Why storytelling is key for B2B awareness

From a historical perspective, storytelling is as old as our time here on Earth. It’s an intrinsic human characteristic — something that is in our very nature.

Over the years, storytelling has shifted from oral traditions to written narratives, from photographs to videos and recordings. While advancements in technology have allowed storytelling to take on amazing new forms, the root of why we tell stories, and more importantly, why we listen to and engage in stories, hasn’t changed.

businessman persuading businesswoman

Storytelling and the role of persuasion

Storytelling is irresistible to us because it evokes a strong neurological response. In the right hands, a good story has the ability to change attitudes and behaviors. Another word for that: persuasion.

The role of persuasion is present in nearly all business interactions, both internally and externally. Entrepreneurs have to persuade investors that their business idea is worth their hard-earned money. Product developers have to persuade business owners that a new product should be made and why it will be profitable. Marketing directors have to persuade CFOs that the budget their proposing is worth the investment. And sales teams have to persuade customers on how products can transform their businesses, and why they should pony up the dough.

The role of B2B PR in persuasion

We’ve discussed why storytelling has the ability to persuade people, now let’s talk about how public relations can be used as a powerful tool for B2B persuasion.

If a stranger walks up to you and tells you something about themselves that seems too good to be true, would you believe them right off the bat? What if they backed up their claim with facts and figures? You’d probably be incredulous to those numbers, right? You’d probably take what they have to say with a grain of salt.

Now imagine instead of a stranger walking up to you, it’s a salesperson who’s trying to convince you to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a business software. You’d probably be even more cautious, right? If the person hit a pain point, though, and brought up some interesting questions to consider, you might open up Google and do some research.

Well guess what? That’s exactly what your B2B prospects are doing.

B2B sales cycles differ depending on the industry, but generally speaking, most B2B sales take 6-9 months from initial contact to close. That’s a long time for a decision maker you’re trying to persuade to change their mind.

If you open up Google right now and enter in keywords about your B2B company and its solutions, what comes up? If you’re investing properly in marketing, chances are a lot of your marketing materials come up. While those materials are helpful in educating prospects about what your company does and how your products and services can solve problems, they’re still coming directly from you. And like our example earlier, it’s still taken with a grain of salt.

Public relations, on the other hand, uses the power of storytelling through credible third parties. If someone else talks about the problems you’re solving, or your business, or why you matter to your particular industry, now the story is seen as much more credible because it’s coming from an outside organization. There is a vetting process associated with quality journalism, one that carries a higher barrier to entry and creates a credible source to back up your claims.

If you’re using public relations to build that credibility, you now have another source besides your company that prospects are more likely to listen to and believe. Which in turn, makes them more likely to trust and believe the messages coming directly from your business. This makes sales conversations easier, provides more referrals and prospects are more likely to be further along in the sales cycle when they reach out.

If you’re looking to cultivate prospects who trust your business more because they’ve not simply been pitched by someone who’s on your payroll, consider B2B public relations.

Want to learn more? Contact Ripley PR today at (865) 977-1973.

Joel Davis, Content Supervisor

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