Have you always wondered how great copywriters/content marketers can tug your heartstrings? We share some tips on how to write B2B content that touches the soul.
As a B2B marketing professional, you will normally have these copywriting concerns when creating collaterals:
– Is there enough data to back my claims?
– Do I sound authoritative?
– Will my readers take the next step?
However, we also need to remember the human connection with our readers – touching their hearts and minds – that differentiates “whoa!” vs ho-hum content. There’s something in the copywriting and visuals that evoke emotions of joy, happiness or saudade(word of the day).
While copywriting and content marketing may differ in purpose, they both have similar goals of reaching to the target audience and moving them (to read the next page or to sign a multimillion-dollar deal).
The Art and Science of Copywriting
Science backs us up on this. As human beings are social creatures, we are wired to respond to the human touch. It’s what keeps us connected and understand one another.
Why? That’s just part of being human.While we may think that we make rational choices, emotions actually strongly influence our decisions.
According to Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman, we make 95% of our purchasing decisions subconsciously. Even if it’s a radically new product, there is always some frame of reference that relates to a basic, sometimes hidden, emotion.
As you may need to produce even more content as part of your marketing strategy, it’s ever more important that your copy stands out among the crowd of mass-produced meh content.
But how do you write soulful content?
- Write with simplicity and clarity
Unless you personally know everyone in your target audience, assume that your copy will be read by people with different contextual understanding or frame of reference. Do not assume that the youthful startup founder will understand what Generation Z means.
For example, GitHub injects humour into the Error 404 page that normally stumps everyday users and immediately lightens an otherwise frustrating moment in a way that everyone can relate to.
- You don’t have to be perfect
Firstly, there’s no such thing as perfection. Secondly, perfect professionals are *yawn* boring.
Corporate-speak often lacks personality. In addition to informing your readers, inject some brand personality – what does your company stand for (other than advancing the frontiers of industry innovation)? Your audience will respond better if your content sounds human and you will attract the right kind of clients that fit your organisational culture.
Take Dropbox, for example. It’s essentially a cloud file storage and sharing service – not very exciting stuff, really. But Dropbox anthropomorphises (try saying that 10x quickly) their user’s DropBox folder with the right illustrations to reinforce the message.
- Have a conversation
In school, we learned how read, write and spell. But often, we are not taught how to use language to persuade and connect.
A basic rule of thumb is to write as if you are talking. Even when the words are on paper, your reader is reading them aloud in his/her head. At the same time, you’ll still need to have a sense of structure or the content will lose its flow and coherence. No one wants a rambling monologue!
Trello offers intuitive minimalist design that appeals to someone who spends time organising their life digitally. (Side note: it may not go down well with the bullet journal crowd!).
But the folks at Trello keep it light and conversational with catchy phrases like “Trello Your Way” or “Oh, The Places You’ll Trello”.
- Write what you know
We don’t mean that you need to keep it blank.
But you’ll need is to see things from your customer’s perspective. Listen to your customers, speak to your front-line sales or customer service colleagues.
We tend to be attracted to content that understands us. Find out your end-customer’s pain points and challengers. Then, write what you know of them because otherwise, your prospects will just scroll through.
Think about how method actors get themselves into character so that they are more believable when on the big screen. Some of the best actors in our time, notably Heath Ledger, Adrien Brody and Eddie Redmayne all went through great lengths, each portraying a role which would then score them the Oscars and the Academy Award.
So, try injecting these four tips into your B2B marketingcontentand see your copy go from meh to mah-vellous!