website design, yet they tend to have a bad rap.

When many think of them, they think of long, dry, academic content. That doesn’t need to be the case though.

Smart B2B marketers know how to use marketing case studies to their advantage.

By using case studies to focus on:

  • The challenges similar customers have faced
  • The approach the organization took to resolve those challenges
  • The outcomes those challenges provide

They can create an easy to understand way of demonstrating their organizations skills in the real world.

In this guide we’ll be covering:

  • How to use case studies to build consumer trust.
  • How to create effective case studies your prospects can identify with.
  • How to create case studies your sales team will find extremely valuable.

Ready to start leveling up your case studies? Let’s get into it.

What Is A Case Study?

In simple terms, a case study is a story of how one company has helped another company or client.

The story displays your work and outlines your effectiveness and success in solving problems for your clients.

In a case study, the protagonist is the client and the antagonist is best solution to the problem that your client is facing. You are the hero of the customer’s story, who steps in to put an end to their problems. Your case studies should tell a reliable customer story that is also sympathetic to future customers.

Effective case studies typically include data related to how your company has bettered its clients. The case study analysis will show what you did to achieve those results.

Case studies are powerful marketing tools, but they are more than just that. They help prospective clients see and understand how you have excelled in the past and what you can do for them.

In other words, a case study is not a tool to boost your company’s ego. It is, instead, a relatable, compelling story, and real-life content that helps your prospective customers see how they can achieve their goals and overcome challenges using your products or services.

Why Write A Case Study?

You may be wondering, why should you spend time learning how to create a case study for your new business here? Why should you bother writing a case study?

Well, writing case studies has several benefits. Some of the key benefits are as follows:

It Improves Credibility and Trust

According to Marketing Charts, research/case studies are the number one most trusted content type of marketing. Sixty percent of marketers say that target audiences trust case studies.

What does that mean for your business? It means that a compelling case study will make your work more credible and increase your customer’s success rate in marketing.

Prospective clients will trust you more when you show them how you have worked with others like them. They will consider you more credible when they see tangible data and real stories that showcase your value.

As your brand becomes more credible in your industry, you will convert more clients and your business’s bottom line will increase. 

It Explains How You Work in an Authentic Way

A well-crafted, compelling case study will give your prospective customers insights into how you authentically solve problems. The case study contains real-life stories that they can connect with.

These, combined with reviews from satisfied customers, will help your prospects see how your products and services are valuable and authentic. In turn, this will grow their confidence in your business and encourage them to convert.

It Is a Huge Help for Your Marketing Team

Snippets of data, customer reviews, and quotes from your case study will help your marketing team create a better marketing strategy. They can use excerpts from these case studies to make compelling client testimonials, for your homepage, your landing page, pages, services pages, and so on.

There is an endless list of marketing content that you, as a content marketer, can create using direct quotes, quote, data, and information from your case studies. They can repurpose the information in the case studies into different content formats like blog posts, social media posts, videos, infographics, Facebook advertising, and PDFs.

These, among others, will help your company build a flywheel effect from your online marketing efforts.

“Case studies are one of the most important marketing and sales tools out there. Not only do they showcase your past work, but they can be easily deployed to leads in relevant industries to show a whole host of information in an easily digestible format – timeline, pricing, unique features, results, etc. All of this paints an at-a-glance “what can this agency do for me too” picture for the lead.”

– Jack Morrin, Account Manager

It Will Help You Close More Deals

Customer experience is everything. While writing case studies, you will engage with past customers on their experiences with your product or service. This offers your business the rare opportunity to reaffirm why these previous customers chose you in the first place. One of the best ways to show potential customers why your product or your service provider is the right choice is through telling the story of how it has helped past customers.

Consequently, they become more loyal to your brand and keep choosing you for future plans. In other words, case studies are very effective for retaining old customers.

Moreover, your salespeople can share success stories as case studies from a customer experienced previously satisfied customer with potential customers to gain their confidence and build trust. These prospects are likely to pique interest in your product or service and convert.

So, effective case studies also help you generate leads and convert new clients. Whether you’re interested in old or new clients, case studies are effective tools for closing more deals.

How To Write A Simple Case Study

You’re now convinced that your business should be writing case studies. But how is this done? Where should you start? How long should your case studies be? What are the things you should pay attention to?

The best way to learn how to write your case study is to take a look at some business case study examples and use some case study templates. This will give you an idea of ​​the design and format that are most effective. You can also step by step guide and find some design tips on how to write your case study in the sections that follow.

Remember that every business is different, so make sure to tailor your case study to your specific business.

How Long Should a Case Study Be?

The ideal length of case studies varies across different industries. In some industries, a picture is worth more than a thousand words.

For instance, if you can tell the entire story with pictures. Conversely, software invoicing companies must rely on words to tell their story.

That being said, 500-1500 of your own words should be sufficient for most industries to write a compelling case study.

If you don’t have up to 500 words, it should mean that your pictures, customer quotes, and statistical data are doing the talking for you. If you have more than 1,500 words, make sure there is no irrelevant or redundant information.

Your case study should contain a snapshot section with 100 or fewer words. Moreover, the bulk of your word count should be in the benefits and results section.

Case Study Formats

There are a few different types of case study formats, but the most popular one is the Harvard format. This type of case study uses only a few bullet points and very specific structure, which includes an introduction, main body, and conclusion. The Harvard format is very concise and to the point, which makes it easy for readers to follow.

Another popular type of case study format is the American Psychological Association (APA) format. This type of case study is similar to the Harvard format, but it uses slightly different headings and citations. The APA format is also very concise and easy to read. The key points of the APA format are:

  • Use of headings to organize information;
  • Use of in-text citations to credit sources;
  • Use of a reference list at the end of the case study.

There is the Modern Language Association (MLA) format, which is less common than the other two formats. The MLA format is more detailed and includes more information in the body of the paper. However, it can be difficult to follow for some readers.

There are many other types various forms of case study format, each with its own advantages and disadvantages including:

  • The report format is the most traditional and straightforward, and it is often used in academic settings.
  • The one-page format is concise and easy to read, making it a good choice for business settings.
  • The video format is becoming increasingly popular, as it allows readers to see the results of the case study in action.
  • The infographic case study format is also gaining popularity, as it makes complex data easier to understand.

Ultimately, the best type of case study format will vary depending on the needs of the reader.

The Difference Between White Paper and Case Study

A case study is an in-depth examination of a single subject, such as a person, company, event, or project. It typically includes research into the subject’s background and development over time. A study outline can help to define the parameters of the case study and provide a structure for the research process.

A white paper, on the other hand, is a document that presents a problem and proposes a solution. White papers are often used in politics and business. They may be persuasive in nature, or they may simply present information. Unlike case studies, white papers do not typically include extensive research. Rather, they focus on a specific issue and offer a proposed solution or course of action.

A thesis statement is the main point or argument you are trying to make in a paper. A thesis statement should be clear and concise, and it should assert a position or provide an interpretation of an issue. A thesis statement is not a fact or observation. While it may be possible to write a paper without a thesis statement, it would be very difficult to do so. A thesis statement provides direction for a paper, and it helps to keep the reader focused on the main idea.

Business Case Study Format

A business case study is a written record of the events that occurred within a company or organization over a certain period of time. It typically includes an analysis of the situation and recommendations for future action.

The format of a business case study can vary depending on the purpose it is meant to serve. However, most case studies follow a similar structure, and the table of contents typically includes an introduction, background information, discussion of the issue at hand, and recommendations. The length of a business case study can also vary, but they are typically several pages long.

There are many different types of business case study format. The three most common are the single-company case study, the comparative case study, and the multiple-company case study.

  1. A company case study provides an in-depth look at a single company. This type of case study is often used to examine new or innovative products or services, or to investigate a company’s organizational structure or management style.
  2. Comparative case studies compare two or more companies in order to identify best practices or to examine how different approaches to business produce different results.
  3. Multiple-company case studies take an even broader view, evaluating the strategies and practices of several companies in order to identify common themes and patterns.

Whatever the specific focus, all business case studies share a common goal: to provide insights into possible solutions specific strategies that can be used to improve business operations and enhance competitiveness.

The Anatomy Of The Perfect Case Study

A perfect case study approach has certain features that make it highly effective. Read on to find out these features and why you must pay attention to them.

1. Start With a Results-Driven Headline

The first feature you must pay attention to is your headline. Just like newspaper headlines, your case study headline should present the most vital information of the whole story.

You can add a subtitle that contains a customer quote or other supporting details if you so desire. 

Remember that your headline is the first thing that readers come in contact with. As such, your headline should define, in very clear terms, what you did and the impact it made. 

Our case study for the services we rendered to Luseta Beauty has the headline – Luseta Beauty Website Redesign

That headline captures the most important information about the project. At a glance, the reader can tell that the case study is about a website redesign project we did for a client, called Luseta Beauty.

2. Create a Concise Snapshot of the Project

Some readers will consider your case study too long to read. You should, therefore, create a concise snapshot for these readers at the beginning of your case study.

The snapshot should contain the name of your client/industry, the product or service you used for them, and quick statistics or high-level data of the results achieved.

Who knows, the snapshot may even encourage the TLDR reader to continue reading your case study.

Our case study for the services we rendered to AgAmerica contains a concise snapshot.

We stated the client’s name, talked about their mission and stated what we did for them. The result, according to the snapshot, was that they were able to meet their business goal.

3. Introduce the Client

The reader wants to know in more detail about your client. Who are they? Who are their clients? Where do they sit in the market? This background information helps define the objectives of the project.

What’s more, prospective clients can relate better to the same success story when they see how they are similar to your past client.

Your sales team can also use this section to easily find related marketing case study examples for the current target audience they are working alongside.

Our case study for the Boston Dynamics website redesign contains a brief introduction of the client in the snapshot.

Further, in the objectives section, we stated what specifically Boston Dynamics was hoping to accomplish with the redesign.

4. Identify Challenges

Explain concisely the problem and challenges the client was facing. Make sure to present this information in such a way that prospective clients can understand and relate to.

Quotes will come in handy in this section of your case study.

We wrote a case study for HITT.

The case study contains a section titled The Objective. Readers can easily gather that HITT wanted to elevate their brand and stand out among competitors.

In the section titled Research and Discovery, we outline a key metrics challenge found during the investigation process of the redesign.

5. Describe the Solution

After identifying the problem and challenges, you should let readers know which of a few examples of your services or products solved the problem.

Explain the services you rendered or the products you supplied. Then, show your readers how they solved the customer’s problem most effectively for the client.

Our case study for Harmony Bay is a perfect example of this.

In the Key Services section we highlight exactly which customer faced and which services we offered as a solution. You should do the same in your case studies.

6. Display the Results

Your job is not done until you show how the solutions you offered positively impacted the client. People want to see your measurable results before they can trust your product or service.

Describe the outcomes or results you achieved and any bonus benefits they received. You can include quotes in this section.

Our Retrofete case study contains an Outcomes & Results section showing that our website redesign services increased the ecommerce brand’s gross revenue, monthly average orders, and organic traffic.

7. Conclusion

In concluding your case study, share more positive reviews from the client. Include quotes from these customers, advising other businesses and people like them.

Tie these all together with a Call to Action (CTA). Let prospective clients know how to contact your company and make inquiries about your products or services.

Our EncompaaS case study ends with a Call to Action where readers can request a free website analysis. This allows us to engage with new potential clients.

Your concluding paragraph should contain something like this, too.

Bonus Points

You can add strategic social proof in the form of reviews and testimonials from the client within your case studies. 

Go beyond the points we have raised and give your readers other vital information about how you solved your client’s problems.

Tips for Creating an Engaging Case Study

To create an engaging case study, avoid using jargon, spend time on an impactful title, edit for clarity and brevity, use imagery and graphics, incorporate relevant quotes, make the content scannable, record interviews for accuracy, and include a clear call to action.

Avoiding Jargon

Avoiding jargon in a case study is crucial for creating content that is engaging and easily understandable. By using clear and simple language, you can ensure that your case study appeals to a wide audience and doesn’t exclude potential customers who may not be familiar with industry-specific terms.

Avoiding jargon also helps to make your case study an objective resource, as it focuses on providing accurate information rather than relying on buzzwords or technical language. By presenting your findings in an accessible way, you can create a case study that is both informative and relatable to readers from various backgrounds.

Spending Time on an Impactful Title

Crafting an impactful title for your case study is crucial to grabbing the attention of your target audience and enticing them to read further. By investing time in creating a compelling title, you can effectively communicate the value and relevance of your case study.

According to research, 80% of readers will only read the headline, while just 20% continue reading the rest of the content. Therefore, it is essential to choose a title that not only summarizes the essence of your case study but also arouses curiosity and compels readers to click and engage with your content.

An impactful title can make all the difference in capturing interest and maximizing the impact of your case study in achieving its objectives.

Editing for Clarity and Brevity

Editing for clarity and brevity is an essential step in creating an engaging case study. It involves removing unnecessary adjectives, using an active voice, and eliminating details that hinder the story’s flow.

By streamlining the content, readers can easily understand the main points of the case study without being overwhelmed by excessive information. Additionally, well-designed charts, graphs, images, or infographics can effectively convey data in a more digestible format.

This visual representation enhances clarity and makes it easier for readers to grasp key findings. Making the case study scannable with descriptive headings also allows readers to quickly locate relevant information without having to read through the entire document.

Using Imagery and Graphics

Using imagery and graphics in case studies can significantly enhance their engagement and effectiveness. Visual elements are crucial in helping readers create a mental picture of themselves as the hero of their own story.

Well-designed charts, graphs, and visuals can effectively communicate data in a case study, making complex information more easily understandable. By incorporating relevant images, diagrams, or infographics, you can capture your audience’s attention and make your case study more memorable.

These visual aids also provide an opportunity to showcase key points and highlight important results in a visually appealing way. Ultimately, using imagery and graphics not only enhances the overall presentation of your case study but also helps to convey information more effectively to your target audience.

Incorporating Relevant Quotes

Incorporating relevant quotes in a case study is crucial for enhancing credibility and reader relatability. Direct quotes from clients can be woven into the narrative to provide firsthand accounts and increase authenticity.

These quotes serve as powerful testimonials, highlighting specific benefits and features of the product or service being discussed. By including quotes from representatives who directly interacted with the company, the case study gains an added layer of credibility, making it more persuasive to potential customers and decision makers.

Making Content Scannable

Well-designed content that is easy to scan can greatly enhance the user experience and improve engagement. By utilizing formatting techniques such as headings, subheadings, bullet points, and bolded text, you can break up lengthy paragraphs into smaller, more digestible chunks of information.

Including descriptive headings allows readers to quickly navigate through the content and find the specific information they are looking for. Additionally, incorporating visuals such as charts or infographics can help convey complex data in a more visually appealing way.

When content is scannable, it becomes much easier for readers to grasp key points at a glance and stay engaged throughout the entire piece.

Recording Interviews for Accuracy

Recording interviews with customers is an essential step in creating an accurate and compelling case study. By capturing the conversations, you can save time and ensure that all the important details are included in your final write-up.

Tools like Google Meet make it even easier by transcribing these interviews into text files, making them easily accessible for reference. An interview-style format allows you to paraphrase and annotate the responses, avoiding repetitive text while still maintaining accuracy.

So, don’t forget to hit that record button when conducting customer interviews for your case study!

Including a Clear Call to Action

Including a clear call to action in a case study is crucial for prompting readers to take the desired action. Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, requesting more information, or making a purchase, a call to action provides the next step for interested prospects.

By clearly stating what you want your audience to do and how they can do it, you make it easy for potential customers to connect with your company. This not only increases engagement but also allows you to capture valuable leads and nurture them further down the sales funnel.

Case Study FAQ

Questions about how to create a case study? We try to answer them here.

What are the key elements of a good case study?

A good case study contains an executive summary, details customer’s challenges and problems, future plans and call-to-action. Case studies also require client approval after being proofread.

How do you structure a marketing case study?

To construct a marketing case study, use a structured template: start with an executive summary, explain your customer’s issues, show how these were resolved and outline the future plans.

Are there different types of case studies I can create?

Yes! In line with content preferences survey reports, companies like Adobe and Home Depot provide varied formats such as infographic case studies, video or podcast case studies to suit their audience’s needs.

How do businesses promote their latest Case Study?

Companies often employ various SEO strategies for promoting their latest Case Study on Google Search Results. They may publish it in blog posts or landing pages, press releases for positive publicity and sales results or even dedicated sales-generating content.

Can software help me write better case studies?

Absolutely! Tools like Grammarly assist B2B freelance writers by providing professional writing assistance promoting best practices while creating great SaaS company stories; TechTarget is useful for exploring marketing strategies vs IT buyer demands

Is it important to get my client’s approval before publishing my completed Case Study?

Definitely! Prior to publicizing any business’ success story through storytelling in sales presentations or print versions of the cases they studied; it’s essential that you send them a consent to publish form to gain legal clearance.

10 Impacts of a Well-Written Case Study

A well-written case study can have a significant impact on your customer’s business too. Here are some ways in which it can make a difference:.

Builds credibility 

A well-crafted case study showcases your expertise in healthcare industry and demonstrates your ability to solve real customer problems. This helps build trust with potential clients.

Provides social proof

By a customer set and showcasing the success of previous customers, a case study serves as social proof that your products or services deliver results. This can influence prospects to choose you over competitors.

Engages prospective clients

A compelling case study captures the attention of potential clients by presenting a relatable story that addresses their challenges and offers solutions.

Demonstrates value

A well-written case study highlights the specific benefits that customers have experienced from using your product or service, helping prospects understand the value they could receive.

Lessens perceived risk

Case studies provide clear evidence that others have successfully overcome similar challenges with your help, reducing doubts and concerns that prospects may have about working with you.

Supports sales efforts

Sales teams can use case studies as powerful tools during prospect conversations, providing concrete examples of how your offerings have solved problems for other customers.

Increases brand visibility

Sharing well-written case studies on various platforms such as websites, blogs, and social media can increase exposure for your business and attract new leads.

Boosts SEO strategy

Incorporating relevant keywords and links into your case studies can improve search engine rankings, making it easier for potential clients to find information about you online.

Facilitates content marketing efforts

Well-written case studies serve as valuable content assets that can be repurposed across different channels like newsletters, webinars, podcasts, or whitepapers to engage a wider audience.

Promotes positive word-of-mouth

Satisfied customers featured in case studies are likely to share their positive experiences with others, creating further opportunities for referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations.

Wrap Up!

Case studies are indeed great tools to use within sales meetings, as well as a way to show what your company does best. But, remember that consistency selection process is key.

One case study is not enough; you must be consistent in writing case studies for all your projects. When you complete a project for a client, show it off through a case study!

Show the world what you know and how good you are at what you do.

Write a case study to celebrate your company’s successes!

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Jeff Gapinski

President of Huemor

Author

Jeff Gapinski is the President of Huemor where he helps plan the long-term strategic growth of the agency. Jeff is passionate about UI/UX, demand generation, and digital strategy.

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1 Comment

  • Blogging Case Study Mar 26, 2024 11:39 am

    Hello there! This article could not be written any better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!He continually kept talking about this. I am going to forward this information to him. Pretty sure he's going to have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!

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