The art of storytelling

B2B Marketing: What Story Will You Tell?

In B2B marketing, we have several goals. Some of our key targets include creating awareness, building a brand, ensuring customer retention and generating loyalty. But how do we accomplish those objectives? According to content marketing experts, we need to become storytellers. Then the question is, what’s the best story to tell?

Well, we’re now entering the Thankshannukistmaskwannyears season. During the holidays, when people are leaning towards sentimentality, a story that tugs at the heartstrings can be very compelling. One way to create such a story is through philanthropy. But where do you start?

You need a plan

There are actually two different types of philanthropy to consider, but they’re closely related:

  1. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Providing funding and resources for worthwhile social causes, such as donating money or employee time to charities.
  2. Cause Marketing: Putting together a plan to produce products or provide services that are in the best interests of society.

Do what fits best with your business. If you begin by building a culture of philanthropy within your company, you’ll increase employee engagement, which is essential to your marketing strategy. Developing a program that shareholders, executives, employees, customers and the community can all get behind will help frame your story.

Choose the best way to implement your plan

There are many ways you can give back to your community. Anyone can write a check, but you can show true commitment by integrating a variety of programs:

  • Product donations
  • Employee giving
  • Corporate sponsorship
  • Volunteering
  • Matching gifts
  • Environmental (go green)
  • Disaster response (think Hurricane Sandy relief)

You can also try to convince vendors to send excess inventory for donations, or consider donating $1 for each sale of a product to a cause. Show that your company is serious about giving back by providing financial backing to a charity, or partnering with a nonprofit. Organizations that make it easy, like Toys for Tots or Habitat for Humanity, offer turnkey programs that make it easy to work with them.

Spread the word

Once you’ve created the perfect program, go social! Broadcast your message throughout all of your social media channels and invite your customers to participate. Your customers are your brand advocates, and can provide valuable third-party endorsements. And that’s a great way to find new leads.

Your website is another good place to talk about your program. You’re developing a story that will ultimately be a valuable piece of content.

Why bother?

I know you’re busy. But you receive several benefits from philanthropy. Not only is giving back to the community the right thing to do, but it also contributes to a positive workplace culture and happier employees. People want to work for a company that is socially responsive, and it will be easier to attract new talent.

Every business needs to protect their reputation in social media, which is an important channel for shaping consumer perception and public awareness. Customers are tired of traditional marketing messages. Achieving media attention as a result of philanthropic endeavors is both free advertising and good public relations.

Identify a problem in society and help solve it. That’s a good story to tell.

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