Case study examples
Building trust with your customer is the key to selling them on your product or service.
However, it’s tough to persuade customers solely on your word — especially when your competitors all make the same claims. You can only convey your big selling points in so many ways.
A few high-quality case studies could be the difference you need. These let you show the customer the benefits of working with you, rather than simply telling them why you’re the best.
Case studies have several moving parts, though. How do you write one that makes your customers eager to hand you money?
In this post, we’ll break down the basics of what makes up a case study, then look at examples across different industries so you can get some ideas flowing for your own case studies.
What is a Case Study?
A case study is an in-depth analysis of a particular customer’s experience. Some consider it to be a form of a testimonial, but it’s more than that — in fact, case studies may include testimonials.
Case studies are written by a company to show how its services can solve a customer’s problem from beginning to end.
They are more than just the words of a customer, although most companies conduct a case study interview to gather information from the customer’s perspective.
An effective case study provides several benefits:
- A powerful form of proof: Your prospect sees other customers benefiting from your product/service, like with testimonials.
- Transparency: A great case study eases client objections by showing your process in-depth and demonstrating how it helps people like them.
- Future-pacing/imagination: Prospective customers can imagine themselves achieving the same results by working with you.
- Reusable content: You can use them in several parts of the sales funnel.
Smart content marketers know the value of case studies. In fact, about 69% of marketers integrate them in some fashion.
And speaking of sales funnels, case studies are especially useful later on in the funnel.
The Content Marketing Institute found that case studies are tied with in-person events as the third most helpful content type for nurturing leads — and a close second place when it comes to converting them.
How to Write a Case Study
Exact case study formatting and structure may vary between and even within industries.
However, the general case study format contains two basic parts:
- Background about the customer’s problem.
- Your solution (product or service) and how it helped customers — usually with hard data points demonstrating results.
Some case studies may also:
- Give background information about the customer — this strengthens social proof if the customer is well-known.
- Discuss how the customer met your business.
- Mention objections that the customer had to working with your business and how these objections were proven wrong.
- Include testimonials from the customer to integrate the customer’s voice.
Some businesses put a CTA at the end of each case study for the product or service in question, too.
Case studies are often paired with an attractive page design to look professional and draw in the reader.
Ultimately, the ability to tell a story and demonstrate benefits will influence your potential customer’s decision on whether or not to buy from you.
As for where case studies go, most organizations create a dedicated case studies section on their website that contains links to each one.
Some businesses separate case studies by industry or buyer persona, so each target customer can easily find a case study that is relevant to their business.
Some organizations also place bite-sized case studies (or links to complete case studies) on their services pages. By doing so, they can help diffuse further objections and push the customer toward action.
That said, you can share case studies on other marketing channels, such as social media, email, linking from a blog post, and even in person.
6 Case Study Examples
Check out these six examples to gather some inspiration for your next case study:
SaaS Case Study: Symmons Industries
To start our list of compelling case study examples, check out what we created after boosting engagement and increasing conversions for our client, Symmons Industries, a commercial and residential plumbing products manufacturer.
Right away, you’ll notice a few things:
First of all, we explained who Symmons Industries is, along with a couple of fast facts. We also listed the problem areas on their website, alongside the solution (our services, of course).
Look at how we integrated a video testimonial right at the top right, too.
It’s what we do best — but also, video testimonials add more emotional punch to your case studies because prospects can actually hear and see the satisfied customer’s emotions.
As you scroll down the case study, you’ll see that we gave background on Symmons and explained the value of video testimonials.
Throughout the rest of the page, we talked specifically about the process we went through and tied the benefits of our services with Symmons’ results.
You’ll notice that we linked internally, too. It helps answer customer questions and boosts the SEO score of both the case study and the linked pages.
We even wove some expert quotes and written testimonials in to drive the point home.
Finally, we put a CTA at the bottom.
This is key — you should give your customers as many opportunities as possible to buy from you, request pricing, schedule a demo, or whatever other action you want them to take. They’re likely to be closer to the sale after reading a case study, so stick a CTA at the end.
Digital Marketing Agency Case Study: PixelCutLabs
There are so many digital agencies out there nowadays. All of them promise to boost conversions and make their clients tons of money.
This dilutes the promises they make — how do companies trust one of a million digital marketing agencies?
After all, digital agency services are significant investments and may take time to show results.
A case study is a perfect way for a digital agency to stand out. They let the agency demonstrate their process in action and show off live results.
Take a look at this digital marketing case study example from an eCommerce SEO agency.
The title contains a compelling data point — no one would turn down a 1457% return on investment.
Then, the case study dives into the agency’s process for identifying SEO issues and fixing them.
Further down, the page contains steps that the agency took to solve problems. Toward the bottom of the page, the agency listed some of the results it achieved.
Altogether, a potential customer reading this case study can positively envision the entire process of working with this agency.
Work Software Case Study: monday.com
Software marketing often includes specs and technical information. Developers may understand it all, but the customer isn’t necessarily tech-savvy enough.
The key is to translate these specs, features, and other technical information into benefits and results that the prospect can imagine. Make it so they can envision how much better and easier their life will be after using the software.
A case study is an excellent way to do this. It offers a space to discuss the tangible benefits and results of using software.
Look at this case study from monday.com as a perfect example.
It starts off strong, with the most crucial stat — sales.
However, it dives into more stats right away, demonstrating several benefits the moment the prospect begins reading to pull them in.
monday.com does plenty of other great things throughout this case study, too.
For one, it introduces a client to give some background before diving into the challenge that it faced.
This offers social proof to prospective customers. Entrepreneur is a prominent publication, indicating that big companies trust and rely on monday.com.
As you scroll down, you’ll see monday.com talking about the real-life benefits that its client experienced when switching to the platform.
This helps the customer imagine how their life will be once they begin using the software.
The case study includes quotes from employees at the client company, too, and a larger testimonial at the bottom. These testimonials drive the point home with words directly from the customer’s mouth.
Accounting Firm Case Study: Thomson Reuters
Accounting firms are always in high demand because every business has to do bookkeeping and taxes, not to mention a host of other business services.
Like other professional service firms, accounting companies have to stand out from all the others — even large ones.
Complicating things is the fact that, like with software, there’s plenty of complex info to convey to prospects. Most people aren’t too knowledgeable about the intricacies of accounting standards or the tax code, after all.
A good case study like this one from Thomson Reuters clears things up for potential clients.
Unlike the previous case studies, Thomson Reuters places most of the important stuff — overview, client background, challenges, results, testimonial — onto one page. The prospect can therefore see all the critical information and results with a glance.
A second page goes deeper on its process, though, should the prospect be interested.
On the back, Thomson Reuters goes further by digging into client pain points and explaining the problems that arise by not using its solution.
To top things off, the firm explains what goals its client has for the future and how the results the firm brought will help them reach those goals faster.
Industrial/Manufacturing Case Study: Production Modeling Corporation
Industrial and manufacturing companies may have clients in a wide range of industries.
Plus, their products and solutions tend to be quite complex. It’s hard to grasp the full value and benefits from sales pages or other marketing materials.
Engagements with clients and customers may have many moving parts, too.
Thus, industrial and manufacturing companies would do well to create a lot of case studies. At the very least, they should have one or two for every industry they serve.
For example, Production Modeling Corporation has an entire library of case studies.
You don’t even need to scroll down to see several industries the company services.
Production Modeling Corporation even organized case studies by use case with the Category column.
Let’s take a look at one case study to see how they did.
The project summary gives a brief, digestible overview of the entire project. Everything is arranged nice and neat, with added visuals to enhance reader understanding.
The second page (not shown) briefly highlights exactly how Production Modeling Corporation approached and handled the challenge.
Similar to Thomson Reuters, Production Modeling Corporation crams all essential information into one place for prospects to see fast. Yet, it also offers a section with more detail if any prospects have further questions or objections.
Nonprofit Case Study: Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley
Nonprofits may have different goals than for-profit companies, but the same principles apply.
A nonprofit case study should dive into a challenge the nonprofit wants to address in pursuit of its mission and vision. Then, it should cover a specific project or a range of projects the nonprofit engages in to address this challenge.
Finally, it should show how the organization achieved its goal, using supporting evidence wherever possible.
Now, a nonprofit case study may appeal to multiple audiences.
In many cases, the nonprofit wants to attract more donors. However, they may inadvertently (or sometimes intentionally) draw in those who are interested in volunteering or working for the nonprofit.
In some instances, they may even attract more of the nonprofit’s target beneficiaries.
For example, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private nonprofit that helps publish and promote a wide variety of business standards.
A case study on how compliance with these standards have benefited a company can be useful for getting other businesses on board.
Here’s a case study from Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley.
The entire case study lays out overall how Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley’s work has impacted the community it serves.
Above is just one page summarizing what the organization does and explains how its work has brought tremendous positive change to the community it serves over a period of time.
Several more pages dive into problems many homeowners face, results that demonstrate Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley’s impact, and more.
The case study even includes some smaller, paragraph-long case studies about individuals who benefited from this nonprofit’s work.
Altogether, this case study offers Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley a powerful marketing asset for attracting new donors and volunteers alike.
Case studies may differ in structure from company to company, but they all highlight a problem your target customer has and how you solve it.
They’re potent marketing assets, offering strong proof of your product or service’s benefits while giving your target market a glimpse at what it’s like to work with you.
To make your case study even better, however, you can augment them with video case studies or testimonials. Reach out to us today if you’re interested in creating video testimonials that supplement your case studies and convert more customers.