How To Use Storytelling To Create Compelling B2B Marketing Content
In a survey published last year, B2B marketers were asked what they considered, “the three most important elements of effective content?” The number one answer, by a resounding margin (nearly thirty percent), was, “Engaging and compelling storytelling.” The second-most oft-cited challenge for content creators? “Producing truly engaging content.” Clearly, marketers know what makes content compelling; the question is how to create it.
While it may seem like a Herculean challenge, producing content that tells an engaging story doesn’t require having a J.K. Rowling or Cormac McCarthy on your team. In fact, your company’s day-to-day activities and current marketing materials probably hold the framework for several potentially engaging stories, you just haven’t noticed yet.
Businesses come into existence to solve problems. Any good story requires an engaging and relatable conflict. By simply doing what your business sets out to do, you’ve already begun your “story.” Now you just need to shape it into consumable, sharable content.
Instead simply telling your potential customers that you, “provide solutions,” show them how you can help solve their problems. Many companies have case studies on their homepage that simply lay out, “Y problem, Z solution,” which usually leads to the reader hitting the “X” button. The example itself is usually not the problem, but rather the lack of personality. There are real people behind these issues, use them!
As Top Rank notes, failure to serialize these stories is a common B2B marketing pitfall. By serializing your content, you will engage your audience further and truly highlight the good your company can bring to the client. Instead of a one-sheet case study, chronicle your customer’s experience in “chapters.” Techniques such as these can foster greater resonance and will stick more in the reader’s mind.
These sorts of episodic case studies don’t necessarily have to be centered on the client. Providing potential customers with a look “behind the curtain” at your employees can create a stronger degree of trust and likability. “Day in the life” type vlogs and creative employee biographies are two types of content that are easy to produce and could have a prominent impact on conversion.
It is a lot easier to turn down a faceless “Joe” than it is to reject, “Brendan, who loves Radiohead and has completed 12 triathlons.” How did your employee get to your company? What do they love about their job? What has been their greatest challenge since starting there? These sorts of stories will make prospects believe in your company and want to have your employees providing their businesses with solutions.
Does your business tell stories with its marketing content? What sorts of moments, interactions, and personalities have you found to resonate with your audience? Do you believe social media has a role in B2B storytelling? Sound off in the comments!