How to Write a Case Study for Successful Closing of the Deal
Case studies are so important that 75% of the best marketers use them to attract new customers and increase sales. Unfortunately, what most people call case studies today are strings of stereotypical and templated content with this structure:
problem; solution; results.
While this makes up the A – Z of traditional case studies, case studies built solely with this approach without creativity and persuasion may not help you close essential deals. Judging from the nature of results you’d find when you search for, ‘How do I write a case study?’ it’s fair to say that most brands are still not in tune with what customers really want and hope to find when they land on case study pages.
So, in this article, we’ll provide you with step-by-step guiding principles to help you understand how to write a case study that produces results. Read on!
Choose the Right Case Study Subject That Resonates With Your Potential Clients
Just as with every other marketing endeavor, your emphasis when creating a case study should be on putting in the best effort that will give results and not necessarily make you feel good. It’s never about speaking grammar or showing off your clientele list. It’s more about effective marketing and lead generation.
Choosing the right subject matter from a long list of projects you’ve worked on can be difficult, especially when you’re emotionally invested in some of them. The truth is, not every project you’ve worked on is befitting of becoming a case study. Here are important pointers to help you make the right decision.
- Focus More on Your Potential Clients: Every good case study must be relevant to the potential clients you’re targeting. You need to put yourself in their shoes and see how the case study subject fits into their operations. For instance, if a bulk of your potential clients are B2B software development agencies, it only makes sense that you develop a good case study that addresses common challenges most of them may be facing with respect to the services you render.
- Put Your Best Foot Forward: From the list of works that resonate with most of your potential clients, choose the best one that shows your expertise with the least amount of glitches. You don’t want to choose a project where you performed poorly.
Many would argue that showing potential clients your flaws will go a long way in fostering trust in you. As true as that may sound, would you trust your life with a surgeon with a proven record of making mistakes, or who has an infamous record of surgical mortality rates? Your guess is as good as ours; this is how customers think.
A case study is your chance to show your brand’s brilliance. So, as you learn how to make case studies, endeavor to pick a project showing your company’s exceptional expertise, impeccable customer service, and admirable core values while focusing the marketing beacon on your potential clients.
For instance, Textel maximized its contract with Valvoline and created an in-depth case study out of it. The first thing you would notice when you look at the case study is the catchy title it coined from its results, showing off Textel’s expertise and reliability. You may want to take a cue from this when naming yours.
Curating the Right Data
Anyone searching for how to create a case study should understand that quality data based on facts is a prerequisite for every deal-closing case study. Although storytelling can significantly boost your conversion rates, it’s not enough. You must ensure that every data and figure you put in the content is correct.
But this is where most people get it wrong. Some brands resort to using fake and overblown figures to bamboozle users, either because they lost their relationship with the client or because they don’t have good data to back up their claims. In fact, 68% of statistics in various marketing publications are false and misleading. But guess what?
Using fake data to woo customers will attract the wrath of authorities like FTC’s Bureau of Customer Protection. After getting sued for deceptive advertising, you may pay fines of up to $50,120 per instance if convicted. Worse, you’ll lose several loyal customers who would label you a dishonest brand.
So, while trying to ensure your discussion focuses on how you solved customers’ problems, you should go the extra mile to share only accurate data. This is where your relationship with your customers comes in. Satisfied and happy customers will be pleased to help with your case study. Reach out to them and get information like:
- The client’s industry, company size, and background.
- What are their specific challenges or pain points?
- What were the client’s goals and objectives before engaging your product or service?
- What key performance indicators (KPIs) were established to track progress and success?
- Get clients’ point of view on whether your product or service help them achieve their desired outcomes.
- Collect direct feedback from the client, including quotes or testimonials that highlight their satisfaction and success.
Structuring the Case Study
First and foremost, there is no perfect structure for writing a case study. One best practice for anyone searching for how to write a good case study is to ensure your case study is value-packed and makes sufficient meaning to readers. As such, there are certain details you must capture, even if your exact structure differs from what most people work with. Because not everything goes in when making a case study, we developed this structure to help you segment and structure your data properly:
Your introduction determines if your audience will proceed to the next section or bounce back to the search engine result page. A good introduction should give background information about the client, what they’re into, and their limitations.
The screenshot above is from the introductory section of Asana’s case study on its client, HackReactor. Apart from providing basic information on the client, Asana added a couple of quotes from the company’s CEO to give us a peek into the personality and values of the brand.
2. Challenges Faced
After writing the introduction, explain the company’s challenges when they contacted you. You should also indicate any other problems you uncovered during your analysis. Your key points of interest should focus on how the issue was an obstacle to your client’s goals, the scope of the challenge, and how long it has existed.
3. Strategy and Implementation
Now that the problem has been established, the next phase of learning how to make a case study is the solution and implementation stage. Here, you are to highlight the solution you used in solving the issue, including specific products, services, packages, and unique approaches implemented.
You must also add details on how your company implemented the solution, including the roles of team members and the specific timeline it took to achieve results. For instance, instead of writing, “We used XYZ product to achieve ABC,” you can add more details like “With the help of the technical team, XYZ enterprise data breach was resolved in one week. We also used EFG procedures to avoid the recurrence of such a breach.”
4. Results and Outcomes
As you learn how to write case studies, it’s noteworthy that every other part of your case study may not mean so much to your audience without the outcome. This is because readers couldn’t care less about the subject of the case study, but the results and how they can benefit their brand is often their top priority. So, pay special attention here and provide statistical data on the results.
You can set up a team to analyze the results and use them to provide information like the impact of your strategy on customer satisfaction, sales volume, mobile app adoption rates, client retention, and other metrics. Use infographics, graphs, and charts that show real numbers to showcase the results and make it more engaging.
5. Next Steps or Conclusion
As opposed to traditional case studies that end with results, brands who want high conversions add this section as an avenue to convert readers. Here, you buttress how you can replicate the result for other clients in the industry.
Wrap up your case study by summarizing details that will persuade your readers to take action. A great rule of thumb is to include a brief statement of the specific situation, strategies implemented, the results, and the best practices you recommended for future improvements. Finally, add a call to action.
Some potential clients may need more convincing than others, so include references that concur with the strategies you implemented. If you’ve worked with other customers in the same industry, collect reviews and testimonials and add them for more credibility. Nevertheless, use closely related testimonials if they are your first clients in that sector. A good example of testimonials is seen in Amazon’s AWS case study.
Use High-quality Multimedia Elements
People’s attention span is getting shorter, and the only solution to keeping your audience till the end of your case study is a few high-quality graphics here and there. Don’t believe us? Well, a study shows that people remember 65% of information paired with visual content after three days but only 10% of the details of the same text without graphical content in the same duration.
So, as you continue your research on ‘How do I make a case study?’ you must always remember that even the most interesting stories captured in long texts can become boring, and your audience surely does not want to be flooded with too much text at once.
That’s why you should consider adding thematic data, charts, graphs, videos, images of customer result dashboards, PDFs, and infographics to your written content. These elements increase customer trust and make your case study more engaging.
You may take a cue from Datalabs Agency’s flamboyant use of charts and dashboard screenshots to drive home its case study. As seen in the Australia Department of Transport case study, Datalabs shared images of its software designs, giving users a mental picture of what they should expect if they decide to contract the company.
Such images speak for themselves. Depending on the uniqueness of your service offerings, you may add as many images as Datalabs.
Your Writing Style and Tone Matters
Your writing style and tone are equally important as much as your message. Present your case study from a compelling and relatable angle that resonates with the client’s pain points. Also, ensure your writing style and tone remain consistent throughout the content; it makes the case study easier to follow.
In addition, it is vital to balance professionalism, which shows credibility and commitment to your work, and persuasion when trying to convince your readers that they can get similar results. Although the idea is to spotlight the client, don’t downplay your team’s role in birthing the results.
Writing a case study wrong can do more harm than good, but this article highlights an easy and actionable way to make a case study that closes more deals. Some best practices that can help you include choosing the right subject, fine-tuning your writing style and tone, and using multimedia content to engage your readers.