Storytelling has been a mainstay of IT marketing for a number of years now, and it is successful because it garners an emotional reaction and connection with the reader. Granted, it is generally used for business to consumer (B2C) connections, but would it still be relevant if used within the business to business (B2B) arena?
The connection businesses try to make with their consumers often results in stories that allow the reader to imagine and be the agent in shaping their future. The consumer is persuaded to buy whatever product is being marketed because they are worried that things would be bad without it, or they are persuaded that it is essential to improve their future.
Unfortunately, there is a difference between appealing to consumers who potentially have time to listen, and communication between businesses. You need to take into account the time constraints your reader has, and that potentially they will be reading your work solely to solve a business decision, so launching into a story will not always be pertinent.
There are occasions, however, when it can be ideal in order to foster a relationship with clients and give them an essence of your brand values.
How to Use Storytelling
As divisive as he is, Trump is an excellent example of someone who can tell persuasive stories and they generally follow the same plot lines. They are always designed to make certain parts of the electorate rally behind him in support of the possibility of a rosy future.
“Make America Great Again” is a perfect example of this as it presupposes that America was great in the past, probably isn’t now, but will be in the future. The reasons behind this are totally up to the imagination of the voter, which means it can encompass people of any background or status, they just have to be dissatisfied with the current situation and be able to imagine a better one. In this way, he gives people hope irrespective of their situation and the reasons behind their belief.
And this is the key to telling a good story, it is to hint at enough that many readers will see a parallel within their own lives, or can connect with parts of the story that seem familiar.
Where to Incorporate Storytelling for Maximum Benefit
Chances are, you are already using storytelling for one of your B2B IT marketing strategies without necessarily recognising it as such. As an IT services company, you should be trying to persuade clients that they should use you for their IT needs, and often a case study of how you can solve their problems is a good way of showing this. Rather than just baldly stating that you can do something, constructing a gripping account and making it a little more human goes a long way to suggesting that you can help them too.
Another way of making your company seem more approachable and a viable business partner can be to humanise the About page on your website. If you can spin an effective story about your origins that sucks people in and implies how your readers can benefit by entering into a working relationship with you, then that can be far more useful than a dry treatise scattered with dates and achievements.
As we approach the end of this decade, videos are becoming cheaper and easier to produce and many companies are creating visual short stories to publicise themselves. If you can include brief videos telling entertaining stories that encapsulate your brand’s values, possibly directed towards social media channels, it becomes a compelling way to introduce potential clients to your branding and aims.
Whether you are keen to retain current customers or reaching out for new business partnerships, the importance of a connection cannot be underestimated. After all, at the end of the day, it will still be an individual or group of individuals that will be making the business decision, and people are always open to persuasion. Although there is less of a need for tugging at heartstrings than there is in B2C marketing, compelling storytelling remains an effective business and IT marketing strategy.