B-to-B Marketers: Are You Using Storytelling to Engage Your Audience?

I recently read a post by Jeffrey L. Cohen from Social Media B2B about storytelling that got me thinking on how folks in our space could be doing a better job of doing just that.

Think about if you’re at a party or other social gathering, where do you find the crowds of people (other than the bar)? It’s usually around someone who is entertaining people. Most of these folks are great storytellers and keep you engaged and interested because of the way they tell the story.

I think all of us in the business community get so involved in the day-to-day grind that all we’re worried about is “Just the Facts” and we’re losing opportunities to engage our customers or potentials in a conversation. If we’re interested in “Just the Facts” then we are not allowing for a conversation to begin, because either we’re too busy telling someone something or trying to get info out of someone.

I think we need to sometimes step back and re-evaluate how we’re talking to customers or prospects, especially if you’re using social media. No one wants to hear about your products, they want to hear how you can help solve their problems. One way to share this info is by telling them compelling stories. Most old timers struggle with this especially in the social media sector that the marketing is now customer-centric not product.

Jeff highlights 4 great ways to use storytelling in your business that will help you engage more people.

  • Company History – Tell your story through the lens of the customer. Be authentic and leave out all the buzzwords. Use key events as sources for stories.
  • Customer Successes – This should be an easy one. Tell how you solved a problem for a customer and even give a quote or two.
  • Employee Activities – People like to do business with people they know, like and trust. Put a face with a name of those in CS or those who are writing for your social accounts. Let them tell their stories and what they are passionate about.
  • Community Support – Every company does something locally. We support and do a tool drive for our local Habitat for Humanity. Let your customers see another side of you and what’s important.

Those are my thoughts on how to use storytelling. Do you have any interesting ones you’d like to share?

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