We have been talking about storytelling for a couple of weeks now. Many of the things we’ve said apply to any kind of business, but if you are looking for answers to questions that are specifically B2B-related, you will probably find them here. Today we analyze the role of storytelling in B2B marketing strategies. Ready? Keep reading.
Why B2B storytelling is so important
Successful B2B marketing strategies are all about one thing: establishing connections. These could be psychological or emotional, but they are the element that makes business work. It sounds simple, but it is not. At least it is not simple if you are not a great storyteller.
What buyers are looking for seems to be very clear, but it can be understood in many different ways. According to a study by Google in partnership with Motista and CEB, 71% of B2B buyers will purchase if they identify personal value in the business. So, the key question is: what is actually personal value? Here is a great definition:
It’s the professional, social, and emotional benefits you experience in addition to the actual product.Source: Marketing Insider Group
So, it’s not really or not only a rational element. It is a way to talk about satisfaction as such. Positive emotions improve customer experience and therefore, satisfaction.
Sometimes those emotions are hard to identify, but they are powerful enough to influence decision-making processes and trigger actions. Simply explained: the right emotions are able to generate the necessary trust for a person to purchase. They also improve customers’ loyalty and increase the chances of them becoming brand advocates.
Storytelling as a tool to trigger emotional responses
For B2B purchases, decisions affect the entire business, so marketers should focus on influencing decision-making processes. B2B buyers require a higher perceived value than B2C, so as a B2B seller, you should tap the emotions that are of value to your buyers. Listen to your target, find out what they need and what motivates them and then think about how to help them understand how their decision will improve their business’ efficiency.
Research your target audience through all the available channels: social media, surveys, phone calls, or email questionnaires. You will get actionable insights directly from the source. This is the most effective way to get to know your customers and also, to gather all the information you need to understand how to approach them.
In other words: before telling your story, you should always listen to your audience.
With the information you’ve got now, think about what you can improve. Does your story address these points? Is your story something they can relate to?
Remember that you are talking to people who have specific needs and problems. So, does your story really humanize your business? All you need for that to happen is to add these two elements: personality and emotions.
Structure as a fundamental part of your story
Since you have a pretty good idea of your customers’ needs, you can use those problems or pain points to present actual conflicts.
Talk about the problem in an attractive way. Remember that attention precedes empathy. When you talk in a friendly way about something they can relate to, you start generating positive feelings.
After establishing your customers’ issues, it’s time to present the solution that your product or service provides. This is exactly the climax of the story: when your business becomes the hero by resolving the conflict.
Now, describe how your customers’ lives changed after that. Go into detail, portrait specific, authentic satisfaction.
Storytelling needs emotional resonance, so don’t be afraid of being too subjective, maybe you can add some figures to your story in order to illustrate objective value too.
Following the traditional structure of the stories, will help people follow them and engage with them in an easier way. That’s the reason why marketers will be ultimately able to create immersive customer experiences that generate engagement and improve customer experiences.
Why is B2B storytelling important in marketing?
Brands use B2B storytelling since it’s really useful to establish connections with other companies. It allows brands to share their values and find other businesses that identify with them as well.
Why is structure key in B2B storytelling?
Having a well-thought and organized structure is really important. It helps people to remember the story, identify the actions and characters and engage your users better.