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How to include storytelling in your B2B content marketing [Guide]

November 17, 2023 | Nina Petrov

People naturally like telling and hearing stories. Some stories are straightforward and linear, as well as dazzlingly complex ones, and both keep audiences engrossed and coming back for more.

How is this relevant for something as ostensibly technical as B2B marketing? People’s natural curiosity for causes, issues, or situations that are important to them makes storytelling an effective means of personalized marketing — even in the sphere of B2B.

If you adapt the art of storytelling to fit the B2B marketing medium, you open up a wealth of opportunities that could give your company and brand a competitive edge. Indeed, storytelling (or lack thereof) can often make or break a content marketing strategy.

Luckily, crafting a unique narrative does not have to be difficult if you clearly develop your company values and goals, understand your target market, and invest in excellent writers or content marketing professionals who help you shape this narrative into immersive stories.

Here is our step-by-step guide on how to include storytelling in your B2B content marketing.

Develop your brand’s values and purpose

Every brand’s story should be intrinsically tied to its values, goals, and purpose. That is why you should identify and develop these elements before attempting to use storytelling in your content marketing strategy.

Companies like to work with businesses that promote a purpose close to their own, or whose values and goals are to be looked up to. By building a story around these elements, you highlight additional benefits of doing business with your company that fall outside of your core product or service offer.

In order to develop a story that is particular to your brand, begin by explaining how the company was started, why it set out to do business in your industry (e.g. by seeing that existing competition were not addressing specific issues important to your company), and how it aims to align its business strategy with an overarching company principle (examples of which are given below).

Practical ways of including brand storytelling

A great way to utilize brand storytelling is by including a section about your company’s values or mission on your website’s About page. This section can be the central point of information for companies that have just discovered your brand and are looking to learn more about the advantages of working with you.

You can also include information about your core values and purpose in other relevant channels, such as your weekly or monthly newsletter. In fact, you could make it a point to send out a monthly email that doesn’t exclusively promote your offer, but instead talks about how your company strives to achieve its goals through a policy of equal opportunities, diversity and inclusivity, or eco-friendly solutions — to give a few examples.

Another neat way of telling your company’s story is by including a small but impactful blurb on your product labels or marketing materials. This blurb can be a short and sweet description of your values and features that set your products apart from others on the market. It can be tucked away in a corner of the print material, or you can choose some other creative design option to incorporate this information.

Address problems and provide solutions

Storytelling is a great avenue to address your target audience’s problems to effectively present your solutions to them. To identify those problems, you must first have a comprehensive understanding of their typical customer journey and the current market offer.

Conducting thorough research is the best way to achieve this understanding. An inaccurate portrayal of your customers’ dilemmas might ruin your storytelling efforts and even sabotage your B2B content marketing strategy. Being aware of your target accounts’ actual difficulties and challenges helps you better understand what motivates them to seek out products or services like your own.

Therefore, the story you build around real customer issues should match your product or service’s solutions. By writing about their issues in a compelling way and then resolving them by the end of the story you build, your company essentially assumes the role of the story’s hero.

Don’t be hesitant to use emotional language to convey your message. Even though the B2B market has a more sterile and professional atmosphere than the B2C sector, establishing a human connection through emotions is key if you’re going to address your customers’ issues.

Where to use problems and resolutions in storytelling

Your landing pages, email marketing content, and other appropriate channels should provide examples of the issues customers have, and then explain how your products or services helped them resolve those issues.

Choose an issue that demonstrates to readers that you understand and sympathize with their particular circumstances. For example, companies using clunky CRM software that they desperately need an upgrade from because of slow performance would love to hear about how easy and seamless it is to switch to your software solution. This approach is a fantastic way to add individuality to your business, display some humanity, and be sincere and genuine.

Use compelling visuals

Finally, in today’s digital context, no story feels complete without compelling visuals.

When compared to text-heavy information alone, visuals provide a significantly richer experience. Given how much of our learning is accomplished through visual information (think of infographics, how-to guides, and instructional videos), it is clear that including images and videos in your storytelling is beneficial for your content marketing efforts.

In addition, visuals are an integral part of any brand’s identity. They can significantly contribute to building a story around your company, product, or service. Here are some examples of this contribution:

  • Professional photographs of your products
  • Unboxing videos
  • Candid photos of your team at work
  • Behind-the-scenes videos of the production or delivery process
  • Colorful animations and graphics in a short-form video explaining the advantages of your products or services
  • Customer testimonials in video form

It’s important to create images that fit in with the rest of your brand’s visual identity, but also with the content that tells a compelling story about what makes your business unique.

If you’re just starting out as a B2B company and have no experience in producing visual content, don’t think you need to splash out on things like high-quality video production just yet. Begin by simply using online professional video templates and royalty-free background music, as well as free graphics or animations.

As long as the story you want to expand on is memorable and impactful, your videos and images do not need to look like you spent a significant portion of your marketing budget on them.

Final thoughts

Storytelling should foster a positive view of a company’s background, goals, and values, as well as a better understanding of how the company’s products are beneficial to its audience. You can greatly influence your customers’ decisions through a carefully crafted narrative.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that storytelling has developed into a potent weapon in the realm of B2B content marketing. Simply put, good storytelling helps marketers better explain their product or service, as well as underscores the advantages of working with their company as opposed to its competitors.

Finally, storytelling does away with the idea (or even the necessity) of a hard sale. People are captivated by stories without being consciously made aware that they are being offered something to buy.

We hope that this step-by-step guide gives you a good head start to including storytelling in your next B2B content marketing initiative.

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