Case studies don’t have to be big, long documents any more. Sure, a seven-to-ten page case study can be a useful piece of content in a long-term B2B marketing cycle, however it doesn’t have to be the only kind of case study B2B companies produce. In fact, a short one that’s blog post-sized is just perfect for the busy executive on the go.
As a quick reminder, here are a few reasons why case studies are a great addition to any B2B marketing program:
- They’re an easy way to focus on the readers and prospects, while still talking about the B2B brand. They create an instant link between the brand’s products and the reader. A properly written case study draws the reader in, and they start identifying with the problem and solutions.
“Most case studies are focused on the solution and how great it is to the exclusion of any real ‘story.’ To be effective, case studies need that middle part where the magic happens.” — Ardath Albee, CEO Marketing Interactions
- They sell without shouting ‘SALES!’ to readers. Readers can often be wary of any content they download or read from a potential B2B vendor website. The case study draws them closer to the B2B brand without obviously asking for the sale. There’s no expectation of being sold to, so the reader is more engaged and willing to read.
“(A) quality interview (or story) of a customer, that makes no mention of your product or service at all — yet highlights the client’s expertise or success — can be a remarkably successful content marketing approach.” — Robert Rose, Chief Strategist at Content Marketing Institute
- They establish the B2B brand as the authority in the marketplace. Because they require a little more thought and research (and customers!), readers are more likely to think of the company as an authority because they’re producing case studies.
Okay, back to the blog post-sized case study.
At its core, a case study is a problem-solution document — a description of the problem the customer was having (typically one that many customers in that market have), and then how they solved it using the B2B brand’s product. The blog post case study is a problem-solution document too, just shorter. You’ll still include quotes from the customer, some metrics outlining the results they achieved, and of course, highlight the problem and solution. It just won’t take you 10 pages and 5,000+ words to do it.
Here are four quick steps that’ll help you create this shorter case study.