Find out how B2B copywriting definitely banishes boring wording and lets you finally engage your reader.
Most of them are repetitive and jargonous and fail to grab the reader’s attention. However, even in B2B, these readers are human beings who must be interested.
We will see in this article why some companies condemn themselves to produce boring content while others stand out thanks to captivating B2B copywriting.
Here is a sentence taken from a B2B newsletter received in recent weeks. It addresses the subject of good customer relationship management practices:
This sentence at the beginning of the email does not encourage the reader to continue reading:
- The content abuses the passive form and the sentence is too long
- She announces a text devoid of any storytelling and human testimony
- Its author uses the abstract vocabulary of management (“stake”, “visibility”, “challenge”, “concrete”) and CRM jargon.
Copywriting in companies
As American copywriter Neville Medhora points out, corporate copywriting, especially B2B, should avoid neutral and abstract communications:
In B2B product marketing, a lot of people think they have to be very formal, which actually means “boring”. This is not true.
- You should not be overly formal. You need to stay professional while expressing yourself as a human being.
- Write the way you speak
- Don’t try to talk like a robot just because it sounds more professional. This decreases your chances of being read.
- Don’t pitch! Your subject is the value you bring to your customers and not your expertise.
Who are these emails addressed to?
Here is another example:
By reading this email as well as the extract from the newsletter at the beginning of the article, we realize that the use of this neutral tone actually translates into a lack of targeting.
- The reader of a marketing department will think that he is not the right recipient. The tone of the article and the abundance of conceptual and technical vocabulary will make him think that the content is about people in the IT department;
- For their part, the people in the IT department will consider that this email is intended for marketing or digital decision-makers insofar as it mainly deals with issues.
However, in both cases the subject is broad enough to interest a lot of people in a business. On the condition, however, to be precise and to use a vocabulary that will speak to its target.
View more: HOW TO CREATE AN EFFECTIVE EMAILING?
Address your audience by first talking about your problem
Unfortunately, neither of these two contents specifies the problem it wants to solve.
The authors of the two mailings hide behind the technicality of the solutions they offer.
Yet the problem that the two companies address can be stated simply:
- Businesses, large or small, B2B or B2C, find it difficult to know their customers and find out about them when talking to them.
- An account manager or a manager risks making bad decisions vis-à-vis a customer if the latter is used to buying in several places at the same time (the website, in stores, in large stores, etc.).
It is therefore possible to explain the advantages of an omnichannel CRM and real-time interfaces by starting from the problem and using simple formulations.
By talking about the problem experienced by its target, it is much easier to interest the reader.
Identifying the problem is a first step
After identifying the reader’s problem, the writer of a mailing or any web content will then have to worry about getting their attention when reading.
Indeed, the Tributemedia marketing agency estimates that a visitor can spend up to 7 seconds consulting the messages that will address their problem.
These posts are the most visible headline, images and written arguments on the front lines of a mailing , corporate blog post or landing page .
If he is convinced he will move from a phase of attention grabbing to a more detailed analysis of the arguments presented to him.
We can estimate that our two examples do not succeed at the end of this time. The reader picks up in the very first seconds.
Grab attention and persuade with the AIDA formula
The tool to grab attention on the web is the AIDA formula.
It is a narrative model widely used by web marketers to produce compelling content.
It was formulated by advertiser Elias St. Elmo Lewis in 1898.
The latter spent his life trying to identify the sociological rules that determined purchasing behavior.
He deduced the AIDA model by observing (among other things) the persuasion techniques of fair trade hucksters who sold miraculous lotions.
The four steps of the AIDA formula
For Lewis, all successful business communication goes through four stages
- A aution: Attract the prospect’s attention by using an appropriate vocabulary;
- I nterest: Generate interest by highlighting the experiences and situations;
- D ESIR: Awaken the desire by highlighting the emotions (fear and pain in particular);
- A ction: The commitment to action (Subscribe, return, purchase, etc.).
It is impossible to arouse the interest of a reader and to engage them if one has not first made the effort to attract their attention.
This is the problem with the two mailings cited as an example above.
AIDA is generally associated with B2C marketing, but it is also applicable to B2B content. Here is an example with an article from the SLACK newsletter .
A compelling example of B2B copywriting with AIDA
Slack is a professional social network backed by a project management platform. Its clientele is essentially B2B.
This article from his last newsletter allows us to see the benefits of working as a copywriter . The full version of the article is here .
Lauren Johnson , Writer at Slack, wrote this content using the AIDA formula:
Title: Internal communication is the job of each of us. Imagine a meeting where the whole team is present. Some people take notes and ask questions. Others arrive late and watch the meeting with their noses on their phones.
If you are in a leadership position , you will be frustrated to see these glimmers of electronics in the room. However, if you are an employee and the information is not about your daily work, it is so easy for you to “unplug”.
And this is just one of many situations where internal communication fails in the workplace.
I suggest you analyze this beginning of the article by identifying the target, the problem and the different themes of the AIDA formula.
The target : Team leaders confronted with team coordination issues.
The problem: If you regularly host team meetings, you know that collaborators who have their noses glued to the screen have a demotivating effect on all the other participants.
The AIDA formula :
- A aution: By clearly articulating the problem, the title and the first two sentences draw the reader ;
- I nterest: The article describes a situation that many managers know, the disinterest of the teams meeting;
- D ESIR: The words evoke the difficulty of a manager of an emotional point of view. If a manager fails to demonstrate leadership , he will face failure and frustration. This word network triggers fear and arouses interest in an alternative to this grim scenario.
- A ction: In the rest of the article, the author of the article finally clarify how SLACK responds to the problem of poor communication in business.
SLACK may well be a technical solution used primarily in B2B, there is no question here of “collaborative solution”, “incident management”, “archiving” or “DLP”.
While writing her article, Lauren Johnson only talks about a solution in the second part of her article, once she has gone through the different phases of the AIDA formula.
Find the right tone
A business that does copywriting work gains in persuasiveness. If we go back to Neville Medhora’s point, tone (or tone of voice) in copywriting helps build empathy.
This is what we detect in Lauren Johnson when she writes the following sentence: ” If you are in a leadership position , you will be frustrated to see these glimmers of electronics in the room”
Indeed, there are indeed different tones in copywriting. These determine the type of relationship you build with your audience and the type of information you convey.
This theme will be developed in my next article.
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