How likely are you to work with a business that has no reviews, case studies or testimonials? For most, the answer is very unlikely. Consumers – particularly those within the B2B space – need reassurance that they are investing their money in the right place, so if you are unable to demonstrate your expertise, you are unlikely to gain trust and win business. Simple as that. And whilst customer testimonials are a great way to gain trust and credibility, they only tell half the story – which is why you need to invest in case studies.
We are constantly told about the importance of storytelling in marketing, and a case study does just that. It essentially tells the tale of how your business helped a client overcome a challenge, detailing the steps you took and the results you were able to achieve. They enable businesses to connect to their audience on a deeper, emotional level by featuring relatable clients and common industry challenges. This type of content is almost always guaranteed to be relevant to your target audience thanks to its targeted, niche-specific nature, which means as long as you present your results correctly, they will always resonate with your audience.
Just like a traditional story, every case study should have a beginning, middle and end; of course, each will vary slightly, however as a general rule, you should aim to keep to the following structure:
- The client’s challenge
- The proposed solution
- The results
The aim is to present your offering as the optimal solution to the client’s problem; you need to convince your audience your business is the right one for them.
So, now we know what case studies are and how they can benefit your business, let’s explore three of the main advantages of using them.
Prove your worth
If you want to sell – particularly in a B2B market – you need to prove your worth; demonstrate your expertise with real-world examples that your prospects can relate to and understand. Think of it as social proof: no one wants to be the odd one out, especially in the world of B2B where purchase decisions are powered by risk mitigation. So, if you can prove you have already successfully helped clients just like them, they are far more likely to want to jump on the bandwagon and do business with you.
To make your case studies more engaging and reinforce the benefits of working with your business, you should include a quote from the client themselves which summarises how you have benefited their business and why they enjoy working with you.
You should also let the numbers do the talking; if you have achieved outstanding results, make sure they are clearly highlighted – don’t wait for your audience to find them. And remember: if there’s one thing B2B buyers love, it’s figures and statistics; because the numbers never lie.
Boost your SEO strategy
Case studies are keyword-rich and packed with unique and engaging content, meaning if you choose to publish them as a webpage or blog post, you will be significantly increasing your chances of ranking for key search terms. And what’s more, the search engines love fresh content just as much as your audience, so if you regularly post new or updated case studies, you will be helping to keep your site relevant and favoured by Google (and the likes).
Create captivating content (again and again)
Case studies are packed full of engaging content that resonates with your target audience, so it’s only natural that you should make the most of this and use it again & again. By this, we mean repurpose your content. Don’t limit yourself to a webpage or PDF file; create social posts, newsletters, blog posts. The possibilities are endless.
In the words of OptinMonster, case studies are like research: “Once you’ve conducted the research, it’s fairly easy to discuss the intricacies in more detail.”
So whether it’s a video case study, webpage or PDF document, with 67% of B2B product marketers now saying case studies are the most effective form of content can your business afford to miss out? To discover more about what makes a great case study, be sure to check out our own selection here.