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How to Write a B2B Case Study That Wins You Business and Influences Buyers

B2B case studies are the most effective sales and marketing assets to win new business opportunities. Learn how to use them to convince and convert customers.

Did you know B2B case studies are some of the most effective sales and marketing assets for winning new business opportunities? Case studies help, especially if your product is complex and needs a longer sales cycle and further explanations? Docsend looked at 34 million content interactions and found that case studies have an average 83% completion rate! People really read them.

Does this mean that as long as you are churning out case studies, your prospects will line up around the block, and the job is done? If only!

What’s in a B2B case study?

Most importantly, your customer’s success. Celebrate it, show them off. Case studies highlight concrete examples of how your customers solved particular problems, thanks to your products or services. 

Be customer-centric. Although the point of case studies is to convince potential customers of the quality of your solution, case studies must be about your customers, not you.  By telling a compelling story about your customer’s success, potential customers can identify themselves with the featured customer and recognize that they need a similar —your solution! 

Different stories lend themselves to different ways of telling them, but including most of these elements, the story of your case study has the best chance of telling itself to you: 

“Toot your customer’s horn, not your own!” - Jeffrey A. McGuire, OSP

What are case studies for?

Case studies are part of the “consideration” section of the conversion funnel. Readers will already be aware of the category and the product or solution you offer. They will be deepening their knowledge and comparing various offerings. Your prospective clients are looking for proof points to validate a purchase decision. Your customers’ success stories can help convince them that your solution can help them solve their problems, too. Keeping this in mind, you probably don’t need to explain every concept of what you do, and you should stay away from the “hard sell” in your case studies, too. Conversion comes later.

Types of content needed at various stages of the buyer funnel

Case Study UX

Your case studies have their own UX. Beyond following your branding, all your product communications, in fact, should serve a strategic purpose. Whatever that purpose is—inform, convince, convert—the more compelling, memorable, and easier it is to consume, the better its chances of success.

Tell a story

Tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end. Describe the past with its challenges, how you addressed the situation, and the results your work or products delivered.  

Length and format

Format your case studies for easy consumption: break up walls of text, use lists and callouts. Everyone is competing for customer attention. At OSP, very tight case studies have worked well for our clients—one or two pages, 500 to 1000 words. Is there an “ideal” length? According to the Docsend study we mentioned before, two to five pages. The longer it gets, the more readers you lose. Respect your readers’ time. Less can be more.

Content elements

Case studies should include the following elements. Some stories lend themselves to combining elements, others to a certain order. If you collect all this information as you are preparing and interviewing the stakeholders, the story has the best chance of telling itself to you: 

Title: catchy, result-oriented, highlight a tangible outcome

Tell the story in the title. Clear is more valuable than clever. Let’s compare two examples from two anonymized, but real companies, both providing solutions around NLP, or natural language processing. 

Example 1: “NLP in the Arabic language with AI COMPANY ONE”

Example 2: “BANK deflecting 32% of routine customer service contacts with AI COMPANY TWO”

Which one would you want to find out more about? Use precise, tangible facts and figures (when you have them) to strengthen your case study.

Introduction: set the stage, bring out the stars

Tell readers what they should take away from your case study. Provide the background information they need to understand the story and introduce your client, the star of the show. 

Tip: Add a photo of your client to your case study with a short testimonial quote. This is another chance for readers to identify themselves with the actual humans you helped with your work.

Describe your customer’s challenge

Grab your (ideal) customers’ attention. Describe your client and the situation they faced, with precise, specific details others will identify with.  Describe the state of your customer before you helped them and the problems they were facing. A powerful option here is to describe your customer’s goals, objectives, or desired outcomes and what was blocking them.

You to the rescue!

This is what you’ve been waiting for: a chance to talk about yourself! ;-) There are a few healthy options you can include as appropriate:

Benefits & transformation

Talk about how your client has benefited from the transformation brought about by your product or service (focus on your client, not your features!), back up those benefits with proof. Empirical facts and figures are great, of course.  Use precise, real numbers to strengthen your case study. Back up any claims you made in the title. Include a quote or testimonial from your customer if you can; anecdotal evidence is powerful and human.

Now everything comes full circle: your solution has saved the day for your customer and their company, helped meet the goals and objectives, and achieved their desired outcome. 

Wrap it up with a call to action

You don’t always need to include a call-to-action in case studies, but suggest what you’d like the reader to do next. Making it easy for interested potential customers to get in touch can’t hurt, especially after you’ve taken them on a grand tour of how they could benefit from your great offering.

Conclusion: Case studies? Yes, please!

Case studies can be one of the most important sales tools, helping showcase the quality work you’ve done. Once published, they keep on working for you, getting more valuable over time. And B2B buyers read them! Use catchy, result-oriented titles. Focus on your customer’s success thanks to your solution. Describe the benefits and value you provided instead of the features of your product. Highlight the positive results of your customer’s transformation—use precise, tangible numbers, plus client quotes to strengthen your case study.  

Want compelling case studies professionally written and packaged up for immediate publication? We’ll be happy to help. Check out our introductory case study package.

Hand holding letters that spell yes.

A young marketer tends her sales funnel.
A young marketer tends her sales funnel.

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Woman tending funnel photo by Tim Douglas from Pexels, yes photo by SHVETS production from Pexels, content types by buyer stage diagram by OSP, including licensed icons from The Noun Project.