When it comes to business-to-business (B2B) marketing, it’s all about targeting key decision-makers of other businesses. Considering their varying agendas and goals, you will need to refine your content to suit what they need to answer or solve.
Westebbe Marketing’s data on copywriting and content revealed that odd-numbered listicles beat even-numbered ones by 20%. But before you start on the first top-five tips you can think of, don’t go in blind. B2B writing involves the right combination of journalism, content marketing, and brand storytelling elements to be effective.
Poor execution can make potential clients think twice about doing business with you. If you want to learn how to approach B2B content writing correctly, continue reading for our list of do’s and don’ts.
The Dos of B2B Writing
When writing for a B2B audience, there are certain things you should do to create content that is both effective and engaging. Keep the following reminders in mind the next time you sit down to write a piece for your website.
1) Include SEO keywords throughout your content
SEO keywords are important for two reasons. First, they help your audience find your content more easily on search engines. Second, they let Google know what topics your website covers, which can help improve your ranking on SERPs.
However, don’t stuff your keywords in unnaturally because it will turn off your readers and get you penalized by Google. Use them sparingly or only when they make sense.
Here are some tips for including SEO keywords in your content:
- Do your research: Use a keyword research tool to find the right keywords for your audience and topic.
- Use keyword variations. In addition to using your main keyword, include a few related keywords throughout your content to help Google understand what your piece is about.
- Place keywords strategically. Use keywords in your title, in the first sentence of your introduction, and throughout the body of your text.
- Balance your keyword density: Don’t stuff your keywords in! One thing that works well is keeping your keyword density around 0.75%.
2) Use strong headlines
Note that your headline is the most critical part of your piece. It will determine whether or not someone clicks through to read your article.
Make use of powerful words that will grab the reader’s attention. Ensure that they are clear and concise. Write headlines that are clear and interesting, and use strong verbs.
Here are some reminders when writing effective headlines:
- Keep it short and sweet. Aim for around six to eight words.
- Use numbers and lists. Headlines with numbers tend to perform well, as do headlines in list format.
- Be clear. Make your headline clear and easy to understand. Avoid being clever or cute—it won’t help your readers understand what your article is about.
- Write multiple headlines. Try out a few different headlines for your piece and choose the one that gets the most clicks.
3) Write to inform, not to sell
Remember that you’re not writing a sales pitch when writing for a B audience. Your goal should be to inform and educate your readers.
Your content should be helpful, informative, and provide value to the reader. It should answer their questions and help them solve their problems.
If you focus on providing value, your readers will be more likely to trust you and do business with you in the future.
4) Use calls to action
A call to action (CTA) is a statement that tells the reader what you want them to do next. It could be something like “download our free e-book” or “sign up for our newsletter.”
Including a CTA in your writing helps guide the reader towards taking the next step, whether buying your product or service or simply learning more about what you have to offer.
5) Use images and videos
Images and videos are a great way to break up your text and make your content more visually appealing. They can also help explain complex concepts more clearly.
When selecting images, choose ones that are high-quality and relevant to your topic. Include alternate text (ALT text) for each image if it doesn’t load properly.
As for videos, make sure they are hosted on a platform like YouTube or Vimeo so that people can view them even if they’re not on your website.
The Don’ts of B2B Writing
Just as there are certain things you should do when writing for a B audience, there are also certain things you should avoid. These common mistakes can make your content ineffective and even turn off potential customers.
When writing for a business audience, avoid these pitfalls:
1) Don’t use too much jargon
Jargon is excellent for helping you connect with your target audience deeper. But too much of it will make your writing sound gibberish to those outside your industry. Use it sparingly, and be sure to explain any terms that might not be familiar to your reader.
When in doubt, use simpler terms. Your writing will be more understandable and thus more effective.
2) Don’t write long, rambling sentences
B audiences are busy. They don’t have time to scan through long, complicated sentences to find the point of your article. Keep your sentences short and sweet, and get to the point quickly.
Use active voice whenever possible, and break up longer paragraphs with shorter ones. It will make your writing more concise and easier to read.
3) Don’t use too many exclamation points
Exclamation points are like seasoning in cooking—a little can enhance the flavor, but too much will ruin the dish. The same is true of exclamation points in writing!
Use them sparingly, or not at all, to avoid sounding unprofessional or desperate.
4) Don’t forget to proofread.
Proofreading is imperative when writing for a business audience. After all, you want to project a professional image.
Before hitting publish, read over your piece for typos or grammatical errors. A few simple mistakes can make you look careless and unprofessional.
Take the time to proofread your work, or better yet, hire a professional editor to help you ensure your writing is polished and error-free.
5) Don’t limit the scope of your content
When writing for a business audience, it’s tempting to focus narrowly on your product or service. But if you do that, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Your readers want valuable information that will help them solve their problems. Don’t be afraid to diversify and write about topics related to your industry, but don’t directly promote your product.
For instance, if you’re selling software, you could write about trends in the industry, tips for using your software more effectively, or even how to choose the right software for a specific need.
Writing for a business audience doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep your writing clear, concise, and helpful, and avoid too much jargon, sales-speak, or exclamation points. With a bit of practice, you can connect with your readers and promote your product or service effectively.
If you will need help in doing B2B writing, reach out to us – at calendly.com/instantlyrelevant and we will help you by using the power of AI, experts, and proven strategy.