Case studies are a vital part of B2B marketing. According to the Demand Gen Report, case studies convert at the highest rate of any content type, with 79% of buyers using them when researching purchases.
The problematic part of case studies is the time and energy that goes into creating them. For many B2Bs, it is especially tricky because of the need to share sensitive data or information.
Yet, when it comes to convincing a potential client to use your products and services, there is no better method than using your own client’s voice in a data-backed case study.
What Is A Case Study?
A case study is a narrative that illustrates real-world uses for the products and services you are offering. Think of a case study as a story of how one of your clients overcame their obstacles using your products and services.
The goal of a case study is to help prospects understand how your products and services can help them by providing a tangible example they can relate to. You want to show that you have a proven track record and what better way than highlighting the success of one of your clients.
If executed properly, a case study lets your prospects relate to the story of your client and see themselves achieving the same results.
Why You Need Case Studies
Showcase Products and Services
The most obvious reason to produce case studies is to showcase your products and services and the value they bring to your current clients. It is one thing to list out the reasons why your products and services work, but to illustrate that with data from a successful client will have more impact.
The best case studies grab potential customers’ attention, especially as more and more people tune out traditional advertising. These case studies provide a way to back up any claims you make about your products and services with real-world data.
Establish Trust and Credibility
Customers want to know that you are a trustworthy and credible company, and for that, they want social proof. This type of proof can be in the form of earned media, reviews, and testimonials.
When done correctly, a case study is just an in-depth testimonial from a happy client. These studies are the closest way your prospects can get to word of mouth without directly talking with your clients.
By creating a compelling case study and backing it up with data, you are establishing credibility by illustrating your successes with real clients and real experiences.
Move Leads Through the Funnel
One of the most challenging parts of marketing is pushing prospects through the buyers’ funnel. Even with carefully crafted and targeted messaging, it can be challenging to change prospects into paying customers.
When it comes to the evaluation process, a case study is one of the best tools B2Bs can use to convert prospects. By illustrating that you have already solved a similar company’s challenges and pain points, you are giving your prospects all the information they need to know that you can solve their problems as well.
Tips for Writing Persuasive Case Studies
Tell A Story
The secret to a successful case study is to tell a story. Storytelling enables you to develop a deeper connection with audiences. Consumers can relate to a story in a more meaningful way and better understand how your B2B fits into their lives.
Structure your case study into four distinct parts, similar to a classic narrative:
Introduction/Problem > Solution > Results > Conclusion
Start your case study by introducing your client as well as the problem they are trying to solve. This section should be long enough to present the client and tease the difficulties they face, but not turn off more casual readers.
Next, introduce your B2B and the product and services that came to the rescue. Include an explanation of why the client was seeking you out. Make sure to go into detail about how the client is using your products and services. This section should be benefit-driven and ideally should include direct quotes from the client.
The third part of the case study is where you introduce the hard data. This section should include as much statistical data as pertinent to illustrate why your products and services have been beneficial for the client.
Finally, wrap everything up in a neat bow. The conclusion is where you reiterate why this was a successful partnership. It is also beneficial to include a positive quote from the client about their overall positive experiences with your B2B.
While it is best to present the case study as a story, you still must include hard data. Your best bet is to include data that directly reflect the challenges faced by your client.
When it comes to convincing prospects that they should use you, data is your best friend. Customers want to see just how successful you were at solving a similar problem to theirs.
Whatever data you choose to use, make sure that it reiterates how your client overcame their problem using your products or services.
Let Clients Speak For Themselves
Using direct quotes from your client is essential in ensuring that your case studies fall in line with social proof. Letting your customers tell their own stories, gives more validation and credibility to the case study.
By including direct quotes, you are creating a more riveting story that will draw the reader in. This technique is commonly found in journalism and allow you to reveal more and more about your client using their own words.
When it comes to converting prospects, many businesses fail because they can’t show that their solutions will work for prospects. Creating a well-written case study delivers context, relevance, and credibility and allows prospects to see themselves in the client’s shoes. This, in turn, will help turn prospects into paying clients.