Updated: Sep 16, 2018
According to recent marketing reports over 70% of B2B marketers consider case studies to be effective and use them in their marketing mix. Here’s an important reason that sets case studies apart from any other tool in your mix. Over 70% of buyers state that their decision to buy depends on the credibility of the company.
Case studies do just that: build trust in your capabilities to deliver meaningful, practical results. Case studies use “the voice” of a customer, which makes them a great way to reach out to prospects, without giving them the impression that you are constantly trying to sell them something.
Become a master storyteller using the SOAR model
Build up the story with The Situation (S): background info about the company such as the type of business, perhaps statements of their objectives and goals.
The Obstacle (O) describes the problems the organization faced, perhaps ways in which they tried to fix the problems but failed.
These two stages help prospects identify themselves with the topic and become more receptive to the content.
Following the typical plot structure, this sets the stage for the appearance of “The Hero”: your solution. The next two sections make up the core of what you would like to communicate.
The Action (A) focuses on showing how your solution was able to solve the problem. Provide important details, show rigor, knowledge and ease of use and implementation.
The Result (R) are the benefits after using your solution. They could be rational (quantitative), emotional or ideally a blend of both. Make this section more engaging: a picture is worth a thousand words still stands: statistics and charts are easy to understand and remember.
At the core of a case study is the problem-result duo. Readers screen for the Obstacle and the Result for something of interest and potential benefits.
Case studies require resources and time to produce, so be strategic in your choices:
Focus on broad challenges common across a wide range of your potential customers and focus on up-to-date topics. The problem should stand out from your case study, so prospects facing similar issues pay attention to what you have to say.
If you have more products or areas of expertise in your portfolio try to have a distinct case study for each and one of them, especially the revenue drivers
Focus on reputable, recognized clients. If they agree to do a case study with you, it will boost your credibility and give you a halo effect through their brand
Case studies don’t have to be written text. They can be an infographic that depicts SOAR at a glance: client logo and relevant information such as industry sector, size, location, challenge, intervention and solution.
We all judge books by their cover so choose a powerful title that makes the reader want to read more
Once produced, don’t keep it under wraps. Make the best use of the new tool!
Promote it through your sales reps
Post them on your website to help reinforce your solutions
Include them in brochures or promotional material and presentations
Popularize it through your blog or newsletter
Share it on social media: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Slideshare are obvious choices
Encourage the client company presented in the case study to share it as well
Increase awareness for your company by finding creative alternative uses for your case studies: enter them for different awards and be open about providing them as information for business students