You might not think of B2B marketing as an especially emotion-driven process, but the opposite is true. If you want to get prospects interested and convince them to convert, then you have to connect with them on an emotional level.
In good news, there are a variety of tools to harness and tactics to put into action to help you on your way. Here are just a handful of the most impactful approaches to take when you want to shape the emotions of your target audience.
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Use automation to create a personal connection
It might sound counterintuitive, but the latest marketing automation tools are able to do a better job of forging connections with prospects through personalization than most marketers realize.
With the help of solutions like Salesflow, HubSpot and Eloqua, it is not only possible to generate leads in the first place, but also to engage with them and follow up with interactions that are customized to their unique needs.
It goes without saying that automating this makes it far more efficient to wrangle the right emotional tone, while avoiding your contact with would-be customers coming across as generic.
Tell stories to soften overt sales pitches
Storytelling is a big part of B2C marketing, but can be positioned as unnecessary in the B2B space. However, since you are still trying to convince other humans to buy what you are selling, the same strategy will work in this context.
Explaining the story behind your brand, rather than just bludgeoning contacts with straightforward sales pitches, will stimulate an emotional response. Just remember that the story you tell should be tailored to the intended audience, and must also focus on what makes your brand valuable to them.
Don’t jump the gun with pricing information
You will of course eventually need to tell prospects how much you charge for your products and services, but you do not need to do this right away. The risk is that if price gets top billing, the rest of the work you have put into influencing the emotions of prospects will be wasted.
The answer is to save pricing details for later in the pitch, whether that might be a marketing email, a landing page or a face-to-face meeting. This will give the other carefully-crafted elements time to do their work, combining emotion with the practical cost implications.
Include testimonials where appropriate
B2B clients and consumers alike tend to trust brands more if they can demonstrate that they have already built successful relationships with existing customers. This is why so many brands rely on testimonials to give added weight to their marketing materials.
It does not matter whether the testimonials come from individuals or organizations that prospects know. Simply seeing that third parties have given their backing to a brand is enough to enhance its reputation.
Testimonials can take many forms, whether you include user reviews in pride of place on your home page, or you add case studies to landing pages to explain the benefits of products from a customer perspective. Even shares on social media are seen as brand endorsements, so courting these is another useful strategy.
Highlight features based on the outcomes they offer
In many B2B sales scenarios, buyers will be narrowing down their options by doing a like-for-like comparison of the features that a product or service includes.
In the case that your offering is closely matched to that of a competitor, you need to reposition features so that they are contextualized in the intended use-case.
So rather than just explaining what your service can do, pinpoint what this will mean for the end user. Whether that is an improvement to productivity, the potential for cost savings or anything else, B2B prospects will relate more to a pitch if they are shown what it will mean to them.
The last word
It might look like emotion has little to do with B2B marketing, but people are innately emotional and you can take advantage of this in your sales efforts.
Of course it is possible to take emotional influencing tactics too far, so aim to find a balance that works for your target audience.