The B2B environment is the perfect place for case studies. Companies work hard to attain new clients, deliver a quality product or service, and provide end-to-end customer support to maintain their value proposition and brand reputation. A case study has the power to demonstrate all this from a more objective viewpoint than a company press release.
Case studies are a great way to showcase the success of your clients and essentially the value your company brings to a crowded marketplace. Marketers in the B2B space can rely on a case study to provide an authentic look at how their products or services work in the hands of their clients. Also, helping prospective clients see first-hand your ability to deliver what you promised.
Be a Good Storyteller
Yes, this really is about good storytelling. Because case studies are self-contained stories about how real clients overcame their problems using your products or services. Just like a story, good case studies have something important to share that starts at the implementation, demonstrates how challenges were overcome and the objectives that were achieved at the end.
With the right information and story, companies can craft a case study for a variety of reasons such as a product launch or innovation, having a particularly interesting or name-worthy client, experiencing impressive client results worth showcasing, etc. And case studies can be used by companies for a variety of reasons as well, like:
- Lead Generation
- Expansion into a new market
- Close more sales
- Client or investor presentations
Case studies today can come in written form, video, or even a podcast if the content lends itself to more of a series approach. Let’s just consider the written form now, which generally has several main components or parts, such as challenges, goals, solution, and results. A case study may also very simply include all the content under two headings: problem and solution.
Here are 8 steps to follow from start to finish for creating an evidence-based case study that proves your company’s products or services deliver results.
8 Steps to a Better Case Study
1. Find an interesting or compelling client and approach him or her about partnering with you for a case study. Remember a good case study can benefit a client’s company as well as, helping them with recruiting and retention.
2. Create a list of questions that you can follow while conducting the interview. You need to listen throughout the interview so you can ask the important follow-up questions. You also want to include a question that may open the door for something unexpected to be revealed, such as “What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned or experienced since you’ve begun using X product or service?”
3. Use good storytelling techniques to engage your case study target audience.
4. Use data to illustrate your key points or to highlight the solution. Results depicted with metrics are a great way to show v tell the benefit the client experienced.
5. Determine the best layout or template for designing your case study, in part based on your audience and information. Look to emphasize at least two powerful quotes and include headings, subheadings, and bulleted lists to break up text blocks.
6. Add a photo of the client along with his or her name and title. This will help demonstrate how your product or service solves problems for real people.
7. Include a CTA at the end, perhaps asking readers to visit a particular product page on your website or request a demo.
8. Share the case study with the client and gain his or her approval and you’re on your way to having a meaningful piece of content to share with prospects.
Devote Time to Promotion
Don’t forget to write a promoted blog on your case study. You will need to determine if you want this as a gated piece to drive lead generation or if you want to have it live on your website. This depends a bit on where you see this piece being useful in the customer buying journey. Either way, your blog can include a link to a lead gen form or to where the case study resides on your site.
Case studies are a great way for companies to address business challenges, build trust and help convert prospects into clients.