16th October 2012

The Fundamentals of Great B2B Marketing Copy


B2B marketing copy has specific differences to B2C copy, though there are many similarities. We have stripped the fundamentals down to provide an at-a-glance list of what great copy for a business audience should contain.

Let’s get straight into it:

  • Your copy must be is relevant to your audience – your Very Important Prospects (VIPs.) Make sure you have identified your niche audience before writing copy for them!
  • Your copy must agree with what your VIPs think about your services and reflect their ‘World View’. Others call it agreeing ‘with the conversation already going on in the person’s mind’.
  • It must be authentic, and tell your ‘story’. Throughout history people have always been (and remain) attracted to stories. People buy from people, and a story in your copy makes you appear approachable and human. You are, aren’t you?
  • What others say about you is a hundred times more believable than what you say about yourself. Testimonials are the key to really strong copy that compels your VIPs to take action.
  • B2B marketing copy can be long and detailed, and your advertisements can be crowded with words. Many people say to me, “Who’s going to read all that? It’s so cluttered, who’d bother?” Well the answer is simple: it’s designed to only be read by the narrow niche that you have defined as your Very Important Prospects (VIPs). If it’s magnetic to them it can be as detailed as you need it to be.

The more agreement you can create with your VIPs, the more likely they will follow the path you want them to take.

  • B2B marketing copy must present information about, and the benefits of, using your services—hence it may need to be quite dense and long. It should be about what you can do for customers, and not the other way around.  It’s not about what you want to sell, but why the reader wants it.
  • It should contain a ‘call to action’ which prompts visitors to act now and provides a number of ways in which they can contact you.
  • Your copy needs to do the ‘heavy lifting’ for you. Before VIPs contact your office, the copy (White Papers, videos, etc.) will have already positioned you as the expert in your niche.
  • Calling a 1800 number to listen to a pre-recorded message
  • Going to a website to download a White Paper or Video
  • A call to your office number

The one you put first and most prominently is the path you want them to take.

Why multiple ways? Because people are different. Some are quite happy to send letters while others only ever send emails. Some will never go to a website and some of us live on them. Allowing your VIPs to choose makes you more approachable.

  • All good B2B marketing copy contains a guarantee, and a bold one at that; one that transfers the risk felt by your client onto your shoulders.

You know your service is good, but your client doesn’t until they experience it. So provide an ironclad guarantee with no pathetic clauses that work to make it meaningless (such as ‘you must return the product in its original packaging’, when the seller knows the packaging always gets binned as soon as they open it!). A bold guarantee tells clients that you have absolute confidence in your services, so they should too.

With guarantees, if your product is good and you are marketing to the right sort of people, then you will rarely be taken advantage of. The additional sales generated more than compensates for the one or two refunds you have to make.

If you follow the above checklist you should be writing excellent B2B marketing copy that is pressing all the right buttons for your audience.

Find out more about B2B Marketing here.

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About James Eastland

Creating Customer Communities for companies selling B2B is my passion—shortening their sales cycle and building market leadership. My role sets the direction and vision of Lead Creation, tapping into the online experience of our large team of young professionals to implement cost effective strategies for B2B businesses.

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