B2B writing is an essential skill for any marketer that sells B2B products or services. Unlike B2C writing, B2B writing can be somewhat tricky to master. Nevertheless, there are ways to make your B2B content outshine the competition. Inspired by this recent article from Semrush, here are seven best practices you can follow to achieve success in B2B writing.
1. Write for Your Target Audience
First and foremost, you need to write for your target audience. B2B customers are not the same as B2C customers, yet marketers tend to forget the differences between them.
Rather than writing directly to consumers, you will likely be writing for a specific company or a group of companies selling to other businesses. The readers of your content could be quite different from typical B2C audiences in job title and/or interest in the product or service. Moreover, the people making the decision to make the purchase might not even be the ones who will be using the said product or service.
Before you begin writing, you need to make sure that you’ve identified your target B2B audience. If you have the opportunity to personalize the article, make sure to do so. For example, if you are writing emails to potential B2B clients, you can customize these emails for each recipient separately.
2. Structure and Format Content Correctly
Another technique you should adopt is outlining. This includes both structuring your content in a logical way and formatting it for easier consumption. These planning and organizational best practices will allow you to deliver valuable and useful content in an equally comprehensive way.
To deliver information in a well-structured manner, you can make an outline for your content that follows a chronological or another type of order. To format your content properly, look at the common ways of formatting for different types of content (e.g. emails, blogs, or other types of articles).
If you don’t have any experience outlining, you can hire a professional writer to help you. As you get more practice, you will gradually develop better structuring and formatting skills.
3. Research the Subject Matter Thoroughly
You need to research the subject matter thoroughly before you start writing your content. In B2C writing, it is important to know what you are writing about. But in B2B writing, this is even more critical both in the short term and in the long run.
You want to build trust and loyalty while also establishing yourself as an expert and creating an image of authority. As a professional in your industry, you likely already know a lot about your chosen subject matter. But, if you lack sufficient knowledge of the topic, it will reflect in your writing and will be very obvious to your readers.
If you do enough research and understand what you are writing about, it will be easier for you to make your content more detailed. You can cover the topic from an original perspective, give your own opinion on it, and include exclusive data from your research.
4. Optimize Content for Search Engines
SEO or search engine optimization is crucial for the success of your B2B content when you are publishing it online. Of course, a lot of the B2B content may be delivered directly to the audience (e.g., by email, social media, etc.). Whereas your B2B content that is posted on your website will need to be discovered by potential buyers online.
Just like B2C content, B2B content needs to be optimized by using keywords, internal and external linking, formatting with subheadings, and other SEO best practices. In other words, you need to ensure that your content can be discovered by your potential buyers who could be looking for the products or services you are selling.
5. Visualize Data for Dynamic Delivery
Data can be incredibly useful for persuading your audience to do something (e.g., purchase your products or services, subscribe to your mailing list, etc.) But data can also be very boring, especially if there is a lot of it and it is confusing. This is why you need to visualize your data for dynamic delivery.
Data visualization can take on different forms, including graphs, pie charts, histograms, infographics, timelines, tables, and more. Choose the appropriate type of data visualization that best matches the data you want to use in your content. Data visualization can also be a way for you to include visual content with your text and make it even more interesting to your audience.
6. Proofread and Edit Content Carefully
While optimizing your content is definitely one of the most important steps in the process of content creation, this stage is equally critical. Proofreading and editing content carefully will help you finalize your articles before you actually publish them. You need to make sure that there are no factual errors or linguistic mistakes in your content.
If you know that you can’t proofread and edit your content well, it’s best to hire an experienced editor. They can make sure that every piece of B2B content you create doesn’t have any spelling, punctuation, or grammar mistakes. Moreover, they can also check that all your claims are correct and that you didn’t make any mistakes related to the subject material.
7. Test and Improve Content Over Time
Last but not least, always make sure to test and improve your content over time. There are different ways you can continue improving your content and your B2B writing skills:
- Test your content before you publish it or distribute it to your audience via a specific channel or platform. You can use a focus group for this.
- Analyze the performance metrics of your content. Based on these insights, make the necessary adjustments to the content you create in the future (e.g., make it shorter, add more data visualization, etc.)
- Ask your audience for feedback. If you have a mailing list that includes customers who are regularly receiving emails from you, you can send them a survey. This way, you can collect their honest opinions about your content and get suggestions for new content you create.
- Learn from your competitors by checking what they do with their content. You can get new ideas and find effective content-writing techniques just by checking what they publish.
Apply These Best Practices to Your B2B Writing
B2B writing requires marketers to take into account the nuances of their target audiences to sell the products or services successfully. Use the tips in this article to help you improve your B2B writing skills and make your B2B content more effective.