When a business is dealing directly with consumers (B2C marketing), a lot of attention is paid to emotions and storytelling. One of the major goals is to “connect” with the potential customers — especially on an emotional level — to facilitate conversions and sales.
The same concept applies in case of B2B marketing — when you are not dealing directly with the end-user or consumer but another business.
Unfortunately, when we talk about B2B marketing, most business owners forget about these basic marketing concepts. Although they may be dealing with another business, there are still real people behind it who will make the purchase decision. To connect with them and to influence their emotions is still the right way to market and sell your products.
According to a study by CEB, which examined the impact of emotions in B2B marketing, 71% of B2B buyers who see a personal value in a purchase will end up buying the product or service.
This further proves that the core marketing concepts remain the same, though the techniques may differ a little. It does not matter if it is B2C marketing or B2B marketing, real people with real emotions make purchase decisions in both scenarios. As a businessman, you need to appeal to the emotions of those decisions maker to ensure your marketing success.
However, as we just mentioned, the techniques may vary a little bit. In this blog post, we are going to discuss how you can use emotions in B2B marketing, and we will also share some tips that will help you along the way.
Let’s get started.
1. Create many high-quality content pieces
Content is the king, and it also significantly impacts purchase decisions in B2B marketing.
According to Forrester, the average consumer engaged with 11.4 content pieces before making a purchase. Those content pieces do not necessarily have to be on a single website, which brings us to our main point.
First, identify the product or service you are trying to market. Then, shortlist several important keywords — and multiple angles — for that topic. You are going to need that list for the next step.
In the third and last step, create lots of high-quality content pieces to maximize your chances of nurturing your potential leads. In the process, you not only establish yourself as an authority, but you also may generate valuable leads through pop-ups or exclusive, gated content.
The idea is to offer as much information as you can to your potential B2B buyer. Furthermore, more content pieces and interlinking them may also help you with search engine rankings. In that case, you will be able to get even more traffic and potential buyers.
However, one important point to remember is that quality still matters. You should create several pieces of content, but they must all be of the highest quality. A low-quality content piece may leave a negative impression that would be hard to repair.
2. Incorporate storytelling
Good storytelling is one of the best ways to create an emotional connection with your reader. It works equally well in B2C as well as B2B marketing.
Good storytelling not only improves the engagement rate, but it also leads to creating more memorable content pieces — which may play a crucial role in the overall journey of the buyer.
Every content marketer understands the importance of good storytelling. However, they usually reserve it exclusively for B2C. That should not be the case.
As we discussed earlier, even in B2B marketing, real people are making business decisions. It means that you need to appeal to them and connect with them with good stories about your brand, your product, your company’s mission, etc.
A good technique is to visualize the person you are targeting in B2B marketing, e.g., a marketing manager and craft your story accordingly. For example, target his pain points.
Moreover, another important thing to remember is that people like to connect with businesses that have the same values as them. Once you completely understand your ideal buyer, you will be able to better showcase your business values that align with him. This would create a deeper, much better connection.
3. Pricing page
Businesses have a pricing page; it is a common practice to have one. However, depending on the type of your business and the type of your target audience, it may not be the best solution to have a pricing page.
One of the steps in the business buyer decision-making process is the evaluation of available alternatives. It means comparing different products, prices, features, etc.
If you have the pricing page on your website, it would be very convenient for them to treat you like just another option. They would compare your product with other products in the market based on its price and may never contact you during the process.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a pricing page and instead encourages potential buyers to reach out to you, you may have a better opportunity to close the deal.
The idea is to have them focus on your product, its features, and most importantly, the messaging you have and the values you stand for. Removing the pricing page may end up putting a lot more focus on it, which will eventually lead to building a more emotional and deeper connection.
In short, by holding the price back, you may have an opportunity to sell with emotions first.
Nothing is for certain, though. Eventually, you will have to test it and see if it works for your business and target audience.
4. Don’t abandon logic
While emotions are extremely powerful in closing a transaction and making people act, they do not guarantee success — especially when it comes to B2B marketing.
In B2C marketing, logic often takes a backseat (depending on the type of products you are selling). The human mind is complex and confusing. Most of the times, consumers don’t themselves know why they purchase a certain product. The underlying reasons are coated with lots of complexities.
An aging baby boomer may buy a convertible BMW and say he wants it for commuting. On a deeper level, he may just want to feel young again and show his success to others. B2C consumers sometimes fail in logic.
That’s rarer in B2B marketing, mainly because there are multiple decision makers involved in the process.
When you are creating your sales funnel for B2B marketing, try to be as logical as possible, anticipate important questions, answer them, and squish in doubts before they get out of hands.
Present your case with logic as well as emotion. You need to find the right balance — which is why B2B marketing is relatively tougher than B2C marketing.
One way to ensure that you have a reasonable offer is to see the value in it from the customer’s perspective. Does the price justify the perceived value? Secondly, is there any competitor that is offering more perceived value at a lower cost? If yes, do you logical reason — for example, superior customer service — why should a business still buy from you?
Apart from these techniques mentioned above, you can also leverage social proof, testimonials, case studies, etc.
The core concept, however, remains the same. You are trying to influence emotions of real people who are making decisions on behalf of a business entity.
The next time you are creating an online marketing campaign for B2B buyers, make sure to consider these techniques.