Does the word 'story' bring a smile to your face? Do you have an urge of inquisitiveness if anyone tells you, "Hey, I have a story to tell."?
Well, you will be surprised to know that this impact of 'story' is the same for B2B storytelling.
Whatever the brand represents or does, storytelling is a beautiful way to attract customers. Moreover, the best part about brand storytelling is that you do not need professional storytellers to create a story. Your brand already has a beautiful story of its birth, upbringing, success, and sustainability. All you have to do is let your audience know about it.
This article will discuss how storytelling in B2B plays a vital role in conversions and customer enhancement. We will also discuss examples of how the art of B2B storytelling is a trendsetter that leads to customers being lifelong relationships.
Why Is Storytelling Essential in B2B?
The B2B storytelling process has the power to build relationships. The right storytelling strategy surprises audiences and makes them familiar with brands.
Think about it. There are two similar brands on the market, and you need their services. One brand uses a storytelling marketing strategy -how it originated, why it chose the particular services, and how it paved its way to success. All you know about the other brand is that it offers great prices. So which brand will you trust?
Of course, the one that has a story to it! And that is because the brand seems to have an emotional connection and a practical approach to customers.
Considering the scenario, one of the best storytelling examples would be the marketing giant Amazon.
Amazon has ad campaigns and content that weave a story around customers' pain points, closely connecting with its B2B and B2C customers. It promotes B2B customers to share Amazon's platforms to market and target its long-awaited locations.
Similarly, for B2C, it weaves stories about how consumers are assisting local vendors by purchasing from them while sitting in the comfort of their own homes!
Let dive deeper into the details and benefits of B2B's storytelling strategy.
Drive Trust and Authenticity
Storytelling in B2B builds trust and fosters the authenticity of the brand. When there is a story narrative behind a brand’s existence, customers will trust and feel connected to that brand, increasing customer retention and driving higher sales and conversions.
According to B2Bmarketing.net, 50% of consumers said they would buy from a brand with which they have an emotional connection without comparing prices.
B2B Storytelling Directly Addresses Pain-points
A story is the best way to highlight a problem and provide it with a solution. In story format, it is known as the climax and the conclusion.
This storytelling marketing strategy proves it worth it as customers connect with you because you know their problems and want to solve them. Therefore, use storytelling in B2B to identify the customer's problems, understand them, solve them, and explain why you are the best fit for the service.
Engage and Involve Customers in an Unforgettable Way
The central idea of incorporating B2B storytelling is to convey sales engaging, productive, and narrative.
The more mesmerizingly you tell a story, the more awakened the customer's senses and feelings are. It helps promote businesses in the right direction and make an unforgettable mark on the customer's mind.
The storytelling of a brand involves both negative and positive sides. The more transparent you are in the storytelling process, the better portrayal of your business's efficiency and productivity is mirrored.
Storytelling Demonstrates Your Understanding
Whether it is storytelling about your brand or providing solutions to customers' challenges, the storytelling strategy differentiates your brand from others. It demonstrates your understanding that you will deliver what the customer is looking for.
Let us consider a storytelling example of an organization looking for a digital marketing company for lead generation strategies.
We will name the organization looking for services as company A and the digital marketing company as company B.
If A goes to B and says, "We need lead generation strategies that will work for our organization. We are particularly targeting the IT sector."
Do you think the above explanation is ample for B to understand the problem and work strategies around it?
A needs to adopt brand storytelling in its explanation process. A should convey, "Our company is x years old, and we work towards providing services and products for the IT sector. We have seen a downfall in lead generation and conversions during the pandemic, and we need help with the same."
Along with the above explanation, A needs to elaborate on the obstacle it faces and the solutions it demands.
When B gets the entire 'story' in place, it can create solutions based on that, and needless to say, they will be perfect. And this is all because B has understood the start, end, problem, and solutions of organization A.
This simple example states how important the art of brand storytelling is. It lets the organizations understand each other and the challenges, solutions, pain points, and more in a better way.
Tips for Storytelling Strategy
Since you know the benefits of incorporating storytelling in your marketing strategy, here are a handful of tips on doing it well, no matter which storytelling platform you use.
Create a Story Around the “why” Quotient
Your storytelling marketing strategy should revolve around the “why” system. The story should give answers to the following questions:
- Why is your band formed?
- Why should the target audience choose you?
- Why do you cater to the selected services/products?
- Why should the customers choose you over your competitors?
These answers will help customers build a human connection with the brand. Try and construct an authentic and intriguing story with which the audience can relate and empathize.
Create the Visual Effect
Whether you choose a written or visual form of content, ensure it creates 'the visual impact.' After watching the video, ad, or reading the content, the visual impact implies that the audience is left with the 'after-feeling.'
This after-feeling may be the one that brings a smile to the audiences' face, urges the audience to take action, makes them aware of a specific thing, and above all, leaves an unforgettable mark on your brand.
In a B2B storytelling process, the visual effect of the campaign is created by humanizing the brand story. Therefore, the creativity in this approach needs to be excellent.
Let us consider the example of an ad designed two decades ago but still leaves an imprint in the viewer's mind.
The ad by IBM highlights struggles within the American Education System. IBM steps in to improve that and perfectly humanizes its brand. This ad makes a great story because it highlights real-world problems and provides relevant solutions. It is not selling its products but trying to portray the importance of the product in connection with education.
Such good stories leave a powerful impact and a great social message.
Put your 'Customer Stories' In Spotlight
Everyone is aware of the power of Google Adwords. Every business uses them and is familiar with the terms. As a result, these big brands need to create more powerful stories to connect with their audience, and Google Adwords has nailed it.
Google created a video series called "Adwords Stories." These videos incorporated the stories of small businesses that use the service and have created wonders for their businesses. The life-changing experiences by the customers conveyed how successful Adwords can prove to every type of business. The campaign also made these customers feel important and special.
Potential customers always want to hear what existing customers say about the brand. So, incorporating case studies, testimonials, and reviews in campaigns leads to conversion due to storytelling. These little gestures by the customers create positive impressions.
This method of lighting up the storytelling platform with client stories makes your audiences easily understand why they should opt for your solutions.
Elements of B2B Brand Storytelling
Every story has elements to complete it and make it intriguing. Such details are responsible for storytelling to lead to conversion.
There are four elements responsible for the successful storytelling of the B2B brand.
A Great Beginning and the Best End
You have less than 15 seconds to create an impression in the reader's mind and lesser if there is a video. Therefore, work hard to create a meticulous beginning.
If your audience has taken the effort to start the story and reached the middle, ensure they receive a fantastic and relevant conclusion.
Convey the Message
If you are storytelling about your B2B brand, focus on the central idea. Do not forget why you have created the campaign while narrating the brand story.
The Environment and Characters
The characters depend on your budget. If your budget permits, you could hire Hollywood stars; ensure that whomever you choose connects with your target audience.
Embed an engaging environment for the audience and create a gist of your message.
A Solution to the Challenges
The B2B brand strategy must always solve the challenges. So even if you decide to go for an awareness campaign, it must address a challenge.
Design the story so that the characters move from the challenge to the solution in a pleasant journey.
The Best B2B Brand Strategy Is: Tell a Good Story
Now you know the secret to getting more conversions is storytelling!
Incorporating storytelling in your B2B brand strategy will elevate your marketing and build a strong customer relationship. Utilize various storytelling platforms and make a great story for your B2B branding purpose.
In the end, we would like to quote Paul Smith, one of the world's leading experts in business storytelling:
"A story about how you're different from your competitors is far more powerful than just a list of features and benefits."
Frequently Asked Questions
What does storytelling mean for B2B branding?
Storytelling for B2B branding addresses the customers' challenges, tells about the brand to the potential customers, and markets the products and services by weaving a story around the idea.
Is storytelling important for B2B marketing?
Storytelling is essential for B2B marketing. Customers have a 50% chance of conversions when they connect with the brand emotionally. Storytelling is the best way to emotionally communicate with the target audience and inspire them to take action.
What are the four essential elements of storytelling for B2B?
- A great beginning.
- Convey the message in the right way.
- Perfect environment and characterization.
- Address the pain points.