How to Use Storytelling in Your B2B Marketing Strategy

You already know that storytelling is a vital B2C marketing strategy. Just turn on any commercial from brands like Apple or Nike – they’re not selling a particular product, they’re selling a story. More often than not, we buy into that narrative, and that’s why so many people are willing to spend more money on getting an item from a particular brand instead of choosing to get the same one but from a no-name company.

Having said that, in B2B marketing, companies are more reluctant to use storytelling in their marketing efforts. Instead, most of them focus on creating urgency and some fear, and even aim to shock the audience. While that can help you hit your customers’ pain points and get them to buy a product or a service for you once, it will definitely not help you generate brand loyalty.

In this article, we will focus on why storytelling can help your B2B marketing strategy and how you can incorporate it. Without keeping you waiting any longer, let’s get going.

Why Does Storytelling Matter?

Thanks to shiny discounts, reasonable offers, and knowing your customer’s pain points, you can get people to become your company’s clients at least once. However, with the power of a good story, you can turn them into brand ambassadors – people who are proud to carry or use your products.

Why would you want that to happen? Well, it’s easy – because word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. The idea behind storytelling marketing is to touch people and cultivate trust. Instead of thinking about your clients in terms of only sales, you should aim to break away from the standard marketing practices and focus on creating a relationship of mutual trust.

One of the biggest problems B2B businesses face is that their products or services are often more challenging to understand. By using storytelling, you’re not only humanizing your brand but also simplifying the more complex topics that you’re dealing with.

Six Benefits of Storytelling

We can find far more than six benefits of storytelling. However, we don’t want this article to go on forever, so we will focus on only the ones we deem to have the biggest influence on the audience.

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Shows Brand Personality

By telling a story about your brand, you’re humanizing it. You’re giving it a “life” that it has lived, and you’re organically integrating key beliefs and values. We can take Dove as an example – their focus is on inclusivity, and all of their marketing campaigns are focused on telling us a story about a world where things such as skin color won’t matter as much anymore. Now, even though this is a great example, it might be hard to imagine how you can incorporate it into a B2B business.

How to Incorporate It Into B2B

Humans relate to one another. You can think about how you can highlight the stories of your team members in order to establish a connection with your target audience. Let’s say you’re a business that offers marketing services – by sharing what you had to go through to get to where you are and telling authentic stories about your employees’ career paths, you will stand out from every other company on the market and in your industry.

Forges an Emotional Connection

There’s one major reason why we all love stories: they make us feel something. That’s why we go to theaters and watch movies, why we read books and tell fairy tales to our children. If you look at some of the most successful commercials over the last 20 years, you will notice that almost all of them are focused on a story. Let’s take, for example, Colin Kaepernick’s Nike commercial. He was dropped by the NFL for his stance against police brutality; Nike took his story and made a commercial about all of us overcoming adversity and dreaming “crazier.” Its impact was immediate, as the sporting goods giant immediately entered all news worldwide. Several years later, people are still watching that commercial, discussing it, and getting value out of it. It’s easy to understand why that is: when we watch that ad of people overcoming the odds, accomplishing their dreams, and fighting against everyone to come out as winners, we feel a sense of greatness, a feeling that we can also do anything we set our minds to. It inspires us, an emotion powerful enough to make us associate Nike with achieving our dreams.

How to Incorporate It Into B2B

In order to encourage that kind of emotional attachment in the B2B market, you need to consider the specific group of business people you’re targeting. How can you pull emotions out of them? What kind of event or which values matter to that target audience? By taking a stance and incorporating it into your ads, you will pull on the heartstrings of viewers and make them associate your company with the kind of beliefs they find valuable.

Motivates Customers

I know a lot of people who would go to lengths to buy products from one brand instead of the other simply because they “like” one more than the other. Objectively speaking, you cannot like “brands”; they’re not people with souls, actions, and personalities; however, when for many years they’ve had a storytelling marketing approach, you start to have an opinion about them, similarly to how you would have an opinion about a particular person. Liking one brand more than others is what cultivates brand loyalty and encourages customers to keep buying the company’s products and services.

Let’s look at Apple. It can be argued that there are better “value for money” smartphones on the market; however, I’m sure that you know many people who buy the newest iPhone simply because they “like the brand,” so much so that they’re not even willing to consider the other offers on the market. This association between the brand’s story and its products is at the core of customer loyalty, and it’s what motivates people to keep purchasing the company’s products.

How to Incorporate It Into B2B

There are numerous ways to engage with your target audience and motivate people to want to partner with you. One of the easiest ways to do it is by sharing real-life posts about everyday struggles, debates, and issues that you’re dealing with on platforms like LinkedIn. That will show your potential and existing clients that you’re not hiding the challenges you face and that you’re willing to listen to advice from others. Along with that, it makes your business look more approachable and inspiring, as you’re showing company struggles from a human’s perspective.

Breeds Customer Loyalty

As we already mentioned several times, one of the best things about storytelling marketing is the fact that it leads to brand loyalty. Stories give us a way to provoke emotions in people, and in turn, those emotions help create connections that last longer than buying a product. Giving your target audience the kind of story it will relate to and finding common values between your brand and your audience is the best way to keep people coming back and purchasing your products. Additionally, it’s the best way to spread a message about your company, as those loyal to your brand are more likely to recommend it to friends and family.

How to Incorporate It Into B2B

Think about the kind of people you want to work with or the kind of companies you want to partner with. What are their values? What’s important to them? What are they dreaming about? After you get the answers to these questions, think of ways to create a brand narrative that’s tied with them. That way, people will connect your brand not only with what you produce or offer but also with the kind of values they deem to be important.

Makes Your Brand Unique

When you create a narrative, a story around your brand and its creation, you’re setting it apart from your competitors on the market. It’s the best way to showcase how and why you’re different and thus give a reason for people to pick you over everyone else. A story about your business is essentially the personality you want to give it, and it makes it feel more like a representation of a group of particular people and less like a corporation made to make money. Even though both are true, that’s why you will often see people who do sports recreationally dressed in all Nike or Adidas, as a way to show that they’re part of that group of those elite athletes. A brand can become a symbol, and the best brands often do, which makes them unique in their own ways.

How to Incorporate It Into B2B

An excellent way to incorporate personality and storytelling into your B2B marketing is by considering your favorite stories as a child and using them for inspiration to help you create animated series; however, instead of using the original characters, you can use your employees and customers. Using this kind of storytelling will make you different compared to everyone else on the market, and it will help people relate to and engage with your content.

Shows You’re Not Only About the Sales

Storytelling is the best way to promote your brand without directly offering products or showing customers what you’re offering. Using it means you’re not aiming to sell a particular item or service. Instead, you’re trying to get people to buy into your brand’s character and values. So, instead of constantly showing new products and using “buy here” CTAs, you can give your clients a marketing campaign they enjoy seeing – one that’s fun or inspiring, one that makes them curious to learn more about your brand and makes them want to be associated with it. You will almost never see people resharing your social media posts about the latest sale or discount code; however, if you make a great ad that tells an incredible story and has terrific visuals, it will likely get shared on people’s personal pages – thus bringing in more potential customers and encouraging brand awareness.

How to Incorporate It Into B2B

You can start by being a bit wittier in the copy that you use for social media. Instead of the typical “click here,” “get right now,” and other CTAs, you can look into the current trends and try to find something that relates to your brand, the personality you want to convey, and the image you want to present to the world. By using popular memes or phrases, you’re making your brand feel more human and closer to its target audience, which is what makes it more likely for people to spread your message and follow the CTAs.

Lastly, Before You Leave

By now, we hope that we’ve managed to convince you that the benefits of storytelling for B2B businesses are many. Not only is it the best way to share your company’s values and goals, but it’s also the only way to forge a long-lasting connection between your business and its customers and partners.

Having said all of that, if you would like to learn more about how to use storytelling in marketing, along with excellent SEO tips, copywriting, and social media, you can follow our frequent blog posts. Every week we try to cover different essential topics that pertain to entrepreneurship, leadership, and digital marketing. If you enjoy watching videos and getting your tips in a lighter form, then make sure to follow us on Instagram and TikTok. On these platforms, we share weekly tips and tricks that you may find helpful.

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