10 Essential B2B Copywriting Tips

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Who should read this: Aspiring B2B copywriters and people who hire B2B copywriters.
What you will learn: How to write like a pro; what to look for in a pro.

It’s not easy for inexperienced copywriters to write for B2B. Unless the writer has experience in some B2B sector, chances are the only business language they know is the language of B2C. Here are a few tips to help you make the transition from B2C to B2B copywriting.

  1. Learn the business model. What does the client do? What is their value proposition? What do their customers look like? How do they differentiate themselves? Why do people buy from them? Why do people stop buying from them? Why do people never buy from them? Understanding these things provides an indispensible framework for making your copy consistent, persuasive and on-point.
  2. Learn the language of the business. Every B2B has its own jargon and its own conventions. You may not want to use jargon in the copy, but you need to know what it means. As for conventions, little things like knowing whether the client calls them “clients” or “customers” builds your credibility with anyone reviewing your work.
  3. Write for specific audience segments. B2Bs often speak to multiple audiences: executives, managers, techies, engineers, rank and file employees, etc. Copywriters must employ different vocabularies, levels of detail and value propositions for each audience. Nobody said it was going to be easy!
  4. Be clear about which audience segment you’re writing for. For any given piece of content, the client should tell you who the primary audience segment is. If they haven’t thought that through – you can help them do it, which will make the copy more effective and add value to your services. It’s a win-win.
  5. Avoid trite phrases. Saying stuff like “win-win” is a lose-lose for B2B copy. Don’t think outside the box or revolutionize the industry.
  6. Put some life in it. Most B2B copy suffers from terminal dullness. But B2B readers are people, too. They have feelings, and those feelings play into their buying decisions. A sprinkle of humor, a dash of emotion and a dollop of style will draw readers in and motivate them to take action.
  7. Use specifics. Vague claims don’t go over so well in B2B. It’s better to say “28% average cost reduction” than “tremendous savings!”
  8. Avoid hyperbole. And speaking of “tremendous,” that is the type of phrasing that turns off B2B readers. It’s facts, as mentioned above, that tend to persuade B2B buyers. Remember: whoever buys a B2B product or service must explain or defend their decision. Arm your audience with a solid argument!
  9. Bottom-line it. Don’t force readers to sift through a ton of content to find the key points. Most of these people are in a hurry and all they want to know is what’s in it for them. If they become curious, then they will dig in and read the whole story. Lead with your key points, and state them plainly and simply.
  10. Find other clients in the same niche. Trying to learn a new B2B sector every week is possible for quick studies, but an easier and potentially more lucrative option would be to specialize in a handful of niches. Copywriters who are expert in a particular niche are hard to find, and command high rates.

Over to You

What tips can you share about writing for B2B?

About Brad Shorr

Brad Shorr has more than 25 years of B2B experience in the packaging industry. He is a writer, blogger and content marketing specialist who has been active in social media since 2005. Connect with Brad on Twitter: @bradshorr.

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One Comment to “10 Essential B2B Copywriting Tips”

  1. Great tips, especially tip#6. All too often I see highly polished graphical ads with stuffy, jargon-ridden copy that puts readers to sleep more than it compels them to take action. ! I’ll try to keep tip#5 in mind as I write. ;)