Content Marketing & SEO
6 of the best B2B storytelling campaigns
Storytelling is an intrinsic part of B2B marketing and brand building – and market-leading B2B brands have been doing it successfully for decades.
Below, we’ve featured what we think are the best B2B storytelling campaigns ever made, and explored what B2B businesses of every size and stage can learn from them.
Click Baby Click - Adobe
In Adobe’s Click Baby Click, an entire supply chain is in panic mode because of a sudden resurgence in orders. Yet behind those online orders is a baby with a tablet, aimlessly tapping the ‘buy’ button.
It’s a brilliant, visually exciting way to demonstrate what happens when businesses aren’t paying attention to their analytics – packaging a typical issue businesses face and a clear call to action into an engaging, funny campaign.
Lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, but always keep your customer’s pain points in mind when telling your story.
‘Cat Herders’ – EDS
Simply writing ‘compiling digital info is like herding cats’ would be cliché. In this brilliant award-winning super bowl advert, EDS brings the idiom to life in a classic Wild West panorama, with real cowboys chasing kitties across the plains. It’s a bizarre concept that holds your attention to the final call to action.
At the very least, watching a cowboy using a Lint roller to remove cat hair from his shirt while epic music blares in the background is extremely entertaining. It’s an excellent example of how storytelling can work wonders for a B2B brand – even in a consumer-dominated space like the super bowl.
Lesson learned: Humour is a fantastic way to instantly capture your audience’s attention.
The Heist: Cautionary Tales – BLP
BLP needed to demonstrate it knew how to help bankers get out of sticky financial issues. That’s when the company’s marketers decided to create a series of Ocean’s 11-inspired YouTube videos telling ‘cautionary tales’ about what can happen if bankers fail to heed regulatory advice.
According to b2bmarketing.net, the approach generated 515% more leads than the campaign target, as well as garnering international press attention (evidence that storytelling gets commercial results, not just 15 minutes of viral fame).
Lesson learned: Stories are a great way to demonstrate the consequences if your customer doesn’t act now.
SuperSmart Security Graphic Novel – Cisco
Cisco took a unique approach to a usually dense subject, putting the challenges everyday CTOs are facing with cybersecurity into an immersive graphic novel.
Here Cisco has examined the persona it is targeting, and filtered what would otherwise be a dry subject into a creative, approachable and readable format. It brings a dull subject to life and puts their target audience at the heart of the story.
Lesson learned: Look at the kind of media your target audience is interested in – films, books, graphic novels etc – and use a similar styles of writing/images or themes in your storytelling.
The Boy and his Atom – IBM
Sometimes, storytelling can do more than just demonstrate what a company does – it can also demonstrate the scope of what that company can achieve. In the Boy and his Atom, IBM researchers moved thousands of carbon monoxide molecules around to create a stop-motion film about a boy playing with his atom.
Said to be the smallest movie of all time, it shows how things that can appear simple can under the surface be incredibly complex. It’s more than just a compelling piece of storytelling, showcasing the genius of IBM – it’s a work of art.
Lesson learned: Some of the best stories come from within – if your company is doing something incredible, don’t be afraid to shout about it.
MDM Mixology – Comma Group
How can you make something as uninspiring (and often complicated) as data management not just fun and quirky, but easy to understand? This guide for Comma Group likens the method of choosing and implementing master data management (MDM) technology to the art of mixology – from picking the right recipe to taste-testing the finished result. It struck a chord with their target audience, brought a fresh approach to a fairly staid industry and helped to show their target customers the kind of people they’d be working with.
Comma Group grew from start-up to a market-leading MDM consultancy in a matter of months – and storytelling played a big part in that trajectory, filtering into their advertising, content, live events and even their customer experience.
Lesson learned: Storytelling isn’t only accessible to big brands (with big budgets). All it needs is innovation and the right people to drive it forward.
B2B storytelling: a compelling way to engage your audience
When you’re marketing a B2B brand, you’re not just marketing to businesses: you’re marketing to people. Decision-makers want to see brands taking the time to understand them as human beings, not work machines – we don’t leave our personality behind when we get to the office, so why should the way we reach out to customers be sterile and boring?
Storytelling isn’t just for B2C brands. It's a compelling, effective way to engage a B2B audience, illustrate the benefits of your product or service and make your brand part of your customer’s narrative.
And, when it’s done right, it does get commercial results.
At Nutcracker, we’ve always built storytelling into our campaigns – and it’s taken our clients from industry unknowns to market leaders.
Want to learn how to grab your customers' attention, convert leads and help your business stand out from the crowd? Download The Ultimate Guide to B2B Storytelling today. We can help you tell the right story for your audience.