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Strategy

How to Create Really Good Case Studies: 5 Tips

Case studies offer examples of past achievements when potential customers want to know what your company could do for them. They can also highlight the distinctions of what makes a marketing campaign succeed instead of falter. However, you’ve almost certainly seen some that didn’t grab your attention or offer the information you’d hoped to find. Here are five tips for creating excellent case studies people love to read. 

Devin Partida

Guest writer

1. Include Illustrative Graphs and Images

Sometimes, even the most descriptive text can’t convey what well-chosen images and graphs can. Think about what you want to say to the audience, and then consider if one or both of those types could help make a stronger point. 

Graphs work well for showing comparisons. They’re also fantastic for indicating a gradual increase or decrease. 

Look for opportunities to enhance case studies with images, too. Check out the case study below, which takes a deep dive into the marketing success of Oatly oat milk. 

Oatly oat milk

It features a wide assortment of news media and social posts from Oatly and other sources. That material drives home the case study’s main points and saves people from having to find the evidence themselves.

2. Use Data to Highlight Results

Data is a helpful feature in case studies because it helps people see the outcomes in context. It’s one thing to say sales increased, but a data point shows the precise degree of the change. 

This example from a Think With Google case study shows the statistics in a box to make them more obvious. 

Google Case Study

It’s also worth noting that this specific case study also features a data point in the headline. That characteristic sets the tone for the whole piece. A closer look at the content reveals how each of the case study’s main sections has a data point to make the material more impactful. 

Explore how you might use data to impress the audience and help them feel confident in your company’s work. People know similarly great results are not guaranteed, but they’ll like reading success stories filled with data. 

3. Utilize Case Studies as a Lead-Generation Strategy

How can you know if a person is genuinely interested in working with your company or just mildly curious about what you do? One creative way to find out is to turn your case studies into lead-generation mechanisms.

CenTrak Case Studies

Source: https://centrak.com/resource-center/case-studies/

CenTrak is a health care technology company that takes such an approach with its case studies. However, you can still read a short synopsis before requesting one. Filling out a form with your details and submitting it gives access to more in-depth information. 

Besides providing you with useful details about potential customers, this tip also gives people the impression that whatever your case studies contain is well worth providing some information to get. Make sure you live up to their expectations by offering plenty of material to showcase what your company can do. 

Keep in mind that the people reading this content have already taken a significant step in conveying their interest. It’s then your company’s turn to show it has what it takes to win someone’s business.

4. Show the Work

When possible, it’s also a great idea to show some highlights from projects your company has completed for other clients. Try this when visual elements represent all or most of what your business does, such as specialising in design. 

In the above example, a design firm was tasked with completely redesigning the Metropolitan Museum of Art website. One section of the case study shows how the site looks on mobile devices. 

Scrolling to other parts shows the museum’s media hub, its online collections, the events calendar and more. Compared to the other case studies mentioned here, this one only uses text sparingly, but that’s OK because people can see the work for themselves.

Not all case studies will allow taking the same approach. It all depends on a company’s products and services and what a project entailed. However, showing evidence of what you’ve done for a client can be more powerful than describing things with words alone. 

5. Help People Scan for the Details They Need

Online content features various strategies to assist people in finding the most relevant material within long pieces. For example, a roundup of streaming movie sites broke them down into categories so readers could learn which ones let them watch without Wi-Fi or offered the most new releases. 

Source:https://switch.com.mt/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/In-Depth-Performance-Marketing-Case-Study-Single-Pages.pdf

You can help people get need-to-know information from case studies by offering a summary at the top of the page. Consider the example below from Switch, a digital marketing agency based in Malta.

Switch Customer Case

Source: https://switch.com.mt/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/In-Depth-Performance-Marketing-Case-Study-Single-Pages.pdf

The full case study features 13 pages, but the opening summary gets the point across in three sentences. Doing this caters to people who specifically search for case studies related to their industries or needs. As individuals aim to learn more about businesses, they understandably like to focus on material similar to their own scenarios. Summarizing the content for them ensures the entire study is sufficiently relevant. 

Notice the strategic use of bold, underlined and italicized text, too. You could do the same in your case studies to catch people’s attention and highlight key points since that technique also makes your content more skimmable. 

Create Compelling Case Studies

It takes time and effort to craft outstanding case studies. However, these tips will get you off to a strong start. It’s also worthwhile to listen to feedback from people who read them to learn what they wish your case studies would have included or which features they found most valuable.

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