90% of all businesses fail. Why? There are many reasons, the main one being they don’t know how to connect with their customers. And the best way of doing that is through storytelling.
If you’re a business owner who doesn’t want to end up like the 90%, then you must start using storytelling in your marketing campaigns because it’ll imprint your brand into your customers memory.
Stories allow your customers to connect with you while building a lifelong relationship and it doesn’t cost anything. If you want to write a story that sells but don’t know where to start, you are in the right place. In this post, I’ll show you…
- What makes a good story?
- What characters are in every story and who you must play
- And the 7-step storytelling template that’s sure to connect with your customers.
Let’s dive in!
What is Storytelling in B2B Marketing?
Storytelling is painting a picture with words.
It’s been around since the beginning of time because it imprints a picture into our brains that is difficult to remove. Do you remember any childhood stories? Of course you do, even though you never heard them in years, maybe even decades.
Your story doesn’t have to be long, it can be a few sentences.
When telling a story, your audience must resonate with it. You must then empathize with their situation while presenting your product or service as the solution. They will feel like you know what they’re going through because you’ve been through it and will be more likely to buy your product or service.
Is Storytelling Important for my B2B Marketing Success?
Storytelling is essential to your marketing success. Why? Because it…
- Communicates hard-to-understand concepts to others in a simple manner
- Inspires your customers to solve their problem by taking action
- And it brings people together.
It Communicates Hard-to-Understand Concepts to Others in a Simple Manner
We’ve all been there. You’re explaining a complicated topic to someone and they cannot seem to understand, no matter how hard they try. Stories paint a picture in our heads that allow us to understand the most complex ideas.
Think back to when you failed to understand a math problem, what did your teacher do? She turned it into a story.
It Inspires Your Customers to Solve Their Problem By Taking Action
Storytelling makes your company human in the eyes of your customer. It makes you authentic by bringing you down-to-earth so customers can relate with you and the problem you solve. Your customer thinks, “Wow, I have the same problem. This company helps people solve that problem, now I want them to help me.
It Brings People Together
We are more divided than ever. But stories bring us together, just like it’s been doing for thousands of years.
It makes us human by tapping into our emotions and resonating with a problem we all face. It also gives us peace of mind knowing that we aren’t the only ones struggling with that problem.
What Makes a Good Story?
If you want your audience to resonate with your brand, you cannot tell a generic, predictable story. It won’t trigger emotions in your audience and they won’t connect with you. But luckily there’s a checklist a story must pass before it’s considered “good”.
Firstly, it must be relevant.
Your Story Must Be Relevant
If you’re selling coffee to entrepreneurs, don’t write a story on how someone scaled their business to 200K through Google Ads. It might be an emotional story, but it isn’t relevant to what you’re selling.
Write a story on how entrepreneurs struggle with burnout and productivity and how your coffee helps them become more productive, therefore growing their business. Your customer will resonate with your coffee as the solution for productivity issues.
It Must Trigger Emotion
When you’re telling a story, your reader must feel emotion. Whether it’s happiness, satisfaction, anger, or joy, your story must trigger emotion. If it doesn’t, your customers will quickly forget it or even worse, they’ll ignore it.
The best way of doing this is by being as descriptive as possible. Describe what the hero is feeling, what he must go through, and how he felt when he reached his goal. Your customer will feel like he’s the hero in the story going through all those challenges which triggers more emotion, making him more likely to buy.
It Must Be Specific
If a friend invited you to watch a movie that’s about someone searching for happiness, would you watch it? No! It’s too vague.
Now, if he invited you to watch a movie about an average guy that’s trying to win the heavyweight championship, but first he has to defeat a Russian boxer that’s full of steroids, would you watch it then? Of course you will!
Characters That Are In Every Story
The victim is the character who doesn’t transform. They don’t adapt. Instead, they feel sorry for themselves.
The only job of the victim is to make the hero look good and the villain look bad.
When telling a story, your customer is always the hero. You must never play the hero!
The hero and the villain have a lot in common. They both got hurt in the past, but it’s how the hero deals with his pain that makes him the hero.
The hero says, “I went through this pain, and I’m going to ensure that nobody else has to go through the same pain.”
The villain says, “I once experienced this pain, now I want everyone to feel how I felt.”
The guide is someone who once experienced what the hero is going through and offers his help. The guide says, “I’ve been through this before and I want to help you defeat this villain.”
Play the guide when you’re selling to your customers!
You are the guide to the hero ie. your customer. You know what they’re going through and you want to help them.
The villain is rarely a person, rather it’s the problem your product solves. If you teach people how to lose weight, the villain is obesity. If you’re selling coffee, the villain is fatigue and burnout.
It’s your job as the guide to help the hero defeat the villain.
A 7 Step Template for Telling an Amazing Story
- Be specific with what the hero wants.
- The hero has to have a problem that’s preventing him from getting what he wants.
- You (the guide) must help your customer (the hero) solve their problem (the villain).
- Give your customers a plan they can follow that’ll help them defeat the villain
- Create a vision of how life is like if the villain wins.
- Create a vision of how life is like if the hero wins.
This might sound difficult to do, but a story can be told within 30 seconds using this template.
For example, if you’re selling marketing services to entrepreneurs, your story will be something like…
“You know how most entrepreneurs dream of running their own million-dollar company but they have no clue how to market their business to reach that goal? Well, I help entrepreneurs market their business so they can focus on bettering their product instead of stressing about sales figures.”
And that’s it!
Storytelling is simple, fun, and it helps you connect with your customers. What more can you ask for? Now, I’d like to hear from you, how has storytelling helped you grow your business?
Let me know in the comments below.