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How to Do an Affiliate Marketing Case Study: 3 Simple Steps

Knowing how to do a case study can help convince potential clients to buy your core product or service. When well done, case studies help you build trust with your affiliate marketing audience. However, a case study is more than just good storytelling. To do it well, you need to understand which elements make it such an effective type of content marketing.

Before we understand how to do a case study effectively, let’s talk about what it is.

What Is a Case Study?

A case study is a relatable story about a client who solved a problem using your core product or service.

Imagine you’re shopping online for a new pair of shoes. You find a beautiful pair but are unsure if it’s worth the money. What do you do before you decide? You read reviews.

If you have friends who shop online, maybe you’ll ask them if they’ve ever shopped at this particular store. If the answer is yes, you will want to know their experience.

The point is that when buying shoes at a store you’ve never shopped, you will need evidence from other customers that these shoes are a good deal.

Imagine you’re a business looking for a solution to a specific affiliate marketing business problem. As before, once you find a solution, you’ll need proof that it’s the best solution on the market.

This is where case studies come in. They’re essential pieces of content, especially in the B2B market. When a potential client is experiencing a problem, they usually spend a lot of time comparing different solutions before deciding. Ultimately, your case study could distinguish between a client signing up with you or joining your competition.

Why Do I Need to Use Case Studies?

At this point, you might ask, “Do I need to invest time and energy into developing case studies when I can just share reviews on my affiliate marketing website?” The answer is yes. If you want to convert more leads into clients, case studies should be a priority in your content marketing strategy.

As a content creator, case studies can be a powerful piece of B2B content marketing. Case studies can help you in the following ways:

1. Creating a Relatable Narrative

Since a case study is a narrative, it follows the standard arc of a story. And, as we know, every story has a beginning, protagonist, conflict, climax, and resolution.

Following this narrative arc, a case study triggers emotions and creates a connection with your affiliate marketing reader. Everyone loves a good underdog story, and this is essentially what your case study is. It is the story of a protagonist who triumphed over incredible obstacles thanks to your core product or service.

How to do a case study

When done well, a case study helps your affiliate marketing audience imagine themselves in your client’s shoes. They can imagine your clients’ problems because they face similar issues.

Similarly, like your clients, your readers seek solutions to these problems. A compelling case study drives empathy and helps your audience become emotionally invested in the outcome. Therefore, they will be more open to hearing about your solution.

2. Creating a Sense of Hope

A good case study will go beyond just helping your readers to identify with your client and the problem they are facing. A compelling case study will convince readers that your solution worked for your client and can also work for them.

In other words, a well-done case study should inspire hope and promote your affiliate marketing brand. When potential clients read your case study, they will be convinced of the benefits of signing up with you.

3. Helping You to Stand Out

There are many good blogs but not as many good-quality case studies. Although case studies do an excellent job of showcasing a brand’s expertise, not everyone builds them.

For this reason, if you start building case studies for your affiliate marketing brand, you will stand out from the competition. A proper case study can make a strong case for your affiliate marketing brand and improve your brand image.

How to Do a Case Study in 3 Steps

Developing a good case study isn’t hard. To make the process less daunting, we’ve broken it down into 3 straightforward steps:

1) Select Your Case

You may have many clients to choose from, but not all of them will qualify for a case study. You must seek unique and memorable clients to build a practical case study. These are clients who:

  • Are facing a unique problem.
  • Are uniquely using your business solutions.
  • They have switched from a competitor.
  • They have experienced dramatic results with your affiliate marketing solution.

Choose an unusual case first if you want your case study to stand out. Provided that a client meets one of the above conditions, they are a good candidate for your case study.

how to choose a memorable case for your case study

2) Do Your Research

Once you’ve chosen the perfect case, you can start gathering evidence. To be effective, your evidence needs proof that what you’re saying happened.

Most people assume that complex numbers are needed to prove their point. Even so, you can go beyond data when doing your research. Quality evidence can be as simple as a before-and-after description.

While the type of evidence you use isn’t carved in stone, there are two essential steps in the research process.

a) Developing an Introductory Questionnaire

An introductory questionnaire explains the purpose of your case study to your affiliate marketing client. More importantly, it is a place where you ask a few preliminary questions to help you begin your research.

b) Interviewing Your Case Study

The interview is the most essential part of the case study since this is when your research starts. An interview allows you to not only ask more questions but also get clarification on any vague answers in your questionnaire.

Preparing for the interview in advance is always a good idea, instead of just winging it. Thinking through the necessary information and writing questions will help you get more relevant information.

3) Write Your Story

Once you have all the relevant information, it’s time to sit down and write your story. As we stated before, every good story has 5 different parts:

  • Beginning: This is where you give background information on the case study.
  • Protagonist: Your chosen client. Introduce them and explain what they do.
  • Conflict: The problem they are facing
  • Climax: How the problem is affecting the client and what makes it unbearable
  • Resolution: How your solution helped the client to overcome their problem
how to write a case study

Your case study must follow this structure closely so readers can follow along easily. However, you can break the standard narrative arc into 6 different parts so that you can add important details to your case study:

Headline: Create a compelling headline for your story to attract attention.

Summary: Develop an overview of your case study. 100-200 words is sufficient.

Subject: Introduce your client and explain what they do.

Problem: Explain the situation. Why does it exist? How does it affect your client?

Solution: Describe the solution. Offer supporting evidence for why it was the best solution.

Results: Explain how your solution helped your client to overcome the problem.

Case Study Format

Once you’ve written your case study, you can tell your story in various ways.

  • Downloadable PDF.
  • Webpage.
  • Slideshow.
  • Video.

How to Do a Case Study: Best Practices

A case study that follows the above structure can be a powerful piece of content marketing. Even so, we want to go beyond simply helping you to do a case study and show you how to write a case study that will stand out.

Here’s how to write a case study that people will remember:

i. Use Evidence to Back up Your Claims

People will get emotionally invested in a good story, but you still need evidence to back what you’re saying up. One way to do this is by using complex numbers from your client. Alternatively, you could create and compare a “before” picture with an “after” picture.

ii. Make It Visual

Visual elements always add value to a good story. Think about it. What do you look for if you’re reading a book but don’t want to focus on masses of text? Pictures! Visuals can help retain a reader’s attention and break down complex information.

Using the “before vs. after” model, you can effectively present this information using an infographic or an image. If you’re presenting figures, you can simplify the data using graphs.

iii. Choose a Fascinating Angle

Since you want people to remember your story, you must make it memorable. You can choose a client who does something differently or has a unique problem.

However, you must relate the problem to most readers even when writing a unique story.

iv. Follow the Standard Narrative Arc

Using the standard narrative arc will help you write an emotionally engaging story. If your story engages, your audience will follow along until the end. Moreover, an engaging case study equals a higher conversion rate.

v. Use Quotes From Your Client

Using quotes from your client will help in three ways. Firstly, it’ll make the story more unique and relatable. Secondly, it will highlight the protagonist of your story. Finally, it will help you back up the claims you are making in your case study.

vi. Repurpose Your Case Study

A good case study doesn’t start and end as a formal one. Once you have developed one, you and your affiliate marketing team should feel free to mention it whenever you talk to a prospective client.

Quote your case study to a client who has called to inquire about the effectiveness of your product or service. This will help you convince the client that your solution works since it has worked for a different client.

A good case study can convince a potential client that your business solution is worth investing in. Now that you know how to do a good case study, you can showcase your brand to potential clients.


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