Importance Of Case Studies To B2B Business
Ratings, reviews and word-of-mouth play a very important role in B2C consumers’ decision-making. In similar ways, B2B clients bank on case studies when evaluating potential vendors they will work with.
Case studies are a collection of a business’ previous work that serves to exhibit their problem-solving capability. You can showcase various analysis and solutions that you have done for your previous clients.
More than just listing out your capabilities, case studies present actual numbers, details about the problem, and the value your business delivered. Including clients’ reviews or testimonials can also enhance the reliability of the account and act as a social proof to your services.
As a B2B business, here’s why case studies deliver value:
Showcase your services
Case studies can give potential clients a clearer idea of what you can do and achieve beyond your specified job scopes or products and services. This is also done by adding a layer of realistic and contextual background to the information you are presenting.
Overall, case studies would help your potential clients go through their consumer journey, which for B2B businesses, often centres around vendor evaluation. By providing enough information and content, you would make your capabilities more apparent and make it easier for them to do their due diligence, giving them greater ease and all the more reason to choose you over others.
Increase your credibility
Case studies offer greater credibility as they are written around real-life experiences and proof of your work, not just hypothetical anecdotes. With real, measurable performances and results, you are able to back the ‘promises’ your business makes with concrete evidence.
In addition, case studies can act as industry peer reviews where your clients can see how you solve similar problems that are particularly relevant to them. By incorporating direct quotes from your clients, you can benefit from this ‘word-of-mouth’, which is significant in boosting businesses’ credibility.
Such quotes convey your previous clients’ satisfaction with the results, because not only did they use your services in the past, but they are also pleased enough with your work to be included as a case study. These client relations can also serve as leverage to your business, especially if you worked with well-known clients whose apparent success can easily vouch for your performance.
B2B storytelling might differ from the usual emotional and people-focused B2C storytelling, but many of the traditional storytelling principles still hold. At the core, you would want to explain the process of service delivery. You can show your thought process, the factors you considered and how you ultimately achieved the final solutions.
Furthermore, your previous customers can act as the subjects of the story, with whom your potential clients can identify and resonate. Instead of being all formal and filled with “hard facts,” you could insert some components of the emotional and experiential journey. By asking accurate questions that really speak to their concerns and challenges, they might see themselves in your previous clients and recognize the value that they can get by working with you.
Case studies can certainly bring many benefits as a part of your content marketing strategy. You would be publishing original content that are specific to your business and cannot be easily replicated by your competitors.
While putting together a case study can require great effort, the main case study can be reused and repurposed in other forms such as: tips, interviews, articles, presentations or trivia facts, over an extended period of time. Together, using case studies as part of your content strategy can increase brand awareness as well as search engine optimization (SEO).
Things to watch out for when putting together your case studies:
- Don’t make it about you
Yes, you are essentially showcasing your capabilities, but you should shift the focus away from what you did to save your customers, to what you did to support them. Place the focus on them and how they successfully thrived with their efforts as well.
By positioning your customers as the hero of the story, you would empower them by making them feel and look good, a positive response you would want for your marketing strategy. Moreover, recounting the story from your customer’s perspective will definitely lend greater weight to your customer reviews and the overall case study.
- Clear delivery of the message
While you want them to stay interested, you have to be direct and straight-forward in conveying your points. You should present your information in ways that are easy-to-read or easy-to-digest, which is done by using attractive visuals, design and simpler language, instead of jargon-heavy big chunks of text.
Including clear infographics and headings/sub-headings can definitely help readers grasp the flow of the case studies (before and after; from problems to suggestions to results) better.