At Sagefrog, we know that marketing tactics are constantly in flux and new best practices are always emerging. To make sure our team stays in-the-know, we believe the best route to facilitate long-term success is to prioritize investing in education by completing certifications and attending conferences and training sessions.
As part of my own dedication to continued learning and professional development, last quarter, I decided to take a Udemy course to refresh my knowledge and understanding of B2B copywriting best practices. The course was led by Alan Sharpe, a 30-year copywriting veteran who specializes in B2B copywriting. Finding a lot of value in the course contents, I felt it would be beneficial to our audience to create a blog post recapping some of the top B2B copywriting tips I took away from the course. So, without further ado:
Here are our 8 top B2B copywriting tips, inspired by Alan Sharpe’s 20-Hour Copywriting Masterclass on Udemy.
1. Adopt a “You-Centered” Style
Whether you want to believe it or not, the truth is your prospects care more about what you can do for them than what you have to say about your company. Rather than churning out B2B writing that’s focused on “we,” try writing for your audience using “you,” “your,” and “yours” instead.
It’s an easy way to put your audience’s needs (and benefits) first. It also lends itself nicely to a more casual and friendly tone which many people now prefer—regardless of the industry the business is in.
2. Use Strong Verbs and Concrete Nouns
Strong verbs are verbs that are specific and descriptive. They give your audience a clear picture of what you’re describing. When you use strong verbs, you eliminate wordiness and naturally become a more effective writer.
Concrete nouns are nouns you can see, hear, taste, smell, or touch. Abstract nouns are concepts or ideas that don’t physically exist and can’t be identified using one of the five senses—like synergy, for example. While they give your B2B content writing a more formal tone (which may sometimes be necessary), abstract nouns transform clear, concise writing and add unnecessary complexity, confusing (and boring) your audience more often than not.
3. Be Specific, Not General
In your headlines, ad copy, body copy, and offers, it’s critical to be specific. The more detail you can offer your audience, the more you will benefit. Whether your focus is attracting leads to convert on a landing page or writing a headline to drive as much blog traffic as possible, specificity is far more valued than generality. Your audience wants to know what they’re getting into and what they’ll get out of your content. How will it benefit them? Mention these things specifically in your B2B copywriting, and you’ll make all of your offers more attractive.
4. Use Active Voice
When you write using active voice, your writing will naturally be more direct and concise. Using active voice also creates a narrative that moves faster and flows better, which makes for a more engaging read. For marketing content especially, using active voice helps to engage readers, improve readability, sustain momentum, and most importantly—call readers to action by way of persuasion.
5. Eliminate Buzzwords, Jargon, and Acronyms
If you want to write more effectively, consider eliminating buzzwords, jargon, and acronyms from your B2B writing. If everyone else is using a term—don’t include it in your copy. It just tells your audience that you lack originality. Jargon and acronyms don’t add to your writing either. Unless you’re certain that your audience knows exactly what these terms mean, don’t use them.
If you have to use an acronym, spell it out to ensure that your audience understands what you mean.
6. Use Parallel Structure
Parallel structure ensures consistency and uniformity, making your copy clearer and easier to read and understand. Using parallel structure improves the readability of your copy by creating patterns of words that your audience can easily follow.
For example, listing out hobbies in this sentence creates a parallel structure: She enjoys baking, watching TV, and painting.
7. Think About Your Tone
Tone in writing refers to how you use specific words and writing styles to convey your attitude about a topic or subject to your audience. Whether you’re writing copy for an email campaign, social media post, or your website, it’s important to think about what tone you want to convey.
Different channels and platforms can necessitate the use of different tones as well. What flies on Twitter might not do so well on a more professional platform like LinkedIn. Similarly, the tone you would use in a formal press release is likely going to be different from how you communicate with your followers on a social media platform like Instagram.
8. Consider Your Buyer Persona(s)
Just as your tone may vary depending on what channel or platform you’re writing copy for, it may also vary depending on the buyer persona you are trying to target with a specific piece of content. Everyone interprets things differently and creating dedicated buyer personas for your company to target can make it easier to be successful in converting them from leads to customers.
Not sure how to identify your buyer’s journey and personas? Read our blog post on how to identify your B2B buyer’s journey and buyer personas in three easy steps. Then, before you write your next piece of B2B content or ad copy, think about which persona(s) you’re targeting, and write accordingly.
Improve Your B2B Copywriting and Marketing Efforts Today
There are a lot of writing rules and tips for writing more effectively out there, and these are only a few of them. However, if you put these easy, actionable tips into practice, they will dramatically impact (and improve) your B2B copywriting.
If you’re still struggling to craft compelling copy that achieves your goals and improves the success of your marketing efforts, Sagefrog can help! We have a dedicated team of copy connoisseurs who delight in getting your B2B brand messaging right on the first draft. Let’s talk!