How To Write a Case Study: a Helpful Step by Step Guide

Are you wondering how to write a case study? Take a few steps and case study examples you can use.

There’s a saying that you should show your story, not tell it. One of the best ways to show your story is to use a case study. There are lots of types of case studies. You might be interested in a business case study format, or you might be interested in a medical case study. You might even be interested in infographics that can help you augment your case study.

A case study should be a real-life example of a theme, principle, or strategy in action. A robust case study analysis should support your point of view and provide evidence for your argument. If you are interested in writing case studies, take a look at a few steps to follow.

Materials Needed

How to write a case study? You need a computer
To write a successful case study you need a computer with a strong internet connection for research purposes

To write a successful case study, you need several materials. They include:

  • A computer with a strong internet connection for research purposes
  • Research notes
  • Graphs and charts
  • Paper and writing utensils, such as pens and pencils
  • Notes and recordings from interviews
  • Required outlines or templates

Once you have collected the necessary materials, you can start the writing process.

Step 1: Develop a Compelling Headline

First, you need to develop a compelling headline. Remember that there is never a second chance to make a first impression. Therefore, your headline needs to include the essential information from the case study. A few tips for developing a compelling headline include:

  • You must include all the necessary information, but a shorter headline is better.
  • Try to put the most important words at the front of the headline.
  • Read the headline out loud to make sure it makes sense.
  • If you want to provide a subtitle with supporting details, you can do so, but it is unnecessary.
  • If you have a quote from a customer you want to include, you can add this, but it is not required.

Here are a few sample headlines you may want to model your headline off of. A few examples include:

Study Shows Eating a Healthy Diet Reduces Risk of Heart Attack

This is an excellent example headline because it is short, sweet, and to the point. The audience doesn’t have to wonder what the case study is about. Everything is included in the headline.

Case Study Shows Effective Copywriting Boosts Conversion Rate

This is another compelling headline for a potential marketing case study. It says precisely what the case study demonstrates and invites the reader to learn more about what is defined as effective copywriting. 

Step 2: Provide an Abstract at the Top

Before diving into your case study’s details, you need to place an abstract at the top of the research paper. Looking at any scientific research paper, you will see an abstract at the top. It would help if you used this as a model for the abstract you will place at the top of your case study.

You need to place several vital pieces of information at the top of the case study. They include:

  • Make sure you include the client’s name. Remember to ask the client for permission before including their results in your case study.
  • You could also include the industry in which the client works. For example, is the client a financial company? Is the client a marketing company? Again, make sure to mention the industry.
  • Do not forget to mention the product or service used. What are you trying to showcase? Mention the specific product or service at the top of the case study.
  • If you have quick results, make sure to list them here. If you have infographics or graphs, be sure to reserve them for later areas of the case study. Include the actual results to convince the reader to keep reading.

If someone does not feel like reading the entire case study, they should be able to read the abstract and figure out what product or service you are promoting and why it is beneficial. 

Step 3: Introduce the Client

You may want to provide a quick summary of what the client does. It should only last a few sentences but mention the client’s industry and what they provide. Here are a few sample client summaries you may want to use:

  • “Our client is a leading family medicine practice that serves patients of all ages in the local area. The client provides both acute and preventative care.”
  • “Our client is a local credit union that provides checking and savings account services. The client also provides loan services, such as auto loans and home loans.”

You can use these two examples from different industries to model your client description. 

Step 4: State the Problem

Just beneath the section introducing the client, you can include information about the problem you were tasked to address. For example, why did the client call you? What were their concerns?

A few examples of problem statements you may want to mention in your case study include:

  • “Our client was having a hard time shortening customer response time. Finally, the client realized that it took customers, on average, more than two hours to get a response to their concerns.”
  • “Our client couldn’t figure out why their low conversion rates. Even though there was plenty of traffic going to the website, not enough people were reaching out to the business itself to learn more about the products and services offered. Less than one percent of people visiting the website were calling or emailing the business.” 

You may find it easier to include quotes from the client in this section. However, before you quote the client in the section, ask for permission. 

Step 5: State How the Client Found You

Before you move forward into how you helped the client solve their problems, you need to share how they found you. How did the client first make contact with you?

There are a few ways that your client may have found you. They include:

  • You may want to share this information if your client found you using a simple Google search.
  • If the client found you via a referral from the previous client, you may want to mention that. 
  • You could also include if you reached out to the client using a cold call. 

Then, you may want to mention why the client decided to choose you. How did you convince the client to give you a chance to solve the problem? Finally, you may want to share information about your customer service, the strategies you presented, or the project overview you shared. 

Step 6: Include Information Related to Strategic Approach

Now is the time to get into some of the details. You probably have a lot of products and services that you offer, so you need to explain how you decided to help the client with their problem. What solution did you decide to choose? Why did you decide to go with that solution?

Here is an example of a marketing case study related to an SEO campaign a marketing firm may have constructed. A few portions of this section include:

  • “We started by conducting a comprehensive audit of the existing SEO campaign to determine what was working and what was not.”
  • “During our detailed analysis, we discovered that the client was paying too much attention to competitive keywords. The client was basing its decision to pursue keyword targets based solely on search volume instead of search competitiveness. The client was competing against national brands that are incredibly difficult to displace from the top of the search engine results page.”
  • “We also conducted a detailed target market analysis to determine the optimal target market. That way, we could generate more website traffic and the right type of traffic.”
  • “During our analysis, we developed a list of long-tail keywords that were not as competitive and would still provide the right type of traffic.”
  • “We A/B tested different content types to determine the most appealing content to search engines and the target market.”
  • “We incorporated long-tail keywords into different types of content before posting it on the website.” 

Notice that this detailed strategy clearly explains how it was developed, implemented, and unfolded. This is also an excellent section to include quotes from the client. You may also want to include information on why you chose one strategy over another. This is also an excellent section to include graphs. Some people may not want to read the entire thing, and you can provide them with an excellent visual alternative. Here is a case study example to check out.

Step 7: Showcase the Results

After finishing the strategy section, you can showcase the results. This is your time to shine. Make sure to highlight the best case study results, and do not forget to explain why those results are so beneficial. A few examples of results statements you may want to include might be: 

  • “Our results showed a 200 percent increase in traffic and a 300 percent increase in conversion rate over six months by interesting a better landing page into the marketing strategy. Because of this increase in website traffic, the client also enjoyed a significant revenue boost.”
  • “We implemented a change in the automated menu to shorten the number of time customers spent waiting. As a result, customers were routed to the right location 25 percent faster during the next three months.” 
  • “Our results show that the client generated 25 percent more revenue than the same month last year because of the changes we made to the website homepage.” 

Remember that you will probably have multiple results you want to showcase. Make sure to tackle the case study from every direction to provide a well-rounded picture of why your strategy worked well. Here is an example of a case study from a home building company. 

Step 8: Wrap-Up and Future Directions

Next, you can wrap up the case study with an excellent conclusion. You can reiterate the main points from the case study, such as the problem, the strategy, and the solution.

You may also want to provide an update on how the client is doing after you parted ways. Is the client still using the strategy you implemented? Is it still working well? This is another good place to use some quotes from your client. For example, if your client appreciates your hard work, include it at the bottom of the case study.

You may also want to mention some other important pieces of advice you shared with the client on your way out the door. The conclusion is also a spot where you can talk about different situations where your best solution or research method might apply. For example, if you helped out a local family medicine practice, you may want to discuss why your strategy might also be helpful for other types of medicine. That way, you can convince people to reach out to you to learn more about this compelling story. Remember that different types of case studies might have different formats.

Step 9: Proofread Your Work

Step 9: Proofread Your Work

Before you submit your case study, be sure to proofread your work carefully. You must present a polished, finished product, so you must check for any grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors. You might also want to have a colleague look over your case study for stylistic purposes.

If you are interested in learning more, check out our essay writing tips!

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