How to Create a Case Study that Busy Healthcare Providers Will Read
Marketing to a B2B healthcare audience has its unique challenges. And getting (and holding) the attention of decision-makers? Well, that can be as difficult as finding a hospital meal that doesn’t include Jell-O.
That’s why we love a great B2B healthcare case study.
Healthcare case studies are an ideal way to show off your creative and comprehensive problem-solving skills. Plus, they can go a long way in demonstrating your thoughtfulness, resourcefulness and deep expertise regarding healthcare-centric pain points.
In this article, we’ll reveal:
- The basic anatomy of a great B2B healthcare case study
- The do’s and don’ts of creating one
- How to use your case study to influence healthcare providers you most want to reach
The Anatomy of a Great B2B Healthcare Case Study
What’s the basic structure of a case study?
Include these 6 sections in your report:
- Title: Create an enticing hook
- Executive Summary: Give a quick snapshot of what the reader will learn
- Challenge: Summarize what you were up against
- Solution: Share the resolution and how you got there
- Measurement: Show ’em the data
- [Soft] CTA: Gently prompt your reader to take the next step
Now let’s dig a little deeper into these 6 sections.
A great B2B healthcare case study starts with a compelling hook. Your two-part title features the “wow” data from your case study.
Part 1: Use a number to feature the case study’s result. For example, which title has more “wow”?
“Increase MedTech Leads” vs. “Increase MedTech Leads by 64%”
“64%” is the real star of the show. A MedTech company will be more likely to read the results-focused version of the title.
Part 2: Use a colon to introduce the second half of your title, which should focus on the point of your case study. In this case, the full title was: Increase MedTech inbound leads by 64%: Focus on the right audience
2. Executive Summary
Briefly tell the healthcare provider reading your case study what they can expect to learn. Set up your client’s challenge and reveal the (awesome) results you achieved.
This section should be short, no more than 3 to 5 sentences or so. The Executive Summary is also the perfect place to reveal a few facts about your client (with their permission) for context. Things to include: what they do, their industry, location of their headquarters and the number of employees.
The Challenge section is a concise summary — 1 to 2 short paragraphs — of the problem you solved for your B2B healthcare client. (By the way, are you noticing a theme here? A case study is concise!)
Also, mention any additional challenges you uncovered as you were resolving the primary challenge (and you will definitely uncover these). You may also find that what your client thought they needed wasn’t the true root of their issue.
OK … it’s your time to shine. How did you help your B2B healthcare client solve their challenge?
For example, here’s a result we highlighted in our case study featuring UCLA:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Because Aha Media applied SEO nest practices, search engines serve blog posts to UCLA’s intended audience. The site received 6,559 referrals from search engines in its first year. By year three, the number increased to 18,970. The content increased page views by 69% and direct traffic by 148%.
And here’s a result we featured in our case study for Geisinger:
Lack of content for their wellness content program
We solved this problem by repurposing content and writing in the brand voice and tone to create a stronger relationship with audiences. After applying the content strategy, traffic to the wellness section grew by 519%.
While it’s OK to mention your company here, use this area of the report to feature your solution, not focus on your company.
5. Measurement (Show ’em the Data)
Let your numbers tell the story. Show the reader what you measured and how you measured it. Healthcare decision-makers may have enjoyed your case study so far, but the numbers can drive your point home.
Hot tip: Don’t say unquantifiable statements like, “The staff is happier now,” or “People like their website a lot more.” Yawn. Make sure you’re featuring hard, solid data.
These are some good examples of ways to brag (ahem, that’s feature …) your data results:
- Traffic increased by 148%
- Patient engagement increased by 20%
- New users increased by 1,088%
6. A (Soft) CTA
Let your reader know how to take the next step, but don’t make this a hard sell. Remember, the provider reading your case study was looking for content, not a sales pitch.
Examples of CTAs you could use:
- “Have questions? Feel free to reach out.”
- “We love talking about healthcare challenges like these. Let us know if you’d like to chat.”
Your CTA should encourage relationship building. Don’t use it to tell the reader all the loads of fabulous things you can do for them.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing a B2B Healthcare Case Study
Here are the things you’ll want to do — and some things you definitely shouldn’t do — in your case study.
Strategies to Copy (aka the “Do’s”)
- DO contextualize your numbers: If your results point to “revenue went up 13%,” then also say, for example, that “every 1% equals $100,000 in revenue.” 13% of $1 is slightly different than 13% of a million dollars, so call that out.
- DO use client testimonials: Who doesn’t comb through Amazon reviews when they’re thinking about buying something? It’s the same for healthcare. Make it easy for your reader and use quotes from existing clients that prove you’re the bee’s knees.
- DO create a story around your case study: Facts tell, stories sell. Craft a compelling story where decision-makers can see themselves playing the main character.
- DO align your sales and marketing teams (aka, get on the same page): Avoid mixed messaging by making sure your internal teams are presenting the case study similarly.
- DO use your case study in presentations, pitches and videos: We use case studies in pitches by repurposing them in slides. And don’t forget to promote them through social media, email and on your site. A case study can be one of the hardest working assets you have … so work it.
Common Mistakes to Avoid (the never-do-these list):
- DON’T use your case study to talk about your organization: We all like to see our name in lights … but in your case studies, it’s best to dim that flame a bit. Here’s an easy exercise: Count how many times your company’s name appears in your case study versus your client’s name. Does your company’s name appear more than half the number of times your client’s name does? Then remove some of your mentions.
- DON’T mistake your case study for a product demo: Your product or service shouldn’t be wearing the cape in this story. What should? Your thoughtfulness, problem-solving and outcome. Everything else is a sidekick.
- DON’T be wordy: Keep your case study to no more than 2 pages.
- DON’T ignore SEO: Featuring your case study on your website is a great way to draw more eyes to your business. And SEO-savvy writing will help attract more of those eyeballs. (More on this below.)
- DON’T distract your audience with graphics: Picture books are fun. Picture case studies, not so much. Put charts, graphs or images on one side of your page where they won’t break up your copy flow.
How to Use Your Case Study to Influence Healthcare Providers You Most Want to Reach
So … a healthcare professional walks into a meeting … (Tell me if you’ve heard this one?)
Well, here’s our take:
Case studies can:
- Get doctors to say your name: When a practitioner walks into a meeting and runs into a problem they don’t have a solution for, you want them to think of your company. How do you get them to do that? By that point, your name has been in front of them a few times, alongside those great results you’ve been getting for your healthcare clients. They think, “Maybe this company is the one to solve my issue.” That’s exactly why you want to create compelling case studies regularly that feature your awesomeness.
- Show potential customers your inner workings: In the reverse, when you’re speaking to a company, it’s handy to have a case study you can share that’s similar to the issue they’re facing. Case studies are an ideal way to give potential healthcare customers a glimpse into your thought process and how amazing it would be to work with you.
- Are findable: Case studies typically sit pretty squarely mid-funnel and can be super helpful from a search perspective. If medical professionals are looking for your services and your keywords align with their needs, you’re gonna get some eyes on your mad skills. Another potential option is optimizing for search or using paid ads driving to your case studies to draw more potential clients in top-of-funnel.
Hot tip: We pulled our Aha Media Group case studies out of PDFs and put them on our website for all these reasons. It’s also allowed our case study content to be dynamic, so you can see numbers rising, diagrams diagramming, etc. And just like a movie — seeing people walking helps visually move the plot forward. So we let our numbers do the walkin’ too, to keep our story movin’ on up. (Another) hot tip: In a secure healthcare tech environment, website links are typically easier for people to open than a PDF.
So there you have it — everything you need to get started on your first (or next) B2B healthcare case study! Ready to dig in?
Just click below to download our free cheat sheet: A step-by-step checklist for creating a Great B2B Healthcare Case Study.