B2B marketing often feels like an industry in which emotional value is secondary to the facts and figures used to display results. Don’t underestimate the power of storytelling and its role in appealing to the humans behind the companies. However, is storytelling as effective as sharing the cold hard facts when it comes to B2B content marketing?
For as long as humans could communicate with one another, stories have been told and retold, sometimes over countless generations. Storytelling remains one of the most effective ways to disseminate information. Yet, in the world of B2B marketing, we often shy away from the personalized narrative in favor of factual and to-the-point information, even when 62% of B2B marketers rated storytelling as a good content marketing tactic in 2017.
The mediums through which these stories are told have evolved, and with them, so must marketing teams. You don’t need a star-studded blockbuster or a one-hit-wonder, but a core understanding of storytelling for B2B marketing is essential to emotionally connect with your customers and allow them to see your brand as more than just a corporate entity.
Marketing is creative. Even in corporate environments, marketers need to think outside the box and draw people in using all manner of media and documentation. B2C businesses have long utilized storytelling and narrative content to engage their customers – whether this is through television ads, posters, or customer testimonials. Think about how many adverts have gotten stuck in your head or which ad campaigns influenced a must-have purchase.
A study by Stanford professor Chip Heath found that while students use more statistics than stories in vocal presentations, 63% of them remembered the stories with only 5% remembering a single statistic. This shows how stories impact human memory and how useful a narrative can be when appealing to a customer.
It might seem like B2C has it easier, but according to a study by LinkedIn 69% of marketers believe that B2B purchasing is just as emotionally driven as B2C. In fact, B2B purchasers are 50% more likely to buy a product or service if they are emotionally invested in the company they’re buying from.
Creating a narrative doesn’t necessarily mean a fictional story: consider how your product or service use cases can display a customer’s journey and their benefits.
Simply publishing content and figures won’t elicit the same connection from a customer. Position your brand as a problem solver, providing a skill set that would take on the customer’s and industry’s problems. Back this up by creating ‘hero story case studies,’ placing your brand as a mentor and the client as the hero.
Other mediums can be used to showcase your product’s benefits; consider the above Google campaign. The focus of this story isn’t Google, nor even particularly the product, but the customer whose story elicits the emotional connection. By showing through a short documentary, Google created a memorable ad and showcased their product in the thick of it.
People are at the heart of business, and while B2B may seem like a facts and figures focused community, the people behind the business still desire an emotional connection with their work. Tapping into this need with storytelling and connecting with your audience’s needs will help your business stick in people’s minds far more than just showing them facts and figures.
As a psychology-driven platform, Turtl is all about understanding your audience, and with 10x reader engagement you can be sure your company’s story is heard and remembered.
A round up of insights, trends, and tips on the world of content marketing