Case studies are powerful B2B content marketing assets used by marketing professionals to tell stories about customer successes. Marketers rely on them heavily as they are the fifth most commonly used type of content. B2B case studies are a great way to highlight the value of a product or service and show a specific challenge a business faces, and the solution, which is the implementation of your product or service. Case studies are also a way to add credibility and value at all stages of the lead funnel. Below we cover important steps to create a successful B2B case study.
How to Get Started on a Case Study
The first step of developing a B2B case study is to get input from your sales, marketing and customer service teams to understand the breadth of feedback regarding the potential customer success story. You want to ensure there is the opportunity to obtain plenty of information from a customer that has had a positive experience with your company. After internal data is collected and initial analysis completed, build an outline for your project to serve as the foundation for the case study before you meet with the customer. Develop a specific list of questions for the interviews and make sure you are leaving room for the interview subject to elaborate on their answers by asking open-ended questions and not questions that elicit a “yes” or “no” response. A case study is structured around the problem, solution and results and your questions should reflect this structure. You can reference our guide below to find standard sample questions to use.
Looking for more effective strategies to generate leads with case studies? Check out our B2B case studies for more examples!
How to Structure the Case Study
Following the interviews and information gathering, you are ready to start outlining your case study. Be sure to focus the case study on the pain point your customer experienced, which is also something that your target audience can relate to, and how you solved that pain point. Include specific metrics (i.e., don’t generalize analytics to “doubled visits to website” but instead quantify it to “increased visits to the website from 3,000 to 6,000 in two months”). To help you get started, we have outlined a few key elements for your B2B case study and get you started with some important sample questions to ask:
Sample Case Study Outline
What was the customer issue/problem?
What did we do to help or what were the results?
About The Company:
Customer/company boilerplate message goes here along with qualities and achievements worth mentioning.
- Example Interview Question: Could you tell me about [organization/company name]? Are there any qualities or achievements that stand out to you?
What Was the Opportunity/Challenge?
Subtitle: Describe the opportunity in a bold statement that explains the issue or pain point that needed to be addressed.
- Example Interview Question: What areas were you looking to strengthen or what pain points were you looking to address?
What Was Our Solution?
Subtitle: Describe the solution and explain how it created a positive impact on the customer’s business.
- Example Interview Question: Once the selection was made for [your solution/company name], how would you describe the implementation process? How did it work with you and your team?
What Did We Do?
Subtitle: Provide detailed information in terms of what the product/service did specifically to solve the problem.
- Example Interview Question: Once the selection was made for [your solution/company name], what solution was provided to solve your problem?
What Were the Results?
Subtitle: Provide measurable results and explain how your product or service provided positive results based on the pain points mentioned. Include a quote or testimonial from the key person involved with the project or a member of senior management that is appropriate to the business problem (i.e., for a marketing services case study you could interview a VP Marketing/CMO and for a software product case study you could interview a CTO/VP Technology).
- Example Interview Question: How would you describe the results of implementing [your solution/company name]? What differences has it made?
Case studies are intended to explain how a customer used your products/services to overcome a specific problem or improve a business overall. Make sure you stay focused on the customer success aspect of the story instead of only highlighting the functions and features of the product or service. You want to tell a compelling story of the process and be able to have something prospects or potential customers can connect to. Your case study should be able to highlight proven solutions told by a third party to serve as a testimonial for your business.
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