There’s no other way to say it: case studies are some of the most effective marketing materials imaginable. And if you’re not using them to get more customers, you’re doing a disservice to your business.

Think about it…

  • If you’re in B2B space, you can use case studies to show your prospects exactly how much more money you can make them.
  • If you’re in B2C space, you can use case studies to prove to potential customers how your product or service can change their lives.

But a good case study is a lot more than “Acme needed a better enterprise resource management system, so they turned to our company to provide it”… Yuck! Who would read that?

Instead, let’s look at how to put together case studies that are persuasive, compelling, and (most importantly) fun!

Today, we’ll show you the core elements of a successful case study: ones that establish your credibility and act as a client magnet for your business. So let’s dive in!


1. Provide a clear “before” and “after”

Let the target audience of your case studies see the profound transformation your past clients went through. It’s not enough to describe what kind of product or service you provided. Make it feel like there were two distinctive periods: before your business got involved… and after.

Emphasizing the divide between “before” and “after” is also a great storytelling strategy. It creates a knowledge gap that your potential customers need to fill. If your potential customers feel like your product or service will make a difference for them, they will be more likely to buy.

2. Numbers are always good

It sounds obvious, but without compelling facts and figures, your case studies won’t have the effect you would like them to have. Sure, we base most buying decisions on emotion, but numbers can, and do, create a strong emotional response in your target audience.

For instance, if you helped someone triple their monthly revenue, or lose 50 pounds in 6 months, or land a six-figure salary with no experience, you need to identify and include those impressive metrics in your marketing materials.

For a great example, check out this case study by Zapier, where the big number is the 1,000% increase in webinar signups for their client, KISSmetrics.

3. Drama is your friend

You must have heard a lot of journalists and expert interviewers say, “Follow the drama”. What does that even mean? Can’t you tell a story without embellishment and ridiculous exaggerations?

Well, what we mean by “drama” isn’t about exaggerating things, or blowing them out of proportion. Most of all, it’s about identifying and emphasizing the consequences.

If your business has helped someone get out of crippling debt, or build a seven-figure company without outside capital, or reverse a life-threatening medical condition… don’t you want that story told? Moreover, don’t you want it told with as much grit and drama as possible?

Bottom line is, if you see a strong conflict, or a life-or-death motif in your case study, you’d better keep it, and highlight it when you write the finished piece. Otherwise, you might end up with a case study that sounds like every other piece of marketing material out there!

4. How to use your case studies

There are dozens of ways to incorporate case studies into your marketing. Here are just a few:

  1. Create blog posts around your most successful case studies – like this terrific B2C example. Or, if you fancy something short and punchy, here’s one of ours!
  1. Put together downloadable bonuses – white papers, reports, instructional interviews, and other freebies you can use to attract leads that will become paying customers later. Here’s a good example from VideoFruit.
  1. Send them out in email campaigns – as part of your regular autoresponder sequence, or as part of your product launches, to overcome objections and build credibility for your business.
  1. Produce whiteboard videos for your sales page – you can use the potential of whiteboard video animations to create compelling stories about how your past clients succeeded and got disproportionate results. These will enhance your sales pages wonderfully.

Are you already using case studies to boost your marketing message and build credibility for your business? If yes, then these tips will help you take them to the next level. And if not, you can start now, do case studies the right way, and get a leg up on your competition. Either way, enjoy!