Case studies are a reliable marketing tool for showcasing the benefits of your company’s solutions in action. In the world of B2B tech, they’re an effective and efficient way to communicate the upsides of your product or service to technical and non-technical decision makers alike.
The best B2B content marketing case studies are more than just an outline of strong data points and positive customer testimonials. To drive conversions, they should piece together those elements into a narrative potential clients can connect with. To help you accomplish this, here’s some advice for getting started on your case study’s story.
Deciding the focus of your case study
The first step to a great case study is honing in on its objective. Be specific about the outcome or outcomes you want to show that your offering provides. Is it new leads? Less overhead? More revenue?
The next step is to decide on your case study candidate. Because your case study’s story is built mostly on the client experience, the candidate is one of the most important choices you’ll make. Choose a client or customer according to who would be most willing to participate and how well their stories tie back to your objective.
Try to identify buyers that you know have robust product knowledge, since they’ll be the most likely to provide you with specific information. Other useful clients to consider are those that switched over to your company’s solution from a competitor’s.
Putting together a case study brief gets the nuts and bolts of your project in place. The brief should provide a short explanation of your company and solution that’s tailored to your case study’s objective. When introducing your buyers, make sure their company and employees shine.
The key element of your brief is the executive summary. The executive summary outlines your case study’s narrative and ties together the three key components: the challenge, the solution, and the results. Be sure your executive summary explicitly highlights how your solution stands out from competitors.
Preparing for the interview
Your brief can also be a helpful foundation for building out your interview questions and deciding which order to ask them in. By asking open-ended questions in sequence, an interviewee will tell the story of your case study in their own words. Here are some examples of what you can ask:
- Explain the problem you faced and its impact on your company.
- When did you decide to take action?
- What other solutions did you consider?
- Describe the work effort required of your team. How did training go?
- How long did it take to start seeing improvements?
- What were the most valuable results?
- Any unexpected results?
- Would you recommend our company to others? Why?
Before going into the call, think about measurable, objective results you can ask about. The more concrete, the better! Recording the interview is also advised, especially for pulling verbatim testimony.
Choosing your case study format
The final step of preparing your case study is deciding on the medium you want to use to tell its story. While written case studies are the norm, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and choose a different format if it seems right. For example, podcasts and video case studies are increasingly popular options for creating highly engaging narratives that meet potential clients where they are.
If you’re going with a written format, tying in multimedia elements is a dependable way to add some spice to your case study and help readers learn and retain the most important features of your product. Visuals also add personality to your case study by giving your brand space to shine. When putting a spotlight on important data or quotations, use icons or brighter brand colors to add even more visual interest.
Lastly, subheadings and bulleted lists are advisable. They’ll keep your case study skimmable and easy to digest. Make sure your headlines are as specific as possible to the underlying content, so that decision makers on a tight schedule can keep track of the narrative without needing to read every word.
Round out your B2B content marketing
With the right preparation, your case study can tell a story that doesn’t just explain your product, but paints a clear picture of the value it’s already providing for your buyers. Learn how you can make your case study an even more valuable asset by making them a part of a comprehensive content marketing strategy. Contact PMG today for a free 20-minute consultation.