The importance of Storytelling in B2B marketing
Even as adults, we all enjoy a story. Stories grab our attention; they mentally transport us into new worlds. We form connections between the stories and ourselves. When we listen to or read an engaging and relatable story, a great opportunity can be set for companies looking to build deeper relations with their audience to grow.
Storytelling is also a powerful learning method. As marketers, we should always seek to learn about the brand we represent and the consumers and clients we serve. One unique aspect of stories is that they transmit knowledge, meaning, relatability, and emotion. We learn from observations and personal experiences and then share those experiences through stories. In turn, B2B marketers can utilise storytelling as an effective tool for communicating complex messages simply to a niche target audience.
As every content creator knows, you can’t guarantee storytelling will instantly make your content go viral – the Internet is too chaotic and random. However, telling a genuinely engaging story is a great way to give a business a voice. And, even if it doesn’t ‘blow up’ on social media, a good story will get shared and reach a wider audience than a typical sales ad – why? Because people like to tell stories.
Focusing on storytelling can help build trust and loyalty by humanising a brand. The story infuses and connects each stage of the buyer’s journey, which helps reinforce the narrative. This drives action, which is why storytelling is so important. In addition, relatable and engaging storytelling lets a brand shine brighter than its competitors. Think about companies such as Airbnb and Red Bull that have conveyed memorable, successful narratives.
It’s not just that people love a good story. Humans are hard-wired to make sense of the world in narrative terms. So, stories should get a hold of us in a way that traditional facts and figures can’t. According to research, 92% of consumers want advertisements to tell a story, and not only do consumers want to hear a story, but they want it to be a great story.
One of our long-standing clients, Sage, is passionate about storytelling. Their HR division is an area where HR and People professionals are increasingly looking to help win the talent war – and retain it! In a market where people-focused companies must find new ways to attract and retain top talent, brand loyalty, a clear message, and emotional resonance are gained through storytelling techniques in marketing. Sage likes to do this via sharing blogs and creating a story for each of their roles.
Summarising storytelling (‘and they all lived happily ever after’?)
Formulas in storytelling may not be set in stone, but they can work really well. For example, most of the copywriting formulas out there include the 4 Ps, which drive storytelling in marketing further:
The first thing you need to do to get your target audience’s attention is to make a promise. If you don’t get that person’s attention first, they won’t read the rest of your copy, so you need to start right there, at the beginning.
That promise must include a specific, desirable, credible benefit for your prospects.
We drove our client, Anaplan’s storytelling to a strong place – starting with visual identity before managing a high-profile event. With that, storytelling was in motion, and solid engagement followed.
If you can paint a picture to help your prospects imagine a situation, you will be closer to convincing them of anything you want.
First, choose what kind of emotion you want the reader to feel and work on that feeling. Our creative team held messaging and design concept workshops with stakeholders to get internal and external insight into TB+A’s story. We showcased success stories of TB+A’s award-winning apprenticeship programme on their website, incorporating their visual identity and a considered creative theme to really make their story come alive.
People are naturally suspicious. There is no point in making a grand promise in marketing if you can’t prove what you’re saying is true. People need proof to trust.
Storytelling was a critical process for the Velo team for our client TMHCC. Following competitor analysis within the market and having conducted stakeholder interviews, a new strapline was developed in tandem with creative conceptual marketing – all as a mechanism to facilitate telling the brand story in a way that captivates and resonates.
This is the opportunity to give the reader a little push to carry out the action we want. After you have presented all the arguments for why the reader should choose your service or product, you need to nudge them to press a button or Call to Action. When presenting the offer and nudging them to click, they should perceive your offer as great value.
Stories only come alive when they are observed. There are plenty of ways to get your story in front of people, whether verbal, written, or visual. We, as marketers, may provide engaging content and inspiring visuals, but weaving in a story instantly connects us further.
Storytelling is powerful because it creates an emotional connection between a company, its products, and its customers. Compelling storytelling increases engagement between a brand and its audience, which helps drive conversions and revenue growth. You are already getting social media marketing and SEO services, so why not add brand storytelling to your marketing efforts? Brand storytelling has always been a part of marketing and always will be.
If you have any questions about anything spoken about here, or want to discuss storytelling further, we’d love to help! Please drop us a line – https://velo-b2b.com/contact/