The ultimate goal of every marketing team is to convince people about the effectiveness and usefulness of their products or services. Many marketing strategies and various methods are used to achieve just that.
One such format is the case study.
Writing a case study is not hard, if you know what you are doing and why. Join us as we understand more about case studies, when to write them, why, and how.
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What Is a Case Study?
In terms of business, a case study is a thorough research, usually in the form of a document or a video, that showcases how a client used your product or service to overcome a specific problem they had.
Basically, your aim is to show potential buyers how awesome your company is, and how what you do can make a difference to their business.
What is more important, you are telling this story through the eyes of your current customers, which brings social proof, a credible testimonial, and the honest feedback of a real person.
But is writing a business case study always helpful and necessary? Let us find out.
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When, and Should You Use Case Studies for Business?
Case studies can be an extremely effective way to provide valuable content to your target audience.
They are very relevant, can help you close more sales, and shorten your sales cycle. You also have a higher chance of connecting with your readers, not to mention establishing meaningful relationships with them.
In fact, a 2023 report on case studies found that 39% of SaaS marketers found it to be the most effective marketing tactic to increase sales. After that came SEO (29%), general website content (21%) and email sequences (19%).
This data comes to show how valuable case studies are, but when should you use them?
The answer is short: always, or whenever it is logical and possible. Of course, the only prerequisite is that you should have a satisfied customer willing to share their story with the world.
Why would you not use case studies, after all? They can improve your lead generation efforts, boost your authority, and ultimately help you get more sales.
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How to Write a Successful Case Study: 7 Easy Steps
- Choose a Customer
- Research and Ask the Right Questions
- Focus on the Customer
- Write Concise and Clear
- Make It Thorough
- Tell a Powerful Story
- Use Images, Quotes, and a CTA
1. Choose a Customer
Of course, the very first step on how to start writing a case study is to choose the customer that will be featured in the study.
Naturally, you should look for customers who have experienced great success using your product or service. However, there is more to it than just that. You need to consider the audience that will be most interested in reading your case study.
For instance, it would not make sense to write about a nonprofit customer, when most of your customers are startups.
When choosing your case study customer, make sure that you ask yourself the following:
- Have they seen great results using your products or services?
- Are they a reputable and recognizable brand?
- Do they represent your typical customer?
Once you have a list with clients that match these criteria, you can start contacting them. Make sure to clear out the process, and let them know exactly what you want them to do, and what format you intend to use – online video call, email questionnaire, phone call, etc.
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2. Research and Ask the Right Questions
If you want to get the most information and the most value out of your customer, you need to think about the right questions to ask.
Here are some examples of great questions you might want to ask:
- What were the biggest challenges you faced before you started using our product/service?
- How did our company help you reach your goals?
- Which aspects of your business have been impacted the most by our product/service?
- How long did it take before our products/services started making a difference?
- How likely are you to recommend us to others?
Naturally, these questions are just starting points. Use them to develop even more specific questions, and try to trigger specific answers about the real world benefits of your products/services.
Also, be careful to keep the conversation flowing naturally. Do not try to force answers, as it will be noticed, and may work against you.
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3. Focus on the Customer
Remember – you are not the star of this text, it is your customer. You should celebrate them, and their success, all while giving credit to your own business, but in a subtle way.
Getting overly promotional can also be irritating, and people might walk away from the interview altogether.
Having said that, it is a good idea to write down your questions before the interview, but also keep in mind that additional questions, perhaps even better ones, may come to mind during the conversation.
Be flexible, use this opportunity to ask them, as you might end up getting more insights than you anticipated.
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4. Write Concisely and Clearly
When you are writing a case study, you must make sure that it is well-written and that means: keep it short, precise, and clear.
It is a known fact that most readers want to get to good stuff right away, so don’t prolong things with unnecessary details, which can also be frustrating.
There might be no solid rule on how long a case study should be, but do be mindful about the length. Making it too long might turn off a lot of people, since attention spans nowadays aren’t too long.
Ultimately, always try to shorten your text, whenever possible. Naturally, this should not come at the expense of quality, though.
Still, the most effective way to write case studies is to make them as short as possible, all while communicating efficiently, quickly and clearly.
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5. Make It Thorough
A case study should be short and to the point, but also thorough enough to convey your message effectively. Thoroughness does not mean that it needs to be lengthy. It just means that you shouldn’t overlook the most important details.
Regardless if your case study is longer or shorter, you should always be ready to explain how your product/service helped your customer achieve their goals, instead of just stating that you helped them.
You see, case studies allow for much more detailed information to be included, compared to other forms of social proof like customer reviews. So, utilize this opportunity to stand out, and let everyone know the what, why, and how of your product or service.
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6. Tell a Powerful Story
If you approach case studies purely as promotional sales tools, you will probably not achieve the success you are looking for.
It is much more about the story you tell, really. Stories have the power to reach our hearts and minds, and they tend to stick with us much longer than dry data or stats.
Think about it, which example do you think people are more likely to remember, and trigger an emotional response?
Our product helped website X to increase their traffic by 200%, all while preventing over 20 cybersecurity threats.
We helped our client upgrade their straw tent to a house of bricks that even the biggest, baddest wolf cannot break down.
Truth be told, supporting the latter, fairy-tale-like statement with some practical evidence will be much more engaging than simply going for the first example.
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7. Use Images, Quotes, and a CTA
Text is extremely important, that is a fact. However, adding some great imagery to your text can make your case study even more compelling.
Apart from images, another great way to make your case study easier to scan, and be more eye-pleasing, is to include direct quotes from the customer.
Making such quotes stand out is what can motivate your potential customers to do business with you, or at least read more about the particular case.
Last but not least, do not forget to include a call-to-action towards the end of your case study. Use it to remind readers that they, too, can experience great results by trusting your business. Just like the customer in the case study.
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DevriX Case Studies
At DevriX, being a top-notch WordPress agency, we understand that case studies are important, and the thing we love the most is seeing our clients happy.
Feel free to take a look at our case studies, perhaps they can provide you with even more insights and tips on how to write an amazing and captivating case study.
Know of any other useful case study tips? Let us know in the comments.