In the B2B world, competition is fierce. What’s the best way to gain the attention of a potential buyer when you’re in the midst of a sea of marketers all trying to do the same thing? Think about it like this: your buyers are people. And, like anyone, their emotions have a say in the buying process.

The best way to get their attention—and the sale—is to appeal to their emotions. In other words, tell a story. Never underestimate the power of emotional investment on a financial decision.

Not convinced? Check out these blogs that are making a case for the emotional appeal in B2B marketing.

7 Resources for Appealing to Your B2B Buyer’s Human Side

Viral Content: The Emotional Triggers That Make Us Click “Share” – Kapost

There’s a reason we all know about covfeve and grumpy cat. Something about these seemingly random blips on the Internet strikes home. We all want to know about them. As this post proclaims, “A viral hit isn’t a matter of luck.”

When you’re looking to grab your readers’ attention at the top of the funnel, take a page out of the going viral handbook:

Negative emotions like hate, reproach, and resentment were reported far less than positive emotions. However, our data indicates that they can still generate a viral hit—you just have to strike the right combinations of arousal and dominance.

New research from Jacopo Staiano of Sorbonne University and Marco Guerini of Trento Rise sheds light on the roles that valence, arousal, and dominance play in how content goes viral. Their findings indicate that individual emotions may not be the root of virality. Instead, they argue, there’s a pattern between viral content and specific combinations of valence, arousal, and dominance since each individual emotion is a combination of these three dimensions.

We know you want to know more…read the rest here.

From Promotion to Emotion: Connecting B2B Customers to Brands – CEB and Google

Still think buyer decisions based on emotions is a B2C thing? Think again. CEB and Google teamed up to ask 3,000 purchasers across B2B industries exactly what it is that drives their purchasing choices. Guess what they found:

Not only did the B2B brands drive more emotional connections than B2C brands, but they weren’t even close. Of the hundreds of B2C brands that Motista has studied, most have emotional connections with between 10% and 40% of consumers. Meanwhile, of the nine B2B brands we studied, seven surpassed the 50% mark. On average, B2B customers are significantly more emotionally connected to their vendors and service providers than consumers.

Get more of the in-depth results of the study on Think with Google or CEB’s blog.

Content Marketing for Business Services: Data That Proves Emotion Trumps Reason – Kapost

Don’t have the time to read all of Googles’s report? Check our awesome infographic delineating how emotion overcomes reason in B2B, complete with the stats to support the claim.

And what does this mean for your strategy? It means what we’ve been saying all along: provide the right content for the right customer at the right time. Learn even more about what this is with our webinar with Kapost CEO, Toby Murdock and Sirius Decisions’ Christine Polewarczyk, Research Director in the Content Strategy and Operations.

What Marketers Can Learn from the Experiential Art Craze – ContentStandard

I’ll admit, I largely chose this post because I really want to go to this exhibit. But that’s the point! Grabbing your audience’s attention and engaging them in a meaningful way is the best way to effectively market your brand:

“Infinity Mirrors” harnessed all the things marketers want to capture in a campaign: a sense of urgency, buzz, audience engagement, emotional connection, and heavy social sharing. […] Experiences—whether inside an art museum or not—resonate more profoundly with consumers. This is a compelling reason for marketers to inject immersive and experiential marketing campaigns into their overall strategy.

See more of how you can use the power of experience in your B2B marketing strategy here.

Should B2B Marketing Appeal More to Our Emotions? – Oktopost

The role of our emotions in B2B does not mean we manipulated our customers. It means building trust and relationships on a foundation of reliability and credibility. But don’t just take our word for it. In this article, you’ll find examples of opinions from real B2B marketers, like Rochelle Gambon, Global Marketing Operations Manager at INSEAD:

“In the B2B world, the multi-level aspect, complex process, and lengthy cycle to conversion means that emotional triggers don’t necessarily reach the intended audience or decision maker…Trust, integrity, and reliability equate with a more lasting impression in a B2B set up. The long-standing approach of building actual relationships seems to be preferred by established companies.”

Plus, there’s a link to the TED talk by Simon Sinek about the Golden Circle, which emphasizes appealing to someone’s “Why” if you want to really reach them.

Ready for more? Read the full post here.

The Psychology Behind a B2B Marketing Plan  – Kapost

You may feel you’ve put together a fabulous campaign, but you have to look at it from your buyer’s perspective. Pull a Freud—or Jung, if that’s more your speed—and get into the heads of your prospects. Show them what they want to address their pain points and interests.

Psychology shows time and time again that most of our decisions are based on emotions, even if we consider ourselves rational human beings. To impact a B2B buyer behavior, we have to appeal to that emotion.

There are so many opportunities in marketing to appeal to the emotional, human side of our buyers. There’s the brand voice, buyer personas, visuals, tone across channels, and more. Of course, you know to keep all these avenues in mind when you’re putting together your strategy. But are you really looking at each from a psych perspective? See how to address each of these areas here.

Can A Legendary Filmmaker Help You Create A Better Customer Experience? – Forbes

Bring some consistency and cohesion to customer experience—we all know this is a major factor in moving prospects down the funnel. Take a page out of Francis Ford Coppola’s book, and focus all of the minutiae of a sale according to one guiding principle: your brand.

Like a viewer’s experience of a film, a customer’s experience of a brand is the net result of hundreds – even thousands – of daily decisions made by your company. Imagine how much more cohesive your customer experience could be if every employee made every decision through a single lens: your brand promise distilled into a single word or phrase.

But your marketing strategy has to be more than simply presenting unified front; your brand has to resonate with your customers. Read more here.

Key Takeaways for B2B Buyer Engagement

Just because B2B organizations typically have longer sales cycles and more “logical” reasoning behind buying decisions doesn’t mean emotions are out of the picture. From brand awareness to competitive differentiation, appealing to your buyer’s human side can go a long way to engage potential B2B buyers.

Want to know how to keep the buyer’s attention once you’ve got it? Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest B2B marketing news.

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Anna Pusack

About Anna Pusack

Anna is the Editorial Research Associate for the content marketing team. She reviews content for readability and brand consistency, updating copy ranging from emails to eBooks. She is the go-to resource for taxonomy and naming conventions in our own content. And she occasionally writes for the Marketeer on how marketing and science can get along. She loves to read, practice yoga, hike the Colorado Rockies, and stargaze.