7 Steps for How to Write a Case Study

Case studies are a fantastic marketing tool. However, case studies can get a little boring. But that doesn’t mean case studies shouldn’t be part of your marketing efforts! In this blog post, we will tell you how to write a case study that your target audience will enjoy reading. We will teach you seven specific strategies for writing case studies.

case study writing tips

Definition of a Case Study

A case study in marketing terms is a web page or article that shows off the results of a company’s product or service.

What a Good Case Study Is 

A case study is, at its essence, excellent storytelling. Storytelling is an important device to use in advertising, marketing, and case studies. Case studies are stories about how an actual, real-life client used your product or service to overcome a problem.

Think of your customer as the protagonist of your story. And don’t forget: all stories have a beginning, middle, and an end. The goal is for your reader to be able to see themselves as the hero of their own story. They have a problem similar to the protagonist’s, and now they can envision how your product or service can help them overcome that problem.

What a Good Case Study is Not

A good case study is not a press release. Though you can use a case study to accompany a press release debuting a new product or service for your company, it should not be the press release itself.

A good case study is also not an advertisement. It can be used to advertise your product or service, but ultimately your product or service is not the focus of the story. The customer is.

A good case study is also not about your company. It is about the customer’s journey.

Many case studies are boring because marketers do not treat them as stories. Instead, they treat them as lists of statistics. Or, they get carried away with selling the brand instead of the story.

case study format

How to Use Marketing Case Studies

A case study might not seem as interesting as other forms of content. So, why bother writing a marketing case study? Because they work. According to a B2B Marketing report, case studies are the most effective content format.

How to Write a Case Study in 7 Steps

Now, let’s discuss how to write a good case study.

1. Set Your Goals (Realistically)

Before you sit down to write your case study, consider what you want to accomplish. Be realistic when you set these goals. Your case study page most likely won’t be the highest-performing page of your website or go viral on social media. However, know that they will be useful and effective for many clients. Some clients might even check your website for a case study detailing your work before deciding to purchase your product or service. It is still an essential piece of your marketing strategy!

2. Choose an Engaging Angle for Your Case Study

Rather than letting numbers tell the story, instead find a compelling angle. Find a hook that will grab your reader’s attention. How are people using your products and services? What problems are your products helping your clients overcome? What’s the most interesting thing about your client and how they use your product? Who is the most interesting person who patronizes your business? Don’t be afraid to get creative for your case study.

3. Make Your Case Study Relevant for All Prospects

That being said: make sure when you write your case study that it is still relevant and relatable to any potential prospects. If you get *too* interesting with your example, other potential clients might not find them relatable. So, there is a happy medium. Keep your entire target audience in mind when writing, not just one specific person.

how to write a case study

4. Follow Storytelling Rules

Remember that you are writing a story when you write your case study. Structure your case story with a beginning, middle, and end. What was the problem your client had in the first place? How did they use your product or service to fix that problem? How has your product or service fixed that problem and improved their life?

Once you consider these questions, write your case study in three acts. Introduce the client first to humanize your case study and provide any necessary background information. Perhaps they tried alternative solutions that did not work. That is Act One. In Act Two, your client discovers your product or service that can help them. And in Act Three, are the happy results of the protagonist using your product or service. This is where the data comes in.

5. Use Data to Back Up Your Key Points 

Though you don’t want data to be the driving force behind your case study, you also don’t want to forget it altogether. Use data to illustrate how your products and services helped your protagonist. Think of data as supporting evidence in your case study. This makes your data more palatable to your reader. The data you utilize in your case study should be directly applicable to your protagonist. Of course, some companies might not have as much hard data as others. In that case, substitute evidence or testimonials instead.

6. Use Your Business as a Supporting Character

Your business is not the star of this story. Rather, it’s the supporting character. If your case study is a romantic comedy, your business is the Judy Greer character, and the client is Katherine Heigl, if you will. Most people make a purchase to solve a problem. That is why in a case study, your product or service is how the protagonist solved their own problem.

7. Let the Clients Tell Their Own Stories

Don’t forget to let your client tell their own story in their own voice in your case study. This means using their own words in quotes. This breaks up your text and also gives your case study extra validity. Most consumers are more likely to trust the word of another consumer over a direct advertisement from a company. Letting the client speak for themselves is a highly effective tactic for this reason.

how to write a good case study

Professional Case Studies at SEO Design Chicago

For help composing effective, well-written case studies for your business, contact SEO Design Chicago today. Our professional writers and marketers creating all different types of case studies for a variety of businesses and industries. We don’t work from case study templates. Rather, we use a unique case study format for each client in order to address the key problems that your business fixes for your clients.

FAQs: 

  • What is a case study?
  • Why use marketing case studies?
  • How do I write a case study?
  • What is the format of a case study?
  • What makes a great case study?

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