B2B Storytelling. A human condition.

Adam Jones - Senior and Content Manager and Trustee Director.

We’re amidst a paradigm shift… Adam Jones, Senior PR and Content Manager, is talking about storytelling in a post-digital world. In a fiercely competitive online arena, how do B2B brands remain connected and accessible?

I’ll go out on a limb and say that, as a species, we’re quite dramatic.

This statement does not intend to downplay the changes we’ve experienced over the last four years – but we’d be remiss to neglect the positives that have also occurred. The “new normal” – a phrase that has become a part of our vernacular – is reflective of enormous change that cannot be undone. The social and cultural revolution we’ve witnessed has had an impact on all businesses across the B2B and B2C landscape. We – the consumer – had a key role to play in this change, too.

Our shifting demands were fierce and specific. We wanted more. A 2021 report from Euromonitor International explored the global consumer trends predicted for 2022. A few highlights included a projected rise in ‘climate changers and self-love seekers’, a burgeoning desire for ‘personalised shopping experiences’, and finally, an increase in people looking for a complete reset.

Quite dramatic.

As marketers, PR specialists and SEO gurus, we quickly adapted. After all, the landscape had changed dramatically – but it was nothing compared with what was to come. In 2023, we saw how the transformation to B2B marketing brought about by the pandemic was merely a prologue. How silly of us to think we were mid-storyline.

With the rise of AI, the emergence of TikTok, Google updates, nano influencers and ‘deinfluencers’, not to mention the decline of Twitter, it’s safe to say consumer trends for 2022 were only partially accurate.

But this is where we should take a step back from the drama and digitalisation of it all and consider what has actually happened. The plotline is all about people. In fact, in December 2023, Harvard Business Review stated that “storytelling is the essential human activity. Our species thinks in metaphors and learns through stories.”

We’re only human.

We have transformed as consumers; we want brand trust and personalisation. We want to understand business missions and objectives and see the faces behind corporate entities. We need honesty and humour and trust like never before. We need real storytelling with authenticity.

And this is nothing new. The art, the sheer magic of storytelling, is what makes us human – since the dawn of time. In our opinion, we lost sight of this for a while. But since the pandemic and the astronomical shift in expectations, we’ve gone back to our fundamental desires.

In a post-digital world that places humans at the heart of strategy and decision-making, digitalisation should simply be a tool; it needs to be harnessed to fulfill our needs for greater brand stories.

So, what do B2B businesses need to do to get back to the metaphorical campfire?

Be connected and accessible.

You should be relatable to your audience and connected to them at every appropriate touchpoint. And therein lies the challenge – business and marketing strategies must dictate platform, and never vice versa. Your content marketing strategy should be led by the desires of your audience, and you must give them a brand story experience that flows seamlessly across multiple channels in a variety of forms. Remember that your audience will choose when, where and how they engage with you.

It’s down to you to identify the right digital channels and create effective content that cuts through the noise and gets right to the heart of today’s issues. The new objective is to evoke an emotional response from your audience, a response that breeds loyalty and trust, and therefore, longevity.

Measure performance.

The strength in digital storytelling lies in its accountability. You should be measuring effectively to really unearth the truth behind your audience expectations, their responses, and engagements.  In 2023, we saw that there were two strands of performance measurement. The first is tangible, it’s black and white, it’s figures. Of course, integral to marketing success.

However, the second holds much more weight, rightly or wrongly. It’s anecdotal, it’s the opinions and comments from your audience, it’s the assessment of how your customer feels about your brand. This is a difficult metric to keep hold of but one that must not be ignored. Consumer opinions can make or break a brand, even the most established. It’s about tailoring your content production and story to keep in line with your audience’s ever-changing needs and using this feedback to drive future activity.

Striking a balance.

 Storytelling is our passion; it always has been. But the challenges faced by the B2B sector and wider marketing community also affect us. We saw the market change and knew we also had to act. It encouraged us to ask ourselves, what if we could reposition our brand to service the needs of our clients whilst delivering on new consumer cravings? What if we could strike that balance between human and digital to tell new stories?

We found a way.

Wyatt International became a bilateral agency, supercharging business and brand value in new ways through our Accelerator consultancy team. And working in parallel, a new method of content delivery was born via our unique multichannel cluster activation team, focused on going straight to the heart of consumer desires.

If we can do it, you can do it, too. It’s time for the B2B sector to embrace 21st-century storytelling. Together, we can uncover consumer truths to tell new stories that last.

If you’d like to talk to us about your content marketing strategy or SEO campaigns, get in touch with us by emailing hello@wyattinternational.com.

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