Case Studies & How to Use Them in Your Marketing Funnel

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Since our bootstrapped beginning, we’ve been using Drift to communicate with and convert our web traffic.

Our company’s offer? Book a free consultation, get a free 300-word article for your business – no strings attached.

We signed 7 clients in the first month with a newly-launched website, Drift’s chatbox, and an awesome offer. We’re still using the same offer for lead generation almost a year and a half later.

Drift’s case studies convinced us their software would be the perfect addition to our lead generation process.

Having never even heard of Drift in the past, we needed to make a choice based on recommendations.

After our head web developer recommended looking into Drift, the company’s case studies sold us on it being the solution we should get behind.

Thanks, Luke!

But let’s get back to the facts.

Drift educates its visitors with success stories and you can too. But first, you need to learn more about case studies.

Let’s define case studies and explore how you can use them as part of your sales funnels.

we need information to create a case study

What is a Case Study?

For starters, a case study is arguably the ultimate form of storytelling. Likely because these break-downs use real-world data to tell a story with a purpose.

Best practices for a study case may include some research. But the majority of that research involves analyzing cases in which your product, service, company, etc. solved a real-life problem.

You could show how a real customer overcame something by using your products or services. However, the key here is to make your case study easy for customers to see themselves; you want them to see themselves achieving their own goals or dodging potential issues.

Case studies are exploratory analyses of real-world instances. They give social proof of the success – or failure – they can experience, and they can be quite enticing when placed in front of the right eyes.

Case studies are one of the best tools for marketing. While this content format isn’t an advertisement, it certainly can promote new products or features or become a pivotal part of your marketing funnel.

Whether posting a study on social media or planning to use them in the development of a sales funnel, business owners use case studies to examine and explain with real data. Regardless of what industry you’re in, you can use a case study to exemplify your business as the answer to your customers’ problems.

But the content isn’t about you; it’s about your customer – the development of a hero overcoming a problem.

write a case study to gain trust and show what's possible

How Do You Write a Case Study?

As one of the most authentic forms of content available, case studies can be rather demanding. The key here is to gather the right data and resources.

Who is your target audience and what do these people need to see? What incredible development did your customer make and how will it convince potential customers to pay you?

You may want to show how your services helped your clients do something extraordinary in some cases. Or perhaps you’re more interested in explaining how your current practices may be better than your other outdated processes.

Some businesses show the development of their industry through case studies. Others focus on data pertaining to some sort of social experiment.

Regardless of the focus, these tips help while writing captivating case studies:

the customer story is essential for case study creation

1. Build out a narrative in each of your cases

The most effective marketing on the planet tells a story. Make sure the stories in your cases follow a narrative format.

What does this even mean? Well, for starters, give the story a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Conduct some research on your target audience to ensure you’re not wasting time showing a minor problem that doesn’t need solving. You’ll start by introducing the customer and the problem they need to solve.

Follow this with what pushed the customer to find your company.

Tell the customer’s story. What drove them to find you? Focus on the customer’s woes as opposed to how you’re going to solve them.

Cases with direct quotes from the customer can also add to the authenticity. It’s always good to establish trust through the content you publish, and this is a prime opportunity.

Conclude your story with hard data. Your cases can include statistical data to show how effective your company was at solving the customer’s problem.

data drives case studies

2. Drive case studies with data

The headline compels a click, and the story keeps people reading. However, without data, you’re just blowing smoke.

You’ll need more data for a case study, of course. Way more than with other content formats.

Your audience wants to see what’s possible.

Include screenshots of real performance metrics, in-depth charts, documentation of the effectiveness of your practices, and other convincing data whenever applicable.

find a target audience to use case studies as convincing content

3. Keep your target audience in mind

Data is great. But in many cases, people bore their audience to death without even realizing it.

Your story should include a compelling angle specifically for your target audience.

Too vague and you won’t convince; it has to be specific.

What are your customers accomplishing by using your resources? How can you relate this success with your target customer’s goals?

For example, if you’re doing a case study on how a plumber hired your services to generate more leads, you might want to title it, “How ________ Helped Plumbers-R-Us Unclog Lead Funnel for a 300% Increase in Leads in 3 Months!”

Your angle ‘hooks’ your audience by offering something relatable, entertaining, and valuable. Consider your core demographics and target customers, and use a customer story to show how your ideal customer can solve common problems with your product or service.

story telling is part of what makes case studies fascinating for others

4. Focus on the customer’s story

Your business is not the hero in this story. Rather, it plays a supporting role.

Keep the focus on the problems and how your customer – the hero – solved them using you and your brand.

You’re not selling; you’re showing how smart people use your resources to help solve their problems.

Case Studies & How to Use Them in Your Marketing Funnel 1

5. Give your customer the chance to speak

Your customers are more reputable when it comes to discussing your brand. Encourage them to tell their own narrative using their own words.

Direct quotes can offer the customer’s perspective. And this could help your ideal customers relate to your current customer even further.

Think interview format, but let the client speak. Let the customer’s quote stand on its own – without repeating what they said in a follow-up sentence.

top of the funnel for content marketing efforts can use a case study

How to Use a Case Study at the Start of Your Marketing Funnel

The first stage in a marketing funnel is to help people recognize a problem. Fortunately, case studies are excellent for highlighting problems and ways to improve.

Showing a case study that features a common problem your customers have reveals a need potential customers might not even know exists. This could entice your ideal customer to conduct some research – research that could lead them all the way through your marketing funnel.

For example, if your business provides social media marketing services to website owners, you could perform a case study.

Let’s say the study includes how one of your customers increased MRR from $500 to $5,000 using your service to expand their reach on Facebook, Instagram, Quora, and Pinterest. This could be enough to warm a lead at the start of your funnel.

While advertising this case study on Facebook, a potential lead could notice it and realize they haven’t been marketing via social media. They click on the ad, learn about your success solving their recently-revealed problem, and become a lead.

Congratulations! Your lead has just made its way through the first stage of this marketing funnel.

While these leads will need some nurturing, this is only the first step in your marketing funnel. But this is just the beginning of where you can use this content.

bottom of the funnel for case study creation

How to Use a Case Study in the Bottom of Your Marketing Funnel

The right case study can influence purchasing decisions. With this being the case, it’s possible to use this content to convert customers long after they’ve heard about your brand.

You’ve already highlighted a problem and demonstrated how people have used your company to solve it. You’ve been supplying information in accord with what your leads are looking for, and even given an evaluation of alternative solutions to the problem.

Now it’s time to influence the purchase decision with a case study.

This is your opportunity to make a lasting impression in the minds of your potential buyers. An incredible case study will show your audience exactly what you’re capable of and demonstrate what it’s like to work with your company.

You can explain your practices and how using your resources has solved problems for your customers. You can go even further to show the sort of gain a customer has experienced with you.

A digital marketing agency helped a university reach 310% more students than last semester. That’s a case study you’ll want to put in front of other universities’ decision-makers.

A pressure washing company that made that same university a 5% increase in admissions by improving its aesthetic. This study is something university decision-makers should see, as well.

Shortly put, great case studies go a long way in convincing decision-makers to convert – and you can use one at the bottom of your marketing funnel.

Other businesses are successfully using case studies to stand out amongst the competition. Are you?

Ready to create a lead-driving case study? Let’s speak strategy.

At No Strings Content, we create and implement content strategies on behalf of our clients every month, and we’ll do the same for you.

Create your free account and schedule a free consultation to discuss how we can build a marketing funnel for your business– no strings attached.

Louis Levey

Louis Levey

Louis Levey is the Content Success Manager and Founder at No Strings Content. He's passionate about helping businesses use content to attract, educate, and convert audiences. His hometown is Boca Raton, Florida, but he currently lives and works remotely in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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