Writing for the B2B world is not easy. You have to sound professional, persuasive, authoritative and entertaining. Most B2B ad copy forgets about the last item and is simply bland and boring. The cringe-worthy corporate lingo they employ is perfectly politically correct and professional – but it does not promote any sales. At best, it says that you’ve been around the corporate world and snooped on boardroom meetings.
When you prepare to promote your products and services – knowing that your customers are companies, not individuals – you must remember this core aspect: the decision makers in any company are people, too. Yes, they expect professionalism. No, they don’t like you to waste their time. But when they read an article or a presentation, they want to feel approached and engaged at a human level, too.
So, today we will discuss the most important tips you should know if you want your ads for B2B products and services to hit the mark and bring in sales:
- Arrange Your Copy in a Visually Appealing Manner
Managers and CEOs are very busy people. When they see a newsletter or click on a link, they will first scan the contents. They want to see how long the text is and whether it touches on issues they are interested in.
This means that your text must be easily scannable. Break your text into paragraphs and bullet point lists, and include keywords in subtitles and in the first paragraph of your text so that a simple glance over it will let anyone guess what you are writing about.
- Sell Your Key Benefit in the Headline
When faced with an ad, or advertorial, a manager will decide whether it is worth reading by asking themselves: “what’s in it for me and the company?” One way to answer them and hook them in as readers is to promote the key benefit of your product in the headline.
Many B2B copywriters forget the basic rule that people buy benefits, not products or their characteristics. Purchase managers are no different: they do not want a unique, innovative and industry-standard HR management system, they want a solution for managing payroll, handling inquiries and requests from employees, and for managing the recruiting process. They want this solution to work seamlessly, to be easy to learn by the existing staff, to benefit from technical support in case of glitches and to be scalable for the needs of their company. This is what the customer actually purchases, not a downloadable software suite with X characteristics and features.
- Do Not Be Afraid of Writing Long Copy
While everyone agrees that the standard blog post or newsletter piece should be around 500-600 words long, you should not take this as a general rule which you cannot break. When you approach a topic where you can and should demonstrate your expertise with in-depth descriptions and details, do not be afraid to write 1,000 or even 1,500-word-long articles. The most important issues to consider is to keep the writer constantly engaged and to break your text into paragraphs and insert visuals (photos, bar charts, etc.) to make the text easily scannable.
- Keep Professional Jargon to a Minimum
Even though they know all those fancy terms, CEOs and managers want to take a break from them every once in a while. Such as, when they are reading your blog article. They want to gain insight, they want to find valid points in your arguments, but in a reader-friendly manner. Your strong points are the way you manage to build a connection with your readers and win their trust, not the extensive knowledge of professional jargon.
- Write for Specific Audiences
The B2B world has various audience groups. They are all professionals, but each of them has their separate interests, needs and attention spans. Some professionals are technical people (IT departments), others like to see a large scale image of your topic (CEOs), while others are interested in fine details (purchase and logistics managers).
You should adapt your writing style to each of these audiences and remember to address them from the introduction of your article, making it known for whom you are writing.
Finally, do not forget the number one rule of copywriting: no piece of content should be published without a call to action!