How to Write a Case Study
Do you know how to write a case study? In marketing, case studies present successful stories of a company’s customers. This type of content is a valuable tool if you want to increase brand awareness and promote your services to obtain higher conversion rates. According to HubSpot, Marketing Charts 2018 survey indicates that case studies are efficient to convert and accelerate the most leads.
However, to be truly effective, this type of content needs to be appealing to your audience. Fortunately, content marketing offers numerous tools to help you with that — such as infographics, videos, and interactive content. If you include some of these features in your content, it is possible to enhance your case studies’ presentation to keep your prospects and leads interested.
In this article, we will show how case studies can be used as a promotion tool in marketing strategies to acquire more customers. To do this, we will explain how to write a compelling case study and present some examples. Stay with us and learn how to create valuable content to achieve your company’s goals.
How to write a case study
In this section, we will explain all the necessary steps to create your case study. We will give you tips on how to prepare the case study, how to draft it (including tools you can use to make it more compelling and examples of structure and format), finalize, and distribute it.
Preparing the Case Study
The first step in creating a case study is to choose which of your customers will be introduced to your audience. To do that, you need to read about them and discover how your solution impacted them, understanding what were their problems before recurring to your services, and analyzing their current background. Your sales team and customer support department can help you find possible candidates.
Besides that, it is necessary to know your audience well. This way, you will be able to determine which of the cases is more likely to be relevant considering your company’s goals, the profile of your leads or prospects, and the buyer’s journey stage they are at.
Next, get your customer’s permission and ask for further information. It is important to gather statistical data to back your story in a presentation, especially in the results section. Data strengthens your declarations, which encourages your audience to trust you. It also allows them to make their conclusions based on the information that you presented.
Drafting the Case
Once you have the necessary pieces of information to start, interview your customer to get details — your case study will be based on this exchange of information. The main points you need to know are:
- basic information about the business (story, field of business, size, and goals)
- problems that lead them to look for your services
- the reasons for choosing your solution instead of one of your competitors’
- effects of your solution on the daily routine (used tools, benefits, etc.)
- how the implementation process worked (how long it took, how challenging it was, etc.)
- results, including statistical data
To present your narrative compellingly, one option is to use storytelling techniques. Just as all good narratives, your case study should have an introduction, a development, and a conclusion, guiding your prospects through your customer’s story.
Storytelling enables you to establish an emotional connection with them, which motivates them to go to the next stage of the purchase cycle. As a result, the campaign will be more engaging and effective to accomplish your goals.
Structure and Format
One possible structure for your case study includes title, summary, an overview of your customer’s story, challenges and problems, solution’s presentation, results, further plans, and CTA.
These items can be conveyed in several formats, such as:
- infographic — it is ideal if you plan to use more visual content than textual. Among the advantages, this format is meant to be consumed fast and present information more simply. There are several types of infographics (interactive, static, animated, motion graphic, for example) and you can choose the one that will be more engaging according to your audience;
- video — you can present excerpts of the interview with the customer as well as animated stats and graphs, for example. Presenting the people behind the brand can create a stronger identification of your prospect with your customer;
- written text.
Interactive content is another interesting tool to create appealing and engaging content. Interactive features allow your prospects to actively consume the content, becoming more likely to advance to the next stage of the buyer’s journey. It is a way for you to show that the content was designed thinking about their experience rather than just focusing on sales.
When they see that the importance of their participation is acknowledged, they tend to trust your brand more. Also, they feel that you genuinely care about their problems because you are making even bigger efforts to offer them quality content instead of just trying to sell your solutions.
Beyond the advantages regarding your audience’s perception and reception, there are interactive marketing tools designed to assist you. They facilitate the creative process and helps you focus on the content’s core, leaving the technical aspects to specialists. In some cases, you can use templates and an online platform, accelerating the production without losing quality.
Finalizing the case
After specifying the structure and format of the case study, it is time to create the content. Depending on the selected format, your company will have to write down each section and design the visual content. Once you have the first draft, send it to your customer and ask for approval.
Finally, choose the medium in which your case study will be released. Among numerous options, we suggest adding it into a special page on your website, a post on your blog, landing pages, or social media campaigns.
Your decision must consider your audience’s profile. If you aim to convert prospects that are already about to make a purchase decision and most of your qualified traffic is generated in your blog, launching a social media campaign to present your case study will probably not be very effective. For this reason, it is vital to think about all these details to guarantee that you will have better chances of achieving your goals with this strategy.
What are some successful case study examples?
Now that you know how to write a case study, which tools you can use to produce it, and all the elements it must contain, let’s discover some inspiring examples of successful case studies.
UBM promotes events and produces digital and printed media to stimulate the connection between businesses in over 20 countries. The enterprise was looking for a way to stand out using a piece of content to announce one of its events. The main goals were generating relevant leads and stimulating people to participate in live events.
In UBM’s case study, we see how the elements — text, images, video, and blank space — are distributed in a balanced way throughout the page. The text brings all the most important information, but it has a reasonable size and highlights quotes of the interview. Furthermore, the video brings more details about the case, and the images show samples of the finished work.
As a result, the audience has a comprehensive view of the case and gets enough information to realize whether their problem could be solved by the company’s solution, how the implementation process would work, and what the real advantages of the solution could be.
KVH Industries have over 10 offices around the world and provide high-speed internet, television, voice, and data services to mobile users on land and at sea, for businesses and customers. They wanted to generate quality leads and increase retention rates, which was challenging because of the diversity of customer’s profiles.
In KVH’s case study, once again we find a balance of content. The difference is that there are hyperlinks to allow the reader to access and participate in the interactive experiences described in the study. This is a strategic tool to give your audience the opportunity to see your solutions on their own because it illustrates the described services and helps them to visualize what they can achieve if they count on your services.
What benefits can a case study bring to your company?
While learning how to write a case study, you were able to discover some of its advantages — it is a useful tool to generate quality leads, nurture your audience, and increase conversion rates, and brand awareness. To improve the chances of getting these benefits, it is essential to use the right interactive content marketing tool.
Further, you learned how interactive content marketing tools can make this type of content more effective to enhance your marketing strategies. You also learned all the necessary steps to create a case study, from preparation to drafting and finalization, and found some good examples that apply the techniques we taught you. Now that you know how to write a case study, you are ready to include this content type in your next campaign.
Would you like to see another effective case studies example? Then visit our site and discover how Korn Ferry was able to engage their audience and provide a better user experience.