Ever read some B2B copy and wondered if this was written for a human, or for a machine?
I’ve got some surprising news for you – people who work in business are humans too!
Every single executive reading your copy has loves, hates, personal problems, dreams, fears, passions outside work. They eat, drink, sleep, poop, laugh and cry, no matter how many ‘CO’s’ they have after their name.
Remembering this as you write is the first step to getting results and clients, and leads perfectly into my first killer tip, which every Business to Business (B2B) copywriter should apply;
#1: Stress the Personal Benefits, before the Business Benefits
You want to grip the heart of your target executive. And that means speaking to him or her personally.
Explain how your product will save them time, make them look great to their bosses, make their job easier, help advance their career, get them home to their kids by 6 pm.
Now you’ve got their hearts, next give them a more logical reason to buy…
#2: Stress the Business Benefits that Matter
Get straight to the bottom line. Literally.
Always say very early on how your product will increase their revenue, and decrease their costs. How it will help increase that magic little number in the bottom right hand corner of the balance sheet.
Tell them how it will give them a competitive advantage, reduce their liabilities, improve their cash flow (this is a biggie), improve quality, productivity, customer retention. Talk about what matters to them. And to know this;
#3: Ask Yourself Three Magic Questions
- What is the specific goal of this copy?
- What exactly is in it for the reader?
- What do I want the reader to do when they have read it?
Ask these and write them out before pen hits paper. Make sure you are crystal clear on these three things. Visualise them sitting there, at their office desk, coffee by their hand, impatiently glancing down at your copy. What is it there that will grip them and make them pause to think?
And then make sure you…
#4: Get to the Point Quickly
Always respect the time of executives. Do no ramble. Say what it is, what it does, the benefits. And why it is the best option for them.
If this is not enough to grip their interest, then you have the wrong product, or you are trying to solve a problem that they don’t see as a problem. In this case, adapt what you’re offering. Rambling won’t fix it. And while we’re talking about respecting your reader’s time…
#5: Use Human Language, Short, Clear, Punchy
The passive voice is a cowardly voice. Long, complicated, trying-to-sound-intelligent words and sentences are for insecure people. If you want to sound intelligent and confident, talk about something amazing, in simple, easy-to-flow-through language.
Because effective writing flows, it’s like someone is talking to you. Listen to executives talk to each other, they are extremely efficient in their language. Be the same.
Short sentences. Strong everyday words. That will get your reader to the last page, believe me. And always…
#6: Speak Their Language, Use Their Jargon
When I say use everyday words, I mean use everyday words for your reader. Not for everyone.
You have to know the buzzwords and expressions that your target reader hears and uses in the office all day long. It’s a powerful trick to get them nodding as they read.
For example, perhaps people in their industry are always saying ‘going forward’ or ‘low-hanging fruit’, (see a hilarious list of these expressions here). I cringe as I give this advice because I personally hate these clichéd expressions, but sprinkling in a few of them into your copy works!
And of course, use the correct technical jargon your reader uses. If they are in engineering, for example, you have to use the right engineering phrases or they’ll lose respect for you. A good tip for B2B copywriters is to read the trade magazines. And finally…
#7: Always Be Better, and Prove It
Tell them the exact benefits you give them. The exact problem you solve.
Tell them exactly why you are far better than the next best option or solution. Why your competition is not as good.
Give specific, concrete, rock-solid evidence and examples proving why your claims are true.
This should be tip number one really, it’s so important!
If you can’t do this – offer specific evidence for your USP – then you might want to rethink your entire business plan. I’m afraid the very finest B2B copy is simply expressing a very fine business. You can’t put lipstick on a pig!
If you want a strong B2B copywriter to super-charge your marketing, get in touch!
We’d love to help.
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