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Do you want to learn how to create a case study that sells more products and services? In this guide, we will walk you through the process of creating a compelling case study that will help convince potential customers to buy from you.

 

We’ll discuss what makes a great case study and provide tips for writing one that is both persuasive and interesting. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

Want to save time and get some assistance developing a case study strategy for expanding your business? Watch our free 7-minute training and download our PDF workbook here.

 

 

 

What is a case study, and why is it important?

 

The biggest challenge for small businesses selling any product or service is proving to potential customers that you can deliver on your promises.

When a prospective buyer considers whether or not they will purchase from you, the biggest question is: “Can this business actually do what they say they can do?”

This is where a case study comes in. A well-written case study will show potential customers that you have successfully helped other businesses achieve their goals and that you can do the same for them.

Case studies can be incredibly effective selling tools – but only if they’re persuasive and interesting to read. There are a few key things you need to keep in mind when writing a case study to achieve this. We’ll take a look at what these are below.

 

What is a marketing case study?

 

It’s commonly said that when it comes to online marketing, “content is king.”

A compelling case study is a valuable marketing tool since, unlike other forms of content, it is one piece of content that is created to assist you in gaining credibility and trust with potential customers. This, in turn, aids your ability to sell more.

Effective case studies will highlight some key information:

  • a compelling story
  • profile the target audience
  • highlight previous customers and how each customer began their journey with you
  • mention the customer’s industry
  • present key problems, and the primary pain point, that your client experienced when they engaged your business
  • gives the reader a step by step guide to how you went about solving the client’s problem
  • showcase positive results

 

 

Business case study examples

 

Hubspot – software product

Hubspot is a software company that provides a marketing and sales software platform. Their website features a case study directory, and they have over 281 case studies published (when we last checked).

Hubspot 1

 

Below is an example of a customer case study published on Hubspot’s website.

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Dent – education & training

 

Dent are worldwide leaders in entrepreneurial strategy, media, and technology for businesses. They offer popular business accelerator programs, training workshops, and events for entrepreneurs.

Co-founder Daniel Priestley recently shared in his group:

“The POWER of a “RESULTS PAGE”

No doubt, over the years, you’ve achieved all sorts of amazing things with your clients.

They’ve probably sent you gushing texts and tweets. They’ve probably told you they’d be willing to record a video testimonial. They’ve probably sent you a picture of their results that you helped them to get.

But, as human nature would have it, you’ve become a bit blasé to this. If you’ve been in your industry for a while, crushing it with clients, you’re no longer surprised when someone gets the results.

I want to encourage you to create a special place to capture all of this stuff.

Recently one of our team members started collating some of the results and stories sitting around Dent and they put it all together in this Results Page https://www.dent.community

It’s a powerful asset that we can share with potential clients or people who have just become a client.”

Below is a screenshot of what the page looks like.

Dent 1

 

Dent features customer case studies as videos on their youtube channel (they embed them onto their website) and interviews on their podcast (here’s an example).

 

 

Superfast Business – business coaching membership

SFB is a business resource to help online business owners get plenty more profit while working a lot less. It’s a paid membership community where members can receive coaching from online business veteran James Schramko.

When you land on the home page, you can immediately see evidence of customer success through a series of testimonial-style case studies.

SuperFastBusiness case studies 1

 

Another fantastic way that James shares client case studies are through interviews on his SFB podcast. Here’s a recent example.

SFB client case study 1

 

 

Tips For Creating an Effective Case Study

 

 

 

Tip #1 Who are your prospective customers? Create each case study with a single customer in mind.

 
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To be effective as a sales and marketing tool, you need to keep your potential customers in mind when creating a customer case study.

Future customers will want to see that you have worked with businesses or individuals like them in the past and that you understand their specific needs.

It would be best to profile your target audience in the case study itself. For example, if you are targeting accounting businesses, mention this explicitly.

The more relevant your case study is to your potential customers, the more likely it is to be effective in selling your product or service.

 

 

Tip #2 Have a strategy for marketing case studies

As with any form of marketing, you’ll need a plan for how case studies will aid in the achievement of your marketing and company objectives.

You can’t just publish them on your website and hope that people will find them. You need to be proactive in promoting them. You’ll also want to be strategic about:

  • What case studies you’ll produce
  • What stories do you want to tell to attract and convert prospective buyers
  • Which clients you’ll profile first
  • How you’ll use them to generate leads and sales

Your case study marketing strategy will be most effective if you integrate it into your overall content marketing strategy.

Want to save time and get some assistance developing a case study strategy for expanding your business? Watch our free 7-minute training and download our PDF workbook here.

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Tip #3 Find the right case study candidate

 
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Remember how we said it’s super important to think about who your prospective customers are earlier?

When choosing a case study subject, it makes sense to identify a person (or business) that represents your target audience.

For example, if you target 7-figure e-commerce businesses, choosing a 7-figure e-commerce business as your case study subject would be best.

You also want to find a client who is willing to be candid about their experiences working with you and who will be able to provide detailed information about the results they achieved.

Once you have selected your candidate, reach out and explain what you’re working on and why you think their story would be valuable for other potential customers to hear.

If they’re onboard, schedule an interview (in person or over the phone) so that you can gather more information.

We also recommend that you get a written agreement from your client stating that they consent to the case study being published and used to promote your company.

 

 

Tip #4 Capture important details during case study research

Capture important details during case study research

 

So you’ve got a client lined up to interview for a case study, but what should you ask them during the interview? How do you make sure you get all the information you need?

Here are a few key questions to ask:

  • What specific challenges were you facing before working with us?
  • What was your thought process in deciding to work with us? What were specific criteria critical in your decision making process?
  • What specific results have you achieved since working with us?
  • Would you recommend our company to other businesses or individuals in your industry? How come? 

Of course, every case study will be different, and you’ll want to tailor your questions to fit the particular client and situation. These questions should serve as a starting point.

Once the interview is over, be sure to thank your client for their time and follow up with any additional questions that may have come up during the conversation.

 

 

 

Tip #5 Collect customer quotes

 

I often get asked what’s better – customer testimonials or case studies?  Here’s the thing, I believe it’s advantageous to have both.

Case studies offer potential customers a more in-depth look at how you’ve helped other businesses achieve their goals. At the same time, testimonials are great for providing quick social proof and building trust.

If I had to choose one or the other, I would go with case studies every time.

The main reason is that they allow you to tell a complete story about the results your customer achieved by working with you.

Include direct quotes from your customer in their own words throughout the case study itself. That way, readers can get a sense of your client’s experience working with you.

 

 

 

Tip #5 Write a case study using a case study template

 

Now that you’ve conducted your interview and gathered all the necessary information, it’s time to write up the case study.

So what should your case study content contain? 

Generally speaking, all good case studies follow a similar structure:

The client’s profile can include information about their business, their specific industry, and the initial challenge they were facing when they came to you for help.

The problem – detail the primary pain point that your client was experiencing before they engaged your business. This is the background information required to paint a “before” picture for anyone reading the case study. It’s a fantastic idea to include frequent sales objections in this portion of the case study so that you can address them.

The solution – explain how you went about solving your client’s problem. Include details about your process, any unique insights or specific strategies you used, and what tools and resources you employed.

The results – highlight the positive outcomes that your client achieved due to working with your product or service. Be sure to use hard data (numbers) wherever possible to demonstrate the impact of your work.

Use our 7P framework for crafting compelling case studies.

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This framework combines the standard case study structure above with elements of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, conversion copywriting, and research on what successful B2B brands are doing.

Here’s a short video where I walk through the framework and provide an example case study at the same time.

  

Want a PDF version of our process for crafting compelling case studies, including email templates we send to clients to invite them to participate? Download our free PDF guide here.

 

 

Tip #6 Share your final draft with your client for publishing approval 

Once you’ve drafted the whole story, it’s time to share it with your client for approval before you hit publish.

Be sure to give them plenty of time to review the case study and make any changes they feel are necessary.

After all, this is their story – not yours.

It’s also important to clearly understand what type of feedback they expect from you. Are they looking for editorial comments only? Or do they want help with copywriting or design as well?

Once you have their approval, you’re ready to move on to the final step.

 

 

Tip #7 How to promote your case study

What good is it to document your client’s impressive results if no one gets to hear about them?

Now that you’ve written a great case study, it’s time to put it in front of as many people as possible.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Share it on social media
  • Add it to your email signature
  • Include a link to it in your next newsletter
  • Send a personalized case study link to prospective customers

Here’s an example of how one of our clients shared their customer case study on social media.

Beanninjas Bento twitter screenshot 1

 

Below Meryl Johnston, Bean Ninjas Founder and Advisor, shares what happened after the case study was shared on Twitter.

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Want some more ideas on how to promote your case studies? Check out our article – 15 Ways to Share Your Business Case Studies With The People Most Likely To Buy

 

 

 

TIME & STRESS SAVING TIP: Outsource your case study creation  

 

 

 

Case study creation can be time-consuming, especially if you’re not a professional writer.

One way to free up some time in your schedule is to outsource the creation of your case studies to a specialist. With a seasoned case study service, you can delegate the entire process of scheduling clients, interviewing them, and producing case studies to someone else.

You can also use an AI copywriting tool like Jasper to help write.

Both options will allow you to focus on other areas of your business while still getting high-quality case studies created regularly.

Our clients appreciate the fact that outsourcing their case studies guarantees that it is crossed off their to-do list.

When done correctly, case studies are an extremely powerful marketing tool that can help you close more deals and drive more sales.

Check out our done-for-you case study packages or schedule a free 15-min consultation if you have any questions.

 

 

Case study formats – which is the best for your audience?

 

Case studies can be presented in a variety of media formats. Which is the best format? It depends on your audience and what you think will be the most effective way to reach them.

Some standard formats for case studies include written, video, audio, and PDF. Here’s a breakdown of each.

 

 

Blog post / Written Case Study

 

A blog post is an excellent option to make your case study easily accessible on your website. You can also share blog posts on social media or other online spaces.

Here’s an example of a case study article that we produced for Bean Ninjas’ client Bento.

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Video Case Study

 

Videos are becoming increasingly popular as a way to consume content online. If you have the resources, creating a short video case study can be an effective way to reach your target audience.

Here’s an example of a case study video that we helped to produce for The Growth Hub global:

 

Infographic Case Study

 

An infographic is another option for making your case study more visually appealing. This can be a good option if you want to share your case study on social media or other online spaces.

 

Podcast Case Study

 

Why not record an audio interview with your client and turn it into a podcast episode? This can be a great way to reach an audience that prefers to consume content on the go, and it’s also fantastic for clients that are camera shy.

 

Downloadable PDF

 

PDFs are a popular format since they can be easily downloaded and shared. They also look professional and can be printed out if needed.

When it comes time to create your case study, remember to keep your audience in mind and choose a format that will be most effective in reaching them.

 

Mixed formats

 

In our experience producing case studies for services businesses, agencies and software companies, it’s a good idea to have a mix of formats available.

Many prospects will want to read a written case study, but there will also be those that prefer to watch a video or listen to a podcast.

By having multiple formats available, you can make sure that you are catering to the needs of all your prospective customers.

 

 

 

Case study quotes and insights from successful B2B companies

 

 

 

Why and how Hubspot uses case studies for marketing ft. Natalie Gullatt

 

Hubspot is a leading inbound marketing and sales platform. They use case studies as part of their sales process, and they heavily invest in them. In this video, Natalie Gullatt of Hubspot shares some insight into why case studies are integral to their marketing strategy.

 

 

How often should you create customer case studies?  Taki Moore shares his system.

 

The best minds in business recommend creating customer case studies regularly to keep your sales pipeline full and your business growing. How often is up to you and your team, but we suggest creating at least one case study per month.

Taki Moore shares his simple system for regularly identifying clients to feature in case studies in this video. 

 

 

Why case studies are powerful for marketing and why you need to keep producing them  – Justin Wise, The Different Company

 

Justin Wise, Co-Founder at The Different Company with Mike Michalowicz, helps driven online entrepreneurs to attract attention, secure right-fit clients, and grow profits through constant experimentation.

Justin and Mike are big believers in the power of customer success stories for selling more of their products and training programs, and it’s something they encourage their clients to do as well.

In this video, Justin shares why customer case studies are so effective and why you need to keep producing them.

 

 

Glen Carlson’s #1 tip for producing effective case studies that help sell

 

Glen Carlson is an award-winning entrepreneur and co-founder of Dent.

Dent is a multi-award-winning business and leadership development company with structured training programs facilitated by successful business speakers and mentors.

In this video, Glen shares his tip for producing great case studies.

 

 

Daniel Daines-Hutt: Turn your case study into a “how-to” article

 

Do you want your case study to stand out and get more traffic through search engine optimization and sharing? Then follow this pro tip from seasoned content marketer Daniel Daines-Hutt.

Daniel recommends turning your case study into a “how-to” article. This strategy has worked well for Daniel, and he explains why here:

“The reason being I can actually rank that piece of content as a top of funnel piece where someone is searching for a solution. It works well because I’m giving away 99% upfront, and you can see it and say…

That’s amazing. I want to read this article and do it myself. Or I want to do it myself, but I want more information. I can see everything that’s been done, but I don’t want to do it myself. How do I hire them?

That’s why I got so many client requests because they could see exactly what they were going to get in the article.”

Here’s a video of Daniel talking about case studies: 

 

 

Case Study FAQ

 

 

What is the purpose of a business case study?

 

A business case study aims to tell the story of how your product or service helped a specific client achieve awesome results.

 

 

How long should a case study be?

 

The length of a case study can vary depending on your chosen format. A written case study may be several pages long, while a video case study may only be a few minutes long.

 

 

Where can I promote my business case studies?

 

Where you promote your case studies will be determined by your intended outcome (and strategy) for creating them.

For lead generation:

  • Content marketing e.g. articles, podcasts, videos
  • Social media
  • Pay per click advertising (case studies can be particularly effective for retargeting ads)
  • Lead magnet landing page
  • Featured media section on your Linkedin profile

For improved sales results:

  • Landing pages
  • Sales page
  • Email nurture series / welcome series
  • Sales presentations / webinars
  • Sales proposals

For client retention:

  • During your new clients’ onboarding process

Want some more ideas? Check out our article – 15 Ways to Share Your Business Case Studies With The People Most Likely To Buy

 

 

When is the best time to ask clients for a case study?

 

The best time to ask a client for a case study is after they have seen results from working with you.

Ideally, you want to wait until they are happy with the results and are ready to sing your praises.

 

 

What are some marketing case study examples?

 

You can view some case studies that we’ve produced for our clients here.

 

 

Where can I find someone to help me create case studies for my business?

 

You’ve come to the right place. Simple Creative Marketing specializes in producing done-for-you case studies for B2B services, software companies, and online course creators. Check out our packages here or schedule a free 15-min consultation if you have any questions.

 

 

Ready to get started with creating your next case study?

 

So, you’ve decided to create a case study. Congratulations! Case studies are a powerful tool for marketing your products or services, and they can be a great way to increase sales. But how do you make sure that your case study is effective?

In this article, we shared seven tips for creating a case study that converts. Follow those tips and you’ll be on your way.

Want to save time and get some assistance developing a case study strategy for expanding your business? Watch our free 7-minute training and download our PDF workbook here.

 
Prefer to have an expert producing customer case studies for your business? Check out our done-for-you case study packages or schedule a free 15-min consultation if you have any questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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