Most people enjoy a captivating story, especially if that story is relevant to their interests, or if there’s something useful they can learn from it. The same is true for novels, popular shows, and films, as well as marketing.
One of the most overlooked, yet powerful tools in B2B marketing is the case study, which companies can use in crafting their promotional strategies.
Case studies are stories that describe how a company that’s struggling in one aspect finds another business that can help it overcome that challenge and achieve its business goals. In fact, the case study is very similar to the hero’s journey narrative in many stories, but it’s set in the business industry.
Generally, the protagonist in the story is a business that gets help from another party to solve an issue, and that other party helps craft the case study in a way that shows potential customers why they need the other party too.
Marketing With Case Studies
Case studies are incredibly beneficial during the consideration stage of the consumers’ buying journey. During that stage, the consumer has learned about the product or service that a business is promoting, and is considering it as a viable purchasing option.
At this point, potential buyers tend to look at different companies and their products or services and compare the advantages and disadvantages of making a purchase.
During the awareness stage of the buying journey, consumers aren’t that willing to invest time or effort to learn about a company’s solutions, whereas during the consideration stage, they’re looking for the one detail that will push them toward purchasing.
In the consideration stage, consumers are looking for information, which is why the top companies provide consumers with valuable information at that stage. This info keeps them engaged, and ideally, convinces consumers that the given company is the best possible option to solve their problem and guide them to the conversion stage.
Effective Case Studies in B2B
Making a case study effective isn’t all about pie charts and bar graphs, but also about the story that’s being told to the consumer. There are certain elements that case studies must have to ensure they’ll accomplish a company’s objectives. The main ones include empathy, and showing the consumers that the business understands them.
There’s also the problem and resolution element of case studies, which show how consumers can overcome their pain points with the help of the company’s solution. With testimonials, businesses can show the satisfaction of consumers who have already gone through similar challenges. Testimonials can be further supported with data and graphics.
It’s important to note that a case study is not the place for companies to show their technical jargon and professional vocabulary to impress the audience. Case studies should be simple and readable, and use the help of headers, lists, short paragraphs, and bolded or italicized words. Finally, as with all other marketing efforts, the case study needs to have a call to action that will convince the potential customer to enter the next stage of the buying journey.