B2B customers are a tough crowd to please. They deal in high-value transactions and involve numerous decision-makers before making a purchase. With so many moving parts and so much at stake, you’ll need concrete evidence to close the deal.
Consider this: 93% of the most successful B2B marketers spend a bulk of their efforts on content marketing. In other words, the best players in the game are all focusing on convincing buyers not with flashy promotions but with facts, information, and data. Further, within the ambit of content marketing, case studies often sit at the top due to their ability to “put your metrics where your mouth is.”
In our article below we’ll go over what exactly case studies are before diving into why they should be included in your marketing initiatives.
What Are Case Studies?
At its core, a case study is a story that investigates how a particular solution or product benefited a customer. It’s a narrative peppered with raw facts and impactful quotes that inspires potential customers to give your solution a chance.
In the context of B2B marketing, case studies are crucial because they present the perfect opportunity to showcase the prowess of your solution while building expertise and credibility.
Regarding how they look, there isn’t any one-size-fits-all structure to case studies, but they do have a rough, general structure.
Taking the example of a case study we did for one of our clients, they often start with background information. This is where the customer’s organization is introduced along with other relevant facts. Then, the challenge is presented where the customer’s pain points are elaborated upon in-depth. The solution then enters by way of your product or service, which leads to the resolution of the customer’s issues.
Benefits of Case Studies
Case studies just work. Period. The fact that 13% of B2B marketers focus primarily on case studies speaks volumes as to how effective they are. Having established that, let’s delve deeper into why this is the case:
B2B buyers are always on the lookout for viable solutions that meet their needs. However, in a market that’s increasingly oversaturated, you’ll need results and evidence that your solution works.
Case studies are invaluable in this aspect because they’re not necessarily about your company or about the claims you’ve made about your solution. They’re about your customers. And what could be more convincing than someone else lavishing praise about your solution? Of course, a good case study will have to ensure that it includes direct quotes, employee names and positions, as well as a company name to establish credibility.
Here’s an example from our case study:
“It helped that someone in the Jira community had posted that I should be able to solve my issues with this app. It makes you more persistent if someone has said that you can do it; you just need to figure out how it’s done.”Johan Olofsson
Despite how effective case studies are, you’ll be surprised to learn that they’re extremely cost-effective. Especially when compared to other, more expensive forms of marketing such as explainer videos and full-on social media campaigns.
The reason for this is straightforward; they don’t require costly video production, over-the-top graphics, or even extensive marketing. All a case study needs is impactful writing and a thoughtful interview with well-planned questions that get the most out of the interviewee. Some solid questions you could ask include:
- What is the best thing about using your product?
- After using it for a while, did they discover any unexpected benefits?
- What would they say to anyone considering purchasing this? Would they recommend it? If so, why?
A case study is a two-way street between you and your participant,. You shouldn’t think about it as something bothersome for your customer. View it instead as an opportunity for everyone involved to benefit.
Because creating a case study requires you to sit down and have an honest conversation, if done properly, you can take this time to better understand your customer and future leads. Aim to learn about their pain points, what they specifically like and dislike about your product, and take their suggestions into account. In turn, provide them with tips and tricks and further information from your end to strengthen the existing relationship.
A case study’s usefulness doesn’t end when it’s published on your website. Its shelf-life can be vastly prolonged beyond its original format with a dash of creativity. With all the effort spent gathering information and content from a satisfied customer, it’d be a shame to let it all go to waste, right?
By repurposing your case study into other forms of content, you’ll also help nurture more potential leads and get the most bang out of your buck. Here are some ways you can achieve this:
- Create a video version of your case study.
- Write several blog posts that cover topics mentioned in the case study.
- Distribute it as part of an email marketing campaign.
- Center and host a webinar around your case study.
- Incorporate “sound bites” from the case study into your social media posts.
Last but not least, a case study engages potential customers with your solution in an interesting manner. This is opposed to listing out why your solution is better than the rest and why potential leads should choose you in a dry, fact-of-the-matter way.
Case studies tell a story that begins with a customer’s pain point and ends with a satisfying resolution. It’s more than just a list of features or a table comparing it to alternatives. It’s a story that allows readers to put themselves in the shoes of your customer and enables you to indirectly connect with them on a more personal level. Storytelling is, after all, one of the most powerful tools in a marketer’s arsenal.
Case studies have the potential to benefit your marketing efforts. When done right, they’re a rare opportunity to shine and unabashedly show off your company, solutions, and clients. And it doesn’t hurt that case studies are the preferred form of content for buyers.
At Brighttail we craft expert-level marketing strategies that elevate our B2B clients to the next level. Get in touch to learn how we can help your organization grow and thrive.