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How to evoke your B2B audience with great storytelling techniques

Real people are the driving force behind every company, and for B2B brands to remain relevant, they must establish a connection with these individuals. If a brand and a customer can emotionally connect, 50% more B2B buyers are likely to make a purchase. People will forget what you said and do, but they won’t forget how you made them feel, as noted poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou famously observed. A strong marketing tactic that can assist companies in producing content that appeals to customers’ emotions is storytelling.

Storytelling has long been a vital component of B2C marketing, but it is now an essential component of producing interesting B2B content. B2B brands now focus on attracting and holding clients’ attention through a compelling story instead of hard-selling, product pitching, or self-promotional techniques. In a B2B setting, storytelling is even more crucial since it enables marketers to communicate value by presenting intricately technical goods and services in a more approachable and engaging manner. All businesses, regardless of industry, have a compelling story to share. Brands today have become more relatable and can have a deeper emotional connection with their audience thanks to compelling stories. In this article, we will look at how you can utilize storytelling for your B2B brand.

Photo by Kalis Munggaran on Unsplash

Why storytelling is important and how a narrative benefits B2B Marketing

People enjoy stories. Since the beginning of time, we’ve been using stories to imagine and fascinate. In business, it’s not much different. The use of narratives by organizations to communicate their core values in a way that appeals to customers’ emotions is a practice known as brand storytelling. Brand storytelling makes the company more relatable to its clients as a group of actual individuals tackling real-world issues rather than just a faceless corporate organization producing complex products.

In the B2B market, brand storytelling is less popular as compared to the B2C space. The reason for this is that it’s more difficult to emotionally engage people when you’re selling them a complex corporate solution rather than a high-tech consumer good product or service. However, it can be effective when done right. Having a more personable side to your business is beneficial for:

• Developing authenticity

• Differentiating from competitors

• Enhancing rapport with customers

• Drawing attention to your unique selling point

• Increasing brand recognition

The B2B storytelling framework

From awareness to decision stages, businesses must connect with and adopt a storytelling framework throughout the entire funnel. The diagram below demonstrates three different styles of storytelling that you can use along the marketing funnel.

1. Brand Storytelling

The top of the funnel is where you tell stories about your company and the values it represents. It involves establishing a strong emotional connection with your target market to win their support.

2. Customer-centered Storytelling

Use this in the middle of the sales funnel by concentrating your storytelling on the issues that your clients are facing. Limit the story to the target roles that directly or indirectly affect purchasing decisions.

3. Individual Storytelling

At the bottom of the funnel, your business is dealing with just one person to either suggest, enable them on an existing service or address customer complaints. If you can make the storytelling personalized for that person in all these interactions, your brand will be remembered.

Fundamental Story Framework

Three-Act Structure, the most widely used and fundamental framework for storytelling, aid in dividing stories into three sections: Setup, Confrontation, and Finale (Resolution). Here is what each of the sections should capture:

Act 1: Setup

The audience needs to have their expectations established as this is the most important stage. It gives the audience a summary of the story and sets up the plot that draws them into the narrative. It clarifies the setting and constraints and enables the viewer to picture themselves as part of the story.

Act 2: Confrontation

The story’s second act introduces conflict, heightens the tension, and takes the main character on a journey through difficulties in search of a breakthrough resolution.

Act 3: Finale

At this point, the story’s characters take the initiative to address and resolve the major conflicts.

How B2B companies have done it

The challenge for the majority of B2B marketers is to apply the correct storytelling strategies to communicate their brand values, vision, or solution benefits to their clients. Here are some tips on how to do it well with real-life examples.

Sharing news about the business

The most popular and old-fashioned storytelling format, articles, can be employed effectively. As a company, you can write in-depth news articles about your product or solutions and how they can benefit others.

Example:

Boeing’s Feature page

Let your employees be the ambassadors

The best brand ambassadors for a company’s culture are its employees. The brand can be humanized via employee-curated stories. Showcasing the distinctive and talented people who run a company can help it gain authenticity and a more human touch. These programs improve the bond between the brand, employees, and customers.

Example:

Microsoft’s Story Labs

Showcasing your customers

Customers who have already purchased your products/services are more likely to trust their experiences with it than what your company has to say. To add a little more story to your offering, use case studies, testimonials, and reviews. By using client testimonials to bring your product or service to life, you can convince your audience of the necessity of your solution.

Example:

Google’s Small Business YouTube channel and Small Business Blog

Engage in social media

High-tech concepts might seem more approachable and human when told through bite-sized content. Using social media to publish eye-catching imagery that shows how complicated initiatives have a significant impact on our daily lives can help your company become more well-known in small yet practical doses, especially today when attention spans are shorter.

Example:

General Electric’s Instagram page

Businesses can utilize storytelling in their B2B content marketing initiatives in a variety of ways. Storytelling distinguishes a brand’s content, establishes the organization as a leader in the field, and appeals to emotions when done well. As the B2B content landscape gets more competitive, effective storytelling can help your company stand out.

At Convergence Concepts, we believe that B2B brand storytelling is a valuable way for our clients to share their ideas, exchange perspectives and spark conversations with new and past business partners. If you need a specialized team in B2B storytelling, feel free to reach out to us at marketing@convergenceconcepts.com.sg to inquire more!