Crafting creating and engaging storytelling for B2B marketing. Part 1: Understanding why story works.
In a three part blog series, agency strategist Rene Power looks at why storytelling in b2b marketing has become a go-to approach for so many marketers and how to start doing it effectively.
There’s no doubt that content matters more than ever. The nirvana of modern marketing is content that is effective, valuable and that creates a win:win for the creator and the user.
In an increasingly noisy world content that educates, inspires, helps and sometimes entertains is more likely to create the right positioning and business opportunities.
When we seek to create content for clients or for Velo we’re guided by some key principles.
1. Good content needs be directed at someone specific.
2. It needs to resonate.
3. It needs to educate.
4. It needs to inspire.
5. And often, but not every time, it should entertain.
Entertaining content is overlooked in B2B, but think about it.
What content grabs you first when you’re scrolling through feeds, or searching the Internet? It’s usually entertaining content that hooks you before more expansive content takes your passing interest further.
As you’re reading this, think about your favourite book or film.
What is it?
Why is it your favourite?
Is it the story itself? Where it takes you? The memories it conjures in your mind?
I think your choice says a lot about the types of stories that resonate with us as humans and quite how long they resonate.
Think about the power of Disney/Pixar, the enduring allure of Harry Potter, the longevity of Star Wars, the immense success of Marvel. There is a human connection with story that is one of the most powerful in all forms of content, save possibly music for transporting us to a place and time.
But why do stories work?
There’s a million reasons but from our perspective there are probably five core reasons.
1. Stories are often about people – so there is a human element – that means there is an immediate and powerful opportunity to build a relatable and genuine experience.
2. An emotional connection makes content more engaging, and because of this whatever is conveyed is likely to be more memorable and more convincing than using facts and reason alone.
3. Stories often offer a lesson or moral which can tap into human desires, aspirations, fears and other basic impulses.
4. They often offer a lesson or a moral that can help people find meaning in their own situations.
5. And when told well, they are designed to be shared, over and over again.
What much of this points towards is creating content that your audience will care about.
In Velo’s pioneering work with Cisco, we drove £2m in pipeline in just six weeks with our Cisco Technical Knowledge campaign targeting less than 50 contacts. Customer Success videos we produce in-house have been featured at every annual Cisco Live & Cisco Partner Summit for three consecutive years. And Chuck Robbins, Cisco CEO, has used sales support content we’ve produced, including videos and presentations. Find out more here.
So ask yourself, does your audience care about your content? And is your content created with care in mind?
Whether you know it or not, your content is going to drive your website, SEO, advertising, social, email, event marketing and much more as storytelling becomes more important.
In our second post in this three-part series, we’ll be exploring the process of bringing commercial customer focused storytelling to life using the concept of the hero’s journey.
If your content isn’t hitting the mark, you might need an intervention. Check out our approach to copy and content here or book a discovery call to talk about content strategy here.