I’m willing to bet that there probably aren’t that many creatives out there who, as young adults picturing their career paths, dreamed of getting into B2B content writing. The majority of AAA, Vega or Red & Yellow graduates probably imagined life in a quirky-cool agency with bold colour schemes and hip colleagues, working on ad campaigns for Nike, famous drinks brands or fashion labels.
A few years later they’d move on to be a creative director in an even bigger and better agency and make marketing history by implementing some game-changing campaign, for which they’d win all kinds of awards.
Sadly, there are more people working in marketing than there are career paths paved with awards and big consumer brand clients. But here’s one of the marketing industry’s best kept secrets: B2B marketing can be just as enticing as B2C marketing.
Don’t believe me? Here’s how to make your B2B content just as jazzy as B2C content:
B2B content writing is not for the faint of heart or skill.
The world of B2B marketing is an underrated sector for anyone wanting a chance to be challenged personally and professionally, while being just as creative and stimulated as those working in B2C marketing — B2B marketing’s supposedly prettier, younger sister. I never thought I’d end up at a B2B marketing agency and enjoy it. The content writing I’d done before was mainly about travel, theatre, books and wine: The kind of stuff that’s easy to sell and easy to write about. Content writing for B2B requires you, as a writer, to really up your game. You have to be more creative and inventive in B2B because, typically, the products or services are less attractive than B2C products such as clothes, food and booze. B2B products are bought to satisfy the needs of a business (with the eventual goal of increasing revenue), not for emotional or personal gratification.
You might not be marketing to consumers, but you’re still marketing to human beings.
B2B products might be different to their B2C counterparts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t market them like B2C products. And by that I mean, you can be quirky (while sticking within the parameters of your brand, of course), creative and speak to your audience like you would a good friend. Remember, you’re still targeting individual human beings (the people who decide whether a business buys your product or not), not robots. Forget everything you think B2B marketing is — trade publications, detailed product guides and newsletters filled with management jargon — and get ready to create a new type of B2B content.
Your content should delight, inform and entertain your audience, and ensure they keep returning.
Your B2B content must make your audience want to keep coming back to your website. You can entice them with valuable information, entertainment, or, ideally, a mixture of both. When planning your content calendar, try and weave in content around topical events, local or global news your target audience would be interested it, industry in-jokes, and information and tips (not necessarily related to your product) useful to your personas. For example, you might write a blog about stress management to target high-level managers. Remember, content writing is not the same as press release writing: The vast majority of your content should not simply be an exposé on your products and business.
Content creation isn’t just about writing, but about mixing it up with all kinds of multimedia.
Once you’ve got a solid content calendar in place, you can work on jazzing up the format of your content. Instead of sticking to blog articles divided up by subheads, play around with layout or formatting to catch the attention of your readers. You can also experiment with video, podcasts, SlideShares and even GIFs. The more ‘shareable’ your content is, the better. Focus on your audience and not your product or brand — it really is all about them, not you. Once you’ve got their attention, you can work on making sure they keep coming back to you with tailor-made content aimed at achieving this. And even after they’ve bought into your brand so much they’ve converted from visitor into customer, you should keep delighting them with more valuable content.
Effective inbound marketing is a skill that takes time to hone and perfect. Executing an exceptional content strategy is a full-time job, and then some. Outsourcing B2B content writing to a specialist agency could be the smartest way to grow your own agency. For more information on creative process outsourcing, download our guide: Effectively Scale your Digital Agency - Outsourcing and Offshoring Your Digital Marketing.