When you're writing or evaluating copy for a B to B marketing (also referred to as b-to-b or business to business marketing) campaign of any kind, you may think it's only appropriate to write formal copy in which you refer to yourself as "we" or "our organization" and let lots of other copywriting basics fly out the window.
Sadly, these sorts of mistakes are the result of the major misconception that you have to be cold and impersonal in your copy if you want to seem professional. If you're guilty of this copywriting crime, you probably learned this rule from a well-meaning, but misguided communicator who doesn't understand that business writing is designed to sell.
But fear not -- there's no reason for your B to B marketing to be bland and ineffective. You just need to know what to look out for. In this article, I've outlined the 3 copywriting blunders that happen the most and can be easily avoided in the future.
These B to B marketing mistakes include:
1. Avoiding use of the word "you" in your copy. Apparently many companies are under the impression that business people like their human sides to be ignored -- to which I say, Au contraire.
Last I checked, most of us in the business world still want to feel included in the copy we read. Wearing a suit or working for a large corporation doesn't magically turn that need to connect off. Speak to the person directly using the words "you" and "your," and your results will be stronger.
2. Using technospeak when user-friendly copy better suits the non-technical audience. Sure, some people in your industry know what the word "interoperability" means. But they're rare and probably aren't the ones making the marketing decisions.
To illustrate my point, I would invite you to consider this:
I am a professional copywriter and always aim to deliver accurate copy to my company's clients. However, given that this article is targeted to help a general business audience, it's fair to say it might not make sense for me to start waxing on here about unclear antecedents and the blight that is the dangling participle, even if I am something of a grammar fanatic in my own little microcosm of reality.
The lesson here is that it's probably best to leave the shop talk in the shop and write for your customers using the words in their vocabulary.
3. Forgetting to ask prospects to buy what you're offering! Isn't the point of B to B marketing to get business people to purchase what you're selling? There is no need to be over the top with your call-to-action, but it is important that you include one.
If you're hesitant to ask for the buy, keep in mind that most business people are aware they're being sold to the moment they read promotional materials and accept this as a part of doing business.
Selling to "timid" office workers? Find a way in your copy to speak to their hearts, then ask them politely to consider what you have to offer.
Is your audience a group of somewhat stuffy financial types? Show them the financial benefit of what you're offering, as well as what they'll save when they purchase from you. Then ask them to buy in a way that appeals to their analytical minds.
A word of caution: If your B to B marketing is targeted toward professional marketers, that's even more reason to urge readers to purchase; if you don't, they might not take action because of their over-exposure to marketing messages of all kinds. Just use the approach best-suited to the type of marketing that they handle every day.
The bottom line? Don't forget to ask people to take action, regardless of what that action is.
Of course, there are other ways to boost the results of your B to B marketing, but these copywriting tips will have you headed in the right direction in no time flat. Make sure to use them for all of your upcoming campaigns.
Brand copywriter/creative director (and closet grammar fiend) Jennifer McCay develops persuasive copy and branding strategies for individuals, small businesses and large corporations through her company, Avenue East Communications, Inc., located in Los Angeles, California. Jennifer is the publisher of the Avenues to Marketing Success Newsletter, which delivers tips on copywriting, branding and other marketing topics every other week. To subscribe or find out more, head to http://AvenueEast.com