More often than not, simply telling your prospects how your company and its product or services can benefit them isn’t enough to convince them to buy—no matter how good your marketing collateral and sales engagements are.
Today’s savvy buyers need more than just words. To close the deal, you’ve got to provide real evidence that you can deliver results.
This is where B2B case studies come in.
Why Are Case Studies Important in Business?
Your childhood has something to teach you here.
Think back to show and tell days at school. Would you have dreamt of turning up to class with nothing to show? Absolutely not! Even if you still had an interesting story to tell, without the object itself, your classmates would likely be less inclined to listen to what you had to say.
In business, case studies not only tell but show your customers what you can do. When done well, case studies demonstrate to your prospects how a company like theirs has benefited from your products or services to achieve tangible, favorable results. This helps your prospects imagine how they too could experience similar benefits within their company.
Plus, with research highlighting that 54% of buyers engage with case studies during the purchasing process, they should be an essential part of your marketing toolkit.
What are the Benefits of B2B Case Studies?
Throughout much of the marketing and sales process, your company may make a lot of high-level claims about what your products and services can do, and what’s possible. But it’s still a challenge for prospective buyers to understand the specific kinds of results they can expect. Case studies, on the other hand:
- Build trust with your prospects
- Demonstrate your industry expertise
- Provide evidence of the results you can deliver
- Identify your brand evangelists
Although the benefits of using case studies within your B2B sales and marketing strategy are clear, it can be a challenge to create a truly effective case study. Here are some tips for writing effective B2B customer case studies:
1. Focus on the Customer
When creating a case study, it’s tempting to make it all about you. However, the most successful case studies put the customer first. B2B case studies are sometimes referred to as “customer success stories,” and framing them as such can make it easier to create customer-centric content.
To do this, ensure that you write from the voice of the customer. So, instead of saying “[your company name] helped [customer name] to solve the problems they were having with x,” try reframing the narrative from the customer’s point of view. For example, “[your company name] helped us to solve x.”
This approach has long been applied when crafting B2B sales copy but can be easily forgotten when writing case studies. By writing from the customer’s perspective, you make it easier for your prospects to place themselves in their shoes, helping them to visualize how they too could benefit from these same positive results.
2. Tell a Story
Whatever you do, don’t bore your reader with endless stats. It’s still necessary to include salient data points, but without a compelling narrative, your readers will quickly abandon the piece. Given that, on average, readers are willing to spend 5-10 minutes reviewing your case study, it’s important that you keep them engaged.
Just as a novel has a beginning, middle, and end, so too should your case study. Guide your reader through the journey the customer has had with your business. Start with who they are and the problems they faced before working with you, leading into how you helped to solve these issues.
Furthermore, seek to develop a story that ignites an emotional connection within your reader to help them relate to the customer your case study focuses on. Avoid jargon and superfluous language and use the terminology your customers speak to stay relatable—your sales team will be able to guide you here.
3. Create Multiple Formats
To leverage a case study’s maximum potential, repurpose it into multiple formats. Case studies are generally a time-intensive undertaking, so ensure you get the most out of them. Here are some additional assets you can create from the original long-form piece:
- Pick out the most impressive quotes/statistics to create social media posts
- Summarize the story in an eye-catching infographic
- Convert the copy into a short video (keep it under 60 seconds)
- Use customer quotes as testimonials on your website
- Create an accompanying blog post
4. Be Specific
Ambiguous language has no place in your B2B case studies. To convince your readers of your expertise, you need to be as specific as possible about the results you helped your customers achieve. For example, don’t just say “[your company name] helped us boost our lead conversion rate.” Instead, try something like “[your company name]’s solution enabled us to increase our lead-to-sale conversion rate by 24%.”
Furthermore, don’t just provide the statistics—describe to the reader precisely how your product or service contributed to these results.
5. Don’t Forget the Follow Up
Although case studies have your customer in mind, they’re also designed to generate leads and increase conversions for your business. With that said, make sure not to neglect the follow-up when creating your case studies.
Ensure that, at minimum, the longer-form pieces you create contain a clear call to action. For example, if the content is gated, you will obtain the customer’s email address at the point of download. Don’t let this valuable contact information disappear into the ether. Ensure it enters your CRM and is dealt with accordingly, even if it’s a simple automated follow-up email. After all, a customer that’s downloaded your case study is clearly indicating their interest in your business.
Great Case Studies Need Great Customers
To create convincing case studies, you first need a roster of happy, loyal clients. If you’re looking to bolster your pipeline with in-market buyers who are currently seeking the solutions you offer, get in touch with DemandScience today.
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