Business-to-business communication has its own set of standards — for good reason. Compared with the typical brand-to-consumer relationship, the B2B world represents a unique set of challenges. Yet at its core, B2B messaging should still come from a very personal, approachable place. After all, we’re only human, right?
As a copywriter, I like to keep in mind the following three rules:
Picture the audience.
This is critical in the B2B world. Every print ad, every brochure, every targeted email — it all speaks to a specific group. Instead of casting a wide net, it’s important to first understand the everyday, real-world needs of the audience. What do they need to do their job well? What would make their lives easier? What would solve their biggest problems?
In the digital age, attention spans are shrinking day by day — and the need for brevity is worth keeping in mind. But paying attention also means keeping your eyes open to what’s going on in any given industry at the time. It’s always important to be aware of your surroundings before you write.
Finally, I like to write with a certain sense of place and time. Language is evolving. Standards of usage are changing more quickly than we can keep up. As new platforms and media emerge, the language should follow suit. Be a rebel. Start a sentence with “and” or “but” today. (Hint: Despite what your teacher told you decades ago, it’s not wrong.) The more that B2B language can sound like today, the more effective it can be tomorrow.
B2B marketing doesn’t have to be boring. Don’t believe me? Read this.