Writing for B2B audiences is a tricky gig. Getting people to like it? Even trickier. The shift from brand to customer-centric content went largely unnoticed by many content creators who still rely on the same old tactics. Writing a catchy title, organizing the content in a way that makes it easy to read, being clear about the value proposition: those are all essential, but they’re not enough to make it appealing and build trust.
No bullet point or emphasis on a product benefit will make an impact unless you put yourself in the shoes of your audience. I’ll try to demystify the main characteristics of both bad and good B2B posts so hopefully, you can write a winning one each and every time.
Let’s start with the bad stuff. What you are (likely) doing wrong
When dealing with new clients, I find there are usual suspects responsible for their previous content falling short of their expectations.
1. It’s more of the same.
The current climate in the world of B2B blogging can only be described as an echo chamber. There is a large number of regurgitated and repackaged blog posts floating around the web that bring little to no value to business-specific audiences. In fact, generic content can significantly hurt your brand as it implies you have nothing new to add to the conversation. 2. It’s boring.
Because B2B content is generally considered high-level and technical by default, the writing often tends to be dry, too formal, devoid of any personality, and in some cases even patronizing – all the ingredients for a bad first impression from which there is no recovery.
3. It’s not attuned to the audience’s needs.
There is a wide array of issues here but mostly it’s about content being too complex and/or overly promotional. Flexing your tech expertise and your solution’s brilliance is not appropriate each time. Readers expect to learn something new, solve a problem they’re facing, perhaps even brighten up their day – not read about things they already know or don’t pertain to their challenges.
Onto the good 🙂 How to spice up your content and make it engaging
Creating original content is essential.
This should be common sense but for some reason, it isn’t. What characterizes B2B readers is their ongoing search for solutions to their problems. The first step in creating unique and engaging content is ensuring there is a foundation on which you can build up. Meaning, every piece of your content needs to have sufficient quality insights and be focused on fresh new perspectives, and that means validating your ideas (aka covering the topics your customers are interested in ).
Not all topics hold equal value. You could write a perfect article but still fail to make an impact if you don’t supply your audience with information they care about. Use tools such as Google Trends, AnswerThePublic, MarketMuse, and BuzzSumo to search for popular topics and searches across all categories. Ask your target audience – reach out directly to your current customers, […]