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Crafting Compelling Case Studies for Marketing Success

Okay, you want to earn the trust of prospects who have never really interacted with your brand before. What can you do to demonstrate the value your brand can deliver to them? It's story time—i.e., time to show them a case study!

Case studies aren't just stories; they're proof. They demonstrate real-world results and how you achieved them for your customers/clients. 

Blog | Crafting Compelling Case Studies for Marketing Success

Let's dive into how you can craft compelling case studies that resonate with your prospects and drive home the message of your brand's effectiveness, innovation, and reliability.

Identifying a Good Fit for a Case Study

So, you want to make a case study. The first challenge is identifying a customer who is willing and able to be featured in it. This means reaching out to customers, both present and past, with whom you've had positive relations.

Look at reviews of your business (you have been collecting reviews, right?) and identify your happiest customers. Create a top 10 happiest customers list and consider prioritizing the customers whom you've had the biggest impact on for your case study.

Then, start putting out emails, phone calls, whichever contact method each prefers. If they're a current customer, consider floating the idea of running a case study with them during your next meeting with them.

It's important to get a customer's express consent before creating a case study around their business relationship with you. Some clients might not like to share their struggles with the world at large—and that's understandable. Others might be eager to share their experiences and earn free publicity. 

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Conducting the Case Study Interview

Okay, so you have your customer's express permission to do a case study about them—now it's time to do an interview! interviewing your customer is a critical part of assembling a high-quality case study that tells the customer's story effectively.

Interviewing your customer allows you to get direct quotes from that customer, better understand their state of mind throughout the business relationship, and possibly identify opportunities to improve on products or services for other customers.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for and conducting the interview:

  • Try to meet with other stakeholders in the customer's organization in addition to your normal main point of contact. This helps you get a broader perspective on the effects of your partnership. Additionally, talking to SMEs in the target organization can help you get details that make the case study feel more authentic.
  • Prepare a list of questions for your interview. Before you start the case study interview, prepare a list of questions for the client that specifically address the points you want to cover. This basic bit of preparation helps you keep your interview focused and ensures you have an opportunity to collect all of the information you need to collect.
  • Try to get as complete a picture of your client's/customer's situation as possible. Not just the raw numbers, but how they felt before, during, and after the business relationship. This will be invaluable for your storytelling when you write your case study.
  • Record the meeting and ask for direct quotes you can use. Ask your customer if you can record the meeting. This helps you be as accurate as possible when quoting them.
  • Ask if there is any documentation or statistics that they would be comfortable with you using. This can help you get objective metrics to use in your case study.

The Art of Storytelling in Case Studies

While case studies aren't just stories, storytelling is crucial for making an effective case study. Having good statistics to show can be useful for highlighting results, but statistics alone don't engage readers.

People don't fall in love with random exhortations about a 5% increase in some random metric (okay, maybe some people might, but not most). No, they become enamored with stories detailing the struggles and successes of people. They need a protagonist they can identify with and celebrate the victories of.

Although storytelling is more art than science, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that the story you tell is as effective as possible.

  • Make the Customer the Hero. While you want to get across the benefits of working with your brand, your case study isn't really about you. Instead, it's about your customer who you helped. So, make them the hero of the story.
  • Set the Scene. Start your case study by introducing your protagonist, their struggle(s), and their goal(s). Try to highlight why they've been struggling and what they tried previously to address the issue.
  • Use Emotions. How did your protagonist feel? Insert emotion into your story to highlight the frustration, sadness, or other feelings your protagonist felt at different times. Be sure to ask the customer how they felt to make it as genuine as possible for your case study.
  • Take the Journey Step by Step. The reader should be able to trace your case study client's journey, step by step, as they move from "having a problem" to "problem solved." Break things down into small, easily digestible chunks so readers can follow along. This includes the step where your company's services or solutions helps the customer meet their goals.
  • Include Objectively Measurable Results. While raw stats alone shouldn't be the focus of the case study, including some measurable metrics can help make the impact your product or service had on the customer and demonstrate real value that can be understood. This info can help make your story more engaging for customers who prefer hard data.

Remember, the best stories are those that resonate on a human level. Great stories are the ones that weave facts with emotions, making the reader feel connected, understood, and inspired.

By painting a vivid picture of the obstacles faced and the journey to overcome them, you set the stage for a transformation that speaks volumes about the value you offer.

Proofread and Review Your Case Study

Okay, you've written the case study and had a designed PDF created that you can share with your prospects. But wait, there's a typo on page five! How can you ensure that prospects don't see these kinds of errors?

By putting your case study document through multiple rounds of proofreading—preferably by others who can take an objective look at your writing. 

Ideally, you'll want to have a second set of eyes look at your case study document::

  • Upon completion of the raw copy for the first draft.
  • After implementing edits from the first round of review.
  • Upon completion of the first designed draft—to check images and formatting to ensure that the copy accurately transferred over into the design.
  • After each design revision.

Finally, before publishing the final version of your case study, let your customer look at it and provide some feedback on the copy and design. It's important to verify that their logos, any images, and the copy all pass muster with your customer.

Sharing Your Masterpiece: Where to Publish Case Studies for Maximum Impact

Crafting a killer case study is only half the battle. The other half is making sure it's seen by your intended audience.

Your website is a natural home for your case studies, ideally positioned where they can support the buyer's journey—such as on product pages, blogs, or a dedicated resources section of your website.

But don't stop there. Share your case studies in newsletters, on social media, and with your sales team to use as collateral. While most customers will do research before closing a deal, having your sales reps share the case study directly ensures that they don't miss an important example of how you can help them.

The more touchpoints you have, the wider your net for capturing interest. Remember, a case study is not just a document; it's a versatile tool that can be repurposed and reshared across multiple platforms to maximize its reach and impact.

Final Thoughts

Creating a compelling case study is more than just chronicling a success story; it's about crafting a narrative that resonates, builds trust, and proves the value of your solution.

By following some simple guidelines, you'll captivate your audience and convert prospects into believers in your brand—all while building on the relationship you established with your case study client.

Ready to turn your success stories into marketing gold? Download our case study templates and start showcasing your victories today.

Remember, every case study you write is an opportunity to demonstrate your brand's ability to solve real-world problems. It's a chance to show that behind every product, every service, there are humans—innovative, helpful, trustworthy, and human—driven by the desire to make a difference.

So, go forth and share your success stories. Then, watch as they pave the way for many more to come.

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Douglas Phillips

Douglas Phillips

Former military brat, graduated from Leilehua High School in Wahiawa, Hawaii in 2001. After earning my Bachelor's in English/Professional Writing, took on a job as a writer here at Bluleadz.