Why should a buyer choose your solution over the competitor's? If you immediately thought of product features or pricing, then you aren't thinking like your buyers.
Making a purchase choice rarely comes down to details or pricing alone. Most of the time, buyers form emotional attachments to brands they find engaging, authentic, knowledgeable or innovative. Telling your story builds a connection with your buyer and encourages an emotionally driven purchase.
The Most Common Marketing Mistake of B2B Companies
One common mistake many B2B brands make is thinking that their audiences are more logical than B2C audiences. As a result, they tend to believe B2B buyers only want cut-and-dry information and don't believe brand storytelling has a part in their marketing strategy.
People who make the purchase decisions might be doing it for their company, but they are still moved by the same emotions as consumers in a B2C model. While goals, challenges and needs might be different for a B2B buyer, the purchase decision will still come down to which company proves to be the most trustworthy, engaging and ideal from the perspective of the buyer.
In sales, the product isn't the only factor that plays into the purchase decision. Buyers often make decisions based purely on instinctual feelings and not merely logic.
What is Storytelling in B2B Marketing?
Storytelling is engaging your audience with a narrative that evokes emotions, sensations and feelings. For B2B companies, content should go beyond showcasing products or pushing sales. B2B marketers can use buyer personas to create compelling stories that appeal to their top audience segments.
When storytelling is done right in marketing, it helps humanize B2B companies. A story will help define your brand's "why" and defining characteristics.
Buyers are finding it increasingly important to base purchases on values beyond product price or quality. Storytelling should help define your values and principles. Many businesses are pressured by customers to convey their values through purchase decisions and want to partner with brands that share the same vision.
On top of that, the B2B buyers are changing to a younger crowd of Millennials and Gen Z who are used to personalization and storytelling in marketing. Boring fact sheets and straightforward whitepapers aren't attractive to an audience used to being engaged and supported throughout the buying process.
How to Effectively Use Storytelling in B2B Content Marketing
Finding the right voice and storytelling approach is important for building brand consistency. There are several techniques that can help you create memorable stories.
Storytelling isn't about a lengthy piece of content. Most audiences want content that is in easy-to-digest formats. B2B marketers should use concise language to form structured and relatable stories designed for the buyer. Tell a story your buyer wants to read.
Illustrate the Point
Don't just state that your products or services work; prove it! Use storytelling backed by facts to illustrate how your product or service helps other businesses. Use storytelling to bring your solutions to life with customer success stories, real-life applications, and examples that will resonate with your audience. Take this a step further and use visual representations to help drive home the point.
Lean in on Emotions
Trigger emotional responses to help increase engagement from potential buyers. Your story should evoke feelings like empathy, connection, inspiration, compassion, sympathy or innovation. Emotional stories are more likely to be memorable and help your audience form a connection to your message.
"Fake it 'til you make it" is not the right mantra for content marketing. Your storytelling strategy needs to start from the core of your company. Don't use storytelling to craft a façade, or it will inevitably come back to bite you. Instead, use storytelling to highlight key components of your brand and remain authentic to your direction.
Make it Meaningful
Not all storytelling has to take a deep dive into your company's values. However, some of your stories should include the core principles and mission of your brand. Identify the underlying values of your company and use them to help create compelling stories.
Storytelling is part of creating a long-term strategy for sustainable B2B growth. If you need help defining the story of your company, Synchronicity can help. Reach out to our team, and let's talk about how we can implement powerful storytelling in your marketing strategy.