Case studies are some of the best ways to prove that your product or service solves problems or helps people reach their goals. They’re great because they’re factual: your product or service did the thing you say it does.
HubSpot’s 2021 State of Marketing report found that they work so well that they’re the 5th most-used type of content.
So what’s a case study?
A case study is a document describing how a solution a business chose solved a specific challenge it faced. They can be quite long, but often are pretty short (300-500 words or so) and often are written as blog posts or offered as a free one-page graphic document.
Some case studies become white papers and are so detailed in describing how a particular solution described a complicated problem that businesses sometimes create white papers or longer reports around them.
Typical problems/goals described in a white paper could be how much revenue was gained, how many customers were closed (or retained), how a certain product or service helped a business grow. They basically are stories about how your product/service had a positive impact on current or past customers.
How to write one:
1. Think of the problems you’ve solved/goals you helped clients reach.
Did your staffing firm help an ecommerce company find dozens of people in just a week to work in its distribution n warehouse after a massive uptick in sales? Does the app that you created help increase revenue by a great percent? Did your plumbing company help a property management company get its first-floor apartments back to being livable in mere days after a sewer main burst?
All of those would make a great case study.
2. Approach your client about being featured in the case study.
Let it be known that this isn’t absolutely necessary if you’re not going to name the client, but definitely is if you’d like to and/or if you need specific statistics about the outcome: the percentage revenue increase for the restaurant chain, for example.
Let the client know it could be a great advertising/marketing/branding vehicle for it if you use its name. In addition, it also could provide the business with some great backlinks from you website, since the case study will be located on your website.
3. Get the client’s OK.
This is best to do in writing. Apart from this, we recommend that you let the client know it will be able to make changes of error/fact (not style, grammar, appearance) once your marketing department has finalized the copy/design.
If you need to interview client employees, mention this and how you will interview them. (When you make contact, give the person with whom you’ll talk plenty of notice)
Set a firm deadline to receive the client’s requested edits/changes.
4. Writing the case study
A simple case study outline could be:
- Describe the customer’s problem or pain point.
- Talk about how the client/members of your team came to see/learn of the problem and how you and your client decided to tackle it.
- Explain how you and your client implemented the solution used (product or service).
- Finally, describe the end result- customers retained, revenue increased, products made/shipped, money saved, and so on.
5. Promoting the case study.
You can publish your case study as blog post. Post your case study video on YouTube. If it’s a graphic, send it to prospects and pin it on Pinterest. Share its link on your social media channels and also via email you send to prospects and customers.
Case studies are very popular with prospects because love hearing and learning from others in similar situations/with similar problems. We also trust what our peers tell us, not what we read in a brochure or ad (social proof).