Introduction to B2B Brand Storytelling
In a world where your goal should be connecting and building long-lasting relationships with clients to be, it's important to resonate with the people whose problems you solve with your product or service.
If you think emotions and human interactions are irrelevant to B2B brand storytelling, "because you are targeting businesses", consider this a wakeup call:
B2B isn't about businesses communicating with businesses. It's about humans connecting with humans.
A brand story has the magical power of bringing your brand to life, providing it with context and granting your audience something to identify with.
This post will walk you through the elements of brand storytelling and finding your unique brand voice.
1. Find your "why"
People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Finding your "why" will help you lay the grounds for your brand's story.
The guru on this matter is Simon Sinek. Marketers swear by his well-known "golden circle":
The idea is to understand:
- WHY your business is doing what it is doing.
- HOW your business helps and
- WHAT your business offers.
The answers to your "why" and "how" should be led by emotions. Cold answers result in heartless messages. Try staying indifferent to Microsoft's "why":
Inspiring right? Consider motivation, passion, and what emotions your answers should evoke among your target audience. Which leads us to the next element:
2. Understand your audience
Your content isn't for "everyone", it's important to figure out who your buyer personas are. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal buyer. Figure out what your buyer persona's goals and challenges are. What do they care about?
3. Make sure your story includes a conflict
Once you understand your buyer personas, consider how you help them, what conflict are you solving? The conflict should correlate with your buyer persona's problems, their needs, and their stage in the buyer's journey.
Outline the problems your buyer personas have, with solutions that are relevant to their stage of the buyer’s journey. That will provide you with an understanding of the conflicts you can use in your content.
Remember this: if your story does not include a conflict, it's not a story it's a pitch!
4. Make sure your story includes a resolution
The purpose behind every stage of your story should be a resolution. Putting metaphors aside, your content should include a call to action that provides a solution relevant to the stage of the persona at hand.
5. Be authentic
“Tell the truth, but make it fascinating.” - David Ogilvy
People call BS quickly - don't make promises you can't keep and don't make statements you can't back up. This is a long term game, the idea is to build your brand's authority and get your personas to come back for more value. This however does not mean that you need to be "more of the same". A good storyteller will keep people on the edge of their seat. Make sure you aren't writing technically, remember your "why" and let it lead the way.
6. Be clear and concise
Don't get too in love with your own voice. There's no need to say the same thing in five different ways. Remember that people are impatient. Review each sentence and ask yourself
- does this contribute to the story?
- Does it add value?
- Is it interesting?
No? delete it.
All businesses have people behind them, all businesses have a soul. Brining your vision and passion to the front of your brand, is the key to generating human relationships that have the potential of evolving to long-term business co-operations. Learn your audience, tell your story, be authentic. There's no better way to attract strangers, get them to identify with your vision and "join your tribe".