In 2017, B2B marketing budgets were expected to increase by 5%. Over the years B2B marketing has truly begun coming into its own as companies realize they have to be strategic in capturing attention in a crowded space and winning over new customers. While email and SEO have been top of mind as marketing tactics, B2B decision makers often overlook and dismiss the simple power of storytelling because they believe that it isn’t relevant to their audience and struggle to compose a narrative.
Storytelling is often pigeonholed as only being a relevant marketing tool for consumer facing brands; after all, the entire purpose of storytelling is to open the door to creating an emotional connection with audiences. You may ask yourself: how do emotions mix with tech or machinery services that for instance, serve the B2B fresh produce industry?
The truth is, businesses are run by people. And people are the ones making each and every decision behind who to work with and which products and services to buy.
This means that storytelling is a highly effective way to capture the attention of people that matter most; your story is what makes you unique--no matter your role within the industry. A story that opens the mind of its audience to a new possibility or foundational value of your organization is more compelling and powerful than just listing features and benefits about your services or products. Harnessing your story helps shed a light on your business in way that transcends beyond your offering.
In Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling, we learn why using this framework for conveying information is so effective. Preceding a presentation with a great character-driven story will likely result in better recall. While numbers are important and necessary to backing up the strengths behind your offerings, emotion is more captivating than cold, hard stats; our brains are wired to pay attention to a narrative that creates tension.
For example, Cisco uses digital storytelling to demonstrate the benefits of its products in way that extends beyond a dull listing of features and numerical results. They have an entire campaign called Never Better that is dedicated to sharing how its products are enriching people’s lives through videos, testimonials, and infographics. Rather than just listing product features related to their World Wide Technology, they created a video that captures the experience of their client using their product to reach their patients at home.
You may fear that there’s nothing exciting to share about your services or that forming a compelling story about your products or your company founding is a stretch. We’re here to tell you that it can be done. When you tie your stories back to people—you’re showing the greater benefit and purpose of your company. You can create stories about how your products help or bring joy to people, stories about the founding of your company, and stories about people within your company.
Ultimately, your storytelling is what will set you apart in a world where products and services are competing more closely than ever. Distinguish yourself artfully creating narratives that share what you value and the greater good that you hope to accomplish.