How to Master B2B Marketing with Emotional Storytelling

The power of stories is used by every business be it in advertising, product design or marketing. Everyone connects with stories easily and naturally.

A lot of B2B businesses think that they have to be logical and data driven because they are marketing to companies. However, they forget that companies are made of humans and decisions are taken by people just like us.

Since ancient times man has made stories out of stars, natural events and other people. Without stories there is no context to facts and we cannot attach any meaning to events.

Imagine hearing that Samsung does CSR initiative to sponsor 3D prosthetics. This is just information for you.

Now see the below video about the same fact.

Did you feel any difference? Storytelling puts facts in perspective and makes your message stick with the audience for long. It makes them feel emotions and gives life to your brand.

So now that we understand the importance of storytelling, let us look at how you can use it to tell your story to the world.

Have a Clear Message and Objective

A good story always has a clear core message. Think of the end result you want from your video or presentation. What state do you want audience to be in? What is the action you want to drive?

Set a focused single message in your story. You may have different ideas coming from the same message but keeping multiple messages will only confuse the audience and make your story weak.

Once your objective and message is clear your can move on to build a story around it.

Make Customer the Hero

Every story has a hero or a protagonist. For stories targeted at your customer the customer should be the hero. Here are the basic elements of story to better understand this:

  • Character and Setting – This is defining the character (hero) and where the story is set i.e. the environment, location, condition etc.
  • Conflict – The challenges and struggle that the hero faces
  • Resolution– How the hero overcame challenges. Usually there is also an enabler involved which could be a mentor, a superpower, a business etc.

For a B2B storytelling the customer should be the hero and his pain points are his struggle. Your company must be shown as the enabler which helps the hero overcome his/ her struggles.

A key point to note in a B2B setting is that your customer also their customers to service. It is common in B2B storytelling to show the end customer (your customer’s customer) as the hero.

This video by General Electric shows all the elements of a good story clearly. They are also talking about the end users who are benefited by their technology.

 Remember that the story should not be about you or your product and its features. The story is always about the audience. Sometimes a good story may not even mention the benefits of your company but simply connect with your audience at a deeper emotional level.

Make it Emotional

Emotions drive decisions even in B2B markets. Your story must make your audience feel strong emotions. This is what gives life and personality to your brand in the customer’s mind.  This emotion becomes the background against which they will view your brand in the future.

This is why so many brands just focus on the emotional trigger in their advertisement without ever speaking about their product or service.

Tying It All Together

Powerful storytelling is just as important in a B2B setting. After all decisions are taken by people who are driven by emotions.

Stories must have a clear message, a structure with customers at the centre of it and your company as the enabler. Stories charged with emotions make the audience feel something and form a deep connection with your brand.