Updated: Sep 15, 2022
How can you write B2B case studies that are a little more interesting than the standard 'problem, solution, results'? It's all about how you word them!
It takes skill to get something written that gets approved by the client, that gets shared online and that gives an honest overview of the process of doing business with you and puts you and the client in the best light. Here are some of my top tips to help.
1. Make the client sound great before you even begin
You might think you need to sound like the hero, but the case studies that get shared and loved by clients (and attract more clients to submit theirs) are very appreciative of their strengths. Here's an example of how I started one recently.
Before the case study has even begun, I have set the scene that they are brilliant, award winning and in short - a leading brand.
Some case studies launch straight into the problem, but I much prefer this approach.
2. Add some jeopardy in the opening lines
The case study should represent a challenge that was reasonably hard for you to overcome.
In this example, I created a sense of urgency with words like 'mission' and 'needed to be', while building up the picture in the mind of 160 team members who not only had to learn about the company direction, but also needed to be rewarded.
3. Treat it like a conversation with a friend
Imagine you are in a car with someone who says 'How did that new account get on when they launched?' You might talk in general, but what if they pressed further?
"Why did they need to use your business, can't they do that themselves?"
Instead of saying something like:
"XYZ inc were unable to co-ordinate their sales and marketing teams and were seeking a comprehensive dashboard that could integrate into existing process flows."
You would probably say:
"XYZ are a huge business - and they work across multiple time zones, so sales and marketing weren't able to be 100% sure they were working on the right tasks at the right time. They didn't want software that was complicated to use, so they were looking for a simple 'dashboard' view of everything that could be up and live in about 2 weeks so they didn't miss anything in their peak sales period."
It's much more human.
If in doubt - read it back and pretend you are in the car with someone. You'll spot jargon and also instances where you may have presumed an understanding of something else.
For example one I spotted was
‘We created an integration into Xero for one dashboard view.'
Do people know what this tool does? You might argue yes, but why not spell it out?
XYZ used online accountancy software, Xero, to track their finances so we connected our system with theirs behind the scenes. The client then had one place to see all their activity, including historical data, with no downtime.
5. Give a realistic view when prepping a client quote
Sometimes you may want to add a placeholder quote and think it might be a great idea to put in something so glowing it blinds you.
“Software X is amazing. We are so glad we bought it. Our leads are up 56% and onboarding was so smooth it was like being covered in butter.”
Yet case studies sometimes only show the golden view of life – where everyone is very happy! A case study can come to life when you speak to the prospect and address real concerns that they may have within the quote, such as:
“We were thinking that we didn’t need any more tools. We didn’t believe software could actually provide leads and we debated adding another team member instead. I’m happy to say I was wrong. Leads are up 56% and we haven’t added human capital in two years. The software is doing it all for us. ”
I hope this has helped you gather some ideas for a new way to do B2B case studies outside of the typical tips.