In B2B marketing, many products and services are hard to advertise. There is nothing exciting about them, no spectacular benefit to bring out and gloss over. Yet, these products are extremely necessary and they are being bought and sold every day all over the world. Think about an accounting software suite. How do you make it a best seller? As difficult as it seems – by telling prospects a story.
Stories are as old as the human race. We use them for entertainment, to put children to sleep, to teach a life lesson… and to sell products. Think about it: every ad, video presentation and product description is a story (or it should be). People do not necessarily buy a product. They buy the experience of using it, the comfort and benefits of putting it to work and saving their time and energy.
The same is true for the B2B sector. CEOs, buyers and purchasing managers are people too – very busy people. They are looking for ways to make their work easier, to make their employees work more efficiently and increase the company’s profit margin. And they are willing to listen to a good story, too.
But how do you tell a great story for B2B customers? Here are a few ideas:
- Make Customers Relate to the Topic
Whenever you prepare your story, consider that you are actually telling it to your prospective buyer persona. He or she is sitting in front of you and is not sure you have what they need. So you must start by showing them that you know exactly how complex and time consuming their work is.
Good marketing stories make people think “that’s exactly what is happening to me now!” Once they can identify themselves in the situation you are presenting, they will start trusting you. They will say to themselves: “these people really get me and my problems”.
- Use Your Customers’ Feedback to Personalise Your Story
Whenever you are uncertain whether you are using the right words to describe a product, or to agitate your prospects’ fears, refer to all the user-generated material you already have. Social media comments, product reviews, blog post comments, testimonials – all these are valuable sources of inspiration. They will teach you to write in a way that your prospects can relate to and feel that they would have phrased the story exactly as you are telling it.
- Whenever You Can, Share the Founder’s Story
When you are rather new in the market, your potential clients’ first reaction may be “I’ve never heard of them, how can I trust them?” To build authority and confidence, it is always useful to tell customers how your company came into being. Take them along the journey made by the founder, from the problems they were facing to the solution they developed.
In many cases, your prospect will relate to this story in a very personal manner – that story sounds familiar, so the solution discovered by the company owner must work for them as well.
- Be Factual Whenever You Can
You cannot rely on the story itself on the B2B market. The audience you are addressing is used to looking at the numbers and making an educated decision. Whenever you can, support your story with any factual evidence you have. From units sold to market share, from client cases to selected information from your financial reports, show your prospects that there is solid substance behind your great story.
- Show a Glimpse of What the Product Can Do
All the good stories have a happy ending and so must yours. After you have made your customers see how hard their work is and what you can do for them, show them just what your existing customers experience. Give them what they are waiting for: the promise that your product will help them save time, work more efficiently, boost their sales and make more money.
Once you have done that, you can proceed with the CTA. The clicks are guaranteed to come.