You’ve probably heard what a case study is, but have you really understood it?
Case studies are a great way to convert leads into real customers. This tool will build credibility for the brand. Prove your product can solve a user’s problem. And show potential customers what they will experience when using your service.
But what exactly is the concept of Case Study? In this article, I will answer it for you.
However, an effective case study content format needs to meet the following factors.
- Showing off your product is the best solution. There are many conflicting opinions about whether or not to sell products through content. In this case study, the answer is yes.
- Your promise of product effectiveness must be proven by actual results so that no one can deny it.
- Not all cases are written as Case Study. Blog posts are universal, but customer stories are rarely duplicated.
It’s easy to say, but putting those requirements together takes some time and effort. All the secrets will be revealed in the article below:
- Everything you need to know what a case study is (or what is a business case) for effective research
- 7 simple steps to create a case study from start to finish
- Many Case Study and Template examples to choose from
What is Case Study?
A case study is an analysis of a project, campaign or company that clarifies the situation, proposes solutions, specific actions, and identifies the factors that determine success or failure.
How are case studies formatted content in Marketing?
Case studies are usually formatted as:
- PDF download: this form can be said to be the most popular
- Website: The company website often adds this section to the customer story
- Slidedeck: Presentation slides can also work in this case
- Video: If possible, it’s also a good idea to shoot a high-quality video
Anyway, the content inside is still more important function than form. Regarding content, you should ensure the following elements:
- Title or Headline: This should summarize the contact information about the client, the problem they faced and what was achieved.
- Summary: Usually 1-2 paragraphs long to summarize the content of the case study.
- Difficulty or challenge: Did they encounter any problems before reaching the goal?
- Solution: Did your company and product solve the problem or benefit the customer?
- Result: It is best to use specific numbers to prove
7 Steps to Write a Case Study application to do Content Marketing for businesses
After understanding what a Case Study is, you will probably be interested in how to implement a case study as Content Marketing for your business.
Let me explain it to you in detail.
Step 1: Find the audience that the Case Study is targeting
If you understand what a case study is, then the first step of any case study writing process is to decide who you want to write about. It could be your business organization or a customer.
3 factors to consider:
- How much do your customers use your product or service?
- Did they get a positive experience or have a memorable story?
- Have they used a competitor’s product before and then found you?
To get this information, go to:
- Talk to the sales team to see if any prospective customers are willing to join?
- Ask customer service if they accept any special customers?
- Asking recent new customers if any potential candidates buy from you?
Step 2: Need the consent of the customer before writing a case study about them
If you want to use customer stories in your case study, you need to ask for their opinion and get their consent.
Write a letter of permission
If you need to create many case studies, you should write a letter to ask for customer permission to save time. The letter should clearly state:
- How will the case study be conducted?
- What will customers get from Case Study?
In some cases, customers are also required to sign a commitment that allows the company to use their information to avoid future disputes.
Step 3: Send customers a preliminary questionnaire
After the client agrees to participate in the Case Study, you should proceed to prepare a preliminary questionnaire. This questionnaire will provide the information needed to shape the story in the case study.
Some questions like:
- What is the problem you face when you have not used our service?
- Why would you choose our service over a competitor?
- How does our service solve your problem?
- What is the goal of your business?
- Are you willing to share data and figures to prove your achievements?
You can change the question depending on how the user uses the product to get an answer or statement worth research.
And those outline questions are also a way to understand the business customers are targeting. From there, build an effective marketing strategy for the business.
Step 4: Format interview questions for Case Study
After the client completes the preliminary questionnaire, you will then select and list the interview questions.
Quality interview questions will yield quality information for use in case studies. Remember that customers are very busy, so you can’t ask for too many details more than once.
Based on the answers from the original questionnaire, you can evaluate and develop other questions to get more information. Here are 25 commonly asked questions in interviews.
Here are 5 familiar questions including:
- What is the field of your company?
- How long have you been using our product/service?
- How is your business?
- How many people are there in your group/company?
- What is the goal of your group/company?
- What is the problem they face when writing a case study?
Case Study contributors must have encountered some problem before looking to your company for a new solution.
So help your customers figure out their problem with these 5 questions:
- When did your team first realize there was a problem?
- What solutions have you tried before coming to us?
- Did your problem arise suddenly or develop over time?
- How did your team decide to seek outside help?
- What factors add to the problem?
Factors that help them make decisions
Knowing what factors help customers choose you is not only valuable information to a potential new business, but also helps you determine what types of information to post that will attract users.
- What information have you read or watched to influence your decision?
- What factors did you consider when looking for a solution?
- And what other companies have you looked to before (if any)?
- How did you convince the team to change their mind to choose our company?
- What made you decide to do business with our company?
- How has your product/service helped customers?
Talk to the customer and ask them how your solution helped them solve a previous problem.
- What product/service solved your problem?
- What products/services have we replaced in your current employment?
- What kind of work has our product/service simplified for you?
- How much time did you save?
- What work does our product/service reduce for you?
- How did they use your product?
This question will clear new customers’ doubts about the product
- How easy is it for your team to put the product to work?
- How was the process of getting used to the new product?
- What method have you applied when you have not changed to choose our product?
- What is the difficulty you face when changing?
- Do you have any advice for those who have been using our products?
- What results did they achieve?
The results say it all, so why not include specific numbers in the Case Study? Don’t forget that you can’t collect all the data you have. Use these five questions:
- How much faster is the job completion time after using our products?
- How did we help you achieve your goal?
- Did you see the massive growth in the numbers?
- How has your performance changed since using our product?
- What positive results have you noticed?
Step 5: Schedule an interview
Have you identified the target audience and prepared the interview questions? What’s the next step without planning an interview?
The first is to schedule an interview, then choose the type of interview.
- Phone: remember to ask the customer’s permission to use the phone recording app
- Video call: If it’s Mac, using Quicktime will be much more convenient, if it’s Windows, you can use Skype.
- Meet in person: If the client lives in the same area, this is the easiest and most private way.
After you and the client agree on a time and place, have things ready such as a tape recorder or sticky notes (of course, using a tape recorder is much more convenient and accurate).
Step 6: Write Case Study
After gathering all the information, it’s time to put it all together and fill out the Template Case Study.
The first part of successful case studies is that the title should be catchy, including the client’s name and their logo. The subhead should also be brief and include information about the product the customer used to solve the problem.
Quality title needs:
- Clarifying who is the case study subject
- Explain what you did
- Evidence of result data
The summary is about 2-3 paragraphs long describing the customer story. You can also add metrics to demonstrate the effectiveness of your case study.
Who is the subject in the Case Study?
Next, you need to identify the object in the Case Study. In this section, you will rewrite the information gathered from the first preliminary questionnaire.
The problem they have
In this section, you should write 2-3 of the most serious problems of the case study participants. You can summarize the challenges they faced as well as previous goals.
How did you help them?
This section should describe what the solution was used by the customer, and should highlight the changes you brought in.
Process and results
The last part of the case study is the process since the customer started using your service. It could be the process by which they achieve their goal or there is a change in the numbers…
Using images in Case Study
Images will make your case study more interesting and easier to read. Whether it’s diagrams, logos or photos, images make an amazing difference. You can use Canva to help with this.
Step 7: Promote Case Study
Now you have completed the Case Study and the client has also approved the article. It’s time to launch Case Study for everyone to know through:
- Build a website to manage all Case Study and Testimonial.
- More Case Study and Email Campaign
- Create a social media campaign
The best part of Case Study is how easy it is to combine with other marketing strategies.
Bonus: 7 tips for writing a case study to make customers love your business more!
#1. Add to Actionable Insight
In your opinion, what is the best way to write a case study? Let me give you the answer. Some good ideas that can be included in a case study are contact information or before and after pictures of using the product. However, not all customers clearly notice the difference from this image.
So in order for your customers to better understand how your solution will fit their own problem, you need to provide some Actionable Insight into the case study. These insights will make the content interactive and valuable to potential customers. Think about the following questions:
- What does the customer get after the whole process?
- What do customers need to prepare before applying your method?
- What are the steps to proceed with your method?
- What to keep in mind before deciding on your method?
You can add these or similar questions to the interview process to share some more insight.
#2. Combine different types of content
The way users receive and remember information from listening and reading is completely different. So using a variety of content in a case study not only helps people remember and understand the content better, but also creates better interactions.
- Use images (such as customer photos to illustrate the story)
- More videos about the product in use
- Video Testimonial
- Add tables, charts, and diagrams to create visual data
- Use infographics to provide a lot of information but still be eye-catching
Images are the key to a successful case study. Combining images with information, customers will remember 65% of information many days later, while if a case study is full of text, this number will only be 10%.
Case studies are also shared more if they have relevant, quality images like Infographics because Infographics themselves are viewed and shared 3x more than other types of content. Here’s how to increase the popularity of your case study.
#3. Emphasis on problem and solution
Besides the story and images, you need to ensure the important parts of a case study.
- The first is to emphasize on the customer’s initial difficulties, including their goals and desires when choosing to buy products/services.
- Next highlight the features of the product/service that can provide the best business solution to help customers achieve their goals.
#4. Evidence by data
All information in a case study must be backed by evidence to increase credibility and help describe how your product/service has helped customers succeed. However, some contact information needs to be kept confidential for customers.
Don’t just say “increase customer conversions by XXX%” but give numbers, pictures, before and after charts for customers to easily compare.
#5. Easy to understand presentation
Whatever length or format you choose, it should be presented in a way that makes it easy to skim the content.
Even if it is a long article, an elaborate case study must be properly formatted and combined with different types of content to avoid boring and difficult to read.
#6. Perfect content circuit arrangement
Although I encourage you to freely create the structure and circuit of the case study, you also need to follow a few notes for the case study to achieve the best business results.
In it, you should make sure to make the customer happy, use the story to convince the reader and capture their attention.
Here are typical outlines for case studies that I often apply:
- Focus on the customer: Put all your attention on the customer – don’t waste time talking about your product.
- Challenge: Share the stages the customer went through and how they handled the problem, including previous methods they tried.
- Discover: How customers find you and prepare to tell about how you solved their problems.
- Solution: This is your chance to advertise your product without being too harsh or revealing.
- Implementation: How is the product used? What problems arise? What difficulties do customers use the product and overcome?
- Results: This is the part where you “show off” results such as numbers, data, and return on investment. Show clearly how the product solves the customer’s problem.
#7. Promote and promote Case Study
After you finish writing your case study, don’t leave it in a corner of your website and expect someone to read it. Case Study is a powerful weapon in Marketing strategy and should be advertised like other content:
- Directly share Case Study from many perspectives
- Highlight Case Study in Series Autoresponders (automatically reply to incoming emails)
- Post your Case Study on social channels to tell your client’s success story
- Insert a link to the full Case Study in Testimonial on the website
- Create a separate page for Case Study
It can be said that a case study is one of the most effective types of content that not only helps you prove the strength of your business, but also attracts potential customers to your company’s products and services.
Hopefully after this article, you not only understand what a Case Study is (or what is a Business Case) but also how to do them is no longer a nightmare for you. If you have any problems or questions, leave them in the comments section.