Content marketing and storytelling get bundled together. But there’s something that will leave your storytelling dead in the water. Can you spot the holes in your content ships? Tell me if what I heard last week sounds familiar.
Last week, I attended a conference for software resellers, and I stopped in on a content marketing session. It was a beautifully presented session, full of video clips of organizations like TOMS, which, for every pair of shoes it sells, provides a pair to a child in a developing nation. The presenter included a lot of B2C examples: Apple’s 1984 ad, among others, full of great stories that were heartwarming or fascinating. When it comes to B2B technology, though, can you really afford to have your content marketing center around videos about your company’s philanthropy or disruption of business as usual?
Don’t get me wrong; philanthropy is important, and it’s nice to know that a company you’re doing business with is helping to provide clean drinking water to children in drought-stricken areas or rehabilitate wounded soldiers. However, for technology buyers, philanthropy is but a footnote. The same goes for disrupting business as usual. B2B technology buyers aren’t looking to disrupt the company. They’re looking for a solution that will make their work lives easier, make their teams happier, and allow everyone to go home in time for dinner/their kids’ soccer games/yoga class.
This may lead you to believe that storytelling is worthless. On the contrary, it’s not. Relying on pretty advertising that wins awards may not work, but there is a very valuable component of storytelling that you, as a B2B technology marketer, can use as much as you want: case studies.
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@cparizo”]Storytelling for B2B technology marketers means using case studies with the customer as the hero.[/tweetthis]
I’m a big advocate of case studies in all their various formats. (You might even call case studies one of my specialties.) In B2B technology, customers want to know that a problem similar to theirs has been solved successfully. The more case studies your site has for perusal – and not behind an email capture form – the more likely it is a potential customer will see themselves implementing your software or solution, growing their own revenue, and freeing up their IT staff for strategic initiatives. Joe the Director of IT becomes a superhero, not just to his team, but to the entire company and to his family. (I have seriously written case studies where the customer has said, “The biggest benefit is peace of mind – I know that, when I go home for the night, the network will run smoothly.”)
Make the customer the hero of your stories. I can’t say that enough. Your case studies are the perfect place to do it.