Last Updated on October 11, 2023 by Troika Gellido
Gone are the days of rigid pitches and statistics overload.
Today’s business world craves connection. After all, aren’t all businesses, at their core, just groups of people? Let’s dive into making your brand feel less like a business and more like a trusted friend.
A B2B marketing strategy needs more than just formal pitches and data-driven campaigns. Businesses want to engage with brands that they can relate to on a human level. By introducing relatability and authenticity into your B2B marketing strategy, you stand to gain not just clients, but partners invested in a shared vision.
Understanding the B2B Audience in Your Marketing Strategy
The first step in refining your B2B marketing strategy is understanding your audience. Businesses are not faceless entities; they’re made up of people. These individuals carry aspirations, fears, challenges, and ambitions that play a critical role in decision-making processes. By targeting these emotional drivers, your B2B marketing campaigns can resonate more deeply.
Why Use Storytelling in B2B?
Everybody loves a good story. When B2B buyers feel an emotional connection to a brand, they are 50% more likely to make a purchase. So why not sprinkle a little storytelling magic into your B2B content marketing strategies? Share stories of real businesses you’ve helped or challenges you’ve overcome. And hey, if a customer sings your praises, showcase it! Real-world tales are B2B marketing gold.
Humans are hardwired to respond to stories. Even in B2B, narratives can be powerful tools. They can translate complex data into relatable scenarios or showcase how your services have impacted real businesses. Integrate customer testimonials or case studies into your B2B content. These not only validate your solutions but also paint a picture of potential success for prospective clients.
It Humanizes Complex Narratives
The B2B landscape often revolves around intricate processes, technical jargon, and multi-layered solutions. A well-crafted story can simplify complex ideas, making them relatable and understandable for decision-makers who might not be experts in a particular field.
Builds Trust and Authenticity
Telling real stories about challenges faced and solutions developed, or showcasing testimonials, introduces a genuine element to your brand. It’s a stamp of authenticity that often resonates more than polished marketing lingo.
Elicits Emotional Responses
Decisions in the B2B realm, while largely data-driven, are still made by humans. And humans are emotional beings. A compelling story can evoke emotions, ensuring your brand or product is remembered long after a pitch is made.
5 Steps To Humanize Your B2B Marketing Strategy
Empathy should be at the heart of your B2B marketing strategy. It’s about more than understanding client pain points—it’s about feeling them. When you truly understand a business’s challenges, your solutions become more tailored and impactful. Use empathetic messaging in your communications, showing prospects that you’re more than a solution provider; you’re a partner who cares about their success.
1. Make Your B2B Content User-Centric
Content remains king in the digital landscape. We all need it, but it needs to hit the right notes. Speak directly to the daily grind your clients face. Make it engaging, relatable, and sprinkled with a dose of fun.
For content to be effective in a B2B marketing strategy, it must resonate with end-users. This means creating materials that speak to their daily challenges, offer tangible solutions, and present data in an engaging manner. Also, prioritize feedback. Allow your audience to shape your content strategy by inviting them to share their insights and needs.
One of the best examples is how Salesforce employs a unique approach to brand storytelling– they let their customers narrate their own experiences. Their Success Stories page features tales of clients who have leveraged Salesforce to expand their enterprises.
2. Keep Visuals and Media Engaging
A picture speaks a thousand words. Get snappy with real, vibrant shots. Show your team in action, celebrate those tiny “aha!” moments, and let videos take center stage when words just won’t do. Consider behind-the-scenes shots of your team, client interactions, or product development processes.
It’s essential to prioritize quality by investing in high-resolution images, professional designs, and top-notch videos. Authenticity shines through genuine images that represent the brand, eschewing generic stock photos. Embracing interactive multimedia, such as infographics and augmented reality, enhances user engagement. Videos are particularly impactful, offering dynamic insights into your solutions and company culture. Throughout these visual strategies, make sure to still maintain consistent branding to ensure recognizability.
Microsoft, one of the world’s leading companies, strongly champions the use of storytelling for brand enhancement. Their platform, Microsoft Story Labs, showcases the tales of employees across the board, from researchers and artists to video game creators.
3. Build Authentic Relationships
Who said B2B can’t have a splash of fun and personality? B2B doesn’t mean keeping things strictly professional. Share the highs, the lows, and everything in between. Highlight team achievements, celebrate client milestones, and show there are real people behind your brand’s facade.
Real feedback from clients? It’s like those 5-star Yelp reviews—absolute trust builders. Encourage clients to share their testimonials. Genuine reviews can be gold in establishing trust and authenticity.
4. Dive into the Digital Playground
Tech isn’t just for IT nerds. Modern B2B marketing strategy loves a good tech tango. It’s all about giving your audience a taste of the ‘experience.’
The modern B2B marketing strategy harnesses the power of technology. Tools like chatbots, AI-driven analytics, and CRM systems can tailor user experiences. For instance, consider offering personalized content suggestions based on a user’s browsing history or interactive demos that let them experience your solutions firsthand.
5. Ask for Feedback and Adapt
The digital landscape is dynamic. Keep your fingers on the pulse. Stay flexible, embrace feedback, and don’t be afraid to shake things up in your strategy.
To stay ahead, your B2B marketing strategies should be too. Regularly revisit and refine your approach based on audience feedback and industry shifts. Embrace change as an opportunity to innovate and better serve your clientele.
Take a look at one B2B marketing strategy by IBM. For decades, IBM has harnessed the power of storytelling to bring a human touch to its brand. Take, for instance, their ad that sheds light on challenges in the American educational system and IBM’s initiatives to enhance schools nationwide. The documentary ad may be decades old, but it still remains a testament to the impact of the brand’s B2B narrative.
The Art of Adaptation
The symbiotic relationship between feedback and adaptation allows businesses to continually refine their strategies, products, and services to better meet the needs and expectations of their audience.
By integrating the feedback received, businesses can make iterative improvements to their products, services, or strategies, ensuring they remain relevant and effective.
Fostering a Culture of Flexibility
Embracing feedback and making necessary adaptations fosters an organizational culture that is agile and responsive to change, a crucial trait in today’s fast-paced world.
A business that is adept at adapting based on feedback is better positioned to anticipate future trends and shifts, ensuring long-term success and relevance in the market.
Bringing some humanity into your B2B marketing strategy is like adding that secret ingredient to a recipe—it just ties everything together. And in a world crowded with brands vying for attention, being relatable can be your differentiator.
Let’s toss out the old playbook and make your brand the life of the B2B party. It’s time to drop the stale corporate facades and embrace a marketing strategy that speaks to the heart of businesses—the people behind them.
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