What Makes a Good B2B Case Study?

What makes a good B2B Case Study

Everyone loves a good B2B case study. Case studies provide valuable insight into how your company work’s during a specific project. It also gives you the opportunity to show off your problem-solving skills. Trade magazines, popular industry blogs and your customers all enjoy reading about how you ‘saved the day’ for a particular client on a specific problem.

Case Study: Public Relations Tactic

This public relations tactic gets your product success stories into the editorial columns of print and electronic media. It also helps to build your brand leadership and increase the trust factor. Finally, it lets readers learn how you helped solve real-world problems.

Case Study: Lead Generation Tactic

We’ve written several case studies, and in addition to submitting it to trade magazines for possible PR exposure, case studies make excellent lead generation tactics. You’ll need a landing page, optimize the page and then promote it from time to time to give your landing page proper placement on search engines. A case study can produce more leads and newsletter subscriptions than a year’s work of blogging. So, don’t dismiss this opportunity.

Elements of a Good Case Study

You’re probably wondering what makes a compelling and interesting case study? Here are some guidelines for identifying PR-worthy customer case studies that can generate awareness, credibility and leads for you.

Tell a Story in Your B2B Case Study

Yes, every case study is a story and a great story begins with a great headline. When brainstorming on your headlines consider all elements, blog post title, newsletter and social media. Each medium may require editing the headline so don’t make it too long.

Before you decide, try the writer’s formula we use to create compelling headlines, which are as follows: ask “Who, What, When, Where, and How.”

Setting Up

  • Results – The most critical thing to show is that you did solve the problem. No grey areas here. A reliable B2B case study includes numbers, facts, images of the positive end-result you did for your customer.
  • Problem/solution – Case studies should start with the customer’s issue and how you solved it. You can also outline different solutions and offer proven reasoning as to why your company as the optimal solution. Write from the customer’s perspective. Do include why the customer selected you, this writing style enhances the credibility of the story.

Timing

  • Current project – A current case study is more valuable than one that is old. In reality, we’re all busy and sometimes spending time on writing is not a priority. The point that I like to stress with my clients is to write a case study that has value. However, the product must be installed and operating. Or the service needs to be used and that the customer is satisfied with the solution.

Make it Special

  • Unique project – When submitting your B2B case study to an editor, it needs to be attractive by way of the project that needs to be unique so that the publication’s audience wants to read the feature. From cutting-edge technology, changing in-house processes, the value of timing, understanding the competition, and how you used the data – these have higher news value. You can also review the editorial calendar to get a good idea of what is the focus and spin based on a particular topic to arouse the editor’s interest.

Creative Writing

  • Illustrate the expertise – Editors view case studies as suitable teaching devices for their readers. They do welcome case studies that educate as well as inform.
  • Photography – Make the effort to visit your client and take photos. Take more than you think and add variety. Vertical, horizontal views, with people and without people – all are necessary. If you can bring on a professional photographer to develop dramatic photos. With some drama in your photos, it will help get your story picked up by the trade magazines.
  • No advertorial – The focus of the story must remain on what happened. A case study is not an advertorial; it is a review of the facts, written engagingly.

Brand Building

  • Customer quotes – You’ll need your customer’s buy-in before you begin to write about the case study. You’ll also need a quote. Sell them the idea that you’ll be promoting their business, so its’ a win-win for both, you and your client. Case studies where the customer remains anonymous don’t carry as much weight and are harder to sell to a publication. Especially in today’s modern marketing, transparency is essential.
  • Support brand positioning – Leverage your brand leadership by including key messages. Also, include a brief company background and additional resources readers may be interested in sourcing.

Marketing Funnel

Now that you’ve written your first case study, its the time to promote your content. Create a landing page, set-up a dedicated email list and create a series of newsletters through marketing automation that relates to the case study. You may want to write a blog post as well as a press release and reach out to your trade magazines.

Need help identifying and developing B2B case studies for PR placement and sales support? Contact me at cecilia@themarketingboutique.net.

The Marketing Boutique is a business-to-business marketing communications agency. We specialize in providing strategic marketing communications thinking and implementation to marketers of industrial, technical and commercial products.

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