Did Ignite inspire you to be more human? Good. Now tell your copywriter. – Info B2B
Three ways to make your B2B content more human:
(You’ll note I didn’t say “three easy ways”. The reason for that is about to become clear.)
1. Get to know some real customers (not just imaginary personas)
I’m blessed that I was not always a B2B copywriter. In a previous century, I worked in fleet management, the public sector, and offices of all sizes. I know HR managers. Software developers. Finance directors. Design engineers. And it really helps. (I explain why, here.)
Make a point of meeting people who might actually use your product or service – and not just your biggest fans, either. Get a sense of what they really care about, and what really competes for their attention. Most importantly, pay attention to the actual words they use in the real world.
Buy someone a coffee. Go to a tradeshow (and not just to set up your stand). Hang out on relevant subreddits if you like (without promoting yourself). Hear how the conversation really goes.
2. Stick up for your customer (like, religiously)
Now you know who you’re talking to, it starts to get difficult. Because somebody in your organisation needs to be your bullshit filter – to weigh everything you do against your customer’s reality, and be brutally honest about what they’ll really think.
That somebody might not be popular. And it might have to be you.
It means briefing your copywriter to write content that answers the questions your customers really ask – not just the questions you wish they’d ask.
It means writing in language that means something – not just the words that make your stakeholders feel happy, or rearranging the same the words your competitors use.
It means telling it like it is.
3. Make peace with the fact you work in B2B
As my twelve-year-old son is fond of saying: “Dad, stop trying to be cool. It’s embarrassing.”
Don’t get me wrong; I adore B2B, and wouldn’t work anywhere else. But I do sometimes wonder how much of the shiny, macho crap that gets written is basically B2B people trying to live up to the stuff we see when we’re consumers.
For example, a lot of forklift truck marketing is written to sound like a prestige car. But research suggests the buyer doesn’t actually care about speed and handling; they just want it to work quietly and cheaply, and never break down. And when it does, they want it fixed quick.
It’s not like buying a car. It’s like renting a photocopier.
I’m not saying the purchase is not emotional; anyone who’s cleared their twentieth paper jam of the day can tell you a copier is a deeply emotionally-charged thing. I’m saying materials handling marketing tend to focus on the wrong emotions, and I’m guessing it’s because somebody somewhere is trying to make their job more glamourous.
Maybe if we compared ourselves with B2C a bit less, we’d have less “Confident. Approachable. Expert.” and more of the real stuff – talking to people in language they actually use, about how we can actually help make their job a bit less annoying.
Article Prepared by Ollala Corp