Creating genuine, real conversations in B2B isn’t easy.
Conversations between B2B buyers and the brands trying to sell to them often feel disconnected and awkward.
This is because, oftentimes, B2B brands forget to treat the conversation like an actual conversation. Imagine walking into a party and just immediately telling every person who walks by how awesome you are.
It wouldn’t impress other partygoers. Most likely, nobody would want to continue the conversation. Why should your conversations with B2B buyers be any different?
Tailor Your Conversation to the Party
Know your audience.
That’s the key to ensuring the conversation you start will be effective. Make sure you know the needs of your customers and use that knowledge to make sure your conversation will win them over.
Let your audience see that you notice them, know about their needs, and want to help. This is how you build trust in a real-life conversation but also a brand.
Dress to Impress
Make sure your design makes a good impression.
Keep it mostly neutral-toned, with sections of color to highlight your most important/best features.
At a party, this would be key accessories like a scarf or shoes that give a pop of color to a plain outfit.
In content and on your website, these would be your CTAs, which stand out over the authoritative neutrals of your background.
Make sure your audience knows what you want them to do by designing an easy-to-use, clear website. Do the same with your emails. Have users that aren’t the creators use your website and read your emails, then give you feedback on what works and what doesn’t.
This outsider perspective is good for troubleshooting and optimizing your design.
Don’t Hog the Conversation
Take a breath every now and then and let whoever you’re talking to talk back.
After all, that’s the difference between conversation and speaking to a wall.
Nobody likes someone that just endlessly boasts about themselves. Interact with your audience, ask them questions and encourage them to speak back.
In marketing, this can be done through asking questions on social, on your blog posts, etc. You can also spend time searching through relevant hashtags on Twitter, looking for meaningful ways to start conversation with relevant readers.
Marketing and advertising used to be able to have a one-sided conversation with their audiences, simply broadcasting the message out to them, without care for how their audience felt. That no longer flies in today’s world. Conversations must actually be two-sided for customers to be satisfied.
Create content that educates.
In a conversation, if a person make sweeping generalizations or doesn’t back up their opinions with facts, it tends to turn off the listener. We’ve all met that person that won’t stop speaking like this at a party, and it causes the listeners to casually slip away.
Keep that in mind when you create content.
Use facts to back up your statements, it lends credibility to you and your brand. This will make your audience trust you.
Brag – But Only a Little
It’s okay to boast but only a bit.
It’s like telling someone a crazy story about that one wild night in Paris. You are boasting about this story and maybe even that you were in Paris, but it’s a good story. It could even be one that is worth others retelling about you.
You want to spread stories that are similarly compelling. Obviously, it will be hard to tell a story that tops a wild night in a foreign land in B2B, but make the effort to tell stories that matter.
This could be in the form of case studies where your product helped another company do some measure of good in the world or simply solved one of their problems.
Storytelling is as old as language, so it makes sense that it would be of critical importance to creating meaningful conversations.
Remember, when you walk into a room, you must work to create relationships with your audience. Engage them in meaningful, balanced conversation about the topics they are interested in. Don’t just blast them with your messages. Stoke the fire, get your readers interested in your brand. Just because the subject is B2B doesn’t mean there needs to be a disconnect in your conversations. You just tell stories a little differently to match the stories your brand played a part in.
Do you struggle to start conversations in B2B? Have you come up with any solutions for this? What are they? Let us know in the comments section.