Storytelling in Science Marketing
by Debra Harrsch
Remember when we were children? We were told stories, weren’t we? We’ve all experienced someone reading “Once upon a time…” to us. Some of those stories had morals. Others didn’t. Some were just nice, fun stories, while others were cautionary tales. But, any time we heard a story it usually made us feel uplifted. It engaged us.
Listening to stories has been ingrained in us from childhood. They never fail to elicit a response. So why wouldn’t you translate that into a conversation with your customer? Why not use that tool in your customer’s buying journey?
There is a reason you read books to a child. It not only helps their mind develop, but it also helps them visualize what’s happening. It helps them see you. And that’s exactly what you need to do when marketing your company’s offerings.
You need to tell stories to your customers. While I don’t think you should be starting your B2B stories with “once upon a time,” stories are important to your marketing. (But, you never know – there may be a fun opportunity to do that!)
Stories for Scientific Marketing
For those of you who are used to straight scientific marketing, you’d be surprised at how successfully you can use stories. The whole point of storytelling is to engage your audience and help them along the customer journey.
Your job is to tell customers the story around why you have this product or service, why you are the company they need, and how you engage with your customers. What this does for your customers is this: it allows them to get to know you – and understand how your products/services can help them.
Actually, you’ve already started telling stories on your website. You tell your company story through the history of your company. You tell stories of how your product works on the main pages of your website and through case studies. It’s from those key pages that customers really get engaged and move forward.
How We Tell Stories
As marketers, we started telling stories a long time ago. Over this past year, with the lack of trade shows we’ve moved into a more strongly focused digital marketing world, making storytelling an even more important tool in your marketing toolbox.
Here are two ways we’ve helped science marketers tell their stories in the past year.
One word: YouTube.
How many times have you needed to know how to do something, and your first thought is “Oh let me go to YouTube?” All the time, right?
Well, it’s the same for your customers. They are used to learning through short videos. This is a perfect opportunity to use short explainer videos to tell a story about your products or services. Explainer videos can be made in a variety of ways.
For one of our technology customers, we created two different explainer videos. The first video focused on the product. This video featured a voice-over narrator walking the customer through their Analytics product, what it does, and how it improves a customer’s business.
The second explainer video we made for this client – while it does focus on a product – talks more about what the value of the product is. In this case, what a validated SaaS product means for a regulated industry and how it helps companies. This video features a combination of voice-over narration along with the friendly face of the VP of sales and marketing telling the story of how this service will benefit the customer.
Virtual Tour Videos
Customers are also used to exploring lengthy topics through video as well. One of our clients wanted to tell their story through a 360-degree tour of their pharmaceutical plant. A tour is going to be far longer than an explainer video. At around ten minutes long, it provides a way for them to tell their story about what they do and how well they do it.
During the pandemic, pharma plants are locked tight. (And pandemic aside, pharma companies don’t really want anyone in their plants at any time.) Since outsiders could not be allowed onsite to film a video, we needed to get creative.
Using remote video capture via an iPhone and a lavalier mic, they took their customers on a tour of their facility – through multiple labs, instrumentation, and warehouses. We added B-roll to their facility video to create a way for our client to tell a complete story to their customers.
Enhance the Journey
It’s important to tell a story – and it’s even more important to tell stories that meet the needs of your customers along their buying journey. But, don’t forget to enhance their journey with supplemental marketing assets.
Be sure you include why they should buy your product – and show them the value of your product. Show them what it will mean for them at the end of the day. Make sure that the story you tell is engaging and that the customer can see themselves using your product.
Yes, our world is very scientific, but when people go to your website they need to know that you understand who they are and the challenges they face. Storytelling enables you to do that.
If you need help telling your stories, give us a call!
Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, technology, and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing – who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.