Does content marketing to businesses have to be dry and dull?
You might think so after seeing what many businesses write and publish. After all, so much of it is boring, long-winded, or a chore to read.
That doesn’t have to be the case.
You see, in business-to-business copywriting, you're targeting a business.
Let’s go over some of the most effective ways to improve your B2B copy. These high-converting B2B copywriting strategies will help you win over clients and get more conversions if you use them the right way.
B2B copywriting is usually industry-specific.
There are jargon words and vocabulary pitfalls you must avoid. Don't over-explain things to a niche audience, but don't try to sound like an industry insider. That is, unless you are one. Finding the right balance is crucial.
Focus on the readers, not yourself. Think about what your product or service can do for them.
Let's imagine you're a company that sells special storage units for banana harvesters. You could start by talking about your company's history — if you want them to fall asleep.
What does your audience want? A storage solution for bananas that keeps them from ripening too soon.
They may not even know they want it until you bring it up. Better storage means you can ship bananas farther and save on cost for less urgent orders. Sounds pretty convenient, doesn't it?
Be sure to use the correct style and tone for your audience. Try reading other copy written for the industry. You'd want to be more serious for, say, a funeral home than you would for a company that sells joy buzzers.
You need to get inside the head of your business customer. Create a buyer persona to identify their needs and wishes.
Ask yourself, where do they spend their time? What social media do they use? LinkedIn appeals to businesses, but don't forget about Facebook.
Business to Business marketing requires creating a long-term relationship with your business customers. You must nurture that relationship each step of the way.
How do you help their business grow? What specific benefits do you have to offer?
Learn how to do proper audience research to increase conversions here.
Before you start your campaign, you need to check out the competition. Competitive analysis helps you identify rivals and strategies and gauge the industry.
You must differentiate yourself from others in your field by offering something unique. Imagine you're a car company, and you need to find a way to stand out. There are a lot of cars out there — this could be difficult. Identify a need to develop a feature that fulfills that need.
Every car has cup holders, right? But sometimes, they aren't big enough to hold your big gulp. Or you need a spot for snacks, or you need space for more than two cups. Your cars might have larger cup holders that can hold more stuff.
Who is your competition? There are two types of competition — direct and indirect. Direct competition offers a product that'd provide an adequate substitution for your own. Indirect competition offers different products that could fulfill the same need. Focus on the direct competition when you're comparing yourself to other companies.
Say you're marketing a new banana protein powder for bodybuilders. A Google search shows that the top ingredients for protein powder are whey, eggs, and brown rice. Whey and eggs both have plenty of protein — but they aren't vegan. Many people who care about their health prefer to cut out animal products from their diet.
Let's say your direct competition is brown rice. What other plant proteins are there? Peas, hemp, flaxseeds, and a mixture of many others.
What price point does your competition address? Are they higher-end, or are they targeted towards a more accessible audience? Do they sell in bulk or single servings? If you're selling to another business, the answer will almost always be in bulk.
Do they sell their products in brick-and-mortar stores or through the Internet? How much do they charge for shipping? Amazon bought Whole Foods in an attempt to gain a more physical presence on the market. Due to many circumstances, in-person stores have been a liability, not a benefit. That's why they created Amazon Fresh instead.
When evaluating your competition, ask yourself:
SWOT analysis is a great way to pinpoint your company's position in the market. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Once you've evaluated your competition, you can see how your company measures up.
Start by dividing a page into four boxes, and label each category. You can do this alone or with a group of people brainstorming ideas. It makes a fun visual for a presentation.
They'd be searching for a bargain, not the highest quality. How does a business pivot its market position to accommodate this new customer base? Do these audiences even overlap?
There are many tried-and-true headline-making formulas out there. Everyone knows they need to grab the audience's attention and make them keep reading? But are you throwing out something outlandish that has nothing to do with your article? Or can you back it up with appropriate content?
Some common templates for headlines:
Here's an article to help you write powerful headlines.
When creating B2B content, consider what format will best reach your business audience.
They leave the site, look for celebrity gossip, and their browser "remembers" last page. Then, ads show up on the next page. This is particularly effective with Facebook, where users can't block targeted ads.
Learn more about creating a stronger B2B content marketing strategy here.
Believe it or not, many companies skip this step. They see their writing as a static, immovable entity. But thanks to the Internet, it's possible to get a lot of feedback in a short time if you know where to look.
Automated copy testing targets people who interact with your site and content. You can also take a more direct approach to gathering data. Surveys and usability tests work well for this purpose.
Be sure you're asking the right people when you do this. The demographics and psychographics of the audience you're trying to read. Being too generic will make it harder to pinpoint what needs to change.
Ask your respondents questions that'll help you improve your copy.
You can carry out A/B testing before launching or going live. Give one version to half of group A and the other half to group B. There is software to help you set it up. Take note of the difference in traffic, clicks, and conversions. Don't forget to check the bounce rate, too. Getting their attention doesn't mean a lot if you can't keep it long enough to say what you have to say.
The two versions you're testing would fall into one of three categories. The champion is the version you think will work best. The challenger is the one you want to test against it — in case you're wrong about the first one. The winning copy gets tested against a new variation until you've found the best balance.
A/B testing focuses on one variable to take the scientific approach to find out which ad works better. Other companies prefer Multivariate testing, which tests many versions with many variables.
Split testing involves comparing two different landing pages. Instead of having only one or two variables, the two test copies will be very different from each other.
Responsive Google ads combine your headlines and descriptions to test effective variations. You should test these ads in their specific context. It could be search results or a text ad on the top of their email page.
Landing pages promote a call to action. Instead of linking to your main site, create a page with less clutter and more focus on what you want readers to do. A landing page can encourage readers to sign up for an email list, order an item, or select an option.
The best part about all this feedback is that you can tweak your copy and make it reach more eyes and ears. It's like polishing a diamond. Do your best, little by little, to make it shine.
B2B copywriting may seem intimidating at first. You're writing to a more knowledgeable, experienced audience than your typical consumers. You may not know as much about their industry as they do, but the principles are the same. Research, know your audience, and test whenever necessary.
Competitive analysis matters because you need to find your angle and niche in the market. Also, knowing industry trends better prepares you for your sales campaign.
Attention-grabbing headlines are essential. Still, you should always follow up on your promise of valuable content. Don't bait and switch. Give readers the information they're looking for, and you'll gain their trust.
Soon enough, they'll be treating you like an old friend with the best advice, products, and services to suit their needs. Once you've sold them on the benefits, provide content to create loyal customers.
So go ahead, build your copy, look at it from different angles, and polish that diamond until it sparkles. The gem of a productive partnership awaits.
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