Storytelling. It’s been a buzzword in marketing for the past 5 years, and while it would be easy to dismiss it along with all the other buzzwords that are either fads or trends, B2B marketers shouldn’t. One of the greatest assets a marketer has is their story. Companies have them, too. Pardot didn’t end up where we are here in 2016 without making plans and executing those plans, without our great people, and without leadership. Pardot has a story. Your company has a story. You have a story, and that story is your “story equity”, meaning it’s the value you bring to the table everyday. It started before your first day, and hasn’t ended yet – it’s still being written everyday.
Why Your Brand’s Story Matters
Your personal, professional and company story answers the what, why, and how. It tells your clients and prospects exactly who you are, and what you do. It highlights your unique value proposition. Only you and your business have travelled THAT particular path that’s taken you to where you are today. The Salesforce story (which is documented in the book “Behind The Cloud”) helps frame who we are as a company, from how and why we donate our time to nonprofits, to how we help each other along our individual career journeys. Most companies are born out of a question, or a need, or something that just didn’t exist in the marketplace, and this is your chance to show off the reason you do what you do.
Storytelling Connects You with Your Customers
How do you show clients and prospects how you’re going to help them succeed? Tell them your story. Show them how you can help them grow their business the way that you grew yours. It’s important to connect who you are with the business of your customers. Send emails to mark occasions that are important to your customers – like holidays and their birthdays. Take a little time to send these personalized but not salesy little notes to show them that you care. Use what you’ve learned about them during the buying process to make it genuinely personal. That’s important because as you lead them through the buying cycle, they go from being a casual follower or observer in the marketplace to an active participant IN your story. At the end of that, you’ll both grow. When you really get down to it, your story is everything. It’s the people and the process and the values that your company cherishes that make you stand out from the crowd.
Making Your Brand’s Story Part of Your Strategy
As customer experience becomes more and more important as a differentiating factor, the stories you can tell your clients and prospects need to take center stage, because they’re what sets you and your brand apart. You can share your stories through social media, tweeting pictures of your team, or creating Facebook posts to mark major internal milestones. Or you can share through your content, highlighting your appreciation for your customers, and sharing how your business came to be what it is. Telling your story should become a key part of your overall content strategy, because remember, people don’t buy from brands or companies, they buy from people, and your company’s story isn’t about a brand or a company, it’s about the people who helped create it and helped innovate and make it better every day.