The Importance of Storytelling in B2B
The old writing adage of “show don’t tell” applies as much to business as it does the burgeoning fiction novel. Decision makers want to see problems being solved. They’re motivated by benefits versus specifications, but often, marketing teams can’t tell the difference. If you’re struggling to discern between adequately describing products and explaining how they work, change your style to focus on storytelling.
Capture Audiences with Multimedia Storytelling Techniques
Ideally, when a new client comes across your company, it will be easy to get to know you, your services and why they should be working with you as soon as they hit your website. This doesn’t happen by listing the features of products and services that you sell; at least, not on its own. While B2B marketing has a reputation for being dull and boring, you can make your company stand out and gain the interest of new clients by using storytelling effectively on every piece of media you release online, whether it’s made of text, graphics, video, audio or a combination of elements.
Using multimedia is extremely motivating for B2B clients. A whopping 77 percent more people responded to press releases containing more than text in a recent study. That’s a trend seen across the board. Blog posts containing videos are linked to three times more than those without. Decision makers are flooded with text every day. Give your marketing materials a strong title and an engaging hook and rely on various elements to drive home the personal benefits enjoyed by those involved.
Focus on the Right Stories
Your origin story is an important part of who you are, but it also has the potential for showing off your expertise. Make sure to share it in a way that highlights the most important moments in your company’s history, and add reminders in your Facebook timeline, your Twitter feed and your blog. Keep this updated and relevant by sharing current successes as well, and when possible, show a more personal side of your business, for instance, by talking about volunteer efforts or training retreats.
The NFL has gained a reputation for its dedication to service over years of news bites and press releases detailing the donations and charity work of everyone in the league. In turn, fans feel better about themselves for buying expensive tickets and merchandise – and horrible, overpriced stadium food – because they feel they’re doing good by association.
Both customer and employee experiences can be used as a powerful marketing tool as well. Let your clientele see how they relate to both other people being served by your products and the people who are developing and shipping them out. B2B will always have a solid base in relationship building, and these two commonly ignored tactics for creating connections couldn’t be easier to work into promotions.
What’s more powerful? Explaining that an agent has signed 42 artists you’ve never heard of or a video of an unknown artist saying their agent saved their career when someone stole all of their band equipment and they couldn’t play their upcoming shows? Is it more effective to say a publication covers fertilizer recommendations or see a graph comparing the height of fields grown using their advice versus someone else’s? Hunter Walk recently said, “Don’t believe that only the CEO can do the talking. Allow for different voices to be heard in your content. I’d love to hear from a Starbuck’s barista than only hear from Howard Shultz.” Tell stories from different perspectives.
Build a Successful Team
Developers can answer all the important questions as to how and why something works the way that it does. The people providing services can back up their necessity with real world results. Unfortunately, neither will get the chance to do that if you don’t have a marketing team that can generate interest. When putting together a group of professionals for website, blog and social media management, be sure to focus on natural storytellers. Writers and journalists can frame the benefits of working with your company in ways that will draw the right people in.
(Note: This article was posted on Scripted’s Expert page and written by Scripted writer: Hilary F.)