The role of storytelling in content marketing

John Steinbeck wrote, “If a story is not about the hearer he will not listen…. A great lasting story is about everyone or it will not last. The strange and foreign is not interesting – only the deeply personal and familiar.”

Steinbeck might have been writing about content marketing.

Thankfully, B2B marketers have already recognised this. 2020 witnessed a significant shift in the way marketers approach their target audiences. B2B marketing will become more like B2C, driven by this need to create a deeper connection through empathetic marketing.

This approach explains why case studies have consistently been the most preferred format among tech B2B buyers. 68% of marketers planned to use case studies as their main content asset in 2021. This makes sense. At their core, case studies are nothing but the story of how someone had a problem and overcame it.

Why should you adopt a storytelling approach to tech B2B content marketing?

The simple answer is, people respond positively to emotive, relatable, and easy-to-understand content.

People learn best through the narrative structure that stories present and simplify complex concepts with a vivid demonstration or vivid metaphor.  HP’s video “The Wolf” is a great example of taking a dry and uninteresting topic such as printer security and turning it into a dramatic and entertaining story while also making viewers understand how vital printer security can be.

It helps to build a deeper and stronger connection with the audience. Gemalto made this brilliant video called “Where’s Joe?”. The video does a fantastic job of using a narrative to illustrate the power and potential of connected technology in all aspects of our lives.

Storytelling also helps to differentiate through creativity and aids recall. People are 22 times more likely to remember stories than they are facts and figures alone. Take this short animated video from 3D retail planning solution provider, HomeByMe. It quickly identifies the challenge, the solution, and the results of using their platform, all through a vibrant and accessible video without relying solely on techno-speak.

Creating your own compelling story

Some marketers might find the idea of developing a story for their content daunting. Yet, creating your own content marketing story starts like any good content marketing strategy always should – with insight into who you want to target, what their concerns are, and what you want to say to them.  To help further expand on how to create an outstanding story in content marketing, we’ve broken down the most important aspects of creating story-driven processes for your content.

  • Identify your audience – Who are you creating for? What are their needs and pain points? What do you want them to do or think after viewing your content?
  • Define what you want to say – Be clear from the outset. Are you explaining your business values/goals? Or are you selling a product?
  • Create a story map – Start with the problem, explain the solution, and close with the successful outcome. Remember, audiences like a good ending.
  • Implement – Be creative with form factors and think of which type will best suit your story. An article? An animated video? Interactive content? A more graphical approach perhaps?
  • Edit and refine – Be flexible. Review your strategy and readjust if the content isn’t getting the results you want.
  • Distribute – Think about the medium you will publish your content on. What works on your resource centre might be quite different from what will make an impact on your Linkedin feed, for instance.

Remember to also include visuals. Compelling stories are nothing without the pillars of appealing to people’s emotions, data to back up your ideas, products, or services, and outstanding visuals.

Conclusion

On the surface, storytelling in content marketing might seem like a challenge. However, tech B2B businesses must remember that competition is fierce. Tailored, relatable, and emotive content is more likely to get a positive response and ultimately provoke action from your target audience. Weave a story that is relatable, educational, and solves a problem for your users.

If you would like to discuss how Isoline can help in developing and implementing a content marketing campaign that will help you build your brand’s story, drop us a line: [email protected].

 

Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

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About the Author : Miles Jones


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