How To Use Empathy In B2B Storytelling

Storytelling is one of the most effective ways of forming a deep, long-lasting connection with your audience. And the secret ingredient for that is putting empathy at its nucleus. Check out how to use empathy in B2B storytelling.

How To Use Empathy In B2B Storytelling

Interlacing storytelling about your brand into your marketing strategies is the most effective way to form a bond with your target audience. Especially since we know that it's what customers want! They don’t want generic advertising messages that are repetitive in fact 63% stated that it annoyed them the most about some brands. So what is it that they want?

The secret ingredient to that is engagement. Approximately 80% are interested in hearing brand stories, learning about their employees, the birth of the business idea or even client experiences. As many as 55% would consider buying from a business in the future simply because they really loved the brand narrative.

So now that it's clear that the power and importance of stories is substantial, what makes your story great, or one that your consumers can't get their heads out of?

Without a doubt, the answer for that is placing empathy at the core of your story. Here are some tips on how you can infuse empathy into your B2B content strategy:

  • Creating Empathetic Not Sympathetic Content

Getting confused between empathy and sympathy is where most B2B companies go wrong. Knowing the difference between two should be your starting point, and no it’s not pretending to feel something, empathy is more so about putting yourself in another’s shoes and then connecting the point to your views and feelings.

By creating such content, you will start to empathize with your customers which in turn will help you understand what matters or bothers them and also show them that you’re truly listening. If done the right way, your message will hit the bullseye!

Remember: topical and popular topics might be tempting, but they’re also common and easy to ignore, focus on building relationships with your audience and they’ll turn into your customers in no time.

Tip: Draw a Venn diagram, in one circle write the problems your industry and audience are brawling with, and in the other list all the arrears of your brand’s expertise. Now, pivot on the intersection between and identify themes that are common between your audience and brand. Voila, you’ll have a catalog of topics for your next blog or instagram post.

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  • Keeping An Eye On Your Color Scheme

While you may think that colors might not make much of a difference apart from your B2B website aesthetics, when it comes to communicating, colors can play a huge role in how your audience perceives your brand. It’s the initial reaction of mood generation as colors have the ability to elicit positive or negative feelings.

Warm colors often evoke happiness, optimism and energy, and have attention grabbing effects, the popular Coca-Cola Christmas advertisements makes it a point to always incorporate red for the same reasons!

While on the other hand, cool colors are used for a calming/dull effect, if a company wants to display health, wealth, beauty or security, this is their choice of palette!

Quick task: go search up your favourite jewellery brand, perform a content review, let’s guess was it either in blue or purple!

  • Humanise Your Content

I’m sure you’re sick of all marketing podcasts emphasizing on this, but when so many believe in the power of personalising and civilising content it sure must be a game changer (Check out 5 best podcasts for marketing). Leave aside the selling product craze when it comes to content marketing, and focus on producing customer-oriented content.

How? Share success stories, encourage your employees to be social, be present and responsive. Engage with your audience: kill your “about us” page, use videos, put humane pictures, sprinkle some jokes because remember: humor is human! This is how you’ll connect with your audience, they want to know what’s captivating about the brand message and its people, not the product or the company.

“Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.” -Roger Schank

Another strategy that is seeking heightened attention lately is to spot how your business impacts and benefits life: whether the environment, the society or even their own team.

Your CSR strategy should be top-notch as it begins to gain importance for people each day(Check out 5 business trends to look out for in 2020). With an international survey stating 80% people respecting brands that give back to the community by eco-friendly practices and sustainability also fuelling passion amongst workers with 73% employees engaging better, guess it’s worth the investment right?

Here are some CSR strategy ideas you can start implementing in your business.

Final Note:

With 70% information being retained from stories and only 10% from data and statistics, your story needs to be memorable in order to be remembered. In B2B marketing, Aristotle listed three components of a good story: pity, pain and catharsis. In short, basic human emotions-fear, anger and sadness.

Examine these pain points, passions, motivators and values of your audience and embed them into your stories. Forget the sell, sell, sell principle and aim for brand positioning, real humans and establishing long-term relationships, for which a simple suggestion of being authentic, relevant and honest is all you need to ace your empathy marketing game.

"People do not buy goods and services. They buy relationships, stories and magic.” - Seth Godin