How to Write a Case Study: A Step-by-Step Guide (+ Examples) (2023)

If you want to learn how to write a case study that engages potential customers, shows that you can solve real business problems, and showcases the results you deliver, this guide will help you.

We'll give you a tried-and-true template to follow, show you how to conduct an engaging interview, and give you several examples and tips for best practices.

Let's start with the basics.

How to Write a Case Study: A Step-by-Step Guide (+ Examples) (1)

What is a case study?

A business case study is simply a story about how you successfully delivered a solution to your customer.

Case studies begin with background information about the customer, describe problems they faced, present the solutions you developed, and explain how those solutions positively impacted the customer's business.

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Do Marketing Case Studies Really Work?

Absolutely. A well-written case study puts potential customers in the shoes of your paying customers and encourages them to get in touch with you. Aside from that:

  1. Get 'behind the lines' exchanges with decision makers you may not know;
  2. Harness the power of "social proof" to encourage a prospect to take a risk with your business;
  3. Build trust and encourage sympathy;
  4. Reduce the perceived risk of doing business with you and provide proof your business can deliver results;
  5. Help prospects become aware of unrecognized issues;
  6. Show potential customers who are having similar problems that possible solutions are available (and that you can offer those solutions);
  7. Make it easier for your target audience to find you on Google and other search engines.

Case studies also serve your customers. For example, they can generate positive publicity and highlight line employee accomplishments to the management team. Your business can even offer a new product/service discount or gift as an added bonus.

But don't just take my word for it. Let's look at some statistics and success stories:

In the B2B environment, events help generate the most leads, while case studies help convert and accelerate the most leads. (…) In a survey of B2B marketers, they named case studies as their third best way to nurture leads.

49% of B2B buyers said they now rely more on content to research and make purchasing decisions.
Content Preferences Survey Report 2018

Case studies are among the top five content types used to guide IT buyers through the buying cycle.

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5 successful case study examples of the model

Before we get into the basics of writing a case study, let's go through some examples of what an excellent case study looks like.

(Video) How to Write a Case Report | a step-by-step guide

The five case studies below are well-written, well-designed, and contain a proven structure.

1st Lane Terralever and Pinnacle at Promontory

How to Write a Case Study: A Step-by-Step Guide (+ Examples) (2)

TheExample of a case studyby Lane Terraleverincludes images to support the content and effectively uses subheadings to make the piece scannable.

2. WalkMe Mobile and July

How to Write a Case Study: A Step-by-Step Guide (+ Examples) (3)

Thecase studyby WalkMe MobileLeads with an appealing headline and the three most important results that the customer was able to generate.

In the first paragraph, the author expands the list of achievements, encouraging the reader to learn more.

3. CurationSuite Listening-Engine

How to Write a Case Study: A Step-by-Step Guide (+ Examples) (4)

This is an example of a well designed oneprintablecase study. Customer, specific problem and solution are named in the left column and briefly summarized.

4. Brain traffic and ASAE

How to Write a Case Study: A Step-by-Step Guide (+ Examples) (5)

This case study in long format (6 pages) bybrain trafficprominently summarizes the challenges, solutions and results in the left column. It uses testimonials and portraits of the case study participants very effectively.

5. Adobe and Building Depot

How to Write a Case Study: A Step-by-Step Guide (+ Examples) (6)

Thecase studyby Adobe and Home Depotis a great example of combining video, attention-grabbing graphics, and lengthy writing. It also makes good use of testimonials and headshots.

Now that we've covered the basics and provided some great case study examples for you to use for inspiration, let's roll up our sleeves and get to work.

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A case study structure that professionals use

Let's break down the structure of a compelling case study:

Choose your case study format

In this guide we will focus on written case studies. They are affordable to create and have a proven track record. However, written case studies are only one of four case study formats to consider:

  1. Written
  2. Video
  3. Podcast
  4. infographic

If you have the resources, video (like theAdobe and Home Depotexample above) and podcast case studies can be very persuasive. Hearing a customer speak in their own words about how your business has helped is aeffective Content Marketing Strategy

Infographic case studies are typically one-page images that summarize the challenge, the proposed solution, and the results. They usually work well on social media.

Follow a proven case study template

The success story structure we use involves a "narrative" or "arc" that aims to draw readers in and hold their interest.

Note:I recommend creating a blog post or landing page on your website that includes your case study text and a downloadable PDF. This helps people find your content when they do Google and other web searches.

There are a few simple SEO strategies you can apply to your blog post to improve your chances of being found. I will include these tips below.

Create a compelling headline

The headline should grab your audience's attention quickly. Include the main result you achieved, the name of the client and the name of your company. Create several examples, think about them a little, and then choose the best one. And yes, that means the headline is written at the very end.

SEOTop:Let's say your company offers "video editing services" and you want to target that primary keyword. Include them, your company name, and your client's name in the case study title.

Write the summary

This is a mini-narrative that uses an abbreviated version of the Challenge + Solution + Outcomes model (3-4 short paragraphs). Write this after completing the case study.

(Video) how to write a case study in research paper | step by step guide | how to find data | meaning types

SEOTop:Include your primary keyword in the first paragraph of the summary.

Provide the background of the customer

Introduce your customer to the reader and provide context for the story.

List the customer's challenges and problems

Before working with you, vividly describe the situation and issues the client was dealing with.

SEOTop:To rank on page one of Google for our target keyword, review the questions listed in the “People Also Ask” section at the top of Google's search results. If you can include some of these questions and their answers in your case study, do so. Just make sure they fit the flow of your narrative.

Detail your solutions

Explain the product or service your company provided and how it alleviated the customer's problems. Summarize how the solution was deployed and implemented. Describe required training and workload of the customer.

Show your results

Describe what you achieved for the customer and what impact your product/service had. Objective, measurable results that resonate with your target audience are best.

List future plans

Share how your customer might work with your company in the future.

Provide a call to action

At the end of your case study, describe exactly what you want the reader to do.

Talk about you

Add a "press release-like" description of your client's organization with a link to their website. For your printable document, add an "About" section with your contact information.

And that's it. This is the basic structure of any good case study.

Now let's look at how to get the information you will use in your case study.

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How to conduct an engaging case study interview

One of the best parts of creating a case study is talking to your client about the experience. It's a fun and productive way to learn what your business has done well and what it can improve, directly from your customers' perspective.

Here are some suggestions for conducting great case study interviews:

When choosing a case study topic, choose an avid fan

Your sales and marketing team should know which customers are vocal advocates who are willing to talk about their experiences. Your customer service and technical support teams should be able to provide suggestions.

Clients who are experts in your product/service make solid case study candidates. If you sponsor an online community, look for product champions who post regularly and help others.

When choosing a candidate, think of client stories that would resonate with your target audience. For example, let's say your sales team constantly encounters prospects who are excited about your solution but are slow to pull the trigger and do business with you.

In this case, finding a client who thought the same thing but overcame their reluctance and signed a deal with you would be a compelling story.

Preparation for the job interview

If you've ever watched an Oprah interview, you've seen a master who can get almost anyone to open up and talk. That's partly because she and her team plan with discipline.

Before conducting a case study interview, discuss the following with your own team:

  1. What is unique about the client (location, size, industry, etc.) that resonates with our potential clients?
  2. Why did the customer choose us?
  3. How did we help the customer?
  4. What is unique about this customer's experience?
  5. What problems have we solved?
  6. Were measurable, objective results achieved?
  7. What should readers do after reading this case study analysis?

Pro tip:Open up your customer. Send them the questions in advance.

Asking clients pre-interview questions helps them prepare, seek input from other colleagues when needed, and feel more comfortable knowing what to expect.

In a moment I will give you an exhaustive list of interview questions. But don't send them all. Instead, narrow the list down to one or two questions in each section and personalize it for your client.

Master the customer interview

Decide how to conduct the interview. Will you call the customer, use Skype or Facetime, or meet in person? Whichever mode you choose, plan ahead.

(Video) 9-Step Formula For Writing The PERFECT Case Study

Make sure you record the conversation. It's difficult to conduct an interview, listening to your contact's replies, keeping the conversation going, writing notes, and recording everything the person says.

A record makes it easier to write the customer's story later. It is also useful for other departments in your company (management, sales, development, etc.) to hear real customer feedback.

Use open-ended questions that encourage your contact to talk and share. Here are some real life examples:


  1. Summarize the purpose of the call. Confirm how much time your contact has to talk (preferably 30-45 minutes).
  2. Confirm company location, number of employees, years in business, industry, etc.
  3. What is the background, title, time in the company, primary responsibilities, etc. of the contact?

Initial Challenges

  1. Describe the situation in your company before contacting us?
  2. What were the initial problems you wanted to solve?
  3. What impact did these problems have?
  4. When did you realize that you had to act?
  5. What solutions have you tried?


  1. What solutions have you implemented?
  2. What process did you go through to make a purchase?
  3. How did the implementation go?
  4. How would you describe the workload of your team?
  5. When it came to training, how did it go?

Results, Improvements, Progress

  1. When did you start seeing improvements?
  2. What were the most valuable results?
  3. What did your team enjoy most about working with us?
  4. Would you recommend our solution/company? Why?

future plans

  1. How do you see the future cooperation between our companies?

honest feedback

  1. Our company is very focused on continuous improvement. What could we have done differently to make this an even better experience?
  2. What would you like to add or change about our product/service?

During the interview, use your contact's responses to guide the conversation.

Once the interview is complete, it's time to write your case study.

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How to write a case study... effortlessly

Writing case studies is not nearly as difficult as many people make it out to be. And you don't have to be Stephen King to do professional work. Here are a few tips:

  • Use the case study structure outlined earlier, but write these sections first: Company Background, Challenges, Solutions, and Findings.
  • Write the headline, summary, future plans, and call-to-action (CTA) last.
  • Include as much content from your interview as you can in each section. Don't worry about editing at this point
  • Tell the story by talking about their trials and tribulations.
  • Focus on the customer and the results achieved.
  • Let your organization and your employees shine.
  • When you include information about your business, frame your efforts in a supportive role.

Also make sure you do the following:

Add testimonials, quotes, and visuals

The more you can use your contact's words to describe their commitment, the better. Weave direct quotes into your narrative.

Make an effort to be conversational when writing case studies, as if you were speaking to a colleague.

Include images in your case study that visually represent the content and break up the text. Photos of the company, your contact person and other employees are ideal.

If you need to integrate stock photos, here are three resources:

  1. DepositPname is
  2. Unsplash
  3. canvas

And if you need more, check out Smart Blogger's excellent resource:17 sites with high-quality, royalty-free stock photos.

Proofread and streamline your text

Make sure there are no grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors. If you need help, use aGrammar checker toolHowGrammatik.

My high school English teacher's mantra was "strict your writing." She taught that effective writing should be concise and free ofweak, unnecessary words. This takes effort and discipline, but it will make your writing stronger.

Also remember that we live in an attention-distracted society. Before your audience dives in and reads each paragraph, they first scan your work.Use subheadingsto summarize information, convey meaning quickly, and engage the reader.

Be sure to use best practices

Consider applying the following best practices to your case study:

  1. Focus on your client and the results they were able to achieve.
  2. Even if your audience is tech-savvy, you should minimize the use of technical jargon. If you use abbreviations, explain them.
  3. Drop the sales and the advertising.
  4. Don't write like a Shakespeare wannabe. Write like people speak. Write to be understood.
  5. A clear and concise spelling is not only easier to understand, it also creates trust. Don't hike.
  6. Weave your paragraphs together so that each sentence depends on the one before and after it.
  7. Add a specific case study call-to-action (CTA).
  8. A recommended case study length is 2-4 pages.
  9. Commit to building a library of case studies.

Get customer approval

After creating a final design, send it to the customer for review and approval. Incorporate any changes they suggest.

Use or modify the following "Consent to Release" form to obtain written consent from the customer:

Consent to Publish

case studyTitle:


(Video) How to Outline & Write your UX Case Study | real example!

I hereby certify that I have reviewed the above case study and, on behalf of [name of company], give full permission for the work to be published in whole or in part, for the duration of the work, in all languages ​​and all formats by [company, the published the case study].

By signing this form, I confirm that I am authorized to grant full permission.



Company Name:





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Common Case StudiesQuestions (&Answers)

We'll wrap things up with a quick Q&A. If you have a question that I haven't answered, make sure to leave it in a blog comment below.

Do I need to worry about printed versions of my case studies?


As we have seen in theCurationSuiteAndbrain trafficExamples earlier, case studies can be downloaded, printed and shared. Interested parties can and will judge your book by its cover.

So make sure your printed case study is eye-catching and professionally designed.Hire a designerIf necessary.

Why are good case studies so effective?

Case studies work because people trust them.

They're not ads, they're not press releases, and they're not about how great your business is.

Also, everyone likes compelling stories with a hero [your client], a conflict [challenges], and an intriguing solution [best solution and outcomes].

How do I promote my case study?

After you've written your case study and gotten the client's approval to use it, you want to show it to as many eyes as possible.

Try the following:

  1. Make sure your case studies are easy to find on your company's homepage.
  2. Tweet and share the case study on your various social media accounts.
  3. Have your sales team use the case study as a reason to call prospects. For example:“Hi [prospect], we just published a case study on Company A. You faced some of the same challenges I believe your company is facing. I will email you a copy. Let me know what you think."
  4. Distribute printed copies at trade shows, seminars or during sales presentations.
  5. If you are bidding on a job and need to submit a bid or request for proposal (RFP), include relevant case studies as supporting documents.

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Ready to write a case study that converts?

If you want to stand out from the crowd and win business, case studies should be an integral part of your sales and marketing efforts.

Hopefully this guide has answered some of your questions and provided a way to make it faster and easier for your team to create professional, promotional content.

Now it's time to act and get started. Gather your employees, select a customer and ask a contact to participate. Plan your interview and have an engaging conversation. Write down your client's story, make them shine, then share.

(Video) 5 Easy Steps on How to Write a Case Study

Get better at the case study process by doing it more often. Challenge yourself to write at least one case study every two months.

As you do so, you build a valuable repository of meaningful, high-performing content. These success stories will serve your business in countless ways and for years to come.


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