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Case Studies: Telling Client Stories To Help Build Brand Awareness

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One of the biggest challenges in marketing is clearly communicating your value to potential customers. You know you can help them, but you must convince them.

Using stories of your existing clients and past projects gives your experience specificity. In marketing, we call these case studies—which is a boring name for a very effective tool.

You’re probably familiar with the concept of case studies, but maybe you haven’t explored how or why you should use them. Let’s explain how to use case studies in your small business.

What is a Case Study?

A case study is a powerful storytelling device that showcases how your business solved a specific problem for a real client. It goes beyond simple testimonials by digging deeper into the challenge, your solution, and the quantifiable results achieved. This detailed narrative builds trust, credibility, and social proof, convincing potential clients that you can deliver similar success for them.

Think of it as a mini success story starring your client, where you play the hero who saved the day. By sharing these compelling narratives, you attract new leads who might face similar challenges. Remember, case studies are not just about bragging; they’re about demonstrating your expertise and showcasing the impact you can have.

7 Benefits of Using Case Studies

  1. Build trust and credibility: Case studies act as social proof, demonstrating to potential clients that you’ve successfully helped others achieve their goals.
  2. Showcase your expertise: Detail specific challenges faced by your client and how you tackled them together.
  3. Quantify your value: Don’t just tell, show! Case studies tangibly demonstrate the value you deliver, making it easier for potential clients to understand the ROI you offer.
  4. Useful online content: Case studies make for compelling online content that you can use on your website, social media channels, and email marketing campaigns.
  5. Attract qualified leads: Compelling case studies resonate with potential clients facing similar challenges. 
  6. Stand out from the competition: Offer a unique perspective and concrete evidence of your success, setting you apart from competitors who rely on generic claims.
  7. Generate positive word-of-mouth: Satisfied clients featured in case studies can become brand advocates by sharing their positive experiences.

Where To Look For Case Study Opportunities

To state the obvious, the best source of case studies is your satisfied customers or completed projects with a good result. These are the examples that showcased your skills and should have demonstrable data that proves your value.

When you learn about a good opportunity, reach out to the client to see if they’d be open to being the subject of a case study. If they agree, interview them to learn from their experience. These are some good questions to ask:

  • Why did you seek out our services? What issue were you trying to solve?
  • Why did you choose to work with us? How did you make your decision?
  • What stood out about the experience of working with us?
  • What results have you seen as a result of working together?
  • How did we make your job easier or open up new opportunities?

We’ve even created an example of an anti-case study: a client who didn’t choose us to build their website, but reached back out to us to say they wish they had. These stories are rarer and harder to tell, but help to highlight the value of choosing you over the competition.

5 Sections Every Case Study Should Have

Every case study will be different, but they should usually include the same basic structure. This is your formula for telling an effective story.

  1. The Client: Who did you help? What background information do we need to know?
  2. The Problem or Challenge: Why did they seek out your help? Why did they choose you? This is a great section to include quotes from the client interview.
  3. The Solution: How did you help them? What services did you provide?
  4. The Results: What outcome did you help them achieve? Be sure to include any useful statistics (like revenue or percentage growth) to show off the ROI.
  5. Call to Action: Turn this on the reader to see if they resonate with this story.

Remember, a case study is meant to be a story that follows a client from beginning to end. Explain the conflict, show how they took action to overcome it, and why they’re better off now.

Where to Share Your Case Studies

Once you’ve written a compelling case study (and gotten it approved by the client), it’s time to share it with potential clients. A strong case study is one of your best pieces of marketing content. These are just a few ideas of platforms where you can distribute this content:

  • Dedicated website landing page
  • Shortened version in a blog post
  • Pull visual examples to share on social media
  • Record your interview for potential video content
  • Or record the audio as a possible podcast episode
  • Highlight in your email newsletter
  • Ask them to leave an online review with their feedback
  • Extract testimonial quotes for print pieces or ads
  • Share these stories at in-person events or meetings
  • Develop a downloadable white paper if the study is substantial enough

Pro tip: Including visuals when possible. Photos, videos, or screenshots can help to reinforce the story you’re telling. 

Examples of GreenMellen Client Case Studies

At GreenMellen, we follow this practice of creating impactful case studies for some of our clients. Here are just a few examples that we have listed on our website:

If you need help with creating case studies, that’s also a service we offer to clients. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help with your digital marketing. Together, we can create a story of business success!

About the Author

Robert Carnes

Marketing Manager

Robert Carnes is a freelance writer, published author, and professional marketer. His book, The Story Cycle, is your business's guide to becoming a better marketer. Robert lives in Atlanta and you can follow him on social media @jamrobcar.

View Robert's Profile

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