Case studies continue to be the preferred content type among B2B buyers. These 5 elements will help you write case studies that engage prospects and generate leads.

We just wrote about how buyers prefer case studies over all other kinds of content. In fact, 89% of B2B marketers consider customer testimonials and case studies as the most effective kinds of content in converting buyers. So how do you write an effective case study that generates leads?

Here are 5 elements of an effective B2B case study:

1) Story

Yes, case studies are all about the data, but fundamentally, they are stories. You’re not making a sales pitch — case studies written from this perspective tend to fall flat, and fail to attract and engage prospective buyers. Case studies written as stories succeed. You’re presenting a narrative to a prospect that uses data and testimonials to explain how your products and services helped another business.

Case studies written as stories succeed. You’re presenting a narrative to a prospect that uses data and testimonials to explain how your products and services helped another business. Click To Tweet

2) Information and Education

Again, a case study is not a sales pitch. When you write a case study, you’re presenting information about your products and services, and educating your prospects about how your business has helped organizations similar to their own.

3) Concrete Examples

One of the reasons case studies are such a high-performing content type is that they are data-driven. Prospective buyers turn to case studies for concrete examples. Make it easy for them to find the information they’re looking for. Use bullet points, quotes, and lists to clearly convey the most important data.

4) The Right Length

Finding the right length for your case study is all about striking a balance between presenting complete information, telling a compelling story, and avoiding minutia that’s too specific to matter to your prospects. Your reader needs to be able to skim quickly to get the gist, and then dive back in for more details.

Think about it this way: if you’re the prospect, does your case study leave you with questions about how your products and services helped another business? If so, chances are you haven’t included enough information.

5) The three key components

  • The Challenge: This is chapter one of your story. What challenge or challenges was your customer facing before implementing your products? This is a great place to use customer quotes.
  • The Solution: Here’s the meat of the story! How did your business address the challenges your customer was facing? Data is key here.
  • The Results: Your story’s conclusion. Use key metrics to demonstrate the immediate and ongoing results of your solution. Numbers like savings, revenue gains, sales growth, and ROI belong in this section, rounded off with another customer quote.

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