B2B Content That Sells…Without Selling Your Soul
This is a guest post from Chelsea Reay, Head of Content at Fieldworks.
Copywriters have it tough. Tight deadlines, constantly being called on to produce creative ideas, continually having your painstakingly crafted words messed around with by people who think they can do your job…it’s a career you only choose if you have genuine conviction and a passion for words.
In many ways, B2B copywriters have it toughest of all. Not only does the business-to-business world demand all of the above, there’s also a heavy weight of accountability waiting at the end: your copy needs to deliver leads.
Of course, very few decision makers are going to read a blog post or a market report and pick up the phone, but content marketing is the heart of an effective lead nurturing strategy. It’s the opportunity to demonstrate expertise; to add value; and most importantly, to catch the attention of prospects well before they are ready to buy.
Toeing the line between creativity and commerce is an eternal challenge for B2B copywriters like myself. Your ultimate end goal is to help your clients sell more (this is also the case for many B2C campaigns, but the journey to purchase tends to be much steeper in B2B due to increasingly long and complex sales cycles, and the big ticket price of the product or service you’re promoting) and you want to say something fresh and innovative to influence those sales.
However, it’s very easy in B2B to get sucked into the idea of selling, and end up producing very beige content as a result. Marketing needs to work closely with sales for joined up lead engagement process, but you, the creative, cannot let salespeople dominate the conversation and convince the room that product promotion is all you need to convert more customers. You know all too well that if a prospect hasn’t heard of the ISCDSIOWNF2393493248093284 then listing its 10 most amazing features in the most jargony language possible isn’t going to convince them.
What B2B copywriters need to do, therefore, is take a step back and look at the why. Why would someone buy this product? How does it address the key challenges the prospect are experiencing? Find that pain point and write around it.
If you can weave a story that taps into the niggling worries that keep the CFO awake at night, or which make the CMO dread going into every board meeting, the end result will be far more powerful than simply blasting ‘buy me now’ messages to people who aren’t even thinking about investing in that part of their business at present.
You have the all-important role of building a relationship with each prospect. You must become the voice of authority they listen to; the trusted advice source they turn to; and the brand they recall first when they do reach that magical buying zone.
The pressure is mighty, but the results of standing your ground and creating a human story that ends with your product or service as the knight in shining armor will be worth it. Trust me.
For more content insights, join Chelsea for an exclusive BrightTALK webinar – From Boring to BOOM! How to Write B2B Content that Packs a Punch – on Wednesday, 17th August at 11am BST, part of the B2B Content Marketing Summit.