3 ways to grow your business with emotional B2B marketing strategies

28 Feb

3 ways to grow your business with emotional B2B marketing strategies

By B2B Marketing, B2B marketing campaigns, Marketing Strategy, digital communication strategy

When we think about businesses that use B2B marketing, we will most likely create this perception of a serious identity, shaped around logical values, where emotion remains on the secondary plan. But it turns out that this is only a common misconception since people working in organizations are influenced by emotions, just as much as consumers are.

The emotional connection can be an asset for marketers who seek to increase purchase intent while generating brand advocacy amongst satisfied B2B customers.

More than educating prospects about product features, B2B marketers focus on building trust and gaining confidence. For a better understanding, this article will address the following:

  • What is emotional B2B marketing, after all?
  • Why are emotions efficient in B2B marketing strategies?
  • 3 emotional marketing strategies you should take into consideration for growing your business.

What is emotional B2B marketing, after all?

          One of the reasons we don’t associate B2B businesses with emotions is that emotional brand positioning is perceived as generating impulsive purchase decisions. But experts argue that having more time to balance the purchase options, a customer’s emotion will have more influence upon its final decision. This is a result of making decisions based on instincts and emotions, after rationally calculating the advantages or disadvantages of the product or services the customer is looking forward to buying.

         Using emotion to usher your audience towards noticing, remembering, sharing, and buying, as the primary driver of your marketing and advertising efforts represents emotional marketing. With this concept in mind, it is no wonder why the use of emotional marketing in B2B is one of the most influential forms of emotional capital for B2B brands to invest in.

Why are emotions efficient in B2B marketing strategies?

          In B2B, generating leads and driving sales should be the main objectives of a marketing strategy. Therefore, the audience is expected to take specific actions when interacting with a business. These actions can be driven by rational and emotional messages, as follows:

  1. Prospects should first of all be attracted by the company and its brand, and emotional marketing is a smart way to build the brand
  2. After being attracted by the business, the prospect will make the buying decision, which implies logic appeal and rational messages.

          We came across a study from The Binet and Field, where the authors are highlighting how the average B2B marketing spendings should be divided:

  • 46% on building brands in the long term
  • 54% on marketing activation that can generate immediate action and drive sales

         Even though lead generation campaigns are part of the second category, it is essential to understand that before taking action, the audience has to resonate with the business.

         That is why B2B marketing strategies should aim to tackle emotional marketing constantly. Using emotions should be a constant pinpoint, that will not only attract people’s interest in your business but also will keep their interest awaken in the engage and delight stages of a B2B marketing strategy.

3 emotional marketing strategies you should take into consideration for growing your business

1. Storytelling

          Creating content should be one of the main activities for companies that want to build their brand, and using emotional marketing will bring great opportunities for creating a special connection with your audience. Storytelling is one strategy that enhances this idea just well. 

          When using storytelling in the B2B ecosystem, some of the main challenges are to identify and to understand the buyer personas very well, and to decide what emotions you want them to feel when interacting with your brand. Before using emotional marketing within storytelling, here are a few questions any business leader should be able to answer to: 

  • To whom is my company selling? Who is my desired buyer persona? (is that person the Chief Technology Officer, the HR business partner or the business owner?) 
  • What are their pain points
  • What is the roadmap of your business to make those pain points disappear?
           In the B2B landscape, customers usually seek products or services’ features to compare and make the buying decision. Competitive differentiation at product value level is a good strategy, but there is also space for emotions in B2B differentiators and they can come alive through brand storytelling. 

          To have effective results from using storytelling in a B2B marketing strategy, you may consider these elements: Characters, The Scene, The Stakes, The Drama, The Resolution, The Conclusion, and The Golden Circle.

2. Visual narratives

          Successfully used by businesses worldwide, visuals are strong brand identity elements. A smart way to enhance the customers’ buying journey in B2B marketing is to use relevant visuals that can tell the story of your products and services; therefore, the story of your business. According to a 2016 report from the Content Marketing Institute, 51% of B2B marketers were prioritizing creating visual materials as part of their content marketing strategies. 

Here are a few visual materials that your business could invest budget and time in:

  • Infographics: With so many businesses that use infographics nowadays, it is time for your marketing team to get creative and build confidence among your customers with interesting statistics. Since we mentioned statistics, did you know that infographics can increase web traffic by up to 12%?
  • Video testimonials: the use of the word “video” in an email subject line boosts the open rate by 19%, the click-through rate by 65%, and reduces unsubscribes by 26%.
  • Whiteboard animation videos: What makes whiteboards so appealing is precisely the simple but effective images, focused on the benefits and values of a company’s products. No wonder why whiteboard videos are one growth area for video content creation. 

An ingenious method of enhancing these visuals is to use colors as an emotional marketing strategy, as many businesses also do for their brand identity.

3. Social testimony - Grow communities around businesses

          One of the greatest things that one business can do to build emotions like trust, reliability, or credibility, is to engage communities that are relevant for their business. Studies from the University of Michigan show that customers spend 19% more after joining a company’s online community.

          Let’s say you are a tech company. In this case, you can focus your marketing strategies on social media networks. You can grow  Social Media communities around a common challenge your customers face in their day to day life, and that can be resolved with your technology solution.  

          By sharing materials within these groups, like reviews, video testimonials, whitepapers, case studies, demos, or asking them what they need to make their life easier, your chances of accomplishing your B2B marketing objective of driving prospects around your business will significantly increase. You will not only influence the acquisition and lead nurturing processes, but you will also engage with that audience through emotions, as people don’t hesitate to show how they feel when interacting with your product or brand over social media.

          Last but not least, emotions in B2B marketing strategies are about making your customers feel privileged.

          Here is where your marketing team can scent its creativity. For example, you might want to create a limited community circle of long-term customers who have also become your brand evangelists. 

          Or you can get involved in organizing a tech event by partnering with the event organizers. One good example is IDEAcon, an event organized by the Illinois Digital Educator Alliance. With 5000 delegates present at the event, imagine how many prospects your business can make an impression on if you were part of the organizers. 

          In the end, it’s all about generating an emotion of belonging and confidence that your customers can experience. 

Final thoughts

          Now that we checked a few marketing strategies that appeal to emotions, it should not be such a big challenge anymore to understand how B2B companies can benefit from these strategies just as B2C do. In the end, it all comes down to asking yourself how your B2B marketing efforts will enrich your customer’s  life and experience, which in the end will result in revenue growth.

          Do you want to improve your company’s efficiency by including emotional marketing strategies in your B2B marketing processes? Let us help you! Our certified marketing team is more than happy to assist you in achieving your business goals.

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