- Content Production
How To Make Your B2B Copy As Irresistible As B2C
We know what you’re thinking. B2C copywriting is the suave, conversational genius making everyone laugh and pay for drinks. B2B, meanwhile, is the other guy hunched in the corner, giving great advice but covered in a thin layer of dust.
Well, not quite. Both styles can learn a lot from each other. B2B, in particular, can stand to leave its stiff, dry image behind for something more memorable. Just because you’re marketing to customers at work, doesn’t mean the copy should feel like work. Surprise, flair and emotion can support everything your business is trying to sell.
Learn how B2B copywriters can take the lead from the B2C industry to create content that really engages:
Leave the passive voice behind (usually)
“Every time I see a split infinitive, an inconsistent tense structure or the unnecessary use of the passive voice,” Judge Sonia Sotomayor once said, “I blister.” She used the passive voice there, but it was necessary. In the simplest terms, passive language forces a subject (noun) to be acted on (verb) e.g. ‘the bark of the dog’, ‘a click of the mouse’. Cleaner language makes the subject perform the action e.g. ‘the dog barked’, ‘a mouse click’.
Try and remove an ‘of, that, were or was’ in your sentences. Rearrange them so your subjects are driving the action. It’s a hallmark of good B2C writing because it’s easier to read and feels more confident.
That being said, you can use the passive voice to emphasise the end of a clause, such as: “Our full-service agency is fast, creative, and shapes the reality of your deepest dreams for a brand.”
Warm up your tone of voice
Imagine talking to someone you’ve just met. How would you pitch the business? What do you think matters to them? Crucially, how can you paint a picture using small phrases or descriptions that we rarely see in your sector?
Going for the absolute bare minimum of personality in B2B writing will get you nowhere. Even fintech, accounting and insurance companies can use simpler, sensory language to earn trust and make people pay attention.
Remember these tips for warming up your content:
- Mix up your writing with shorter sentences. Like this.
- Use active phrases that begin with a verb for emotional urgency.
- Ask questions. They’re great for subheaders, intros and paragraph breaks.
- Try slipping in some light humour that matches your overall brand tone of voice without getting too niche or negative.
Experiment with social media
It’s easy to become mired in the same old formulas, formats and hashtags. But engaging social campaigns shake things up by using new ways to connect with an audience.
58% of Instagram users, according to Hootsuite, claim they’re more interested in a brand when they see it on IG Stories. So even if you have a healthy library of videos and photos, try to share several shorter posts a day with this feature, pinning favourites into groups that can be accessed on your main feed.
Meanwhile, competitions are great for engagement. Running free entry for a prize will give you a lot of mileage with updates, reminders, and interviewing the winner about how they’ll use your service or product. B2C brands are very familiar with free contests. You should be too. Push a link to a landing page for lead capture, or create a special hashtag for users to spread if they want to take part.
Earn and share social proof
Lastly, it’s wise to get personal with your current customers and ask them for a testimonial.
You can always use reviews from Trustpilot, Capterra and the rest, of course. Yet a tidy quote from a person or business you’ve helped, with an accompanying photo, does wonders for your impression of real relationships.
Follow these suggestions for gathering and using social proof :
- Review one or two successes with new clients every month. Adjust your account management strategy, so you’re contacting those clients when you’ve had a glowing review.
- Place three to five commendations on your homepage, towards the bottom. They’re one of the first things a new prospect will see. Add a statistic if you can – a benefit or KPI the client loved.
- Call the client personally and ask them a few questions. You can draw more interesting material out of what they say, and write down an answer that doesn’t come across like a serious paragraph over email.
Now you can clearly see B2C and B2B aren’t that different at all! They can often share the same room in someone’s head, in terms of what marks you out as a genuine, useful investment of time and money. Take inspiration from B2C copy that is warm, get creative with social media and stick to the active voice to make your B2B content pop.
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