Build brand credibility, generate leads, and help your prospective customers convert.
Define the type of story you want to tell by considering your target audience and the actions you want them to take.
For example, if you want your B2B audience to buy a specific product, you should find a customer that has a success story with that specific product. Based on your target audience and goals, be sure to consider case study formats like downloadable PDFs, videos, infographics, and slide decks.
Look through positive reviews and ask for recommendations from customer-facing teams to choose a customer to feature.
Consider customers who have:
- Extensive experience with your product or services.
- Achieved remarkable and quantifiable results with your product or services.
- A surprising story to tell.
- Switched over from a competitor product or services.
To find these customers, ask your customer service and sales teams, review your CRM, or look at testimonials and positive reviews.
Invite the customer to be part of the case study by sending an email that explains the process and the benefits of participation.
In this email, introduce yourself, express pleasure that the customer is having success with your product or services, explain what your project entails, how it’s beneficial, and the estimated timeline for its completion. Some benefits to mention or offer to the customer:
- A product discount.
- Free trial of another product.
- B2B brand exposure. Show examples of a past case study, if available.
- Backlinks and website traffic.
It is necessary to get the customer’s or company’s permission to participate in your case study. Consider having your legal team look over this form. In your permission form, include:
- Your full intentions with the case study.
- What information you intend to include, such as identifying characteristics like names and job titles, and trademarked material (logos).
- Your expectations for the participant, such as sharing contact information and feedback.
- The specific benefit you are offering.
A short 5-7 question pre-interview questionnaire can help you shape the premise of the case study and craft questions for the interview.
Host a 30 minute to an hour interview that flows like a conversation and focuses on the customer. If possible, and with prior permission, record your interview instead of taking notes. This video or audio may also be used in the case study or its promotion.
Sample interview questions that invite elaboration and cover all sections of a story arc:
- How long have you been in business? For B2B customers.
- Describe the challenges that led you to look for a solution.
- What other solutions did you consider?
- How did you hear about our product or service?
- What was the defining factor that led you to purchase from us?
- How long did it take to get the product up and running?
- Tell me what part of the product you most rely on.
- What results are you most impressed by?
Lead with the customer’s story. Using direct quotes and mirroring your customer’s commonly used words and phrases can help you create messaging that resonates with prospects. For example, outdoor clothing brand Patagonia uses the headline WE CAME, WE SEWED, WE CONQUERED instead of just The Solution to better resonate with its audience.
Case study structure checklist:
- A title that focuses on your customer’s success.
- An executive summary that summarizes the story in a paragraph.
- Sections for the customer’s background, pain points, their decision-making process, and the solution.
- Key metrics from your customer or your company.
- Direct quotes from the customer.
- Words and phrases the customer used throughout the interview.
- A beginning, middle, and end of the story.
- A call to action to view your product, explore your website, or read more success stories.
Use design elements, like bullet points, graphics, and highlighted text to draw attention to important sections.
Make your case study easy to skim, like how Groove.co summarizes key takeaways on the side of the page. Draw attention to these key areas through page breaks, side panels, larger font size, colors, and graphics. Include:
- Impactful quotes by the customer.
- Key data and statistics.
- A strong CTA.
- Graphics. Use design software like Canva, Visme, Adobe Suite, and FotoJet.
Reading your draft out loud can help you catch wordy phrasing and typos. Use Grammarly to make your prose error-free. It’s also a good idea to have your interviewee look over your draft and provide feedback.
To generate leads, create a landing page with a form to fill out before the case study can be downloaded. To help more people see and share the case study, put it on a website page. Promote to your channels depending on your audience’s preferred mode of communication, such as emails for B2B and social media for B2C.