Case Studies for B2B Marketing
Using B2B Case Studies Effectively
If you think your business does not use case studies yet, you might want to think again.
Most B2B transactions start with some form of consulting and knowledge sharing. The buyer shares the opportunities/ expectations/ challenges/ requirements he or she has, and the seller tries to match them with the most suitable product or service that meets that requirement. Based on the nature of the specifications and type of offering, the seller might also need to customize a solution.
If your business has created such unconventional or unique products or services or has gone out of its way to meet specific client requirements, a case study could be a nice way to share the work done and the eventual benefits accrued.
Most business case studies use a simple three-pronged format that includes a Problem (or an opportunity), a Solution (that you offered to solve that problem), and the eventual Success. This format makes it easy for readers to understand what happened and why it happened, while automatically increasing their faith in your brand and its abilities.
Marketing Tip: Actions speak louder than words. Use B2B case studies to highlight problems/ challenges faced by your client, and describe how your products/services helped them solve the same.
What is a Case Study?
A case study is an official record of how your product or service resolved a challenge faced by your customer. It also carries an honest account of a customer’s experience, his or her problems, and how your company’s involvement helped put things into place.
The essence of a good case study lies in effortlessly capturing the customer’s journey, such that the other readers (prospects) identify with the problem and appreciate the solution provided.
Why Write Case Studies?
Your B2B clients want to know if you’ve been there, done that. They want to be sure that you know what it takes and have the product or service that would truly benefit them. They expect both information and guidance.
A case study starts with a premise that describes a situation faced by your client and illustrates the solution your company offered to meet the requirements. Such a narrative helps build context, relevance, trust, and credibility.
Marketing Tip: A case study allows you to demonstrate your solutions to complex and non-standard problems. Use B2B case studies to powerup lead generation.
How to Write a Business Case Study
An effective case study is informative, technically sound, and crisp. Introduce the obstacles faced, followed by the insight, intervention, and expertise provided by your company.
One can write a case study in the following flow:
- A brief about the client and their goals – Build context so that readers understand the scale, nature, and significance of your client’s business and its challenges.
- Goals/ Challenges Faced – This is the problem that the client approached you with. This can be the official mandate, the ask, their expectations, expected specification, etc.
- Solution Offered -This is the most significant section in any business case study. It covers what you did, why was it unique, what was the value addition. Mention if your team went beyond the SLA (Service Level Agreement). Highlight the unexpected challenges faced and how your team resolved them.
- Benefits/ Advantages – The outcome. This can be the goals achieved. Try to include facts and figures to drive home the significance. You can also consider seeking a testimonial from the client, include a ‘letter of appreciation’, etc., anything that demonstrates success. For you and the client.
Remember: One may or may not disclose the client’s identity. The objective of a case study is only to highlight your team’s capabilities in meeting complex or non-standard demands.
Types of Case Studies
Based on the source of information, case studies can be:
Factual Case Studies
Based on actual business transactions. They cover real business approaches and results achieved. These could also carry client testimonials or bytes in the form of videos or podcast interviews.
Hypothetical Case Studies
While this might sound similar to technical white papers, case studies can also be written to describe how your products and services can help solve nagging client problems. In such cases, use fictitious scenarios and problem statements to demonstrate the effectiveness of your offering.
B2B Case Studies Help Search Engine Optimization
In the traditional sense, the goal of writing a case study is to prove the applicability of your products and services for solving complex business challenges. However, an online case study also serves an additional purpose – that of on-page SEO.
A case study presented in an HTML format on your website or blog can employ the relevant keywords and help you attract relevant web traffic!
Depending on the nature of your business and your target audience, select an appropriate tone, voice, and writing style for your B2B case studies.