9 months ago by Arek Estall
How to write a good B2B case study
We all know case studies are one of the most useful selling tools around in B2B environments - a great case study does the selling for you.
The CMI says that 63% of UK marketers believe that case studies are effective marketing tactics, and are the fifth most popular tactic. In a B2B environment, that's likely to be even higher.
We can all agree that case studies are important - but many miss the mark in terms of execution.
Having written countless case studies across B2B markets such as telecoms, manufacturing and professional services, we thought we'd pull together five top tips to make your case studies more effective.
1. Lead with the outcome...not the client
For too long we've been focusing on the name of the client. But when a client is faced with a wrath of case studies, that makes it hard for them to pick out what resonates.
Most clients will engage with their scenario more than their sector. So by leading with the outcome you achieved, you do the filtering for them - and make it more likely to get the right info in front of them.
2. Aim for at least 3 statistics
Nothing proves outcomes quite like a statistic.
But nothing puts a barrier to getting a case study quite like a statistic.
A lot of companies will forego stats in favour of action...which is understandable. But without stats, the case study isn't nearly as effective.
3. Follow a repeatable format
Nothing makes a series of case studies seem less professional than varying formats. Stick to a basic format, and make sure you keep the same titles. When writing them you may forget the titles you used in the last one, but customers will be flicking through quickly and are likely to notice any inconsistencies. A useful format would be:
- Background (the client and the scenario)
- What you did (which of your services were applied and how)
- Outcomes (key benefits and stats)
4. Create case studies that reflect your ideal client
It may seem obvious, but whatever case studies you put out will dictate what enquiries you get in.
You might be familiar with the ABCD concept, where A clients are your dream clients...and D clients are...well...the less said about them the better.
So make sure that when selecting case studies, don't go with what's easiest or those who are most willing. Go with clients that reflect your ideal customer profile, ideally your A clients.
5. Don't forget that this is an opportunity for them, not just you
With all the above in mind, it can seem like a big ask to get a suitable case study, and a lot of work for your client.
But remember, this is an opportunity for them too. Here are some key benefits, that they may not have considered:
- They will get a backlink, which helps their SEO
- They get an opportunity to be seen by new audiences
- You'll be promoting the case study in your literature, on social and in person
- You are proud to work with them, and that's great positioning for them as a brand
Good case studies are hard work, and can easily take 1-3 days of time to pull together. But once you have them, they're pretty permanent pieces of content, which are well worth the effort.