Publishing case studies is a staple in content marketing for B2B companies. They serve as detailed yet comprehensible analyses of important projects – proof that a company can successfully identify pressing pain points in its industry, implement innovative solutions and bring to fruition a desirable end result. When done right, case studies play a vital role in helping companies establish proof of expertise and build trust with prospective clients. However, just as case studies showcase innovative solution-sets for heightened conversion potential, they can also be utilized to present a resonating narrative to the media.
When positioning a company and its thought leadership to the appropriate media segments, it’s critical to line up assets that can be used to support claims and boost credibility. When marketing executives and PR practitioners coordinate media interviews for a company’s C-Suite, initial steps include compiling data and impactful statistics that speak to the nature of the interview. To write a compelling story on innovation in the B2B space, reporters want hard data, customer testimonials, nuanced business narratives and specific use cases – all of which are exemplified through a solid case study. Positioning a company as a segment leader requires more than just illustrating its specific technique or cutting-edge technology. It takes a tactful approach that showcases the power and impact of the company’s solution-sets on real customers and in real use-case scenarios.
A strong case study speaks louder than a paid ad campaign, and if developed and targeted correctly, will keep the media coming back for more. Here are four top components to consider when crafting a case study to ensure it will benefit the media and garner meaningful attention.
- Tell a unique story.
It’s equally as important to depict the outcome through proof of ROI and other applicable data as it is to craft a unique story around the issue at hand, potential trial and error and lessons learned. This means getting granular from the customer perspective. Illustrating the ramifications of the problem the customer was experiencing before seeking out a company’s solution is key. Include details such as how much the prior issue was costing the customer (in terms of revenue and valuation), how much time/productivity they were losing or complications that led to customer dissatisfaction on their end. It’s also important to communicate where, why and how the solution was particularly beneficial for the customer or how it allowed them to do something they couldn’t before.
- Let customer quotes drive the narrative.
Prospective customers and media personnel alike want unbiased testimonial. When gathering content for case studies, conduct a deep dive into the customer experience. Don’t just inquire about their results, but how they feel about the results. Creating a human-interest angle is vital here. It’s important that this conversation covers the basics, but it’s also imperative that it goes a step further to gain a broader perspective and context to differentiate the piece from others. Attempt to gather insight on aspects such as the customer’s top challenge in deployment, what surprised them most during the process or their expectations in comparison to the actual results obtained. Ensure these first-hand accounts drive the narrative and convey the most impactful takeaways.
- Include exact steps taken to solve the problem.
Case studies are more compelling when they outline the practical steps taken. This will help the media and their readers visualize how the project/solution was successfully carried out. Highlight how the problem was identified, if there was an initial testing stage, how it was monitored for progress and benchmarks used to gauge effectiveness.
- Results, results, results!
The results are the heart of the story for media. Frame the case study’s headline around mathematical outcomes and back up the success story with cold hard equations that support the narrative and help the media and their readers envision the transformation from an analytical, realistic perspective.
After a job well done, it’s understandable to want to put it in writing and scream it from the rooftops, but an effective case study should serve as more than just a pat on the back. It’s key to approach case studies and their creation with a critical eye. Don’t just develop a document detailing an outcome, craft a compelling, relatable and data-based story that will resonate with a company’s target audiences, including those who will help to disseminate the story – the media.