How to Create B2B Content That Tells a Story

Posted on Nov 6, 2013 by Kerry O'Malley

business to business story telling

People love a good story, especially when it comes to businesses.  Today, your customers aren’t only investing in your products and services, they’re investing in your company’s narrative, and if it’s a good one, chances are they’ll remain loyal to your brand. Company stories should actually be intertwined with your brand strategy and help to build the image you want your brand to embody.

Creating your story comes down to the “why,” (why your company does what it does, why you started your business in the first place), but it also comes down to the “who.”  The faces behind the brand are essential when connecting with your customer base, even in the industrial sector, so sharing a story that gives your company a human element can be the difference between a onetime sale and a forever loyal customer.

Even though your business may provide products and services to other businesses versus the average mass consumer market, your story should still make a powerful connection with your customers.

Telling Your Industrial Company’s Story

The root of your industrial company’s story is most likely intertwined with the founder’s vision – what the founder had (or has) in mind for the company.  But there may be other stories to tell that help relate to the masses, like your company’s ingenuity and capacity for forward thinking.  These can range anywhere from your company creating a new tool to solve an internal manufacturing problem to solving a common problem in your customers’ worlds in order to revolutionize your industry.

Questions to Ask When Fine-tuning Your Story

As with any type of content creation, setting the parameters in the form of questions and their corresponding answers can help you determine what needs to be said and how to say it.  Take a look at the following questions from VerticalResponse to start brainstorming your company’s narrative:

  • What is it about your company that makes you truly excited to get up and go to work in the morning?
  • How does that excitement tie into your customers’ motivation for investing in your business?
  • What aspect of your business do you want your customers to pay attention to?
  • How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?
  • How can you weave others into your story whether they be customers, industry experts or your partners?

Now, let’s look at two examples of how answering these questions can help build the perfect narrative for your industrial company.

Take for Example…

Imagine there’s a Pump OEM called Davidson Pumps.  Davidson Pumps has been in business for the past fifty years and has been passed down from father to son for three generations.  They provide quality pumps for their customers at affordable prices.  When creating the narrative for this company, there are a few elements that should definitely be addressed based on the questions we covered above:

  • The owner of Davidson pumps dedicates his life to the company because it’s not just a job, it’s a family tradition.
  • The staff of Davidson Pumps views their customers as an extension of their family which is the very reason they provide quality products and service.
  • Davidson commits its efforts to finding the right pump for each of its customers.
  • Davidson Pumps separates itself from other pump manufacturers because it’s a family owned business customers have come to know and trust.
  • Davidson has spent years cultivating strong relationships with its customers and vendors and even hosts a yearly company picnic to celebrate the hard work and loyal dedication of its partners and the people buying their products.

Let’s look at one more fictitious company, this time one that provides safety training services to manufacturing companies called Safety First.  Safety First was started by a woman named Brenda Jones who spent several years at a manufacturing company.  After almost being the victim of an onsite accident, Brenda decided to branch out on her own to provide crucial services to companies like the one she worked for previously.  Now let’s answer those questions again:

  • Every morning Brenda wakes up knowing that her services literally saves lives and that’s the reason she’s put everything she has into her business.
  • Being passionate about what she does means being passionate about teaching people to stay safe on the job site, lessons that benefit the quality of their lives.
  • Safety First’s programs are custom designed for each manufacturing company’s specific needs, ensuring a safe environment in any work place.
  • Brenda’s company is unique and different from other safety training companies because it’s a woman owned business in a predominantly male dominated industry.  In addition, Brenda offers workshops across the country to help other safety training companies improve their current programs.
  • Brenda was fortunate to have the support of her former boss who has spread the word about her services, assisting in her marketing efforts.

These two examples of company narratives may not resonate with you; but hopefully, you see the connection between the questions you need to ask and how they apply in the real world.

From Creating Your Company’s Story to Marketing It

Remember that your story will travel through all of your content channels including your website, email marketing, social media, company blog, and marketing literature.  So logically, your next step will be implementing a content marketing strategy that makes effective use of your story.  But don’t worry – we’ll be covering that in our next post!

Works Cited

Grauer, Yael.  “How to Find Your Brand’s Content Marketing Narrative.”October 15, 2013. Web.November 6, 2013.                                                                                                                                       

What are the key elements of your industrial company’s narrative?

Author: Kerry O'Malley

omalley@marketectsinc.com

Marketects was founded in 1999 by Kerry O’Malley, a proven marketing communications professional in international, manufacturing companies. Working on the “other side of the desk,” she hired ad agencies to manage her employers’ advertising and P/R programs. Frustrated over the lack of attention and level of enthusiasm she was looking for in the marketing agencies she worked with, Kerry realized that there was a definite need for a full-service marketing firm that specialized in working with industrial companies. She resolved that her clients would always receive the highest level of service possible and never feel like the last kid chosen for the team.

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