B2B storytelling is one of the most powerful marketing tools for engaging customers and building long-term loyalty. Why? It reaches us humans exactly where we are fully human in everyday business life: on an emotional level.
You've heard a lot about the power of storytelling in B2B? The first step towards more success has been mastered. Because it is not a secret:
B2B companies usually only write about themselves, their products or past achievements
The customer? He or she falls by the wayside with a tired yawn. But they want more: emotion, excitement, added value. Real B2B storytelling offers it to them - and brings you a big step forward on the road to success.
That's Why Storytelling Is So Powerful In B2B
In B2B, many products require explanation. That is obvious. However, this fact tempts suppliers to throw around disdainful facts and lifeless figures. In view of the human buyer nature, this poses a big problem: It is true that potential customers want certain features in order to make a choice. How these are presented, however, makes a significant difference.
Successful B2B companies have long recognized the power of storytelling and turn product features into compelling stories.
On the one hand, customers receive all the information they need for a purchase decision. On the other hand, they are directly addressed on an emotional level, as they can identify with the story and feel understood. They offer a tangible added value for your customers and remain in their memory. In addition, stories significantly simplify the decision-making process.
How Does Storytelling Work at the Business Level?
In B2B storytelling, your customers play the main role. Stories show how they use your products or services and how they succeed with them.
An online retailer has experienced a big upswing in recent months due to the pandemic, with daily orders increasing tenfold. Accordingly, he needs to optimize the processes to keep up with the high order volume. A first step in this direction is new software for inventory management
After extensive research, he now has to decide between two providers:
Vendor A shows on his website which functions the software has, including all technical details and designs. To express his expertise, you can find a detailed company history on his website as well as logos of companies that use his software
Vendor B, on the other hand, takes a different approach. Instead of endless lists of all the functions, he shows in a video in a rousing and understandable way how his product works in practice. To do this, he goes through the individual stations in the warehouse: From product putaway, to ordering, to shipping, he explains exactly how his software can help minimize errors and save time and money accordingly
Which provider would you choose?
3 Tips for Gripping B2B Storytelling
Of course, the previous example is just one of the ways B2B storytelling can work. Its presentation varies according to the provider, the offer and the target group. In B2B, products or services that require explanation are usually sold. They can be optimally explained with the help of figurative language:
Make it as easy as possible for your target group to understand your offer and its benefits. This not only makes it easier for you to sell, but also helps you to convince your customers emotionally and retain them in the long term.
From our practical experience we would like to give you 3 tips on the way:
Tip 1: Use the Power of Images
A story is only as good as the images it creates in your mind. For this reason, the following applies: Successful B2B storytelling describes pictorially. Facts and figures can certainly be embedded. However, they should always be described in such a way that the reader can imagine them.
For example: Your product is characterized by a particularly low weight? In this case it weighs less than a feather. This offers corresponding advantages in use. Direct the focus on these.
You want to launch an extremely powerful new product? In this case, the comparison with horsepower or the drive of an engine might hit the mark.
Inany case, it is important to note: B2B storytelling should convey truths in a way that is appropriate for the target group. With the help of images, these remain particularly well in the memory. Exaggerations can be a stylistic device of your B2B storytelling. Nevertheless, a reference to reality should remain. After all, it's all about one hero in the story: your customer.
Tip 2: Offer Your Target Group Tangible Added Value
Defining the buyer persona is the first step in any advertising activity. This is the only way to determine which measures will bring the most success. Tests and optimizations can also be easily carried out afterwards. Companies that successfully use B2B storytelling follow this approach.
You first define the target group that is to be addressed. This is therefore a buyer persona. They should identify with the content in the storytelling. This can be achieved with the help of a likeable protagonist who solves conflicts in his everyday life despite obvious rough edges.
Successful B2B storytelling offers not only entertainment, but real added value. This can be tips on how to use the products, which save the protagonist valuable time. It's also possible to describe the advantages of your service pictorially - and how every customer simply benefits from it.
Tip 3: Keep the Suspense
B2B storytelling comes in different varieties. What they have in common is a well thought-out suspense arc. In its simplest form, it provides for five different scenarios. In combination, they form the well-known heroic story
The starting situation makes the start. Now the protagonist suddenly finds himself confronted with problems. The turning point follows - action must be taken. The solution, however, is delayed. Fortunately: The resolution follows soon. Gladly with the help of your offer.
If you stick to this structure in B2B storytelling, you're almost guaranteed to get the attention of your target audience. The good thing is: it's suitable for every industry in B2B where problems are solved professionally.
Conclusion: Finally Getting Into the Heads of Your Target Group Thanks to Storytelling
B2B marketers with an eye for the future have long since recognized this: Gripping stories can't be missing from any smart marketing mix. This is not least due to the needs that B2B storytelling satisfies beyond the World Wide Web.
For this reason, B2B is no longer just about a successful appearance at trade fairs. Customer acquisition is increasingly taking place online. Digital storytelling is a buzzword that successful B2B companies include in their vocabulary as a matter of course. In this way, they not only sell more easily, but also with their finger on the pulse - an idea that you should definitely take up for more momentum in your marketing.