Why copywriting matters for B2B brands
We live in an age when compelling content has never been more critical to the development of great B2B brands.
The proliferation of digital platforms – especially social media – means brands can bypass the traditional media and address their target audiences direct.
Or can they?
Ironically, in a world where everyone has a voice, it’s tougher than ever to get heard. This is due to ‘content shock’. It’s a similar concept to information overload which is fast becoming a major obstacle to building a successful B2B brand.
So what can you do?
Most importantly, you can cut through the crap – which isn’t as difficult as it might seem. The massive growth in content generation means there’s an awful lot of noise out there, but relatively little quality. We’ve all seen me-too blog posts, statements of the obvious expanded into 5,000-word ‘white papers’, and bland waffle camouflaged as deep insight.
Avoid copywriting cliche and ‘shallow chat’
A gifted copywriter can produce clear and engaging content that will set your brand apart in this wilderness of cliché and shallow chatter. Without spending a fortune you can elevate your writing from bog standard to gold standard.
Strong copywriting should be the start of a conversation with your audience, and yet all too often content is loaded with pompous language, hackneyed phrases and convoluted sentences. Good writing conveys the message without getting itself noticed. It avoids clichés – like the plague. And sentences are short. This makes their meaning easy to grasp.
Accomplished copywriters know that an immediate emotional connection is the lynchpin of persuasive content. This means seeing your proposition from the customer’s point of view and demonstrating genuine empathy. The WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) principle is often a good way of achieving this.
Instant impact copywriting
When you think about the importance of making an instant impact, it’s worth heeding the old journalism saying that if the reader doesn’t get past the first paragraph, there’s no point writing the rest of your story.
Good copywriting builds on this early engagement by making readers feel part of the story. It shows how your brand can help them do their job better or solve their problems. It also entertains or informs them – or better still, both.
It’s equally important to use a copywriter who won’t follow so many others down the road of spongy, generic writing – the underlying cause of content shock. The marketplace might be getting more and more noisy, but the voice of authority will always be listened to.
Authoritative copywriting illustrates your brand’s depth of understanding, its special capabilities and distinctive assets. You should also ensure your content shows, not tells. Anyone can say they are passionate; but people will only be convinced if they can see your passion in action. Give colourful examples, display punchy customer quotes, and use case studies that open with a bang.
In this way you will place your brand in a virtuous circle: people will like what they read and share what they like. By continuing to create fresh and inspiring content you will lay the foundations for a fan-base that will drive your brand and raise your productivity.
One of our recently completed copywriting projects was the full writing of the new Alexander Knight & Co website. Our approach here, to fit in with our client’s philosophy of being the ‘accountant for entrepreneurs’ was to use a straightforward, approachable tone-of-voice which recognises the real-life issues that business owners face.
In researching the marketplace of accountants in Manchester it was clear that there was too much cliche being used relentlessly. We decided to avoid meaningless cliches and ditched the ‘bean counter’ image portrayed by most accountants. A nice selection of high-end images, professional bespoke photography and crisp words sprinkled across the page really made a difference.
There have been some fascinating studies about the use of cliche in B2B marketing, not least a wonderful project by global agency Stein IAS entitled 101 Cliche Killers. If you haven’t seen it, you really should take a good look. It’s guaranteed to help you approach your copywriting, tone-of-voice (and image selection!) in a unique way rather than following the herd.
Don’t hesitate to ask to see some samples of our recent work – we love to show it off!