5 questions to push your storytelling

Numbers tell, but stories sell. The product data sheet is a crucial marketing asset – but it is not qualified to convey key brand messages. To introduce customers to a new world of ideas and topics, storytelling is best suited to build this bridge between you and your target group. Because at the end of the day, a gripping story in content marketing is a key determinant for success, even for medium-sized B2B companies. Read this article to learn how storytelling works and how you can use it to attract the attention of new customers and retain existing ones.

The capabilities of storytelling in content marketing.

Storytelling is a brilliant tool with which you can transport information and capture your audience’s attention throughout the process! Since people enjoy listening to stories, they will memorize all the included information more vividly and keep them in their minds for long periods. While numbers such as the founding date of a company are most likely to be forgotten quickly, an exceptional founding story can stick with them for years. A gripping story also has a great chance to be retold and circulated. You probably agree that almost nobody doesn’t want to know how a good story ends and that it is exciting to entertain conversation partners with good stories.


Storytelling is a brilliant tool with which you can transport information and capture the attention of your audience throughout the process!


Good storytelling in b2b: five questions that will get you ahead.

A good story always needs to answer the basic questions of “why, how and what”, and the aspect of “why” is most important in this regard. Values and visions play a major role here as a basis: Why does your company exist, why is your product a great solution, and what customer needs does it satisfy?

The next step is to ask “how” the narration of your story is set up. And lastly, there’s the element of “what”, where you have to come up with a solution to your story that might be represented by a product or a service.

The process of finding answers to the questions of why, how and what and defining the most important elements of your story is described by the principle of the Golden Circle[1].

Again, step by step:


Why should customers be convinced of you?

First and foremost, you need to define the core message of your story. What should your content be about? The most important thing is to determine what your customers are most interested in. The core message of your story should ideally coincide with your brand values to appear authentic as a whole.

Approaches to achieve this: Why was your company founded? Or why was a product developed? Probably to provide a solution for a specific problem. The essence of this problem, what your customers get out of it by solving it, and how your solution is special and helps them in this regard can be easily packed into a relatable story.


So a really good story works as one huge call-to-action.


Coca-Cola takes the question of “why” to the extreme by just answering it with a “because” which became a central element of the “Just because”-campaign. The campaign humorously shows random moments from the lives of Coke drinkers who do what they do – without explaining. Just because they can. The aim is to convey the lightness that Diet Coke brings to life.

Extreme athlete Jon Olsson takes a very similar approach with the brand identity of his fashion brand “c’est normal,” one of the most hyped brands on social media in 2018. “C’est normal” represents both a name and a life motto. Those who wear the clothes share a lifestyle that sets its own standards. The individually chosen “normal” makes life worth living – but normal in the sense of a normative constraint does not exist.

Another factor in the success of both brands and stories is that the customers themselves take centre stage and can therefore identify particularly well with the stories. A really good story works as one huge call to action.


See Also: Framework – Wrapping skills for compelling brand storytelling


Who convinces your customers?

Every good story needs a main character. In B2B, customers are particularly well suited to serve as heroes since the audience can identify with them. The world-renowned Swedish furniture company Ikea once launched a campaign that was a shining example for conveying a high identification potential.

The campaign’s focal point was to confront the customer with a problem that could be solved with the help of Ikea products. The heroine is the young, likeable woman Smilla who is realistically shown in everyday situations in her own four walls. In one TV commercial, Smilla is surprised by many guests who come over unannounced. Being briefly perplexed by the situation, she quickly masters the challenge with a spacious Ikea couch. This is just one example of how Smilla saves the day in numerous commercials thanks to Ikea’s product range.

Celebrities or company founders might be impressive as hero figures but aren’t as relatable to customers. The best stories revolve around people who could be the customers of your brand. Of course, in some cases, the company can also be the hero, but the most important thing is that the hero fits the brand.

The well-known baby food manufacturer Hipp approaches storytelling differently than Ikea by using the founder to transport the central brand message. “This is what I stand for with my name” is mentioned at the end of every commercial to engender customer confidence.


How to create (no) drama – types of plots.

There are many ways to build a story. A humorous structure or the classical hero’s journey[2] is ideally suited to tell a great story. Many popular books and movies follow these principles, and users are familiar with these patterns. Elements that must be included in every story are a goal, suitable characters, possibly an obstacle and an appropriate solution. It is better to limit yourself to one message per story. Otherwise, you could lose your thematic focus.

An example in the B2B industry could look as follows: In the website’s reference section, the customer’s goal is described. This is followed by the obstacles that were overcome, and, in conclusion, the solution is presented.

The description of products or services can also be made more interesting with the right storytelling. For instance, you could describe how you came to develop the product and emphasize what makes it so special.


 Elements that need to be included in every story are a goal, suitable characters, possibly an obstacle and an appropriate solution.


Storytelling can be used in all situations where communication is established. A rough overview:

  • Presentations and speeches: Build your presentation as a story, and your audience will be captivated.
  • Interviews with employees and applicants: Especially in interview situations, a gripping story helps to present your company in an appealing way to applicants.
  • Customers: You want to make a lasting impression? Showcase your content as a story, and you will stand out.
  • Presentations or content on your website also benefit from a story-driven structure.


What makes your content shine: imagination.

Good stories create images with words that could also be movies. The statement “good team building is very important to me” shares a positive connotation but is way too abstract. Descriptions of a situation are much easier to grasp:

“A good atmosphere among colleagues is very important to us! That’s why we have a casual meeting every day for socializing. True to the motto: Whoever is there is there. And that`s not all: All kinds of events, such as company marathons or theme parties, invite you to connect with other team members. Don’t miss out on a delicious buffet or drink!”

Concentrate on the essentials and stay authentic; achieving perfection is not necessarily required here – this is how real mental cinema is created.


What media is suitable?

There is no general answer to the question of which media is best suited for your storytelling. An effective media implementation strongly depends on the specific goal and target group you want to reach. If your target group is particularly young, you are well-advised to rely on social media such as Tiktok or Instagram. If you want to reach SMEs, you are better off with elaborated case studies and product descriptions.

Stories can also be told well with dialogue-based content such as interviews. Other suitable media formats are websites with scrolly-telling, text optimization, Youtube videos, podcasts and many others.


Conclusion: you can gain a lot with the right storytelling.

Storytelling does not focus on the facts but on the persuasiveness of the story, – facts are presented incidentally. If you preach to the choir with your storytelling, (new) customers will be interested in being part of this story and trying out your product/service.

In addition, good storytelling contributes to the authenticity of your company´s employer branding, increasing trust in your brand. It is not uncommon that employees, who have become aware of your company through your authentic presentation, will stay longer and will not apply for jobs at other companies. Another advantage: If your brand possesses a certain identification potential, you could also create a fan base.


[1] Hubspot: The Golden Circle

[2] Hubspot: Why storytelling is important for content marketing.


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About the author

wob has been a BBN partner for the German-speaking market since 1988. They have defined and managed national and international B2B brands for over 45 years. Every concept merges technology and emotion to support sales teams and create sustainable brand value effectively.

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