Once upon a time, in a marketing land far, far away, Jack B2B was a marketer who owned a massive SaaS tower, where different elves worked their magic to help out all the digital natives of the town. All was sunshine and rainbows in his little kingdom.
Suddenly, chaos struck his marketing kingdom, when similar SaaS towers emerged. They targeted his digital natives with their services, making it hard for Jack B2B to stand out.
Jack B2B felt like he had nothing new to offer to his beloved natives.
Disheartened, Jack B2B visited the old, wise owl from the white oak tree, who gave him a mystical book from another galaxy that taught him about the art of storytelling which helped him connect and engage with his natives effectively.
And he lived happily ever after!
Well, classic story tales do evoke feelings, don’t they?
They get our minds wondering about how the story will unfold and that is an effective way to catch attention.
Let’s dive into the B2B storyland to discover more about the art of storytelling and how you can master it.
Chapter 1: What is B2B storytelling?
B2B storytelling taps into the power of a narrative to create an emotional impact with your audience.
When you share the tale of your brand with a fun backstory about your brand’s existence, your challenges, or maybe how your solution can solve complex problems, it can help forge deeper connections with your customers.
With a story, your presence feels more real and relatable to customers which helps them remember you even after the details of your narrative fade away.
Here’s an example of Zendesk which had a unique idea to create a fictional band named “Zendesk Alternative” with a website of their own. It caught people’s attention for being an out of the box idea.
Chapter 2: Why is storytelling worth it?
“Your customers feel before they think.” – Dan Hill
With storytelling, you humanize your brand. B2B companies that embrace the art of storytelling can shine in this crowded marketplace to build brand affinity. Not just that, it also helps:
- boost brand awareness
- educate your customers
- build better customer relationships
- highlight your unique selling point
- improve user engagement
Here’s an exceptional example of a tragedy plot by Adobe “Mean Streets” that weaves in relatable moments that evoke humor while the main character has a downfall due to his poor choices. We’d say, it’s an amazing way to use storytelling for marketing.
According to a survey, 7 out of 9 of the B2B brands have emotional connections with over 50% of their customers.
Let’s dive into how you can make an emotional connection with your story.
Chapter 3: How to make your stories sell
We admit that it’s tricky for us, B2B marketers, to place storytelling within our campaigns, such as in a datasheet or a whitepaper.
But, if done correctly, you can align a story with any type of content that you create. Here are 7 tips to fuel your marketing campaigns using the age-old art of storytelling.
1. Identify your audience: The first step to tell a story is to identify your audience. When you craft your story, keep your readers in mind.
- will my readers find this relatable?
- what do they want to know?
- what challenges would my readers face without my product/service?
When you understand ‘who’ they are and ‘why’ they need your product/service, you get a solid understanding of ‘how’ to deliver a clear message that increases customer engagement.
2. Have a structure: Good storytelling follows a specific structure, namely a beginning, middle, and end, which makes the story easier to consume. You’d have elements like:
- The protagonist – the customer
- The antagonist – the challenge
- The quest – the journey to overcome the challenge
- The execution – the solution to the challenge
- The climax – the outcome
3. Be sure to listen: Listen? But aren’t you telling the story? Well, yes you are but you need to know what people want to listen to and where they want to listen to it. Conduct research to understand your customers’ challenges. This will help get actionable insights about the medium you can use to deliver your story. For instance, if they prefer short videos, you can create and share animated videos with fun characters on your social media page.
4. Use the power of gamification: Rather than basic whitepapers or solution docs, gamify your storytelling efforts. Introduce a challenge through quizzes and puzzles with different credits, levels, and rewards for your users on your community or social media to discover what your product or service does.
5. Let customers tell the story: Allow the customer to take control of the narrative and present their experience, humanize it with case studies, success stories, testimonials, etc. Almost 90% of buyers that read positive customer success content agree that it influenced their purchasing decision.
For instance, Salesforce creates a story within its communities, its services, and events. In fact, they have an internal team dedicated to telling stories and weaving narratives around client success.
6. Use the power of visualization: People are more receptive to visuals. If you’re telling a customer story, feature a real customer, or maybe use engaging imagery. For instance, if you’re sharing an anecdote about work from home, create a GIF.
Take for instance, General Electric. They engage their target audience with stunning photos and videos on their social profile that balances how they show fascinating imagery to make technical topics more relatable.
7. Share data stories: You need both numbers and narratives. In fact, stories and data are two peas in a pod. One helps make an emotional connection by painting the picture and the other builds trust with ground reality.
Good stories have a tingling effect over us long after they’re over. With storytelling, you can create a memorable narrative that aligns with your brand and highlights your business prowess.
Let your business be the knight in shining armor that slays dragons and lives happily ever after!
Do you wish to have your own happily ever after? Talk to us.
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