As I told you before in many blogs that case study is one of the best ways we know to demonstrate the value of a B2B company and get the attention of buyers. The credibility you gain when a customer speaks on your behalf is second to none. And your ability to tell a story about what results you achieved in a specific situation is far better than any elevator pitch you could ever create.
But the question arises, why is it that so few B2B companies have case studies, and when they do, they often miss the mark? So this time I have decided to write some of the common yet effective mistakes that can kill your case studies.

Here are 5 common mistakes to avoid in B2B case studies.


Not having any case studies

When we see a B2B business with no case studies, we can’t imagine why. Yes, they’re tough to develop, take time and dedicated effort, a certain amount of coercion of customers, and various different skills (interviewing, copywriting, graphic design). But they are among the most powerful tools a company can have to demonstrate what they do and the impact it has on customers – and are absolutely worth the effort.

Having too few case studies
            
It’s important to have more than one case study. One is questionable - do you only have one client? Would only one client speak on your behalf? Have you had favorable results with only one client? Having only one case study might be worse for your image than having none. We recommend 3 as a bare minimum – 4 to 6 is better. Beyond 10 starts to become obnoxious (unless you are covering off multiple industries and multiple situations – in which case, separate the case studies into categories)

Choosing the Wrong Customers

It’s tempting when you’re writing case studies to go with the ‘easiest’ customer first – the one you know the best and you know will be happy to sign off on what you develop. But that isn’t usually the best place to start. Think strategically about your target market, and which customer situation is most like other customers you want to attract. That’s the case study you want to write, even if it’s the hardest customer to connect with.

Not naming names

It’s possible to write case studies that are sanitized (ie hide the specific company name). This isn’t ideal. There is much more credibility and power to a named situation. When the client is willing to put their name beside yours, it means something and readers know that. Sometimes this isn’t possible or is very difficult – large corporations have legal departments that have to sign off on case studies, and often your individual client won’t
have the ability or desire to get the legal department involved. But always try – a named case study is, we think, at least 3 times more effective than an unnamed case study.

Talking in rhymes (or jargon, jargon, jargon)

Case studies that use business jargon like ‘going forward’, ‘paradigm shift’, ‘blue sky thinking’ or any others that cause you to inwardly groan will kill credibility almost instantly. Write in simple straightforward language. Don’t use too many adjectives. And if your client has offered testimonials or quotes that contain jargon, try to remove those phrases and have the client sign off on the new testimonial, your case study will be much better for it.