What is a case study?
That’s an easy one. It’s when you stare at different cases for your brand new iPhone and study them to make sure that you’re purchasing the best one. (Cue audience groan.)
Okay, you caught us. No, that’s not what inbound marketing case studies are, but they can be an effective way to showcase the hard work your inbound marketing agency has done. Providing exemplary projects or tasks in the form of a case study can be more effective than simply vocalizing what you will do for a client. Sharing compelling content on your website is like talking the talk AND walking the walk. That’s right, it can be done.
However, in order to create a successful inbound marketing case study that will demonstrate the strengths of your company, there are several hurdles to jump. So, if you’re not the high-school athlete that you once were, then this article will get you back up on your feet and running in no time.
Am I picking good content for my case study?
First things first, the right case study begins with the right client. In the search for creating compelling content, it is important to analyze your customer. In an attempt to make this easier, the following may help:
- Product Knowledge – Select a client who is well versed with what you have to offer. By doing so, you are essentially using them as your greatest spokesperson.
- Exemplary Results – Find a client who you’ve helped to achieve incredible results. After all, you want your case study to showcase that the sky’s the limit when it comes to your inbound marketing strategies.
- Unexpected Success – Consider writing your case study about a client that doesn’t fit the mold. If you can demonstrate success with an unlikely company, then prospects may be more persuaded to hire you.
Recognizable Names – Although they may not be the biggest success stories, big name companies have big reputations. (Yes, sometimes bigger is better.)
Switchers – Sometimes people leave the competitor that they’ve been working with and come to you. Now we’re not saying rub it in their face, but you should probably go ahead and rub it in their face a little bit. Seriously, this will help demonstrate some competitive advantage that you possess.
Don’t forget to ask your clients
Once you’ve decided on good content from good clients, the next step in the process is to get in touch with them. By doing so, you will accomplish two things. First, you will ask for consent to use them in your case study. Second, you will open the door to getting more information. In order to do this, you should compile a list of questions to be sent with your initial contact. Create a list of insightful and well-planned questions that will assist in the construction of the masterpiece that you will call a case study. Check out ideas on how to write an inbound marketing case study questionnaire.
How to write an inbound marketing case study
Now that you’ve gone and assembled an arsenal of information from a cleverly targeted customer, it’s time to write the case study.
An inbound marketing case study has several parts, and each are important to include. Each section of a case study provides information to the reader about you, your work and how to get in touch with you after reading how awesome you are. The following will lay out how to write a case study from start to finish.
- Title – This will be the start of the show, so make sure you have an exciting opening act. Keep the title short and sweet, but make sure that it packs a punch.
Executive Summary – Again, short and sweet should be your best friends. This should be a short paragraph of five sentences or less. It should provide an overview of the case study while also highlighting the greatest measurements of success.
About – This is about the company featured in the case study. Talk about their industry, B2B vs. B2C and overall information about it.
- Challenges – This section will give details about the challenges the company faced before meeting you. In a few short paragraphs, make the problem clear and be certain to outline what they set out to accomplish when they decided to hire you.
- How You Helped- In two to three paragraphs, discuss how you changed this company’s life. We’re not being totally dramatic – now’s the time to write about how you found the solution to their problem.
- Their Results- In two to three paragraphs, share the results. After discussing how you solved their problem with inbound marketing, talk about how this solution has impacted the company. Provide numbers, statistics or any other quantifiable niblets that demonstrate undisputed success.
- Supporting Visuals or Quotes- Think of this as the pizzazz that will make the post come to life. Influential quotes, visuals and more can be the difference between a boring document and an engaging case study.
Check out HubSpot’s case study template to see this in action.
Inbound Marketing Case Studies
If you’re feeling too lazy to search the internet for good examples, then we’ve got you covered. Here you can sneak a peek at some case studies focusing on inbound marketing. Each example clearly demonstrates what inbound marketing has done for their clients. Additionally, their composition is almost as good as a Beethoven symphony.
This case study does a good job visualizing their role in helping the company and the results that followed.
This case study does a good job highlighting the company that they helped by creating a separate textbook for the “About” section that we covered earlier. They also highlight important quotes well by using the same text box-styled approach.
This blog clearly lays out their case study in a concise manner. Although this may lack some visual aspects, their copy gets right to the point and delivers information that is easily digestible.
This case study combines the benefits from all previously mentioned blogs. They provide information in a way that is visually appealing and easy to understand.
The Ball’s in Your Court
Now that you’ve read the guidelines and looked at the examples, you are officially ready to create your own inbound marketing case study. Remember, knowing how to write a case study is vital for promoting your work, so take your time and create something that you’d be proud to show the family. If you’re lucky, maybe your mom will put it on the refrigerator!
Do you have any tips on how to write a case study?
Let us know in the comments below.