Case studies are the perfect way to showcase your services for prospective clients—and help build authority in your industry. But there’s a certain art to putting them together. It’s not enough to simply slap together an article for your website; case studies have a definite structure that lend themselves to telling your success story in a way that gets results.
To start, you need to have a solid subject for your case study. Talk to customers who have had the most success with your service, have the name recognition that you need, and who truly understand how you got them results.
Start by conducting a great customer interview. By asking the right people the right questions, you’ll get the background and quotes you need to build a top-notch case study. Then it’s all about formatting and pulling it all together. Here’s our take on getting the right case study structure down.
Use a Template
While every case study will be different, using a template to lay them out is key to a consistent feel from one to the next. Decide what elements must be in every case study and stick with those. A consistent feel will make it easier for readers to browse results and compare what you did for complementary businesses. Need help creating a beautiful and versatile case study template? Lightboard can help with that!
Start With a Summary
Not everyone is going to read your whole case study (I know, it’s a shame). Starting with an executive summary will help get your results out there in the first paragraph, so even the skimmers get the gist of your success. Include the name of the subject and an overview of the results they received to compel readers to continue reading. Keep this section short and sweet.
Describe the Customer
Before diving into the results, readers need to know who the customer is that you’re featuring and what you did for them. What do they do? How big is the company? How did they hear about you? Spotlight the problem the customer had and how you worked with them to find possible solutions.
Present the Solution
Outline what solution best fit the client’s needs and why. You can include the challenges that called for this solution as well as alternatives you considered. It’s important for readers to know that you and your client explored all the options before settling on a particular solution--and why that was the best possible alternative.
What exactly did you do for your client? Walk through the process, talking specifics. Citing your marketing campaign isn’t enough. Instead, include an outline of your campaign and specific, targeted actions you took to help reach measurable goals for your client.
To make the case study more relatable, it’s important to talk numbers--real numbers. Did you help your client double website clicks? Make sure you spell it out. Saying "Our client saw a jump in monthly clicks from 2,500 to 5,000" is more powerful than "we doubled traffic." Consider including an infographic or chart to visually illustrate the impact your work had.
A case study doesn’t need to be a formal dissertation. Instead, keep it short and sweet with each section being a paragraph or two. Add images to keep it visually interesting. Infuse powerful quotes from your client to drive home the success and to help set your business up as the powerhouse it is.