How B2B Marketers Can Use Storytelling to Reach a Busy, Distracted Audience
As a close observer may well spot, we’re slightly obsessed with B2B storytelling here at LookBookHQ. Why is storytelling important for B2B marketers? What does it really mean in 2013? How does a B2B marketer improve his or her storytelling?
These are just some of the questions that we grapple with on a daily basis.
So hot on the heels of our recent eBook “The B2B Marketer’s Ultimate Guide to Storytelling” and complementary webinar on the same subject with Ardath Albee, B2B marketing legend and CEO of Marketing Interactions, we’re very pleased to release our latest infographic about B2B storytelling (“Cut through information overload with effective storytelling”).
We partnered with the highly creative and thoroughly fun Beutler Ink, visual storytellers par excellence, to produce the infographic. We wanted to give the context for B2B storytelling in 2013 – what do we know about our B2B audience? And what does this mean for our B2B storytelling efforts?
B2B marketers know that storytelling is a key part of their marketing arsenal. Psychology has confirmed that stories make audiences drop their intellectual defences. Stories basically act as Trojan Horses, getting the audience to lower their Marketing Defense Systems*.
But unfortunately “story time” hasn’t been a regular feature on anyone’s calendar since kindergarten. No one in B2B is sitting comfortably and ready to begin. Instead, a B2B marketer knows his or her audience is terribly busy, doesn’t read online and is being bombarded by thousands of marketing messages already. Unfortunately for B2B marketers, we’ve turned into a Nation of Swamped Skimmers.
So B2B marketers need to tell their story fast. They need to cut through the noise and hook their audience’s attention. They need to be less Hans Christian Anderson and more Usain Bolt (if he told stories). In other words, fast, super fast.
And if the B2B marketer has invested in marketing automation technology, then his or her stories need to be not only fast to consume, they need to be fast to make and share. B2B marketers need to fuel their marketing machines with content. They’ve created a Hungry Content Monster that needs feeding!
So here are 5 ways to make sure your storytelling is fast, easy and effective:
- Show, Don’t Tell – the stats confirm that people engage with visual content, particularly when combined with other content.
- Make Sure Your Message Doesn’t Get Skimmed – write catchy headlines and focus engagement where you most want it.
- Manage Information for Your Audience – don’t rely on your audience to piece your story together for themselves; make your narrative explicit.
- Don’t Let Your Brand Get Lost in Marketing Overload – make your stories personal and relevant – tell them about you and your customers. People buy on emotion and justify with logic.
- Don’t Let Your Information Get Lost – bits of your story are scattered across the web; package the relevant pieces up and deliver your story.
Effective storytelling can help you cut through B2B information overload. And the good news? Now your B2B audience really is sitting comfortably and ready to begin.
Over the next couple of weeks, we’re going to explore each of the above 5 points in more detail. So be sure to subscribe to this blog to join us as we go deeper into the main problem areas and, more importantly, the solutions.