Research from Content Marketing Institute indicates that 73% of B2B marketers are creating and publishing case studies. 73% is also the percentage of B2B decision-makers who reported using case studies during their purchase deliberations. This magic number should inform your content strategy!
Why do B2B case studies matter – and where do they fit into your marketing efforts?
B2B Case Studies Have Unique Ability to Influence Late-Stage Decision-Making
Webinars and white papers can be used throughout the buyer journey, but case studies stand alone as a format uniquely suited for bottom of the funnel leads: Those who have identified a problem, researched vendors, built up buying criteria, and are nearing a final decision.
To understand the power of case studies, you have to look at that process from their perspective.
Today’s B2B buyers have an unprecedented range of options to help them meet virtually any challenge. In many cases, price point and feature set simply aren’t enough for one product to take a decisive lead over the rest.
Each option may have strong points, but buyers need to know how each one will work for them.
This is where case studies come in.
The purpose of a case study isn’t to prove a solution can meet the prospect’s needs, but assure them that it will in their unique business context. It does this with a narrative that focuses on how a similar client has had success with the same solution in the past.
The more similar the client in the case study is – in needs, resources, and industry – the better.
Three components make case studies so valuable:
Case Studies Are Unparalleled Social Proof
Case studies highlight the success of one specific client: They should make that client’s voice heard whenever possible. When a C-suite executive or other respected leader speaks in support of a solution, their own reputation will naturally influence the prospective buyer.
Case Studies Focus on Familiar Business Issues
Most solutions have several use cases, but B2B buyers are usually interested in just one: Whatever their most pressing strategic need is at the time. A case study crystallizes your firm’s expertise on a particular issue and builds confidence.
Case Studies Are Stories
B2B case studies unfold like a narrative – with a challenge, solution, outcomes, characters, and even heroes. This allows B2B decision-makers to review and digest a lot of information quickly without having to deep-dive into details better suited to subject matter experts.
An informative and compelling case study can put your solution on the map and expand your credibility among key buyer personas. To make the most of this powerful content, aspire to have multiple case studies for each product – addressing different client categories and needs.