How To Write A Case Study That Leads To Conversions

Jan 17, 2022

If your business offers a high-value product or service, case studies can nurture leads and help potential customers understand what their journey would look like if they chose you. 

It takes a lot of nurturing to get a lead closer to converting when they’re committing to spending a lot of money. Simply listing services on your website usually doesn’t seal the deal. Let’s get into the importance of case studies on your website in nudging leads down the conversion funnel, and how to write a home-run case study.

Why Case Studies?

Maybe you have a robust website with several pages, listing your services in great detail. You may even have customer testimonials to really show the value your service is providing. That’s all great and is sure to help the customer along in the conversion process. What’s even better than those things? Case studies. If you’re selling a high-value service or product, it’s imperative that you provide enough information to help a buyer make that difficult decision of committing their funds. 

By the time your lead is ready to consume something like a case study, they’ve already decided that they are interested in making a purchase and they’re comparing your services to your competitor’s services. Maybe they’ve been a part of multiple email marketing campaigns and landed on your site for the third time. It’s been a long journey to get them to this point. They need a little nudge to get them over the finish line. Case studies narrate the customer journey and give the lead real data and real results. 

Don’t just take our word for it – according to a BrightLocal survey, 87% of consumers trust online ratings and reviews. A case study isn’t a “review” in the classic sense, but case studies establish social proof and it shows the visitor exactly what happened in a specific situation with a specific customer. 

Data visualization is the most powerful sales tool of this era. If you can make a complicated journey readable and turn a bunch of numbers into a fable that flows from beginning to end, you have already jumped miles ahead of your competition. 

Here are the steps to take to make your case study a storytelling masterpiece. 

What Makes a Great Case Study? 

Aside from the storytelling aspect, there are a few other attributes to check off as you begin crafting the outline for your case study. We call this list the “spine” -  the absolute essentials to case study success. 

  • What was the overwhelming problem and challenges faced that needed to be solved? ALWAYS lead with the problem.
  • What was your process?
  • What solution did you provide?
  • What were the results of your solution?

What Was the Overwhelming Problem and Challenges Faced?

If you absorb anything from this blog, it should be this: LEAD WITH THE PROBLEM. This should be the starting place for any content writing, but especially case studies. You’re not selling a product or service, you’re selling a solution. No one is looking to spend thousands of dollars because they want to; they’re doing it because they have to in order to achieve the results they desire.

Every great story that you and I grew up with had the initial problem and goal, but there are always several obstacles standing in the way of the protagonist. No doubt you and your client had obstacles to overcome when facing your problem. Don’t shy away from saying what they were. Highlighting obstacles shows your problem-solving prowess and sets realistic expectations. 

Be as detailed as possible about the pains your client faced without becoming too technical. While there may be data to show, you will lose a reader’s attention by getting too far in the weeds. You can show results further in the case study. 

Get to the point and grab their attention.

What Was Your Process?

Perhaps the most exciting part of any journey is the “happily ever after”. You want the reader to see the initial problem and think to themselves “how on earth did they do it?” 

Again, be as detailed as you can. Show the numbers in an eye-catching way. Highlight the pieces your audience will connect with. This is your moment. Your unique approach to this problem differentiates you from the competition. Make it count.

We provide examples of how to showcase the resolution further down.

What Solution Did You Provide?

People get excited about solutions. Why? Because solutions are the AH-HA moment. This is like reaching the part of your favorite novel when the detective realizes what he needs to do to find the criminal or solve the crime. Solutions reveal. 

Without giving the results of your team’s solution away (save that part for the next section), you want this part of your case study to pop like any other AH-HAH moment. This is the best time to brag about your skills and your team because it took some mighty brainpower to solve this problem.

Had this solution been hiding under everyone’s noses and it took a special approach from a team member to solve? Did everyone work together collectively to reach this solution? What tools were involved? 

You want the reader to think to themselves “I wish I had a team like that to help me solve my problem.” 

What Were the Results of Your Solution?

Okay, NOW you are allowed to get more technical. If you enjoy data gathering as we do, this will be easy for you. The trick is and always has been making the information easy for the reader to digest and understand. 

Here are some examples of statistics that show results they’d want to know about. Include visuals and charts where you can. 

  • X client received 5 times more revenue growth year over year.
  • X client realized a 15% conversion increase when they applied these changes
  • This shift in strategy caused 10x more subscribers MTM 
  • X client experienced a 200% increase in website visitor

How Do I Write The Case Study?

Successful case studies hone in on two things: flow and structure. Here are the parts you need to nail down as you begin your strategy:

  • A Headline that Promises and Delivers
  • Client Information
  • The Problem
  • The Solution
  • The Results
  • The Review/Testimonial
  • Call To Action
1. A Headline that Promises and Delivers

Your headline should be short but powerful. A mistake that many businesses make is focusing so much on the title “hooking” the reader, that they don’t always deliver on the promise in the content. This will always hurt more than help and causes a reader to lose trust. The whole point of the case study is to gain trust, right? 

Ask yourself of your headline: “Does this title make a promise and am I delivering on that promise?”. 

A headline does more than gain the trust of the consumer, it’s just as important for SEO purposes. Search engines use headlines for indexing and ranking a page (another reason to make sure it accurately describes the page content). 

For more information on optimizing your pages for SEO purposes, you can find our blog about it here.

2. Client Information

This is pretty self-explanatory. You don’t want to hide the client’s information by referring to them as (client X) because the story won’t sound believable. You want external links and added trust that the client info provides (if you can get a client testimonial, even better)!

What are these external links mentioned above and why are they important for client information? External links are links that go from one page where you are discussing client information to another page on a different domain.

These links are useful in your case study for two main reasons:

  • They allow users to navigate to more information easily. If you’re a website developer like we are, it’s good for clients to view the websites we’ve built by visiting them directly.
  • They help establish link equity (ranking power) around your page. In other words, Google likes to see them and will reward you for them! Be sure the page you’re linking to is a safe and credible website.

3. The Problem

We’ve touched on this already but keep these things in mind when writing the challenges that the client in the case study faced:

  • Keep talk of the challenge/problem short. Maximum of a paragraph or two. You don’t want to dwell on the hardships.
  • Make the pain points clear.
  • Make sure the challenges are ones faced by your target audience.

4. The Solution

Discuss how your products/services helped solve the challenge the client faced. Dive into it as much as possible, and explain your team’s thinking and decision-making throughout the process. This is a good time to dive into your company’s differentiators. 

Like we said briefly before, this section is meant to highlight your business’ unique ability to solve problems. 

5. The Results

Results can be shown in many different ways. Use as many as you can. The more the better.

  • Charts and graphs showing growth numbers
  • An embedded video illustrating growth (think before-after!) 
  • Actual quotes from the client

Data statistics. Try to sprinkle these lightly into the copy. You don’t want to overwhelm the reader!

6. Review/Testimonial

Add as much language from the client as you can. This is a part of that “trust-building” piece we discussed earlier. It is the overwhelming evidence to prove your argument. You can place a quote or testimonial piece in any part of your case study. The more quotes you can add throughout, the better. The reader will be able to know what your client was thinking at every step of the process.

7. Call To Action

What good is the greatest case study in the world if there’s no way to grab more leads and conversions? Don’t forget why you’re doing this. Make sure there is that button or form at the end of the case study for a potential client to “learn more”. If the case study is particularly long, it may be best to include more than one CTA mid-way through the page and at the end. Readers may not make it through the entire case study. Be sure to make the CTA clear and easy. You’ll lose people if you ask for too much information. We’ve found that a simple form with name, phone, email, and message performs best. 

If you would like to see some examples of what these case studies will look like on a website, you can find some great examples here.

But Wait, There’s More!

Now is the fun part. Use your finished case study like the extra tool in your toolbelt. Warm-up a cold lead or nurture a warm lead by creating an email campaign with a case study specific to the services that the lead may be interested in.  Put the case study into a newsletter and send it out to your prospecting list. Include a link to it in your email signature. Get the page ranking on Google. The possibilities are endless. You’ve done your work, now let the case study go to work for you.

Good luck and don’t forget to check out our other blogs for more tips like this! 

We Help You Achieve Measurable Growth

We are Fable Heart Media, a digital marketing agency in Jacksonville, FL, that focuses on driving measurable growth and obtaining results for our clients. Whether you own a small company or lead a marketing team, our team can help you achieve your business goals. We love creating stunning websites and writing awesome blogs, but for us, nothing tops the feeling of watching our clients grow online due to our marketing partnership.