B2B Marketing Consulting Agency Blog

B2B Storytelling that Cuts Through the Clutter

- January 26, 2020 7:42 pm

B2B Storytelling that Cuts Through the Clutter

In a world full of countless, noisy marketing messages vying for our attention from a multiplying list of platforms, many companies mistakenly try to compete with messaging that is louder. HEY! LOOK AT US, LOOK AT WHAT WE CAN DO!

Meanwhile, your prospects are struggling to figure out whether you are a good fit for helping them do what they do. Hey, look over here! Look at what we need…

Brand Story marketing, adapted from sources like Donald Miller’s book, Building a StoryBrand and Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, reframes the traditional view of marketing, placing the customer at the center of the message rather than the company. By focusing on prospects and their issues, businesses can better capture the attention of their target audiences, converting leads into engaged customers.

A 6-Layer Story that Increases Lead Generation

Telling a client-centric story relies on elements that effective story tellers have been using for more than 2,000 years.

  • A Hero / Main Character
  • A Problem / Villain
  • A Guide
  • A Plan
  • A Call to Action
  • A Resolution

The key for building the story of a brand begins with understanding who the main character, or hero is, or perhaps more importantly who it is NOT. You and your business are NOT the hero of the story – your prospects and customers are the heroes.

Many B2B marketing efforts launch with a frenzy of activity and collateral that hits the same note over and over: HERE WE ARE! That’s not a story, that’s just a cry for attention.

Well told stories are an effective way to cut through the noise of competition and grab the attention of a potential buyer. When they see themselves in your story, they are far more likely to become engaged. You’re getting to the heart of why they reached out to you in the first place; they’re looking for a guide who can help them find solutions.

You are that guide. Your products, services and expertise are the key to their success. Leave them with a sense that you understand their needs and have a plan for getting them to a solution, and your leads become prospects and your prospects become customers. Here are a few tips for the most effective storytelling.

What Is the Real Story?

Before you can tell a story, you have to know what your story is. Many B2B marketing efforts launch with a frenzy of activity and collateral that hits the same note over and over: HERE WE ARE! That’s not a story, that’s just a cry for attention. Others may create a flurry of content around the wrong story or content that tells a different story than the one they’re trying to tell.

Our Brand Story Workshop shows you how to craft a story that drives action by first digging out the problems and motivations of your prospects. We act as your guide in identifying the elements of the story you need to tell to reach the right audience with the right message. It’s their story you are telling. The workshop is built around a deep dive into the forensics of your company, your brand and your solutions, digging out answers to questions such as:

  • Can a prospect really understand, in 5 seconds or less, what you are conveying?
  • Is your story compelling enough to cut through the noise of the marketplace?
  • Who are the decision makers within your target audience that your story needs to reach and influence?
  • What does your current “story” convey to these decision makers?
  • What problems do they struggle with? What does success look like to them?
  • What is it about your company, products and services that make the biggest difference to your prospects?
  • Do you have a clear idea of how these advantages rank with your audience and which has the most direct effect on their ability to succeed?
  • Does your story communicate those advantages effectively – or at all?
  • What stories are most likely to engage your audience?
  • Do you have the resources you need to tell better stories?
  • How can you refine your story to better reach your audience?

Hone Your Message

No matter what story you are telling, the key message should be easy to distill.

No matter how many services you provide or how complex your business is, if you can’t summarize the essence of the solution you provide in a sentence or two, you risk creating stories that, as Miller describes in his book, require prospects to “burn too many calories in an effort to understand.”

Clarifying a message is not only beneficial for your customers, it can help you focus on the long-term goals for your business and create your own path to success. Adopting a brand story approach to marketing helps guide a company to distill a core mission, philosophy, and value – ultimately developing a brand that is authentic, relevant, and intuitively understood by prospects.

The more effectively you hone in on what success looks like for your prospects, the better story you can tell and the clearer your own path to success becomes. While it may seem obvious to point out that these are parallel paths, you wouldn’t know it from the messaging on many B2B websites and other marketing materials.

Find Your Guide to Effective B2B Storytelling

At Innovaxis, our team of experienced marketers and storytellers can help you develop and polish a brand identity that resonates with the right audience – and drives them to take action. Along the way, you will learn concepts of the brand story that you can weave into your messaging at every level, from your website to your sales communications, further establishing your company as the “guide” that turns your prospects into heroes.

If you’d like to learn more about how a brand story workshop can help you tell a better story, give us a call or click on the link below.