Case studies are some of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal. You just need to know how to create compelling case studies that engage your audience.
You likely have a lot of satisfied clients. Your business helped these people solve their problems, with each person having made use of your services somehow.
But here’s what many don’t realise:
Every one of the people you’ve helped has a story to share.
They each have a tale that encompasses where they were before working with you. Your clients’ stories cover their pains, struggles, and problems. But they also include you. Your business was responsible for helping them escape from whatever situation they were in. Your business gave them the solution that allowed them to achieve what they may not previously have thought possible.
Why are these stories so important?
When prospective customers consider your company, they’re looking for evidence that you can deliver on your promises. Not only do your current and previous clients’ stories show that you can, but they also give potential clients something to engage and connect with.
In short, good case studies attract more people to your business.
You just need to know how to create them.
This article shares some of the keys to writing powerful case study blog posts. But before we do, let’s dig a little deeper into why these posts are so effective.
Why Are Case Studies so Powerful?
Case studies are stories.
Since the dawn of time, people have used stories to communicate and connect. Therein lies the true strength of a case study blog post. With a case study, you invite somebody you’ve helped to talk about how you’ve changed their lives. You’re leveraging somebody else’s story to place your brand in a positive light.
Why does that work?
Your potential clients can see themselves in the clients you’ve helped. They identify with the pain and problems that your past clients had. And with a good case study, potential clients can see that they fit right into your niche and that your business is the one to help them.
But that’s just the start.
A well-written case study doesn’t just focus on the client’s before and after story. It also digs a little into how you helped that client. You can use your case study to talk about your company’s techniques and how each one helps with a specific problem. So, you’re demonstrating your expertise and authority in addition to sharing the results you’ve helped your client to achieve.
Ultimately, case studies are social proof.
Social proof is any evidence of your abilities that comes from somebody other than you. Testimonials are a good example. They come from clients, even though they talk about you. Prospective clients look for social proof because they want to hear from people who’ve been where they are. With social proof, you have something more influential than a list of your service’s features and benefits could ever be.
You have stories from real people that show others that you’re as good as you say you are.
How to Build a Case Study Blog Post
Good case studies provide social proof, which allows you to build an instant connection with your audience. Now, you just need to know how to make them.
Tip No. 1 – Hone In on the Types of Clients You Want to Attract
You know what your ideal client looks like.
If you don’t, we’ll give you a hint…
They’re the types of people who love your service so much that they’ll allow you to write a case study about them!
Your ideal clients have certain traits that they share in common. The problems they’re dealing with are good examples. You might also find that your clients fit a certain age or social demographic. By speaking to these traits in your case studies, you can attract more people like the people you want to work with.
So, don’t make your case studies too general.
Don’t try to use them to attract every possible customer.
Instead, hone in on the specifics so your case studies appeal to the exact type of customer you want to attract.
Tip No. 2 – It Has to Relate to Your Prospect’s Problem
A case study is about what you did to help somebody. That means you should focus on the solutions you provide and the benefits they offer, right?
Your case studies aren’t about you.
They’re about the people you’ve helped. Case studies are about the problems your clients brought to you. They cover the before and after situations they’ve achieved with your service.
It’s the people in your case studies that potential clients relate to.
The people you’re trying to attract likely share the same problems that your happy clients had. They’ve already researched the various products and services that might be able to help them. Now, they’re looking to hear directly from people who have the same problems to figure out what will work for them.
This doesn’t mean your case study shouldn’t mention what you do.
However, any mention of your service needs to be made in the context of the problem it solves. Focus on the issue to engage your audience more directly.
Tip No. 3 – Use Real Numbers
Let’s look at two very similar statements:
- With our help, the client generated $150,000 in additional revenue.
- With our help, the client generated $153,250 in additional revenue.
Can you spot the difference?
It’s the number!
Now, which of those statements rings truer to you?
It’s the one that says $153,250, right?
That’s because $153,250 is a precise number. It’s not something that you could pull out of thin air. It sounds like a number that a client has provided because they’ve measured exactly how much of an effect your service had. By contrast, $150,000 sounds like a rounded number because that’s what it is. In this case, it also undersells your client’s performance!
The point is that real numbers are more effective than rounded numbers. They lend your case studies a sense of authenticity that helps deepen the connection you’re building with a prospect.
Tip No. 4 – Formatting Is Essential
This one is simple:
The harder it is to read your case study blog post, the less likely your prospective customers will finish it.
Good formatting includes using appropriate fonts, splitting paragraphs up, and using proper subheadings to transition from one part of the story to the next. You may also use bold text to emphasise the parts of the story that really matter, such as a result.
Automation Agency’s designers can help you with this element of case study creation. That’s especially the case if you want to design a downloadable PDF using the case study.
Tip No. 5 – Always Ask for Permission (And Maintain Contact With the Case Study Subject)
Asking permission seems like a simple thing to do when it comes to a case study. After all, you’re using somebody else’s story. It seems natural to get permission and run the story by your client to ensure they’re happy with it.
And yet, many business owners don’t do it.
They assume the story is there’s to share because they played such a big part in it. So, they tell it without informing the client. In some cases, that leads to a fractured relationship and requests to take the case study down.
Some of your clients don’t want their stories told.
You have to respect that.
So, ask for permission before you share a case study. Communicate with your client to ensure you’re hitting all of the right points. That communication may even reveal elements of the story that you didn’t know about.
Finally, maintain communication with the case study subject after publishing it.
Let them know how much you appreciate their help. Your client is allowing you to leverage their life to further your business. Show appreciation for the level of commitment required to do that.
Tip No. 6 – Start With the Problem
We’ve already mentioned that a good case study focuses on your client’s problem.
That focus has to be there from the start.
By starting with the problem, you create instant connections with the people who have that same problem. What’s more, you’re starting with something that matters to the people you’re trying to communicate with.
Problems are universal.
Use this fact to your advantage by diving right into the problem from the opening lines of your case study.
Tip No. 7 – Tell a Story to Get to the Result
The before and after are the most important parts of a case study. However, you need to share more than those two states to make the post connect. A journey took place to take your client from where they were before to where they are not.
Build a story around that journey.
Use your case study to show how your client solved their problem with your service. Dig into specifics and focus on how the client’s emotions and position changed over time.
A good story connects with your audience. It also lends authenticity to the case study. By telling the full story, you’re showing your reader that there’s more to it than somebody having your problem and then using your service to achieve a result. You showcase the journey that your potential client will go on when they start working with you.
Tip No. 8 – Less Technical and More Emotional
Emotion is the secret sauce in a case study blog post.
Without it, you can’t engage with your reader. The case study won’t appeal to those feelings of fear, doubt, and sadness that the prospect’s challenges cause them. Unfortunately, that also means that many of your prospects will skim over an emotionless case study without giving it a second thought.
Again, focus on telling a story with these posts.
Prospects won’t care if there are a couple of spelling errors or if the writing isn’t absolutely perfect. If you’re taking them on an emotional journey, the technical elements of the post melt away.
Tell the Story
Case studies are stories.
But they’re not your stories.
They’re the stories of people who look and sound just like the clients you want to attract. You’re leveraging those tales to show potential clients that you understand what they’re dealing with and are in a position to help them.
By using the above tips, you keep your case studies focused on the people who matter – the client you helped and the potential clients you want to attract.
But maybe you need a little help with the post. Perhaps you want to design a professional landing page to post the story on or you need some guidance to create a PDF that incorporates the case study.
That’s where Automation Agency comes in.
The experienced programmers and designers in our Concierge Service can handle your post’s design elements so you can focus on telling the story. Find out more by about how we can help you by taking our Right Fit Quiz.