The Power of Emotions, B2B Marketing And Your Business
Storytelling provides the emotional aspect to B2B marketing that stands one company apart from another. My article for this week pulls a nugget or two from several, perhaps not obviously linked articles, hopefully paving a path from one to the other where it may not be so obvious reading each article individually.
- 70-90% of the buyers journey is complete prior to engaging a vendor (Forrester)
- Consumer engages with 11.4 pieces of content prior to making a purchase (Forrester)
- Consumers are 5x more dependent on content than they were 5 years ago. (Nielsen)
Daniel uses Data from a study by Inpowered, where the goal was “to determine which type of content was most instrumental at various purchase stages of the consumer journey in terms of driving a purchase decision.”
His own takeaways are:
- Experts are critical at the onset of a purchase cycle. Since readers trust this group their content often introduces new products and services to readers who may otherwise not be aware.
- Brand content becomes more powerful the further you get into the sales cycle. While expert content is always preferred, likely for its neutrality, as customers become closer to buying they tend to gravitate toward greater trust in a brand delivered message.
- Influencers (experts) are far and away the most trusted at the point of sale. Many tend to think reviews can deter purchased but it appears that once a buyer is close to making a purchase they are more willing to overlook negative reviews.
Emotion Trumps Reason
Whereas we’re all consumers, the B2B aspect of Liz O’Neill’s article for Business2Community, Content Marketing for Business Services: Data That Proves Emotion Trumps Reason is perhaps more directly relevant to Curatti readers.
It’s no surprise that emotion drives many of our decisions, but I for one do find it surprising that this is so true in B2B.
Tellingly, only 14% of B2B buyers see clear differences in offerings. So how are they making their decisions?
Here are two disparate stats to get the mind juices flowing:
- 31% of customers find personal value in B2B brands
- 68% would pay more for something they found personal value in
How’s that for a market gap!
But how do you fill it?
The Psychology of Stories
The Psychology of Stories: The Storytelling Formula Our Brains Crave, by Shane Jones for Hubspot, could provide some food for thought in this regard.
Stories create sensory experiences that influence our way of thinking.
The gems here are:
“When listening to impactful stories, your brain can actually cause you to develop thoughts, opinions, and ideas that align with the person telling the story.”
“By telling a great story, you can actually change the way your audience thinks and even behaves with your brand.”
OK, the concept makes sense, but how do I make practical use of storytelling in my brand?
Try flicking through the various articles of Curatti author Karen Dietz, starting with Be Remarkable with These Surefire Tips for Personal Branding.
Karen talks about the challenge in finding your Brand Narrative and offers suggestions on
How To Respond When Someone Asks “Tell me about yourself…”
How to craft a great About Me page.
Ultimately, it’s all about being authentic!
As Simon Sinek said, ‘People don’t buy What you do, they buy Why you do it.”
Your story gives your potential B2B customers a means of resonating with you on levels that transcend business. Coupled with Content that shows you to be an authority in your chosen field, you strongly position yourself to capture the emotional buyer.
When there may be little to no tangible difference from a purely business sense, highlight the differences by moving away from the old-fashioned notion that your entire sales funnel must be business-like, and offer a small window into your soul, and by extension, that of your business.
Image attribution: Buyer’s journey: http://www.business2community.com/strategy/key-b2b-businesses-growth-understanding-buyers-journey-0755426#!IzzGU
Keep it real: http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2012/september/
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