A case study is an valuable content asset that mature marketing organizations should develop for use in the sales cycle. To create an exemplary case study, you need to clearly define expectations, determine key client-side contributors, and establish an approval process with your customer.
Case studies and customer success stories are vital to any mature suite of content marketing assets. Asking your customers or clients to relay how your brand helped them succeed is a powerful tool in telling your story. And they don’t have to be complicated. While detailed reports with in-depth data and long-term analysis can be useful in complex industries (e.g., manufacturing, construction, finance), it can help to start simple.
Get started with these key tips:
- Clearly communicate your expectations for the case study and how you will use it in your marketing.
- Establish the key contributors on the customer or client side: Who will be the spokesperson or spokespeople?
- Ask your customer or client for permission to use any related assets they might own (e.g., headshots, company photos).
- Always include your customer or client in the final approval process. Never publish without letting them review.
- Always be mindful of a customer’s or client’s time.
5 key elements for a basic case study
We created a template to help you cover the key elements needed in crafting a case study for your brand. Just follow our set of several simple questions to ask your customer or client, with suggested word lengths to make a final PDF that is either one or two pages in length (depending on your design preferences).
1. Intro: Set up your client’s story.
- Suggested length: 30-50 words
- Please briefly summarize what your company does and where you are located.
- You should include a captivating lead to set up your customer’s story.
2. Challenges: Convey your client’s previous struggles.
- Suggested length: 40-60 words
- Please explain what issues your company faced before using [Brand].
3. Solutions: Relay how you helped solve your client’s issues.
- Suggested length: 60-80 words
- Please describe how [Brand] helped you solve those issues. You might consider:
- How did using [Brand] help you overcome previous challenges?
- What do you like most about using [Brand]?
4. Results: Showcase your client’s success with your product/service.
- Suggested length: 60-80 words
- Please share your results from using [Brand]. You might consider:
- How has [Brand] helped you achieve your goals?
- Can you share any metrics of how [Brand] impacted your goals?
5. Personal quote: Add credibility with testimonials.
- Please ask at least one key stakeholder for a personal quote about their experience with [Brand]:
- What’s the biggest reason you would recommend [Brand]?
- You additionally might ask for separate quotes to capture:
- One challenge that had been the most difficult before using [Brand].
- One solution that had the most impact on them personally.
- One result that they especially happy to experience or achieve.
- Be sure to capture any quoted stakeholder’s name, job title and relevant links to pages on their company website or social media