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How storytelling can take your B2B content to the next level

I’ve been writing recently about how using a conversational tone can help you connect with your audience. That friendly chat is key for creating engaging content that resonates with the reader. But if you want to take your content writing to the next level, try adding another powerful technique to the mix – storytelling.


cave drawings showing me with spears chasing an animal

Image by Hans Genthe from Pixabay


When marketers write copy, they focus on optimising keywords, messaging and being concise. Content like data, insights, and thought leadership are important. But adding a narrative turns your copy from being merely interesting to fascinating. Stories can transform your content and build an emotional connection with the reader. They don’t just inform; they inspire and persuade.

 

People love stories. We’ve been telling them for thousands of years in one form or another to inform, teach and entertain. Why? Because we remember stories. Facts and figures can be hard to remember, but stories spark the imagination and grab attention.

 

If storytelling isn’t part of your B2B content marketing, you could be missing a massive opportunity to engage your audience.


The science behind the story


Firstly, why do we like and remember stories?

 

There are psychological and neurological drivers behind storytelling’s appeal. Stories activate areas of our brain that are associated with verbal understanding and sensory stimulation. A well-written narrative makes the reader feel what you’re describing intellectually and emotionally.

 

Stories can also release hormones like dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins in the brain. Dopamine is key to audience engagement. It creates more focus and motivation and helps people remember something better. Oxytocin is known as the bonding or love hormone. It triggers empathy, trust, and familiarity between the reader and the storyteller. Endorphins are our brain’s painkillers. They block pain and increase the feeling of well-being. Stories that stir positive emotions or make people laugh release endorphins, creating happiness and satisfaction.

 

Triggering these hormones will improve your engagement with your readers. And, importantly, make your marketing messages more memorable.


woman blowing coloured paper off an open book

Image by Paul Stachowiak from Pixabay


Using storytelling in your B2B content


As with any good story, it needs a clear message, a beginning, middle, and end, and a leading character. The beginning should set the scene and give the reader an overview of who, what, where, and why. Your audience needs to understand the story from your headline and opening paragraphs. Otherwise, they won’t read on.

 

Next comes the middle. It builds tension by highlighting challenges or obstacles the leading character has to overcome. Finally, you end with the resolution, how the challenge or problem has been solved, and the results.

 

The aim of the narrative is to create an emotional connection. This will let the reader put themselves in the shoes of your leading character. That way, they can see what success looks like and how your product or service will benefit them.

 

How to bring storytelling into your content


Storytelling is a powerful technique. When done well, people become emotionally invested in your brand, products, or services. It can help you connect with your audience. It builds connections so they remember you when they’re ready to buy.

 

So, how can you bring the power of storytelling into your B2B content?

 

Behind the scenes: Take readers through your brand’s early beginnings. Share the context and motivation that sparked its inception. Highlight the passion and dedication behind your offerings. Maybe there were challenges to overcome.

 

This form of storytelling is great for a website’s “About Us” page. By sharing insights into your journey, you humanise your brand. This makes it more relatable and builds trust and loyalty.

 

Customer successes: These are marketing gold. You’re not telling the reader how good your product or service is; your customers are. Show the real value of your products or services through real-life experiences. Highlight their struggles and pain points. Explain how your solutions helped them. Show tangible results. People are more likely to feel an emotional connection.

  

Data with narrative: Sometimes, you must present data, so go beyond just stating stats and figures. Use data to reinforce the narrative, not to overshadow it. Give the numbers vivid context through illustrative examples and descriptive scenarios. What challenges led to those results? How did implementing your product or service create the transformation? Adding storytelling to data makes it more memorable and impactful.

 

Visual storytelling: This is a great tool in B2B marketing. It helps to simplify complex information and make it more engaging. Visual storytelling can be through photos, videos, infographics, or animations. For example, a construction company could use a time-lapse video to showcase a project from start to finish. Or, a building products company could use an infographic to demonstrate the environmental benefits of their sustainable materials.

 

Audience participation: Storytelling doesn’t have to be a one-way street; it could be a conversation between you and your audience. Encourage participation by inviting readers to engage with your narratives. This could be through interactive elements. These include polls, surveys and blog comments. They also include CTAs and encourage readers to share their own experiences.  Encouraging a two-way conversation creates a sense of community and involvement. It also strengthens your connection with your audience.


open storybook with a dog, grass, girl with a red umbrella and lamppost popping up from the page

Tips for effective storytelling


Of course, there’s an art to effective storytelling. When injecting narrative into your content, remember that your customer comes first. You must understand your customer. Then, you can tailor your story and message to their needs or interests.

 

Your audience doesn’t care about your product or service; they care about how it will help solve their problem. So don’t be too salesy. You’ll only turn people off.  Be authentic and use real stories and genuine experiences to connect with them. Even if your product is complex, your story should be simple and easy to follow.

 

The power of storytelling in B2B


Good storytelling is about building relationships and engaging on an emotional level. By mastering these elements, you can create compelling B2B content that informs, engages, and inspires the reader. You might want to highlight a customer success story, explain a complex product, or share your company's vision. Effective storytelling can be a game-changer and take your content marketing strategy to the next level.


Do you need help bringing your B2B content to life? As an experienced writer, I understand how to weave your key messages into compelling narratives that educate, inspire and drive action. So get in touch, and let’s talk; I’m here to help.



Want to know more about storytelling?


There are so many ways to use storytelling in B2B marketing. I recently listened to a really entertaining and informative podcast by Ayo Abbas and Stacey Meadwell, in which they discussed the power of storytelling in B2B marketing. They emphasised the importance of understanding the audience and tailoring the narrative to their needs, as well as using creative techniques to keep the audience engaged.


You can listen to what Ayo and Stacey had to say here:



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