Business to business copywriting should be a clever mix of creative writing and a business savvy tone of voice. The key rule for any kind of copywriting, after all, is to pen your messages in a way which your target customers understand and prefer. For B2B copywriting, your target audience consists of managers, heads of departments, buyers and decision makers. These people are not going to be impressed by spectacular turns of phrase and by the excessive appeal to emotions used in B2C copywriting.
What is more, these people absolutely dislike the use of certain words and phrases which are either useless fillers, or have become clichés. Professionals expect professionalism from everything, especially from advertising and marketing messages which should persuade them to buy a product or service for their business.
Today we will take a look at those words and phrases which absolutely should not appear in your B2B copywriting if you want to close the deal. In no specific order, these are:
Speaking in the first person (either singular or plural) implies that whatever you are writing about concerns your company. So, why should your prospects read the copy? They are quite busy working for the company where they are employed, why should they care about yours?
The whole purpose of a promotional text is to focus on the customer. “You” is the correct pronoun you should use. For example, see the difference between: “We have the right solution for your IT security issues” and “Your company can now benefit from the latest IT security solution”. It is all about who the text is directed at.
- You Know
Using the phrase “you know” will turn off your B2B prospect faster than switching off the light. When your sentence starts with “As you know from your daily work…” you have lost your readers. Their time is very precious, so they want to spend it learning something new, and discovering new solutions and ideas for improving their work, not reading what they already know.
It’s all about the ROI, even when you are selling instant coffee machines or office cleaning services. Everyone is keeping their eyes on the ROI, so that should attract their attention. But any business savvy person can tell you that certain things have no impact on the return on investment of the company, or not a significant enough impact to include it as a key benefit of your products and services.
Also, any claim concerning monetary outcomes should be substantiated, otherwise you may be accused of false advertising.
- Competitive Advantage
This is a business economics term with a very precise meaning. However, the meaning it gets in promotional materials has absolutely no connection with the actual one. The misuse of a business-specific term will not only puzzle the readers – it will make them label you as unprofessional.
You are treading on dangerous waters when you are using specialised business, financial and economic terms. Your prospects know exactly what these terms mean and will immediately spot your misuse.
Everything seems to be strategic these days, even the decision to buy a certain brand of printing paper. Let us be honest, many things create benefits for a business, but not at all a strategic one. If your product or service is so new and innovative that it has no similar competition, then it does provide a strategic benefit. Otherwise, it is a great product, but one which should be advertised for its actual benefits, not the bombastic strategic ones.
Writing copy for business people is difficult, indeed. You need to be careful about the words you use, the tone of voice and, last but not least, how much time your prospects are willing to dedicate to reading your promotional materials.