B2B case studies have the potential to grow your brand presence and convert leads into buyers. But they must be convincing for this to occur, and unfortunately, many B2B brands produce case studies that miss the mark.
So to help, we’ve put together some valuable practices to follow when creating case studies. And implementing them can help you increase your ROI.
The Importance of B2B Case Studies
Don’t underestimate the value of B2B case studies for your brand; they showcase your social proof, credibility, and expertise. Remember, people buy from people they like and trust.
According to the annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report from CMI and MarketingProfs, the year ahead will be a big one for content marketers. Content marketers are focusing tactically on short articles and posts (like blogs), which continue to be the most common type of content, with 90% of content marketers using them in the past year. Following this is:
- Videos (66%)
- Virtual events/webinars/online courses (64%)
- Case studies (61%)
Out of these, case studies can build credibility quickly as they show prospective clients how you solve problems. And if some of your clients are well-known, that will further enhance your expertise.
How to Write Case Studies
We’ve put together some techniques taken from psychology and marketing to help you create convincing and compelling B2B case studies.
These techniques will help your buyers know, like, and trust your brand. Without them, it will be hard to get conversions. So, keep them in mind every time you create a case study.
1. Ensure Your Case Study Relates to Your B2B Audience
All content you create as a B2B must relate to your audience. Case studies are no different. You must know their pain points, desires, and wants, as established through conducting proper market research.
Keep your audience at the top of your mind and ensure the solution works for them. Often businesses fail to convert prospects because their leads just don’t understand how the content relates to them. Your case study must be relevant to your audience and have context and credibility. Without this, they will be asking how does this help me?
2. Keep in Mind Cognitive Fluency for Your B2B Case Studies
Cognitive fluency is the feeling of ease or difficulty a person has while completing a mental task. Psychologically humans are hardwired to seek simplicity over complexity. If something is too hard to understand, it will affect the conversion rate.
When it comes to your B2B case studies, keep the KISS principle in mind (Keep It Simple Stupid).
Use clean and simple language throughout your case study. Only use industry jargon when needed but try to keep content conversational and easy to understand. Incorporate bullet points and have plenty of white space, so it’s easy on the eyes.
Avoid large chunks of text. Make your case studies visually appealing by inserting images, infographics, charts, and videos. Visuals have high conversion rates.
3. Incorporate Principles of Influence
Robert Cialdini wrote Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, which has been hailed as one of the great marketer’s handbooks. You can borrow its timeless wisdom to help you create compelling B2B case studies.
There are six principles of influence according to Cialdini:
- Social Proof
Conversions are all about persuasion. When it comes to case studies, you want to turn your readers into buyers. The best way to do this is to incorporate the two principles of social proof and authority in your case studies. You do this through showcasing your expertise, thought leadership, how you help people, and customer endorsement.
4. Follow a Proven Formula for B2B Case Studies
Our content marketing team has used and replicated this formula for successful and compelling B2B case studies: Problem → Solution → Results → Client Quote.
This formula is essentially a form of storytelling that allows you to present a problem then a solution to that problem, followed by the results you got for your client. And finally, you can include an endorsement/quote from the client to prove you were successful. This further reinforces social proof and credibility. If you follow this formula, your case study will have a logical, clear, and easy-to-follow structure.
It’s also important to present your solution early in a case study. Unlike some forms of marketing and storytelling, where the solution is often presented last, in a B2B case study, your prospects want the solution quickly. So, don’t delay it. Present it early on, then follow up with other details in the rest of the case study. Overall, you’ll create a great story with a winning formula.
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” Seth Godin
5. Take a Client-Centric Approach
You’ve probably heard the phrase “Content is King,” but remember that your clients help make content king. After all, they are the ones engaging with it and ultimately buying from you. Without them, your content wouldn’t be king.
So, your case studies should shine the spotlight more on them and less on you. To do this, you put them first—take a client-centric approach. Revolve your B2B case studies around your client’s success story, their achievements, and their experience in working with you. You want your prospective clients to know that you treat your clients well and genuinely help them grow their business by delivering outstanding results.
6. Use Emotional Engagement for B2B Case Studies
Emotional engagement should be at the core of all B2B case studies for them to be convincing and compelling. Humans are emotional creatures and connect with emotionally engaging content. It hooks and draws them in.
To do this, you present a story, keep your language conversational, and limit your jargon. Where appropriate, consider also using humor. Remember, B2B doesn’t have to be all technical and dry. Infuse your B2B case studies with emotion, and you’ll start seeing more engagement.
Extra Pointers on Creating B2B Case Studies
Along with the above techniques presented to make your B2B case studies convincing, we’ve also put together these extras that will further help you create effective B2B case studies:
- Create a title that is solution-focused. “How to” headlines work well.
- Present the client’s goals.
- Make sure you don’t share confidential information about the client.
- Don’t forget to include facts and figures. They showcase expertise and show you. have attention to detail.
- Feature quotes directly from the client to showcase your credibility.
- Include a call to action that directs prospects back to your brand.
- Ensure that technical information is presented in an easy-to-understand way.
- Use impeccable grammar and spelling throughout the case study.
- Avoid making your case study sound like a marketing or sales pitch.
- Don’t overdo it with too much information. Stick to the fundamentals, don’t go off-topic, and remember the KISS principle.
- Repurpose your case study into other forms of content for amplification.
When done well, case studies can do wonders for your B2B brand. For more help with them and guidance in growing your B2B, book time with our team.