20 tips for writing an effective B2B case study

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Published Aug 07, 2023 | Written by Keith Errington

B2B case studies are a powerful tool in the marketing arsenal of contract manufacturing companies. They provide concrete examples of your capabilities, illustrate how you solve real-world problems, and demonstrate the value you bring to your clients.

In this blog post, we share 20 tips to help you write compelling B2B case studies that resonate with your target audience.

The power of B2B case studies

B2B case studies are an invaluable tool for contract manufacturing companies looking to enhance their marketing efforts. They form a critical part of both digital marketing and content marketing strategies, serving as a bridge between showcasing your capabilities and engaging your potential clients in a meaningful way.

In digital marketing, case studies can significantly boost your online presence. They can improve your website's SEO, making it easier for potential clients to find you. They can be shared on social media, expanding your reach and visibility. They can also be used in email marketing campaigns to provide valuable content to your subscribers.

As part of a content marketing strategy, case studies provide rich, valuable content beyond simple promotion. They tell a story, educate your audience about your capabilities, and provide real-world examples of how you solve problems. This helps establish your company as an industry leader and builds trust and credibility with your audience.

Read the Guide to Developing a Content Strategy and Framework

Follow these 20 tips to create powerful B2B case studies.

1. Choose a common problem

Select a problem that most of your potential clients in the contract manufacturing industry face. This will make your case study more relatable and impactful. The more they have in common with the issues covered – the more likely they are to not only read the case study but be influenced by it when it comes to purchasing decisions.

2. Feature a well-known customer

If possible, the case study should feature a well-known company in the contract manufacturing sector - a business that is well respected and typical of your audience. This will increase the credibility of your case study. However, if given a choice between writing up a case study of a well-known customer with an atypical problem or a lesser-known customer with a typical situation, then go for the latter, as a prospective client being able to relate to issues addressed by the case study is more important.

3. Summarise at the beginning

Clearly outline the problem and solution at the start of your case study. This will help your readers understand the relevance of the case study to their own situation.

4. Use the customer's own words

The customer featured in the case study must tell as much of the story as possible. Interview key staff and use their own words with minimal editing. This will make the case study more believable and more powerful. Honest comments will add trust and credibility to the study. If it's not possible to tell the majority of the study in the client's own words, make sure you at least get some key quotes. Here, video is a powerful tool because showing the customer saying the words adds credibility and authority.

5. Address doubts and concerns

Most clients have doubts or concerns at the start of a project. Addressing these in your case study will make it more relatable and show how you handle challenges. Don't be afraid of including these. It's always natural for prospects to have some questions. Addressing them could help a prospect overcome a potential barrier to working with you.

6. Use storytelling 

A case study should be a story – the hero/heroine sees a problem, tries an approach, struggles to overcome and, with the right help - triumphs and gets the girl/boy. Okay, so maybe not the last bit, but a case study should be a classic tale, nonetheless.

Try to build in some suspense so readers get caught up in the emotions of the unfolding story. Explain the scenario and lay out the required outcome. Emphasise what is at stake and the consequences should the project fail. Detail the problems, explain the issues, lay out all the doubts – then show how these were overcome, how your help produced the desired result and how good triumphed over evil (oops, sorry – got carried away again).

It is not necessary to make it all sound easy. That might make the story you are telling sound unbelievable. But do show your support for the customer every step of the way.

One approach would be to write the outline of the story first. Set up characters, major plot points, dramatic sequences, and so on. Then use this framework to arrange the customer's stories, quotes, illustrations, experiences, and feedback, ensuring that facts and real-world examples back up every point. You start with an outline story – a work of fiction – but you end up with a factual, truthful, honest documentary account that follows the same plot and hopefully has the same dramatic tension.

A compelling story that builds suspense, highlights the stakes, and shows how you helped the client overcome obstacles, will make for a powerful and memorable case study.

7. Explain your working method

As well as telling the story of the individual project, use the case study to explain how you work with a customer, your approach, your philosophy, and highlight points in the story where you guided the customer. This needs to be done with a subtle touch – demonstrate rather than preach.

8. Use infographics and diagrams 

"A diagram is worth a thousand words" might be a paraphrase of a well-known quote – but it is undoubtedly true that a diagram or infographic can help illustrate a case study and break up an otherwise over-wordy narrative.

Use a graphic to explain your working method, highlight the problem, or, better still, illustrate the benefits of your solution graphically and dramatically. You can also use a breakout box or panel, with or without a graphic, to highlight a particular issue, feature a client interview, or go into more detail. Again, this adds interest and helps to break up long chunks of copy.

9. Use video and images

You can also use images and videos to add credibility to your case study and make it more engaging. People tend to believe images more than the written word. And if that is true of pictures, then it is ten times truer for videos. Seeing a video of a customer singing your praises is a powerful persuader. The more videos, the better – and the more customer staff featured, the better. Videos of your own staff "on the ground" talking about how they approached the project are also helpful, but they need to be coherent and add something to the case study.

10. Show before and after

Provide evidence of the situation before and after your intervention. This will demonstrate the impact of your solution. Many businesses only consider doing a case study after the event and write about the issues retrospectively. Make sure you have solid evidence (again, videos are compelling) of the Before situation and the After solution. You will need this picture of the Before state to show the customer's issues and their impact on the business. It would also help if you highlighted some before and after facts as bullet points in the conclusion of the case study.

11. Describe the issues in understandable terms 

Use language and terms in the case study that your potential clients will understand. Make the problems and solutions as relatable as possible. Try to make the approach and methods as universal as possible without detracting from the specific project's inherent details that make it accurate and true.

12. Use facts and figures

Use data to back up your claims. The data will attract their logical mind and provide evidence for proposals and presentations. Consider personal stories, too, to connect with your prospects on an emotional level.

13. Get the boss's opinion

There are several reasons why getting a quote from the boss is important – it adds to case study credibility for a start, but a more subtle reason is that many B2B buyers have their bosses to please at the end of the day. Getting a positive quote from the customer's boss should make a potential customer think that using you may help them impress their boss.

There is also another benefit to this; asking your customer's boss to contribute will make them feel valued and important – flattering them and bringing that existing customer closer.

14. Get a third-party view

If possible, include a comment from a third party, such as the client's customer or an independent assessor. This will add to the credibility and persuasiveness of the case study.

15. Highlight any unexpected benefits

If there were any unexpected positive outcomes or side benefits, include these in your case study. Interviewing your customer and their staff should help surface some of these "extras".

16. Include quirky details

Little anecdotes can make your case study more memorable and engaging.

17. Look to the future

Towards the end of the case study, include a few lines about the future, the customer's next goals, and how you will help them achieve them. Showing how the case study sets up your client for their next growth step is an excellent way to demonstrate added value and the strategic nature of your service.

18. Reflect on your learning

Share what you learned from the project and how it has helped you improve your service. Acknowledging what you learnt along the way will illustrate that you are a learning, adaptive company, always striving to do better for your clients.

19. End with a call to action

Conclude your case study by summarising the problem, solution, and benefits. This signals to prospects that the same concepts, methods and solutions could help them too. This is the perfect time to include a call to action (CTA) to encourage potential clients to reach out to you.

20. Treat every client as a potential case study 

By approaching every project as if it were going to become a case study, you will improve your working methods and your relationship with your customers.


B2B case studies are invaluable for contract manufacturing companies looking to enhance their marketing efforts. They showcase your capabilities and problem-solving skills and build trust and credibility with potential clients. By focusing on common problems, featuring well-known customers, using storytelling techniques, and incorporating visuals, you can create a great case study that will resonate with your target audience.

Remember, every client interaction is a potential case study. Treating it as such ensures that you're always learning, improving, and ready to demonstrate your value to the next potential client. So, start documenting your processes, collecting client testimonials, and capturing before-and-after scenarios. Your next powerful case study could be just around the corner.

Finally, remember to end each case study with a clear call to action. After all, the ultimate goal of a case study is to convert a reader into a customer. Make it easy for them to take the next step, whether that's scheduling a consultation, requesting a quote, or simply learning more about your services.

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Published by Keith Errington August 7, 2023
Keith Errington