The Imperative For Case Studies
B2B case studies are the analogues of reviews and testimonials that affirm the desirability of your product/service. They serve as social proof and corroboration to your offering that instills confidence in your prospective customers to engage with you. According to LinkedIn’s Demand Gen Report 2018, case studies are the preferred content format of B2B buyers, with 79% of respondents consuming them in a one year period.
Case studies are an effective way to communicate how your company can solve business and technical challenges for customers. Case studies are considered an essential content tactic to generate traffic to your website, build credibility and demonstrate performance. It serves as a proof of value that can positively influence a B2B prospect during the evaluation phase of their decision-making process. In fact, Forrester’s research cited digital content as the most important driver in B2B purchasing decisions, with the following findings:
- 60% of business buyers prefer not to interact with a sales rep as the primary source of information.
- 68% prefer to research on their own online.
- 62% say they can now develop selection criteria or finalize a vendor list—based solely on digital content.
Case studies convey the reality of your offering and what your prospects can expect from you. It conspicuously shows how you have solved a problem for a customer and how they benefited. B2B case studies help your prospects understand the impact of your service/product on their business. At the same time, case studies can also be positioned as a USP and as a differentiator from your competitors.
Strategies To Write a Compelling Case Study
Case studies have been consistently ranked as the most-read pages on websites. Detailed case studies offer decision-makers from your prospective companies an understanding of your capabilities. We have put together some of the best practices in writing B2B case studies which have to be conscientiously used to create influential content.
Gather Exhaustive Information to Fuel Content
Put together comprehensive insights on what your prospects and readers desire most in a case study. While doing this, it is important to identify the right audience and devise the content that best fits them. Case studies should essentially include the following aspects:
- Problems the customer was trying to solve
- How did you add value to your product/service and what was unique in this project?
- How did your company innovate and why was it a novel approach?
The Sales team is an excellent source of ideas for compelling case studies. They have a good knowledge of the needs of customers and prospects, and insightful business intelligence that helps content marketers recognise their specific issues to be addressed. Case studies should ideally have the answers to the following questions that prospects might look for:
- What was the business impact and how was the success measured?
- What was the impact on revenue growth, market share increase, increase in leads or other important metrics?
Storytelling can be a very compelling and innovative way to describe problems, strategies and solutions rather than merely listing them. Constructing a narrative around the facets of case studies provides a humane touch that your prospects can relate to. Storytelling helps readers to really see through the perspective of a buyer and vicariously experience the entire journey of the client.
Substantiate with Data Statistics and Customer Promotions
Case studies should always be fortified with data. It not only substantiates the impact you have created but improves the credibility of your brand. Include key metrics, represent data graphically, use illustrations that make data more intelligible. Talk about specific customers, with specific problem situations and outcomes backed by numbers.
Additionally, customer testimonials can help take your case study to the next level. A direct quote from your client that serves as a short review of your work can greatly add value to your case study.
Making Case Studies Interactive
Interactive case studies are an innovative alternative that can engage your prospects effectively. Video Case studies engage visitors with visuals that help convey complex and even lengthy ideas. Video case studies can also be in the form of Q&A with your customers. This can be a great way to pep up your case study and offer customer validation for your work. Interactive case studies can include questions that gauge buyer interest and drive a high volume of quality leads.
Use Strategic SEO
While writing a case study, content creators should be mindful of what keyword phrases prospects may use to search for relevant content. Search engine optimization (SEO) should be an enabler to your existing content and the sole basis of writing. Case studies should look for opportunities to address the tentative questions that prospects have and the keywords from these questions should be weaved into the writing. Keywords or key phrases will greatly improve the chances of your content appearing on search engines.
Case studies are of course created with the hope to influence the reader to act. A Call to Action (CTA) can thus encourage the readers to take any action after learning about the work. Although not every case study needs a CTA, having a passive link at the end can be a worthy tactic.
B2B companies invariably use case studies as part of their b2b marketing strategy. B2B content marketers have long observed case studies to be an effective aspect in the success of their campaigns. Case studies have to be diligently chosen to convey novelty in your work and serve as a differentiator in the marketplace. They must have a clear message and a coherent theme. Case studies aren’t merely filled with numbers, they are enquired with narratives that engage readers and talk about conflicts, deliberations and transformation – much like a hero’s journey.