How to Write Marketing Case Studies that Engage and Convince Readers
Advertisements and promotional copy no longer hold the persuasive power that they used to. Consumers of today want to see proof before they make a purchase decision. They want to know more about the ‘real’ experiences people have had with a brand.
The fact that 92% of consumers are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations than any other type of advertising just goes to prove the importance of leveraging social proof for your business.
One such underutilized form of social proof is case studies.
A powerful storytelling tool, case studies ought to be part of your content marketing strategy because they let you demonstrate your expertise and show potential clients what you’re capable of.
Not only does a well-written case study build trust and boost credibility but it is also an effective way to take leads further down the sales funnel.
What’s more, as per a study done by Content Marketing Institute, 58% of B2B companies considered case studies to be an effective content marketing tactic.
So, if you’re planning to write your first marketing case study, here are six tips to help you write a compelling one that engages readers and improves conversions.
Weave a Compelling Story
Unlike blog posts, white papers and other types of content, case studies are all about storytelling.
Here’s what the narrative arc of a movie or book looks like – and the same holds true while writing case studies too.
The first section of the case study needs to be about setting the context and providing background information about the client.
Your readers need to know who your client is, the nature of their business, the challenges they were facing and what made them reach out to you for a solution. While you can go volumes here, it’s important to remain focused on sharing information that’s relevant to the case study solution.
Now that you’ve introduced the client and thrown light on their challenges, it’s time to talk about the journey and this is where your business comes in.
Establish the goal you were asked to accomplish and make sure it appeals to your target audience.
Don’t jump straight into the results – spend some time talking about your strategy and the thought behind it. Let potential clients get an insight into the way your brand thinks.
Let’s say, you’re a marketing agency helping a B2B client capture high-quality leads. Write about the lead generating offer you proposed and the reasons behind it.
While you need to project your brand as the savior, your client should always remain the central character of the story.
You may also want to read: 5 Essential Elements Of Powerful Brand Storytelling
“We helped them increase their engagement rate”
“We helped them achieve a 4% increase in engagement rate”
Which of the above statements is more impressive? Certainly, the latter because it is backed by specific statistical data which helps potential clients get a better idea of the effectiveness of the case study.
Apart from sharing numbers in the results section, it’s also a good idea to use them to highlight the challenge the client was facing. Doing this will help you demonstrate the transformation or the value you added in a better manner.
If your client is not comfortable sharing exact numbers, you can also present that information in percentage form.
Here’s a snippet from one of Outbrain’s case studies. The numbers say it all, don’t they?
Supplement With Visuals
The power of visuals is no secret to marketing. From presenting and communicating information effectively to supporting the claims you make in the case study – using visuals adds immense value while attracting and engaging readers.
For example, if you’re talking about a landing page you designed for a client, why not insert a screenshot as well?
Similarly, you can use graphs, tables and infographics to highlight results and present it in a more visually appealing manner.
Here’s a look at Patagonia showcasing the social media content they created, as part of a case study.
Include Client Testimonials
You’ve narrated the entire story from start to finish. Do you know what can enhance your case study further? A testimonial from the client.
Placing a client testimonial at the end of the case study is like a cherry on the cake. It will perfectly validate everything you’ve written, helping you build your brand.
So, go a step ahead and get a written or video testimonial from your client. Make sure the quote specifically showcases your business’ expertise and the value they derived from it.
Make It Easy To Read
With all the information and data, case studies might make for an overwhelming read.
- Break down large chunks of text into smaller paragraphs
- Keep sentences short
- Use bullet points
- Use sub-headings to communicate what every section is about
- Insert (captioned) visuals wherever relevant
- Emphasize on results and client testimonial by enlarging them or formatting them differently
Reading the case study should not be a task for your readers. So, format it such that it can be easily grasped by readers (and skimmers).
Here’s an example of a case study by LevelEleven – notice how the header banner includes all the vital details. One look at this is enough to learn about their success story.
End with a call-to-action
The ultimate goal of writing a case study is to generate interest in potential clients and capture leads. Hence, it’s important to end it with a call-to-action, telling the reader exactly what to do.
Keep the lead-capture form easy to fill by asking for minimal information and team it up with a prominent and clear call-to-action button to attract maximum clicks. The idea is to win the reader’s trust and encourage them to reach out to you after reading the case study.
Here’s an example of one of HubSpot’s case studies – all their case studies have a floating call-to-action on the side.
The best case studies are those that ‘show’ more than they ‘tell’. So, instead of harping about your product or service, follow these tactics to write marketing case studies in a manner that compels prospects to instill trust in your brand.
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