If you’re trying to build a tech brand, storytelling needs to play a part in your marketing strategy. This industry is a hugely competitive one, and standing out is near impossible without it; your brand’s story really matters. A lot of B2B companies don’t bother with this because they think it’s something that’s only important for B2C brands, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Just because you’re selling to other businesses, don’t forget that you’re still selling to humans. You have core values behind what you do. Letting your audience get to know you and your company on a more personable level is crucial if you want them to be engaged and receptive.
Why is it important?
1. Your audience relates to your story and values
Storytelling in your content and throughout all of your marketing allows your audience to discover more than just what you sell. It gives them more to relate to. When you have some strong brand values and tell your story, you’re giving your audience plenty of opportunities to connect with what you say and match their values to yours. If, for example, you told them your company was built from a passion for creating sustainable tech, this gives a person with similar values a good reason to choose you over another company. People like to work with others who have similar values. You may put off the people who don’t share your opinion, but you’ll attract plenty of people who do. And, those people will be far more receptive to whatever else you’ve got to say because they’ll already feel they have a connection with you.
2. People engage with emotions
Telling a story, whether it’s about your brand, your own life, or your customers, will make your audience feel something instead of just passively consuming. People are far more likely to act on emotions which is what you’re trying to stir up with your storytelling by allowing your own emotion to feed into everything you do. The vulnerability that comes with telling an honest story is the thing that people empathise with and get behind. Say a tech company was looking for investment for years and years but kept getting rejected until eventually, they found an investor and became quite successful. If the company told that story honestly and allowed the emotion they felt during that journey to inform their products and marketing content, this immediately makes them more likeable. If people really connect with what you say, they’ll be willing to learn more about the people they’ve connected with. That’s because they care. You’re trying to build a brand that people care about. People may forget all the details about your company, from your logo to your product features, but they won’t forget how you make them feel.
3. Show how you’re improving the world
Telling success stories about your customers and what your product or service has done for them is the best way to get people interested in what you do. Sure, you could just tell people that this product helped previous customers, but it’s far more believable to hear the whole story. To hear about why they needed what you provide, why they chose you over others, how the whole buying process went, the aftermath of them buying it, and so on and so forth. It allows people to apply the story to their own lives and get a clear idea of how your product or service could fit into it. It’s, again, adding this human aspect. When you get a good picture of what another person’s life is like and how it has improved, it stirs up emotion and gives people something to relate to. Additionally, that something isn’t just you and your brand, but another person who isn’t part of your business. You want them to like you, of course, but you also have to understand that your audience will be more wary of businesses simply because they know you want to sell them something. They’ll take more notice when they see your impact on another person who they can relate to even more than they can with you.
4. Make more complex products and services more accessible
When you tell a story about a product rather than just explaining it, this can make it easier to understand and appreciate. Sticking to facts and data can put people off who aren’t yet convinced it applies to them. Starting with a story about how your product helped someone as they went about their day, for example, rather than just telling them what the product does, means they are more able to apply it to their own life. It’s a common rule in marketing: don’t just tell people about the product, especially if it’s a tricky one to get your head round. Tell them how that product helps them. Start with the problem that someone might have and tell a story all the way through to the solution, rather than just diving straight into the solution (aka your product). Your target audience will engage more with the problem as you gently lead them to the solution.
How to start storytelling
First think about your ‘why’. Why was your company started? Was there a burning passion for a particular cause? Maybe it was because of an innovative solution to a problem that lots of people have? Whatever it is, you need to acknowledge it and let it inform every part of your business. This is how you build a strong brand – through a consistent message that stems from why you started in the first place. You also need to think about what motivates you every day. What keeps the passion going? Why haven’t you given up yet? These thoughts and values need to be injected into your marketing, so you need to be completely aware of and familiar with them before you start. All of these values and the reasons for doing what you’re doing should be made clear at every opportunity. Write about them in blog posts, post about them on social media, mention them if you talk at an event or conference, make them obvious in your copy on your website…all marketing should start and end with those values. Many have these values and know their story, but they don’t place as much importance on them as they should. The more passionate people can see you are about your brand message, the more they’ll buy into it and engage with it. This more personable, emotive message will be what is passed on and talked about, as opposed to a lifeless product. It needs to be the substance that holds your whole business together and you need to make that clear at all times.
- You need to get your audience to care about you and your brand. The best way to do this is by telling stories that contain strong brand values.
- Your audience will connect with how something affects them and how it makes them feel more than the details of a product or service. Remember this when trying to sell yours.
- Storytelling is about connecting humans to humans. We all understand everything better when it’s told through real-life experience and emotive language.