If you run a service-based business, you know how important it is to make your customers happy. You want them to feel like they’re getting their money’s worth — and more. Case studies are a great way to highlight your best work and show others what they can achieve with your help. But writing effective case studies isn’t as simple as just listing the benefits of working with you — especially if you have several different services or products available.
Similarly, the way that a case study is written can be as important to its effectiveness as the specific details included. The goal of a case study is to show your client’s success in the context of their business, not just through the lens of your own actions. This means that it should highlight both the benefits you provided and the results they got from those benefits.
This article will show you how to write a case study for your service-based business. We’ll walk through the most important elements of a great case study and explain how you can use them to improve your own marketing materials.
What Is Case Study?
One of the tools you’d find in the marketing arsenal of modern business owners or service providers is the case study. A case study is an in-depth look at a specific customer’s experience using your product or service and highlights the benefits they received from using it. It’s a valuable tool for both prospective customers and existing clients because it shows that your service works in real-world situations, not just on paper.
Ingenious case-study methodologies have their roots in the engineering and science disciplines, but modern practitioners of the craft have refined these techniques to add a bit of storytelling flair. What will result is a tool that has the power to captivate readers and inspire action (generate leads and sales).
Service-based businesses tend to include more case studies in their marketing efforts than product-based ones. That’s because people trust products more easily (since you can “touch and feel” them), but not services as much—so service providers need stronger proof that they do what they claim.
In addition to the ease of promoting your business, there are several more reasons why using case studies in your service-based firm is usually a smart idea. Below, we’ll talk about them in greater detail.
Why Do Service Providers Need Case Studies?
One of the many qualities of service-based businesses is skepticism and objection from potential leads. Unlike products that you can see, touch and feel, services are much harder to sell because they cannot be physically demonstrated or tried.
The problem is that the value of your service isn’t tangible—it’s hard to describe what it does for other people. This is why you need a case study to prove that your service delivers what it claims.
A case study is a social proof tool that you can use to show your potential clients how other people have benefited from your services. It’s an effective way to add value and build trust with leads who are on the fence about working with you. Over 67.7% of consumers agree that social proof and reviews influence their purchasing decisions.
A case study aims to make potential leads believe in what you do and how successful it is. It provides proof that others have benefited from your services.
Are you still not convinced? Check out the list below for some of the advantages of writing a case study as a service provider.
Why Write A Case Study For Your Service Business?
Here are other benefits that a service business can derive from creating a case study:
1. Build Trust In The Brand Via Transparency
Case studies are a great tool to build trust in your brand. They can help you provide transparency to the customer, showing them how effective your services are in real-life scenarios. This allows them to see that their needs are being addressed by an expert and that they can expect similar results when they work with you.
2. Avoid Over-Lying Claims And Encourage Referrals
Case studies allow you to avoid making over-lying claims about your services. You can simply point people to the case study and let them draw their own conclusions based on what they read. This gives your customers an opportunity to see how effective your services are firsthand, which makes it easier for them to refer their friends and family members who may need similar solutions.
3. Case studies help in Search Engine Optimization
Case studies are great for search engine optimization (SEO). The more people who read your case study, the more likely it is that they will link to your site when they write their own content. This helps you gain more exposure online and increases the chances that potential clients will find you when they’re searching for solutions related to your services.
4. Teach Customers How To Use New Service
Case studies are also a great way to teach customers how to use your services. In addition to sharing the results of your work, you can also talk about some of the challenges that came up along the way and how you worked with clients to overcome them. This helps potential customers learn from both your successes and failures so they don’t make similar mistakes when working with their own clients.
5. A Case Study Can Improve Customer Retention
Once you’ve attracted a customer, the key to keeping them is providing the service or product they need. Case studies are an effective way of showing your customers that you’re capable of delivering on your promises and that their needs are being met. This can help you retain clients for longer periods of time because they feel confident in your abilities.
6. Case Studies Can Be Used As An Advertising Tool
Case studies are a great way to promote your business and attract new customers. You can use case studies in your marketing campaigns, social media posts, or website content to demonstrate the value of what you do. This makes it easier for potential customers who are looking for a solution to see that you’re capable of providing one—and gets them interested in learning more about your services.
7. Show You are Committed to Customer Service
Case studies are an excellent way to show customers how you go above and beyond for your clients. It can help them see that you truly care about their needs and provide a service that is tailored specifically to them. This is especially important if you have competitors who look like they are only interested in making money off of their clients.
8. Easily Promote Content Online
Case studies are an excellent way to promote your content online. They can be used as a standalone piece or added to your existing website pages, social media accounts, and even email campaigns. This will help increase traffic to your site and keep customers engaged with your brand. When you create a case study, people will naturally want to share it with their friends and family so that they can see if the same thing can be done for them. This is an excellent way to gain new customers without having to do any additional work on your end.
What Kind Of Businesses Need Case Studies The Most?
Any service business can benefit from case studies. Whether you offer coaching, consulting, design, or development services, case studies provide a great way to show potential clients how your services have helped other people. But a few need case studies more than others. For example, if your business:
- helps people solve problems
- provides advice or guidance
- delivers value via content creation
- has an emotional component
Below are some examples of service businesses and how case studies can explode their growth.
WordPress agencies have a lot of competition. Hundreds (if not thousands) of developers and designers offer similar services and products. One way to stand out is by showing how your team has helped other companies create successful websites. If you’ve launched 10 sites in the last year, that’s 10 case studies.
Additionally, WordPress agencies have a lot of room to grow when it comes to content marketing. They can use a WordPress case study to show how they helped clients build websites and achieve their goals.
For example, you could write about one of your customers who wanted a website that increased sales by 20% in the first month. Then, detail how you helped them do that by creating a custom theme with specific features and plugins.
If you’re in the design business, one of the best ways to grow your agency is by writing content. Specifically, you can write case studies that show how you helped clients build websites and achieve their goals. For example, if you’ve worked with a company who wanted an SEO-friendly site that generated leads on autopilot, explain how you did it.
You can show what your designers did, how long it took them, and why they made certain decisions along the way. You could also include screenshots of different designs they created while working on your client’s project.
Coaching have an emotional component and the idea of a solution to a problem is often more important than any specific advice. So case studies can provide real-world examples of how your clients have been helped by your coaching and what they’ve done differently as a result.
For example, let’s say that your focus is helping new graduates find jobs in their chosen fields. You might write up case studies on how you helped one person land an internship at a well-known company or another get her first job as an editor for a major magazine.
If your coaching business focuses on helping entrepreneurs start their own businesses, writing case studies about past clients who’ve taken their products to market would be a great way to show potential clients what they can achieve with your help.
Software as a Service: SaaS
Case studies can be especially helpful for SaaS businesses. Potential clients often want to know how your product will help them, which is a difficult thing to quantify. But with case studies you can show real results by highlighting specific problems that were solved and the impact it had on the client.
For example, if you offer a marketing automation tool, include case studies about how other companies have increased their sales or reduced churn rates because of this software. You could also include testimonials from customers who tell their stories in their own words.
Digital Marketing Agencies
The fastest way for a digital marketing agency to stand out from the competition is by showing that it can get results.
Use case studies to demonstrate your ability to work within different industries and on different types of projects. You could include case studies about different campaigns you’ve run for clients, highlighting specific numbers like increased revenue or lower cost per acquisition.
You can also include testimonials from customers who talk about the results they saw after working with you, such as increased traffic or sales leads. And if you have a blog, use it to showcase case studies that focus on topics related to your business (like how to create a successful email marketing campaign).
Consulting firms often have clients with problems to solve. Case studies can help them show potential clients how their case studies are relevant to the challenges facing their target audience.
For example, a consulting firm that helps businesses build stronger teams might write about a client who struggled with employee turnover and how they helped them reduce turnover by 30%. The case study would also include tips for other businesses looking to reduce turnover in their own organizations.
If your service is more personal and involves one-on-one interaction with clients, then perhaps you could write about the challenges that led to the need for consulting in the first place.
You’re a public relations firm that specializes in helping small businesses get media coverage. You have a lot of testimonials from happy clients, but they’re scattered across your website and social media accounts.
A case study could show new clients how you’ve helped other organizations, what the results were, and why they should choose your services over those of your competitors.
For example, if you’re an online PR agency and your client just got featured in Forbes, share that case study with prospects! Or if you have a client who increased their social media following by 200% in 3 months, share that too.
One of the reasons why tutoring is better than other education services is that they have a long-term relationship with their audience. The tutor becomes a part of their students’ lives, which makes them more comfortable with you and your brand.
If you’re an online tutoring company, you can share case studies of how students have improved their grades and gotten into the colleges they want to go to. You can also show testimonials from parents who are happy that their children are getting help with schoolwork at home.
Shipping and Delivery Services
The logistics industry is filled with a lot of skepticism. Customers are often worried about their packages getting lost or stolen, and they also have concerns about how secure the delivery will be. Case studies can help alleviate some of that anxiety by showing potential customers your past successes in this area.
You can share stories of how you helped deliver a new computer to someone who was waiting on it for a job interview or how you made sure that a package containing a bride’s wedding dress arrived at her house on time so she wouldn’t miss her big day.
Lawn and Garden Professionals
Local business in the lawn and garden industry can benefit from case studies by showing potential customers how you’ve helped other homeowners with their landscaping.
You can share stories of how you designed a backyard oasis for a couple who only had a small space to work with or how you created a beautiful garden around an old tree that was on the property.
Home Repair Contractors
Homes are a valuable asset, and your customers want to ensure that they’re in good condition. You can use case studies to show potential customers how you helped another homeowner with the repair or renovation of their home.
Whether it was installing new windows or fixing up an old bathroom. You could also write about how your company saved a family from losing their home due to water damage or how you installed a new heating and cooling system on a house that was built before air conditioning existed.
Independent Financial Planners
Financial planners help clients with their personal finances and investments. As an independent financial planner, you have access to a wealth of case studies that can help demonstrate the value of your services.
You could write about how you helped a client save money by switching their mortgage lender or how another family was able to retire early because of some wise investment decisions you made for them. You can also use case studies to show how you helped a customer avoid bankruptcy, get out of debt, or set up an estate plan for their family. There are many possibilities.
An event photographer
If you’re an event photographer, write a case study about how you helped a client create a memorable experience for their guests. You could focus on how you captured the big moments at a wedding or other important event and offer tips on how to make sure those photos are perfect.
Write about how you took some fun photos of guests that weren’t posed or staged—like shots of people laughing together or dancing during the reception—and use these as examples of your work.
You can also create case studies that highlight some of the best moments from each event you photographed. This will help potential clients see how valuable your services are for their own events.
How Do You Choose a Project To Write a Case Study On?
When you are writing a case study, it’s important to choose the right project that can help you showcase your skills and value proposition.
There are two main criteria you should use to choose a project. The first is how interesting the project is to you and your team. The second is how compelling the results of the project are.
The more interesting the project is to your team, the easier it will be to write a powerful case study. The more compelling the results are, the better you can use them to demonstrate how your team helped clients achieve their goals.
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when choosing a project for your case study:
- Is it relevant?
The project should be relevant to the type of service you provide. For example, if you’re a web designer and have just completed a project for an online retailer, this would make a good case study.
- Is it a success?
You need to ensure that the project is a success if you want it to be featured in your case study. This can be measured in a variety of ways, for example, by comparing the client’s expectations before and after the project was completed.
- Is the result measurable?
The project should have a measurable outcome that can be clearly defined. You need to be able to measure the results of your work so you can show how they compare with your client’s goals. Think about what questions your clients are asking themselves, and then use these questions to define success criteria for each project.
- Is there enough material to write about?
You’ll need to think about what you want to say in each part of your case study. You might find that you don’t have enough material for all the sections, so make sure that each section is relevant and doesn’t add unnecessary information.
- Is the client wiling to be interviewed?
Pick a project that the client would be willing to provide feedback and be featured in the case study. Some clients are more willing to do this than others. Find out before you pick the case study project. This will help ensure that your team has everything needed to complete the project successfully.
What are the Parts Of A Case Study?
A case study has a concrete structure; you need to understand this structure. It will help you write a case study that is concise, informative, and persuasive.
Here is a list of all the parts you need to do a case study on your client.
The customer background is a brief description of your client. This includes the type of business they are in, their revenue, and any important facts about their company. This section may also include information about your client’s specific problem or challenge that you were asked to solve. You want to be clear about what you are trying to solve for them and why it matters. You can use an anecdote or quote from them to illustrate how they came up with their problem in the first place.
The problem/opportunity section is your chance to show how your client’s specific challenge affects their business. This can be tough to write, but it’s crucial because it shows you understand their problems profoundly and how they impact the company. This section should include any relevant stats about their industry (such as data about competitors or market size), along with any other information that supports your case study.
This is where you describe how the specific deliverable solved your client’s problem. This section should include a detailed description of how the project went from start to finish. Include any challenges that arose along the way and how they were overcome. If there were any surprises or unexpected results, mention them here.
This is where you describe the results of your work. This section should include real numbers (such as the revenue generated, clients acquired, etc.) and any qualitative data that supports your case study (such as user feedback or customer testimonials).
If you have any relevant photos or screenshots to support your case study, include them here. You can also use images to illustrate the benefits of using your product or service in a visually appealing way.
If you have any testimonials from customers or clients, be sure to include them here. Testimonials are a great way to humanize your case study and show that real people use your product or service.
In this section, you should summarize your case study by reiterating the problem your product or service solves and how it can help users. You can also use this section to reaffirm the benefits of using your product or service.
How To Write A Case Study For Your Service-Based Business?
The more thorough you are in setting up the details of your case study upfront, the more smoothly and successfully it will go. Follow the following steps to write a case study that will help you attract more customers.
- Define your case study’s success metrics
- Identify your ideal case study candidate
- Outline the case study deliverables
- Specify the timeframe you will use to complete the case study project
- Ensure you have the proper access and permissions to resources
- Decide how to deliver the final product (i.e., PDF, client testimonial video, or both)
- Create a template for how you will format your finished product
- Conduct an interview.
- Share your case study with the world.
Content Writing Best Practices For Case Studies
Properly written, case studies tell a story. This makes them very different from other documents focused on only facts and data. Content writing is an integral part of case studies.
Case studies should be written in a way that is easy to understand and relatable. The language should be straightforward, without jargon or technical terms. You must ensure that your content is informative but also engaging and persuasive.
Here are content writing strategies to make your case studies compelling
1. Use short, concise sentences and Paragraphs
Use short sentences and paragraphs to make your content easy to read. You must remember that most people reading case studies will be busy professionals who do not have the time to read long, drawn-out sentences. So, try keeping each of your sentences and paragraphs short but complete.
2. Add a quote or testimonial
Adding a quote or testimonial from an actual user of your product or service can make your case study more compelling. Including several quotes from different people using your product or service will help you prove that there is demand for it among real customers.
3. Use numbers to communicate your message
Numbers are powerful tools that you can use to communicate your message compellingly. The best way to do this is by using statistics and data as evidence of what you have done for your customers. For example, if you want to demonstrate how an increase in sales leads to an increase in revenue, then you should provide the exact figures from different stages of your business process.
4. Deliver content in a conversational tone
Don’t write your case study in a stiff, formal manner. Instead, write it in a conversational tone to make it more engaging. This will help you connect with your readers on a personal level and increase the chances that they will take action after reading your content.
5. Use powerful verbs
Verbs are the backbone of any sentence because they tell you what is happening in the sentence. When writing your case study, use powerful verbs that will help you paint a vivid picture of your message. For example, instead of saying, “we increased sales by 10%,” try saying, “we boosted sales by 10%.” Rather than saying, “I was responsible for monitoring sales performance,” say, “I tracked every sale so that we could measure our success. Use words like “enable” and “empower” instead of more generic words like “help.” This small change can significantly impact how the reader perceives the content.
6. Create a title that pops
You want to create a title that captures readers’ attention, so they will click on it and read your content. For example, a title such as “How We Increased Our Sales by 20% in Just 6 Months” is more likely to get eyeballs than one that says something like “The Process of Increasing Sales by 20%.” The title of your case study should be compelling and descriptive. It should clearly state the problem you solved and the solution that enabled it.
7. Write at a level your audience will understand
Your language should be simple and easy for your readers to understand. Avoid jargon, industry-specific terms, or slang that may confuse people unfamiliar with your niche. Write in the active voice. The active voice is more direct and engaging than passive voice sentences. It makes your writing come alive by showing action instead of just describing it.
8. Include visuals if possible
A good case study should include visuals to help readers understand what you’re talking about. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then an infographic can be worth even more. Consider including screenshots of your software or website showing how it works.
9. Proofread and edit thoroughly before publishing
When you send out your case study, it should be as close to perfect as possible. You want to avoid typos and grammatical errors that can make you look unprofessional. It’s also essential to check for consistency in presenting data or results. If your company name is spelled differently in different places, readers may think they’re reading about two other companies.
10. Include a call to action
After reading your case study, readers should know what they can do next. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should ask them to sign up for your newsletter or buy something from you directly. Instead, it might be as simple as suggesting that they reach out if they want more information about the topic.
Why Work With a Content Marketing Professional To Create Your Case Studies?
Creating great content takes work. Even if you’re an expert in your field, it can be challenging to know exactly how to communicate that expertise in a way that engages readers and helps them see your work’s value. That’s where a content marketing professional comes in.
Here are five reasons to consider hiring a professional content writer specializing in content marketing:
Your Stories will be Objective
When you’re ‘too close to the story, it is challenging to remain Objective. You may not be able to see the forest for the trees, and you may even miss essential details that could have been included in your case study. A content marketer can approach your case studies objectively, which is crucial for ensuring that you get the most out of them.
Avoid Downplaying Positive feedback
There is a tendency for people to downplay positive feedback and focus on the negatives. This is especially true when writing case studies, as you may want to avoid showcasing how your product or service can solve every problem under the sun. You may even find yourself ignoring compliments or minimizing them in some way. A content marketer can listen objectively to your client’s feedback and highlight the good stuff without making it sound like bragging.
You save time and effort
As a service provider, chances are, you already have your plate full. Managing clients, juggling projects and nurturing leads is a lot to worry about on your own, specially if you are a solopreneur or have a small team.
Case studies are crucial for any business and the last thing you want to do is to do a poor job on them for lack of time or resources. By outsourcing your case studies to a professional writer you can make sure you’ll get a quality piece of content for your marketing campaigns without distracting you from the core of your business.
You maximize results
If you want to close more projects and boost your conversion rates you need efficient marketing materials. That means, writing case studies that do the amazing work you do some justice. While you might be the best at whatever service you are offering, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be the best person to put the value of offering and your talent into words. A professional content writer will help tell your project stories in a way that helps you get seen and connect with your target audience of potential buyers.
Repurpose your case study content
You’ve already invested time and money into creating your case study. It’s not practical to expect you to spend more time writing an additional blog post. A content marketer can use the information from your case study as inspiration for a blog post, allowing you to repurpose it in a new way that will help attract more leads.
We hope you enjoyed this article on how to write a case study for your service-based business. We’ve highlighted some of the most popular and successful companies that need case studies, and we’ve also talked about why case studies are so critical to service businesses.
If you’re looking for a way to help your business stand out, then content marketing is your best resource. Case studies are a great way to show what makes your business unique and how it has helped other companies grow.
They’re also great for getting new clients and keeping existing ones happy. They can show off what sets your business apart from competitors and why they should hire you rather than someone else.
If you’re thinking about creating a case study but need to know where to start, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of expert content writers. We’ll help you turn your star project into a case study, create an editorial calendar for your blog or even build out an entire content marketing strategy for your bizz.