Case studies are a stable of B2B digital marketing and they form a key part of any good content marketing strategy. They provide clear evidence of the benefits a particular supplier can offer their customers and yet it’s suprising how many companies fail to make the most of the opportunity they present.
The majority of case studies follow the basic Problem – Solution – Results formula, but fail spectacularly when it comes to the results section. Instead of highlighting clear benefits and returns made, they fail to illustrate exactly what the user achieved.
There are many ways to highlight returns – fewer mistakes made, shorter accounting cycles, ability to launch new products, reducing overtime – the list is endless – yet these details are so often omitted from published case studies.
From experience, this happens when the interviewer fails to probe the end user for results. I’ve been there before, interviewing the customer contact provided by the client and it’s apparent they are either not the bext person to be speaking to, or they gloss over the project and provide vague information. Without probing them and suggesting possible benefits and returns seen, I would have come away empty handed. But in taking the initiative to dig a bit deeper, the customer opens up and shares many other details, all of which create a compelling case study.
In addition to a lack of information, many case studies are too generic, and fail to combine presenting the business case with an interesting story angle. Knowing the topics key media are writing about before writing a case study helps to ensure that the benefits of using ‘ABC solution’ are nicely linked to a topical industry issue. This makes the case study more likely to be of interest to a journalist and ensures it has much greater value as a piece of marketing and sales support content.
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