If your business has helped people improve their lives, you want to show it off.
Featuring case studies on your website is a great way to get the word out. The thing is, businesses often struggle to write them in an effective way.
For one thing, case studies take a lot of time to prepare and write. It can be a daunting task as a business owner. It seems easier to publish shorter articles or simpler types of content instead.
Plus, it might feel like the case studies you already have on your website don't do anything for you. It doesn't look like your audience is reading them, and it doesn't seem like they're converting.
Well, what if compelling and persuasive case studies could help you gain more clients on a consistent basis? Would you want to learn how to improve your case studies then? If so, this article is for you. You’ll get 7 simple strategies you can use to write better case studies.
Want to showcase your brand's strengths with real-life examples and get more customers?
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You may already know what case studies are, but can you tell me their real purpose? In other words, why should companies like yours go through the effort of creating them? Why are they so valuable?
The reason is case studies are essential promotional tools. They give middle and bottom-of-the-funnel customers reason to choose your brand. This is what sets case studies apart from other forms of content like blog posts or testimonials. Case studies serve the purpose of nurturing your leads.
They highlight your offer's benefits through real-life examples that your business facilitated. Case studies emphasize your brand's strengths and problem-solving abilities. That emphasis gives readers an idea of what it's like working with you.
The positive outcomes also make it easier for readers to imagine similar results. With your help, that is. This information drives interested customers to want to work with your business.
In the following sections, you'll learn how to create case studies that win customers over.
Read this article to learn more about B2B case studies that actually convert.
The first step toward creating glowing case studies is forming a strategy. It takes a lot of time and research to explain how your brand has helped past clients. Potential buyers are also seeking specific kinds of information (which we'll cover later).
If you go in headfirst without a plan, you might leave out important information new clients need to read.
To make sure you have the right information in your case study, consider these questions:
Let’s go over these questions one by one.
First, determine what you want this case study to do. It should convert more customers, but each case study fulfills a specific purpose.
For example, are you trying to promote a specific product or service? Do you want to highlight an updated function? Are you trying to appeal to a new market or industry? These are essential things your business will want to communicate. So you should be intentional about why you're creating a case study in the first place.
Let's imagine your business sells a bookkeeping software called Banana Bookkeeping. You designed it for small businesses working in the health-foods industry. Then you notice that many of your users also have a foot in the fitness industry.
If you decided to expand into the fitness industry, what should you do? Create a case study that shows how your software can also apply within the fitness industry.
Show prospects how you helped a fitness brand solve problems or reach goals. This can range from customer support to a finance management interface.
If fitness companies read this case study, they'll know that your product fits their needs.
This leads us to the next point.
The next thing you need to do is figure out who your target audience is for this particular case study.
In other words, who's your ideal client?
You may think you already have an idea of who they are, but that's all it is — an idea. That's not enough for you to know what your readers need to see or learn from your case study.
Instead, try answering: what does my audience want? More than anything? How can I provide it for them?
Understanding your target audience comes down to knowing their desires, pains. Understand those things and you'll know how you can deliver the right outcomes.
This research will help you learn what kinds of information you need to include in your case study.
The last thing you need to determine is how you're going to use your case study.
For example, are you going to use it to nurture leads or close sales? Where are you going to promote it? How will you promote it?
These factors will also influence how long your case study is.
A case study can range anywhere between 500 words to 5000 words. If you want to write something that takes a couple of minutes to read, don't waste time and effort on a long-form piece.
If you know how you're going to use particular case studies on your website, you can plan them.
Learn how to jam-pack proof in your copywriting here.
Now that you've created a strategy for your case study, it's time to choose the right company to write about
It can be challenging to know where to start. After all, you might've worked with dozens of clients. How should you narrow down your choices?
First, go back to your strategy and choose a company within the industry you're trying to target.
If you're not trying to target a specific industry, choose a company with the most affinity for you.
In other words, on which company did you feel like you had the most significant positive impact? Which company did you help achieve the most significant gains? Also, with which of these companies do you have the best relationship?
Remember, you want to showcase your brand's, product's, or service's strengths. So choose a company that you can make look good, which will make yourself look good by extension.
Once you've picked a company, ask their permission to write a case study about them.
They may be hesitant at first. After all, your case study will reveal some of the issues they had in their business.
But reassure them they can read it before you publish it on your website. Tell them that their company's achievements will put them in a positive light. These achievements can range from increased conversions to cost savings and anything between.
Your case study should impress prospects with the featured company's results. That could also win the featured company a bigger audience and a better reputation.
After you get their approval, you can start preparing for the interview.
Decide on one or two key people to interview. If you interview more, you run the risk of your interviewees confusing the narrative. Create a list of questions and then send it to them in advance. Make sure the interview won't last more than 30 minutes and that you record it.
You also don't have to bombard your interviewees with questions. Instead, ask about how they felt before, during, and after their process of working with you and listen. Focusing on emotions is important because it'll help the reader empathize with them.
When readers feel invested in the company you helped, they identify with their story. They may even be able to relate to the specific problems the featuring company went through. Reading about this will convince them that your brand is a good match.
Learn how to skyrocket your conversions using social proof in this article.
Now you've gathered all the information and you're ready to structure your case study.
The first thing you need to do is introduce the company you helped: Who are they? What does their business do? What was their company like before their problems started?
Next, go into the specific problems the company faced. What challenges arose? Why was it so dire? How and when did they decide to hire your business for help?
After, talk about the solutions you implemented. How did you go about diagnosing the problem? What strategies did you use to fix it? If any unexpected obstacles occurred, how did you mitigate them?
Don't forget to include the thought process behind your solutions. For example, why did you choose to help your client this way instead of another way? Why was it more beneficial for them?
This last part is the most important to your reader. Show your results. Emphasize the positive outcomes your client gained after working with you. Show how you've helped them thrive in the long run, as well.
Potential clients have an interest in the results you brought to another company. They want to make sure you can replicate the same positive outcomes for them.
Again, if you make your past clients look good, then your brand will look good to new customers by extension.
Structuring case studies this way provides everything prospects need to know.
Now that you have a well-researched and structured case study, are you going to put it on your website and call it a day?
Well, you could, but it'd be a waste of your efforts.
Sure, it may attract the occasional passerby, and it may even turn a couple of them into paying customers. If you want to make sure you're getting the most out of your case studies, promote them.
Feature them on your social media platforms, and notify your email list.
Write engaging titles and headlines. Your audience will want to know how you've helped others.
That way, they can learn how you can help them as well.
Although case studies are information, it doesn't mean they have to be dry and impartial.
Case studies that incorporate storytelling elements are more engaging. It'll keep your audience reading until the end.
This is because humans love stories. Stories release dopamine in our brains which increases our sense of empathy.
That's why stories are so powerful and why you should incorporate them into case studies.
Think of your case study as a story about a hero.
The protagonist is the company you profile. Then, build the tension by explaining the obstacles they faced.
With higher stakes, the reader will care about and identify with the protagonist.
You can also position your brand as the sword our protagonist uses to vanquish foes and win its big reward.
Then, interested clients can imagine wielding your brand as their weapon of choice.
To help you illustrate your story better, use images, statistics, infographics, and charts.
Case studies don't only have to be full of text. You can incorporate images as well to engage the reader better.
Let's get into improving case studies on a micro-level. All the tips so far gave general advice for better case studies. The following sections will get into more specific tips to improve your case studies.
Make sure you're using attention-grabbing and specific headlines in your case studies.
For example, titling a section "Introduction" isn't going to cut it. It's bland, it's boring, and it doesn't entice people to keep reading.
Instead, create headlines that’ll engage readers. To do this, make sure you include the following:
Here are some foolproof formulas you can use:
Try re-writing the "Introduction" headline for practice. Let's use the Banana Bookkeeping example from above. A good headline could read "How Banana Bookkeeping Helped [x fitness company] Save $1.3 Million in 3 Months."
This headline is enticing because it delivers a promise. It tells readers exactly what they'll learn. Plus, it hints at how you can help them replicate these results for their business.
Bottom line: make sure your headlines include a clear promise.
A common mistake companies make with case studies is not including a clear CTA.
Of course, you want to provide potential clients with helpful information. At the end of the day, case studies should motivate prospects to contact you.
You want your case studies to provide the right nudge to get new customers to work with your brand.
If you don't direct them to take that next step, they may leave your website and forget about your brand.
To ensure this doesn't happen, write strong CTAs at the end of your case study.
Strong CTAs mean that they're clear and direct. You're telling the reader what you want them to do.
Instead of being pushy, though, suggest the action you want them to take. Some examples could look like:
The most important thing is to give them the option to interact with your business. So, make it easy for them to do.
To make sure your case study ranks high in search engines, optimize your headlines and CTAs. Be sure to incorporate relevant keywords that your audience is seeking.
To choose the right keywords, imagine what your ideal reader would search for to find your case study.
Let's use the Banana Bookkeeping example. Ideal readers might type: "best bookkeeping software for small fitness companies."
These analytics tools help you determine which keywords people search for. They'll tell you which words you should use in your headlines and CTAs to get more views on your case studies.
Make sure your case studies have words in common with your clients' searches. The more words in common, the more likely you'll show in the search results.
Plus, you'll be able to increase more traffic to your website.
Now you know all the tips you need to start writing better case studies.
Remember, clients want to know one thing: how can your business help them? Case studies illustrate your brand's benefits and strengths with real-life examples.
With the tips from above, you can write case studies that potential customers want to read.
Customers will see your brand as impressive, reliable, and essential to their success.
They'll believe your brand will help them solve problems and achieve goals.
Not only will they develop an affinity for your brand, but they'll also be more likely to contact you to work for them.
That's because they'll have seen how your band can benefit their business. Well-written case studies take a lot of effort up front. In the long run, they'll help you generate more clients than ever.
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