Three Steps to Authentic Connection in B2B
Audiences are empowered like never before to choose what content they engage with. Their attention, trust, and ultimately business must be earned.
It’s one thing to be an authentic human being and come across that way. It’s quite another to codify that.
Create a framework around storytelling and standardize that process. Storytelling as a process, while remaining authentic and genuine doesn’t have to be an oxymoron.
Telling authentic stories
Develop a point of view that’s authentic to the business and the personal brand.
Telling authentic stories using the structure of why, how, and what.
Lead with why this is relevant to the target audience through the lens of the problem that it is solving. Product pitches are a turn-off when buyers are getting to know you. To showcase products, get a customer to talk about a popular use case or create an awesome explainer video that positions your unique strengths.
How your why gets accomplished.
As the crucial driver of your company it should be fundamentally apparent in all that you do. Your “why” shouldn’t expire or become obsolete, it should bring a sense of purpose.
Why does your product or company exist.
These are practical and organizational elements that will drive your company to achieve your why. The Essential elements that will ensure success achieving your why.
What your company actually produces or sells.
The what should answer the why that your company embodies, and should solve the fundamental problem you’re looking to solve.
How do you turn storytelling into a skill regardless of how skilled you’ll team is that storytelling? By providing a usable framework, you can equip your team to hold the audience’s attention, create tension at the right time, and most importantly conclude with actionable insights.
This makes it accessible for anyone on your team to organize any story into an engaging framework.
Pixar Storytelling Framework
Click here to learn more about this and credited writer, Emma Coates
|Once upon a time:||Here we introduce the characters in our story.|
|And every day:||Where we give some context for our characters.|
|Until one day:||A conflict or challenge is introduced.|
|Because of that:||Our hero has to change to tackle the challenge.|
|Until finally:||We show how far the hero has come. What change actually took place?|
|And ever since that day:||This is where you share the outcome, the results.|
Make content go the extra mile
If you have an authentic story defined from the get go, it’s easier to adapt that campaign story to different mediums.
Templatize your assets, don’t templatize your story.
Without doing much more work, you can get four to five assets out of every webinar or webcam panel. The templatization of these processes can allow you to get much more content out of a campaign.
If you think it through and structure an authentic story you can turn that into a webinar, guide, a blog post, videos, really anything.
With a good story, your content is medium-agnostic.
Making authentic connections
Great audience experience
|Content formats that connect on a human level|
A lot of us probably will have heard the statistic by 2020, 80% of all web traffic will be video based. When a viewer has a voice or better yet a face to connect to, authentic human connections are much more easily formed.
Provide frictionless access where, when, and how audiences want
Viewers now expect ease of access and being empowered to engage on their terms.
Experiment with new formats
Streaming content is limited by only creativity, try shaking up your content with interesting ways to shrink the boundaries between you and your viewer.
Format examples: Blend the physical and digital
Live / semi-live panel
This new format has gained traction for its convenience and storytelling ability. Live presenter cut with prerecorded inline interview segments, similar to a podcast.
Live webcam panel
Like a conversation digitized, we see examples of this format frequently on the daily news. Audiences love it, and so do presenters due to ease of preparation
Live video from in-person events
BrightTALK @ Summits are talks and panels broadcast live from the conferences that allow you to reach audiences that are physically present, and those that aren’t.
This provides additional benefits in requiring fewer slide preparations, through emphasis on audio or video. The preparation all comes down to the story structure that we talked about why, how, what. Moderate toward a direction, but prepared imperfection grants a touch of authenticity, because it’s not overly groomed and produced.
Live boosts conversions
Interactivity is core to conversation. Engagement requires two-way interaction.
Votes, questions, downloads, ratings, live audience messages, and contact requests
All rich content is good, but the personalized and contextualized follow-up for strong conversion that live streaming allows for is invaluable. You get more than views, you get conversation.
More than just YouTube comments and views, with BrightTALK, you get to know who watched your content, not just how many. This is key if you want to turn views into sales. You also get contextual information on user questions, polls, views and downloads that you can use in follow-up conversations.
Continue the conversation
Step 1: Create story consistency after handling leads over to sales
Personalization and contextual outreach is sometimes sacrificed as systems scale. Don’t let the handover of leads from campaigns with great conversational context go into a machine that’s just playing the numbers game. The story can break down on the handover from marketing and SDRs if the story isn’t understood or thoroughly planned.
Don’t automate the expression of the story, simply construct a wireframe to operate within for all levels of the team.
Step 2: Create systems to make it easy for sales to be consistent
Create marketing program briefs detailing why they were run, who the target audiences are, and what some of the key messages are. That way the authenticity of the story you are telling comes through in follow-up when reaching out to your leads.
Steep all personnel in the campaign messaging to keep consistency with the story you are telling. Language at the top of the funnel and bottom of the funnel should align.
Making decisions with authentic results
Performance with context
|Is that number good|
Use relevant benchmarks to understand performance rather than just looking at internal metrics.
Knowing which content will resonate with your audience ahead of time can radically improve your content marketing success, this visibility into your audience can optimize all stages of your marketing efforts:
Planning Phase: Use keywords and topics in the titles that you know targets are engaging with to drive your content focus.
Before event: There is an optimal time to promote and engage audiences. Happy medium — too long in advance, they aren’t excited. Too soon, and you may not capture everyone you’d like.
After Event: Use engagement data to properly engage the right attendees after the fact, in the right ways.
Measuring revenue impact
Marketing at BrightTALK was historically measured exclusively on net new demand generated. As the Marketing team is being asked to drive growth across the customer journey, multi-touch attribution has become a strong secondary performance metric to track contribution to growth.
First touch attribution:
First touch attribution is defined when marketing is sourcing the audience before an opportunity has been sourced by Sales. It’s a clean metric to track marketing-sourced pipeline and bookings. That said, it’s broadly considered too limiting when marketing is being asked to make a growth impact across the customer experience.
Multi-touch attribution’ and copy to ‘With mid to bottom funnel conversion being one of the biggest challenges for Sales teams today, multi-touch attribution is an important overall indicator of the impact that marketing is making on accelerating and increasing deals no matter who originally created the opportunity.
A look at marketing metrics
Marketing often gets measured by first touch, Last touch is almost always the sales organization and it’s going to be lopsided towards the bottom of the funnel because that’s the attributional model.
Marketing at BrightTALK now gets measured by first and multi-touch attribution to ensure we understand the demand we source and the deals we help accelerate.
“What matters in the end is what impact you’re having right now.”
Create the tide that lifts all boats
These additional measurements allow you to be authentic with the business, leadership team and the executive teams. I’m hitting all the KPIs In terms of the acquisition number, but what we’re also doing is really illustrate the impact that marketing is having on growth accounts.
Properly tracking your value throughout the entire funnel will help attribute your successes to your team, and gain traction in advocating for your team and for more bandwidth.
Additional metrics to consider
- Promotions to registration conversion percentage
- Opt-in database growth
- Registrations and views