Case studies are clients willing to talk to the media about how a product helped them overcome a business challenge. They’re important for a media pitch since journalists want to know your product actually works.
Happy customers take the commercial edge off a pitch by introducing third parties. A real-life story is also more interesting for someone to read. If you sell software, media aren’t likely to report on your latest product update. While you find the update fascinating, to others it’s boring. Since media are storytellers, they’re more likely to warm to your idea if you can help them tell a story using customer examples.
Of course, marketers use case studies in other ways. They often incorporate customer testimonials into a variety of B2B content including brochures, websites, sales presentations and other marketing collateral. Prospective customers want to know about results, including how your product helped others and how it might help them. Case studies provide credibility and allow you to emphasize important product benefits.
Since case studies are so important and versatile, it’s surprising how many companies don’t make the time to document past successes. I understand the challenge: they’re too busy working on the next project, a good problem to have. Then, once they find time to develop a testimonial, they’ve often forgotten why they undertook the project, including the result.
In addition, some companies write about recent wins but end up with case studies lacking pizzazz. B2B content doesn’t have to be boring. Just look at this infographic from Gordana Stok. She shows how to create an engaging and entertaining case study using storytelling best practices. Her suggested structure includes three short acts with a hero (your customer), a conflict and a resolution.
Your case studies don’t need to read like War and Peace (God forbid!). However, there is a way to make them interesting by following these guidelines.
What tips do you have for making B2B content more interesting? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.