Earning the attention of your audience or prospects in today’s digital age is an around-the-clock responsibility for businesses of all shapes and sizes, including B2B. Whether it be to improve brand awareness, generate sales or revenue, or simply educate the customer base, there is a constant craving for content among B2B businesses.
And, according to Content Marketing Institute’s “2020 B2B Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America” report, almost half of B2B marketers are projecting their content marketing budget to increase in 2020. However, many of them do not expect to increase productivity without a little bit of help. The data shows that content creation is the activity B2B marketers are most likely to outsource, regardless of company size, content marketing budget, or overall content marketing success.
So, what does this tell us? B2B marketers are looking to partner with content creators to bring their businesses to new heights.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the skills and traits that are needed to successfully write B2B content.
When I think of the word “inquisitive,” my mind jumps to a four-year-old in the back of a parent’s car asking “are we there yet?” or “why is the sky blue?” And, this is exactly the sort of trait that a productive B2B writer will possess. As writers, we need to always ask ourselves why we are creating content in the first place. Without doing so, your content will likely lack direction and purpose, and as a result, fall flat.
With an inquisitive mindset, B2B writers should:
- Ask questions of their target audience to truly understand their pain points (and draft relevant content as a result)
- Understand the types of content the competition is publishing
- Identify what’s resonating and what isn’t – and then making adjustments to the strategy accordingly
- Not be afraid to step outside the box – always ask yourself how you can create the single best piece of content on the topic at hand. (note: putting this into practice will also give your content the best chance to rank at the top of organic search results)
In the world of B2B content marketing, there is always an opportunity to dig deeper and go further. This is why B2B content writers must possess the trait of being driven. Consider this: data shows that 36 percent of B2B marketers say they typically consume at least 5 pieces of content before speaking to a salesperson, and 77 percent consume at least 3 pieces of content before doing so.
Being a driven content marketer allows you to produce content promptly while also pushing to go to the next layer of the purchasing funnel. To truly realize results, you need to be hitting the audience with relevant content at multiple stages of the buying journey.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to content marketing. Your audience and prospects are consuming content from all corners of the digital ecosystem, including emails, social media channels, websites, industry publications, and the list goes on and on.
For this reason, it’s critical to be adaptable when writing B2B content. Before deciding on the type of content you will deliver to your audience, be sure to do research and see where you’ve had the most success in the past. Are there certain types of digital channels that are driving more conversions or engagements than others when it comes to a specific topic? When looking in search results for a specific keyword phrase, does your organization have an asset that matches the style of those on the first page of results?
If you’ve ever looked at job postings for B2B content creators, you’ve surely seen the term “detail-oriented” listed on the page. This is not just for show, or another buzzword to add to requirements. Being a detail-oriented B2B writer means you adhere to grammatical guidelines and conduct factual reporting. Failing to do so will make your organization (or client) appear unprofessional and could damage the brand’s reputation, both of which can be costly consequences.
Furthermore, possessing a detail-oriented mindset will allow you as a B2B writer to stay organized. For example, creating editorial calendars to map out content plans and avoid duplicating efforts.
Last, but certainly not least, effective B2B content writers (and B2B marketers as a whole) are patient. This is a critical trait to possess because of the differences between B2B and B2C marketing and the purchasing processes of each.
B2C buyers make quick decisions that are typically based on emotion. These purchases are oftentimes smaller monetary investments, and the ramifications of a poor decision are typically not devastating. B2B buyers, on the other hand, are much slower to decide on a purchase, and for good reason. B2B purchases or agreements are based on value and logic, with an acute eye towards profitability. These purchases are not easily reversed, and a wrong decision can prove to be very costly.
B2B buyers go about their business very methodically, and B2B content writers need to do the same. Patience will allow you as the writer to create many assets throughout the buyer’s journey and take the “slow and steady” approach to generate quality leads.
While writing of any kind certainly requires a core set of skills, effectively writing B2B content demands an even more specific subset of capabilities. We hope this post helped you to better understand what these capabilities are as you look to improve your writing staff or bring new team members on board.
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