Outside the Box > Blog > Attract and convert more B2B customers with the right brand story

Attract and convert more B2B customers with the right brand story

Chris Milan

3 steps for creating—and delivering—messaging that sells.

To stay relevant and valuable to your customers—and attract new ones—your brand can’t stand still. 

It needs to evolve and grow to keep pace with changes in your markets, changes in your business strategy, or changes in your customer base, 

That’s as true in the B2B space as it is for consumer brands. And it doesn’t always require a total overhaul. Sometimes it means taking a fresh look at the brand story you’re telling, and making sure it’s as value-focused and meaningful as possible to your target customers. 

Like any good book, your brand story should be a page-turner—keeping prospects hooked by engaging, inspiring, and making powerful emotional connections with them.

But too often, the stories your internal teams are telling are fragmented, overly focused on product specs and features, or misaligned. 

The right brand story can make all the difference. And because research suggests that 50% of leads are qualified but not ready to buy, telling that story in the right ways at the right stages of the sales funnel is essential for converting new prospects into loyal customers. (Source: Gleanster Research)

Your brand story should be a holistic, consistent thread that runs through all your communications to prospects and customers—and one that’s laser-focused on the value you offer and the problems you can solve for them. Here are three critical steps to ensure that your people are telling a clear and compelling story about what you offer and why people will want to engage with your brand.

1. CRAFT THE RIGHT STORY.

A compelling story and targeted messaging is a critical foundation for a strong brand. The following tips can help you showcase your value, set your brand apart from the competition, and make strong connections with your prospects.

  • Know your audience.
    Your target customers have distinct backgrounds, interests, preferences, and challenges. Understanding who they are and what they need is key to crafting a story that resonates. So take a deep dive into what makes your customers tick, and create personas or profiles for each customer segment. This will help ensure that your messaging is focused on them and how you can help solve their challenges.
  • Understand their journey.
    The buyer journey is the path your prospects take in their buying process—essentially viewing the sales funnel from their point of view as they move from awareness to consideration to decision. It’s important to map out the journey for each target customer segment, identifying the critical touchpoints and channels where you can deliver messages to drive preference and overcome objections.
  • Listen to the people on the front lines.
    Your sales team is a rich source of information about your target customers and their needs—and what’s working and what isn’t. Talk to them about their challenges, their successes, the stories they’re telling now and how well they’re connecting to your customers’ needs. Their insights will help you create messaging that resonates with prospects in the right ways.

2. EMPOWER YOUR EMPLOYEES.

Building an effective story is one thing. Telling it effectively is another. Here are a few tips for empowering your employees to communicate your story consistently across all touchpoints and stages.

  • Provide a playbook.
    Having a single source of simple, practical guidance for your employees will enable them to fully understand and persuasively articulate your new brand story and messaging. Your messaging playbook can include a tagline and brand position, tailored messaging frameworks for each customer segment, talking points, and more.
  • Encourage adoption.
    Changing ingrained habits can be tough. Once you’ve created your playbook, try getting selected people in sales and marketing on board first to help you communicate the benefits of your new messaging throughout your organization. Training is also key—don’t assume your team will just “get it” and start using your new brand story effectively without the right guidance. Work with your people leaders to ensure everyone has access to the resources and support they need, and set goals that can become part of employee development plans and performance reviews.
  • Share successes—and misfires.
    Encourage early adopters of your new playbook to share their wins with the rest of your team. This can be a powerful way to convince your employees that they can connect with customers more effectively with your new messaging. But don’t sweep failures under the rug! Cultivate an environment where people feel comfortable sharing their less successful experiences and collaborating on best practices.

3. ENGAGE WITH IMPACT!

You’ve got your brand story and the playbook for telling it. Now it’s time to develop the tools and tactics that will bring it to life—and make it easier for your team to create marketing and sales materials, generate leads, and drive conversions. Here are a few ideas to get started.

  • Funnel prospects in with the right content.
    Tempt prospects with content they’re most receptive to at each stage of the sales funnel. Try brainstorming a list of topics and questions your target customers are searching for during each part of their journey. Then create collateral that answers those questions and share it across the channels they’re most likely to use. Some thought-starters for each stage:

    • Awareness – Focus on grabbing their attention and showing that your business is relevant to their problem. Social media posts and ads, infographics, short videos, and quizzes or surveys can all fit the bill.
    • Consideration – Deepen your budding relationships with prospects by educating them about your solutions with email campaigns, blog posts, e-newsletters, and other more in-depth materials.
    • Decision – You can pave the way to the moment of truth—a sale!—by showcasing the value of your offering through case studies, product demos, webinars, and more.
  • Cultivate a sales-marketing partnership.
    Keep both groups in the loop from the start, so they can provide input for your brand story. That will also help ensure that they can create the most effective content and collateral.The benefits can be impressive: Companies with aligned marketing and sales teams are 67% more efficient at closing deals, and sales teams who work closely with marketing see 41% greater growth in reaching their quotas. (Source: Review 42)
  • Make it accessible and keep it current.
    Your people are much more likely to stick to your new brand story—and deliver the right content to your prospects—if they can quickly and easily access the right materials.

    Create a toolkit with key collateral for each customer segment and stage of the funnel, and make it easy for them to quickly find the right resources to address prospects’ needs, solve specific use cases, and support digital and social marketing and sales.

    And because your messaging will need to continue evolving as your business grows and your customer’s needs change, consider using a digital platform to push out regular updates—so your brand story will never become stale.
We help all kinds of businesses make meaningful connections with original, authentic messaging. Let’s reenergize your brand together—get in touch and let’s talk. 

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