Business-to-business (B2B) copywriting refers to the development of copy material for companies selling goods and services to other businesses (for example, product wholesalers and companies supplying manufacturing materials to other businesses). This differs from business-to-consumer (B2C) copywriting for companies selling goods and services directly to end-user customers. B2B and B2C copywriting require different strategies.
Here’s how to maximise engagement for B2B clients.
What Are Examples of B2B Copywriting?
Firstly, let’s look at a few types of well-known B2B material.
- Whitepapers – These are in-depth reports that explore a particular topic related to the product or service being promoted. They are typically used to educate potential customers and establish the business as a thought leader in their industry.
- Case studies – A detailed account of how a business’s product or service has helped a previous customer is called a case study. These are often used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the product or service and to build trust with potential customers. Case studies require excellent interview and research skills and can be presented on a company website, via email marketing, on social media, or in an advertorial in a trade magazine.
- Email marketing – This involves sending promotional emails to a targeted list of potential customers. Email marketing can nurture leads, promote new products or services, and engage existing customers.
- Webinars – These are online seminars, usually promoted via social media, that provide valuable information to potential customers. They are often used to introduce new products or services, answer customer questions, and build relationships with potential customers.
- Landing pages – These are standalone web pages that are designed to convert visitors into customers by including a strong call to action, optimised for conversions. Landing pages can promote specific products or services, present case studies or white papers, and/or drive traffic to other parts of the website.
How do you optimise writing for your B2B clients?
Aim for a ‘you-centred’ approach
Your client (the B2B company) is interested in how you can help them achieve their goals: reaching more clients and making more sales. The end goal of the written piece will be the B2B business informing their client how they can help them. Consider: what concerns the B2B client? How can the company help them?
For example: Your client is a transport company that offers refrigerated transport. Their potential clients are food producers with perishable goods concerned about the cold supply chain. The content must show how your client can guarantee an uninterrupted cold supply from pick-up to drop-off. The client has a potential problem; the B2B business offers a sure solution.
When writing your copy, use pronouns such as ‘you’, ‘your’ and ‘yours’ to make it more personable.
Build trust and generate confidence in the product
The most effective B2B content highlights the company as an industry leader and expert. Companies are more likely to use your client if they can rely on them to deliver products and services of a consistently high standard, as they, in turn, need to confidently provide a quality product or service to the end user.
The content written for a B2B client, therefore, needs to instil a sense of reputability. The content should emphasise the products or services as a leading brand by sharing expertise and insightful content, not just information. Case studies, reviews, and hard facts showing end results form a big part of B2B writing – as opposed to appealing to a buyer’s emotions with B2C writing.
A B2B customer is making a decision on behalf of a company (whereas a B2C customer is making a decision for themselves). Hence, they’ll need more convincing as they will have to convey facts to key decision-makers in the business.
Understand the voice of the company
If it’s the first time you’re writing for your B2B client, you’ll need a meeting to fully understand their clientele, objectives, goals, visions and targets. Although the brand’s voice will be consistent, the tone will vary depending on the platform. For example, the tone is generally more formal for press releases and LinkedIn articles than on social media channels.
Get to the point
Create clear, concise copy in the active voice. Your clients are businesses targeting other businesses. Their clients are not interested in the entertainment factor; they’re looking for a product or service that can solve their problems and assist their business goals.
Become an industry expert
If you regularly write copy for B2B clients in a specific industry, you’re more likely to understand that industry and who its clients are. You’ll still need to tailor the content to the company’s voice and tone, which may differ between B2B companies within an industry.
Keep up to date with what’s new and evolving in the industry – no doubt your B2B client will want to be a forerunner in any new trends, and you’ll need to convey that information in their copy and content. Excellent research skills are key.