Each of my highest rated posts on LinkedIn have one thing in common. I shared a story in them. I used storytelling to connect with my network. I stood out because I wasn’t afraid to be a real person. I wasn’t dry or boastful. (I shared the stats on some of them here so you can see just how well these posts with stories did – to underscore that stories work).
It’s easy for B2B companies to get caught up in marketing to businesses rather than people. But strong content marketing today is about being human.
For B2B content creators, addressing, showing comprehension of and solving your clients’ pain points is so important and storytelling can help you do all of that.
Stories inspire and motivate people to take action. They make us more relatable and help connect us to each other. Stories make us human.
Storytelling enables marketers to develop a deeper connection with their audience. It helps people learn as well.
Storytelling is always about connecting with others.
Storytelling is the process of using fact and narrative to communicate something to your audience. Stories build loyalty, brand favorability and help companies and individuals differentiate themselves from the sea of sameness and vanilla content out there.
Storytelling also helps explain abstract concepts and simplify complex messages. It can help you bring to life boring business content. Creating a narrative around your brand or product can not only humanize it but also helps you market your business.
Hubspot notes that “storytelling has become a crucial component of the most successful marketing campaigns. It sets apart vibrant brands from simple businesses and loyal consumers from one-time, stop-in shoppers.”
As Hubspot aptly puts it, “When brands get transparent and authentic, it brings them down-to-earth and helps consumers connect with them and the people behind them.”
Don’t use your content marketing and social media platforms to solely brag about yourself and your successes. Instead help others. Lead with education and useful content but make it personal too. You can be human without oversharing.
When it comes to what kinds of stories to share, think about stories that are educational, inspiring and relatable. Bonus points if they can foster community and collaboration.
Maybe it’s telling your origin story, something about your hometown or family life, why you chose your career, a mentor who helped you, a hurdle or challenge you faced, a shout out to a colleague, how you started your business – ground your stories in your own personal experiences.
You can also share your clients’/customers’ stories or case studies, which are real-world examples of how your products or services have benefitted others.
Develop a list of 3-7 clients who are happy with the results you’ve achieved for them and to whom you are close enough that you feel comfortable asking them to do this. I recommend filming them by zoom or asking them to record themselves on a smartphone so that you have both audio and video footage that you can then turn into multiple forms of content.
Another idea is to share stories of your employees and your company culture. This can help with client retention, lead generation and recruiting. Your goal would be to use the stories of how you do business to showcase what it’s like to work at your organization.
Why not add storytelling to the way you craft press releases? You’ll have a better chance of getting media coverage if you do. This involves some creativity and time and effort but it’s well worth it. You can add quotes and case studies to bring the information in the release to life.
That’s what makes you stand out and be memorable in a sea of sameness on social media and in marketing in general.
And most of all, always be HUMAN.
Storytelling helps you communicate your “why” in a creative, engaging way, and I hope you’ll try it.