How to Use Proverbs & Persuasion for Better Brand Storytelling
While B2B lead generation has changed a lot since the Rolodex days, one thing has remained the same – word of mouth. If you want to translate the world of media into word of mouth, people have to be able to remember your message.
And people remember information best if it’s conveyed in a story.
Storytelling in marketing has always been crucial. After all, as humans, we’re programmed to remember stories more than facts.
So, how do you tell a business-related story well?
To learn how to strengthen your brand storytelling muscles, there’s no one better to consult than Ron Ploof.
Ron is the author of Edison Effect: Success Strategies for the Information Age.
He also develops tools that help you with your brand storytelling. His The StoryHow™ PitchDeck has some great tips on developing persuasive storytelling that converts awareness into purchase consideration.
4 keys of brand storytelling in B2B markets
The art of storytelling marketing boils down to 4 essential keys. For better B2B lead generation, you should:
1. Use proverbs
In a B2B market, building relationships with customers early and often — before they are in a buying mindset — is important.
Let’s turn that into a proverb: “Purchasing decisions are best before budgets.”
Proverbs make your brand memorable.
To make your own, you can do a Google search for existing proverbs, and create derivatives of them.
For example: “A spoonful of story helps the data go down.”
Did you recite that in a sing-song voice in your head? That’s the power of storytelling.
2. Use persuasive selling techniques
Customers won’t buy your product just because you are the biggest company in your market. You need to use persuasive sales enablement techniques.
Persuasive selling helps people see their needs in full color and shows how your product or service is the best thing for those needs.
In the words of Aristotle: “In order to persuade…you need logos, pathos, and ethos.”
- Logos = logic, facts
- Ethos = credibility, ethics
- Pathos = passion
Customers don’t buy on facts alone. In fact, deciding which products or services to purchase — even in the B2B world — is often driven by emotion.
You may be working with enterprise accounts, but you are still working with people. And people buy based on emotion, only then justifying that purchase with logic.
So, the core focus of business storytelling should be forming an emotional connection with the reader.
3. Match the message to the media
Having a great message isn’t enough. You need to match your message to the right form of media.
Practice brand storytelling with short blog posts.
Then, if the customer connects with that message, turn the post into a whitepaper or a longer-form ebook.
If the story could be told in a visual format, use video.
Think about which format or medium will give the story the most impact and lasting power in the minds of your customers.
4. Make your customer the hero
First, you need to find a story that resonates with your ideal customer.
Then, you can worry about where it fits into the marketing funnel.
- What are the roles? – You, your customer, competitors
- What are the events? – Tradeshow, newsletter, etc.
- What are the influences? – What does each of your roles want?
Make the customer the most important role. If they see themselves in the story, they are self-qualifying.
Think of your customer as King Arther, and the service you provide as Excalibur. You and your brand (no matter how big) are just one little part of the customer’s story.
At the end of the day, storytelling marketing is all about having empathy for your audience.
They don’t care about you, they care about what you can do for them.
So, make your customer the main character or create a proverb that feels so natural and catchy to them that they can’t forget your brand. You can re-tell customer success stories to help create a real-life scenario your audience may be experiencing.
Once they recognize themselves in the story and see the result the person achieved, they will want that same result for themselves — and will have more confidence that your brand is the one to help them get it.
This is a quick, but impactful way to transform the messaging you are already using in your marketing. Take stock of what’s working and what’s not. Then, see if you can refresh your content to use some of the persuasive selling techniques I shared here.
And, for more actionable B2B lead generation tips, be sure to subscribe to the B2B Lead Gen Podcast.