Every B2B company needs a big-picture marketing strategy.
The B2B sales funnel is longer when compared to B2C, has more (figarative) twists and turns, meaning more chances for customers to enter, but also more chances for them to leave. There’s also often more than one decision maker that you have to convince, meaning it’s even harder to land on a purchase.
Being able to capture these customers effectively and keep them securely within your sales funnel is what B2B marketing is all about.
Each part of marketing targets customers differently, so no solution can work entirely on its own to fully capture all of your potential customers.
- Display ads are cool and they help with awareness and brand engagement, but using ads on their own won’t help you build a complete brand. Also, they can be costly.
- Pay Per Click ads can help you show up in search results and increase traffic to your website, but only while you’re pumping money into them.
- Social media helps you build a community around your brand, but that community needs content to keep them engaged.
- Word of mouth may be a great way to gain new business, but it’s not a quick process — word of mouth leads won’t fill your inbox or ring your phones off the hook.
But if you put these all together, it’ll work nicely as a marketing strategy, right?
Nope, there’s still a missing piece of this puzzle. Can you guess what it is?
Written content! As in, articles and website copy. But not just any written content, it has to be high-quality and resonate with your audience. There’s also a huge opportunity to capitalize on evergreen content (that means content that’s always relevant — whether it was written today or 5 years ago) with a B2B audience, as typical questions, concerns, and solutions aren’t likely to change over time.
Without written content, every one of your other marketing strategies falls flat. This is because your audience has questions, wants information, and needs to be educated, and if you don’t do any of those things, they’re going to look elsewhere.
But B2B writing isn’t easy. Professional writers have to understand the ins and outs of B2B copywriting, whether it's for blogs or website copy, to be successful.
This article outlines what you should be looking for in a B2B writer.
What is B2B Writing
B2B stands for business to business, while B2C stands for business to consumer. These terms reflect the different audiences that companies target for product and service sales. A B2B copywriter or blog writer knows how to write content that resonates with a business audience, from the lens of a business selling a product or service to another business.
Type of writer
What they do
Crafts sales-focused website copy that encourages customers to convert (e.g. filling out a lead gen form, reaching out to a salesperson via phone or chat)
B2B blog writer or content writer
crafts educational articles that are meant to answer their audience’s burning questions, and provide more information and solutions regarding a common industry problem (through how-to guides, tutorials, etc.)
In a lot of cases, a copywriter can also write blog articles and a blog writer can also write website copy, which is why it’s common for the terms “copywriter” and “blog writer” to be used interchangeably. However, it’s important to realize that website copywriting and blogging are two different forms of writing; copywriting is writing conversion-focused content, while blog writing is writing content that educates or provides information to your audience.
What Makes B2B Copywriting Unique
You might think that writing for B2C and B2B customers is the same, but the truth is that writing for these different audiences requires different strategies. Sure, both B2C and B2B customers hit similar stages in a company’s sales funnel, and they both definitely start off as researchers.
Both B2C and B2B copywriting for websites focuses on:
- Encouraging a conversion (completing a product purchase, subscription, or reaching out to a salesperson)
- Driving brand awareness (typically through blog articles rather than website copy)
- Establishing a brand voice (both website copy and blog articles should reflect this)
- Educating the customer (through blog articles)
The 3 key differences with writing for B2B companies is that you are:
- Often speaking to more than one decision-maker, including managers, executives, and other senior-level employees
- Trying to facilitate a deeper level of connection between the writing and the reader, by positioning the writing as coming from an expert that completely understands the reader’s business
- Focusing less on straight sales copy and more on straight facts and connecting features with benefits — B2B audiences are interested in things like saving money, increasing productivity, and increasing profitability
Types of B2B Copywriter
As we mentioned before, B2B copywriters often focus on specific industry verticals. This is mainly because it’s easier to write like an expert when you have experience writing for a specific industry — so if a copywriter starts writing for real estate, for instance, they’ll likely be more comfortable writing for real estate companies in the future because they know the industry.
Chances are your business falls within one of these industries:
But even if it doesn’t, you can get an idea of the different approaches that industry-versed copywriters take for each of the above industries in the following sections.
B2B Technology Copywriter
Businesses in the technology industry often have a wide range of products and services, all with specific audiences spanning the full range of general to niche. A good B2B technology copywriter is well-versed in diving into the intricacies of software with a steeper learning curve and writing about it from a solutions-focused, educational, or sales perspective that resonates with your audience.
They also understand how to take complex concepts and break them down into plain language writing, helping you describe your product or service better and speak to more decision-makers within a company.
B2B SaaS Copywriting
SaaS companies sell products or services online only, which means that their website needs to play a significant part in guiding the customer towards a conversion. This means that the B2B copywriter should know two major things: how to craft copy on a page that leads the customer to take certain actions, which move them to the next step, or stage, of the sales, funnel, and how that copy appeals to multiple potential buyers.
In other words, the B2B SaaS copywriter should know how to craft copy that leads the customer to complete a specific goal, depending on the page. This means signing up for a demo, filling out a lead gen form, or reaching out to a salesperson, while considering that the copy needs to speak to executives, senior staff, and other decision-makers within a company.
B2B Marketing Writing
A writer that crafts B2B marketing writing knows that there’s a ton of marketing content online and that your audience isn’t interested in reading yet another piece that reads like it was written by an AI, giving them obvious and common-sense advice.
Instead, they know that the content they write needs to be unique. We don’t mean that they shouldn’t write about marketing blog topics that others have covered, but it has to propose something actionable and relevant that adds or enhances the existing conversation surrounding a topic. This would preferably be something that your company does differently that they can highlight in their writing.
B2B Legal Copywriter
Each copywriter we discuss in this section has to speak to professionals in a particular industry, to convince them that a product or service is worth buying. But the legal copywriter has a few extra hurdles in front of them.
First, they should understand the legal marketing ethics laws for a law firm or solo practitioner, and ensure their copy doesn’t violate any of them. These ethics often include not saying the lawyer is an expert in a particular area of the law, and not giving direct legal advice (instead of focusing on education). This may mean that a legal professional needs to review the copy at completion to ensure that it follows the marketing ethics laws in your jurisdiction.
Secondly, the B2B legal copywriter needs to be comfortable with navigating legal language — they are talking to lawyers, after all — and be able to craft their writing so it doesn’t sound like a legal textbook, and instead is straight to the point and easy to read. When anyone is looking to buy something, they don’t want to be bombarded with difficult-to-understand language — lawyers included.
Third, the copywriter has to understand that they need to be careful about giving legal advice versus education. This can be easier said than done, but overall it means that the copywriter should focus on the high-level discussion around a topic for their copy (if they need to discuss a legal topic on a webpage) and be able to use their best judgment as to whether a lawyer or legal professional needs to review the copy upon completion. It’s more likely that the issue of education versus legal advice would come up with blogging for lawyers rather than website copy, but the writer should be aware regardless of what type of content they are writing.
B2B eCommerce Copywriter
The B2B eCommerce content writer or copywriter shares a lot of similarities with a SaaS copywriter: they know that their copy needs to speak to multiple potential decision-makers at a business, and they know how copy is crafted and placed on a web page can have a significant impact on conversions. But there’s also a big difference between them: the eCommerce copywriter is selling a specific product or service, or multiple products or services, while the SaaS copywriter is focused on demos, sign-ups, or lead gen forms.
In short, the goal of the page that the eCommerce copywriter is writing is likely to be an actual purchase, rather than a different type of conversion. If not a purchase, then somewhere closer to the purchase stage of the sales funnel.
B2B Insurance Copywriting
Perhaps not surprisingly, B2B insurance copywriting shares similarities with legal copywriting, as both require the writer to transform legalese into plain language, keep up with their knowledge of the industry, and be mindful of when a professional should review their writing for accuracy. On top of that, the insurance industry is known to be hugely competitive — meaning that the B2B insurance copywriter needs to understand how to leverage what you offer when crafting their copy, focusing on the specific features and benefits.
Another consideration is hovering on the line between fearmongering and “you absolutely need this for your business”. Sure, every business should have comprehensive insurance coverage, but scaring customers into buying isn’t an ethical approach. Instead, the copywriter should know how to highlight the importance of an insurance package using stats, facts, and figures without using pushy or scary language.
B2B Blogging Services
Let’s say you want to get started with blogging for your business. Where should you look? Who should you hire? It’s all well and good to understand that you need an expert writer that’s familiar with your industry, but should you hire a freelancer, agency, or someone to work directly for you as an in-house writer?
The truth is, any one of those options would work, but i’s important to understand the pros and cons of each so you can make the best choice that balances expense and benefits.
Freelance B2B Copywriter
B2B Copywriting Agency
In-House B2B Copywriter
Typically less expensive than an in-house writer or agency
Less expensive than an in-house writer
Need to pay a salary, benefits, vacation, etc.
No long-term commitment; you can scale work back if needed
Multiple writers make content production faster
Can scale production, but at the expense of other projects or tasks
Might be less efficient than an agency
Has its own efficient process for producing content
It may be more efficient than a freelance writer
Likely won’t be able to scale-up production
Easier to scale up content production
Content production can be scaled up in favour of other tasks
Needs to proofread and edit their own work (might be more potential for errors if you don’t check the work yourself)
Multiple writers are available to ensure the quality of work
Has access to in-house SMEs for fact-checking, otherwise must proofread/edit their own work
4 B2B Blogging Strategies
Having effective strategies in place before you start blogging helps to keep your content focused on your marketing goals. Typically, blog content for a B2B audience should focus on educating your customer rather than selling directly to them.
With that in mind, here are some B2B blogging strategies you can use to get the most out of your company blog:
Focus on Content for Different Stages in the Sales Funnel
Typically, blogs are written for those at the research stage of the buying journey. These blogs are referred to as Top of the Funnel (TOFU) content because they reach prospects at the start of the sales funnel. These prospects are not yet ready to buy, but they are searching for information that they can use to help them with their buying decision. Targeting prospects at this stage is lucrative because a TOFU blog can continue to guide them through the sales funnel with additional articles to read, and with CTAs linking to a product or other conversion-focused pages.
But that doesn’t mean that the B2B content writer shouldn’t write articles that hit the other stages in the sales funnel. A typical B2B sales process is quite long, so there are more opportunities to nurture customers as they move through it. For example, a B2B SaaS company might want a writer to write FAQ-focused blog content that answers common questions that customers have about how to use the software effectively or offers tips.
Use Well-Performing Posts for PPC ads
If a blog post performs well organically (meaning it gets lots of visitors) then why not use that post for Pay Per Click ad? This not only increases the visibility of the post by thrusting it to the top few pages of Google, but it’s also an easy way to get the most out of well-performing content that has already been created, rather than creating another landing page for a PPC campaign. Just make sure the blog post has a great call to action to keep customers moving through that funnel.
Repurpose Articles into Podcasts, Social Media Posts
Blog articles can often be repurposed into other types of content. Like with our PPC ad example, why create more content when you can use the well-performing content that you already have?
Segment pithy parts of a blog post and turn them into a series of social media posts that give your followers bite-sized information that they can share. Use an AI text-to-speech tool to convert your blog into a podcast that your audience can listen to while driving, working out, or waiting for a coffee at Starbucks.
Once your blog post is published, that doesn’t mean it’s over; you can repurpose the content within it in a number of creative ways to serve your audience on different platforms.
Include a Call to Action
Just because a blog article isn’t a salesy piece of copy doesn’t mean it can’t convince a customer to buy. Sometimes, having high-quality content that answers the customer’s questions effectively is all that they need to be convinced that yes, they want to do business with you.
Including a call to action at the end of the post is an easy way to keep customers on your website, and more importantly, move through your sales funnel.
5 B2B Blogging Best Practices
Regardless of whether you decide to go with a freelancer, in-house writer, or an agency for your B2B copywriting and blog writing, it’s important for you to be aware of the best practices they should be following.
Let’s go through the main ones:
Marketing personas give you a snapshot of your ideal customer and help you understand their wants, needs, and pain points. But creating a persona shouldn’t be based on assumptions; the data you already have about your existing customers should play a big part in how you create your personas. You’ll want to focus on things like age, gender, occupation, barriers to purchasing your product or service, common pain points that they may have in their job, and more. Try not to be too verbose with your creation, but don’t leave out any important details that may affect you and your employee’s understanding of your ideal customer.
Once you have a persona or personas mapped out, the content writer can use that information to gain an understanding of your customer, and thus the audience that their writing will be speaking to.
Use Images and Gifs to Break Up Content
Nobody wants to read a giant wall of text. Breaking up the content with images, gifs, tables, videos, and more helps to catch the eye of skimmers, and keep your audience engaged as they are reading. Keep in mind that depending on the content itself, your brand voice, and the industry, readers may not appreciate too many gifs or jokes, so you may have to guide the content writer to only include what’s appropriate.
Use keyword research to find your audience’s search intent
Keyword research is a great way to find your audience’s search intent online. Everyone uses keywords when they search for something. For a B2B audience, these keywords are typically very specific, and may even include industry jargon or terms that are not known to people outside of that space.
For example, a keyword that one of our clients, a Microsoft partner, ranks for is “OneNote 2016 vs OneNote Windows 10”. This is a very specific keyword search comparing two versions of one product — a great opportunity for a comprehensive blog post that explains the relevant differences between these software offerings, and thus answers the audience’s search intent.
Finding these awesome keyword opportunities requires a good understanding of your target audience and the use of SEO writing tools like Google, Ahrefs, Semrush, and others that help you find, compare, and analyze different keywords. You can also use these tools to view your competitors, including what keywords they rank for, and factor that into your keyword research strategy.
Speak Your Audience’s Language
Writers are usually taught to avoid Jargon, but it can sometimes be helpful as an indicator to your audience that you know what you’re talking about. For instance, in law, referring to a legal service as a “legal matter” is typical for the industry, so if a B2B content writer is writing a blog for lawyers, then using that term would be a good idea.
Structure your Content Properly
Using headings, tables, lists, and bullet points properly isn’t just great for following Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), it’s also great for your readers and for SEO. If a reader is skimming, for instance, clear headings let them find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily. With Google, proper content structure helps the search engine crawler read the content easier, and could even increase your chances of showing up for featured snippets.
It’s clear that B2B copywriting and content writing requires careful consideration of the target audience, an understanding of a typical B2B sales funnel, and how writing differs for different industries.
While there is no shortage of choices when it comes to hiring a B2B copywriter, we recommend hiring an agency with writers that have experience writing for your industry. Roketto has a team of writers with experience writing for a wide range of B2B clients, from SaaS to legal to real estate and more.
If you’re looking for your next B2B copywriting partner, we’re here to help. Reach out to Roketto today and we can get started.