B2B Copywriters: Who They Work for & How They Write Lead-Generating Content
Business-to-business (B2B) copywriting is when you hire a content writer to create written copy for a business that works with other businesses instead of directly with consumers, known as B2C. Both kinds of businesses need website pages, blog posts, and other types of written collateral, but a B2B writer focuses on what would make other businesses want to work with the client’s business. Instead of referring to customers as “you,” a B2B content writer will refer to “your business.”
This is just one of the ways that B2B copywriting differs from B2C copywriting. B2B copywriting tends to have a more professional tone, more evidence to support the buying process, and less frequently relies on anecdotes and personal stories. While social media can be a strong marketing tool for B2B companies, it tends to be less successful for B2B than for B2C since it’s generally where consumers flock. In today’s world of digital marketing, outsourcing content written by B2B copywriters is a common practice.
Types of Companies for Which B2B Copywriters Work
Many different types of B2B companies use copywriters to create the marketing content they need for attracting new leads and securing business deals. Below are some companies that commonly work with B2B copywriters. However, these are just examples. Nearly every business to business company could benefit from working with professional copywriters in some capacity.
Marketing companies frequently work with B2B copywriters to help fulfill their marketing strategies for business clients. This includes creating white papers for client websites, drafting blog and website content, and ghostwriting guest posts- which all contribute to content marketing. Often, marketing companies take on more work than their in-house writing team can manage. In some cases, marketing companies rely on third-party content writing companies to draft all necessary written pieces for client projects (for example, marketing companies can hire b2b content writers to write clients’ white papers and blogs.)
This strategy of supplementing writing staff with outsourced copywriters is a key practice in marketing companies. Since client work fluctuates, using B2B copywriters helps ensure profitability for the company, as well as the ability to tackle many projects when the need arises. By outsourcing a reliable content marketing agency, marketing managers have fewer heads to oversee. Thus creating more time to tackle other projects. By working with outside copywriters, marketing companies don’t have to pay payroll taxes, salaries, and insurance premiums during slow times like they would with full-time staff writers.
Website developers tend to be excellent technology experts. Rarely do website developers have skills (or interest) in creating content. However, website pages need engaging content. Website developers often rely on partnerships with B2B copywriters to help create new landing pages and blogs for the new domains they build.
Commercial Real Estate Professionals
Commercial realtors work with B2B copywriters to create compelling real estate listings that entice business owners to invest. In a market where there are more vacancies than tenants and where telecommuting is more common, it can otherwise be difficult to quickly move listings and lease commercial property. A talented B2B copywriter can effectively inform potential buyers about the impact a specific property can have on their operations.
Suppliers benefit from working with B2B copywriters by developing sales content targeted at vendors. Suppliers often work as the “middleman” between manufacturers and companies, and they need an effective way of describing their products to companies. B2B copywriters can develop content like product descriptions and catalogs that are used to sell supplies to client companies. This technical writing focuses on the value proposition of each item including prices and cost-savings over time so that third parties can see which option is best for their needs.
Much like marketing companies, advertising agencies have a regular need for high quality, original content for their campaigns. This can range from coming up with slogans, drafting brochure copy and text for printed campaigns, to creating commercial scripts. B2B copywriters bring a degree of expertise in tone, content, and value-based writing.
When working with service providers, B2B copywriters focus on describing specific services. In many cases, service providers have trouble conveying what their services are and why consumers benefit from them. The goal is to explain what the service is and why it’s needed in a short, direct, and easy-to-understand way.
Larger service providers also have recurring copywriting needs, like blogs, Google Ads copy, and promotional campaigns. Service providers can use a series of articles or blog posts to explain the finer details of their services. This gives potential clients multiple chances to interact with the provider, establishes the provider’s expertise, and helps the buyer understand the service better before buying.
Ranging from medical equipment, medical waste management, medical practices and tools, there are opportunities for B2B copywriters to work. For this field, writers must have industry knowledge as the writing will most likely be quite technical.
Consulting agencies work with B2B copywriters to develop two types of content. Like other companies, consulting agencies need content that effectively describes what they do so that potential clients can see the value in their services. Consulting agencies can also work with B2B copywriters to develop their end products like reports that are delivered to clients.
Reports and other project deliverables can be a large undertaking for any company. With consulting agencies, these reports often include multiple parts and are themselves long projects to complete. To ensure these products are well-developed in terms of technical needs, effective communication, and professional quality, copywriters are brought into the project to handle the writing aspect of it. When given the data for the report, a skilled copywriter can turn that data into an easy-to-understand report of the agency’s findings.
How Copywriters Write Lead-Generating Content for B2B
Writing lead-generating content is one of the chief responsibilities of B2B copywriters. That’s because many companies need well-developed written content to connect with potential customers, and B2B copywriters are the experts in this field.
There is a process for writing lead-generating content for B2B that has multiple components. Each copywriter has their own process, but they generally follow the same structure. Here’s a look at how experienced copywriters write lead-generating content for B2B:
Research Target Audience
One of the first steps in any writing process is to understand the target audience. The target audience is the group of people for which the content is meant, and there must be a defined target audience for the content to generate leads effectively. Copywriters use information about the target audience to make subtle, but effective changes to the content so that it connects with the right group.
In a B2B format, the target audience is key people within a company that could be a potential business partner. This includes people like hiring managers, researchers, project leaders, and executives who have some level of control or influence within the company. These are the people who often make key decisions about the direction of the business. Copywriters tailor content to address their specific needs or concerns and position your company as a solution to those concerns. Unlike with B2C copywriting, there are likely multiple stakeholders with varying needs to target.
Evaluate Competitor Content Marketing Strategies
A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis is a smart move to make for companies in any segment or industry. When it comes to B2B copywriting, it’s critical to understand which companies your competitors are, as well as what their content marketing strategies are. If every competitor maintains a blog with posts twice a week, creating more content than theirs can be a smart strategy in an attempt to push their search results further down. You want your company’s website to be seen as more relevant.
Smart copywriters don’t just assume what copy would work best. They find out for sure using split testing strategies. With split testing, two versions of an email, document, or promotion are sent to a small segment of your email subscription list. Before one is sent to the large remainder of the list, its performance is evaluated so only the best performing option is sent out en masse. This includes comparing open rates, click-throughs, and conversions from each version of the text and layout.
B2B copy is almost always more professional than B2C copy. Since the audience is comprised of business owners, executives, and other leaders, it’s key to portray client companies as professional, credible, and reputable within the industry. B2C copy can often rely on stories and humor in a way that B2B companies cannot.
Highlight Problem-Solving Abilities
B2B content is designed to position your company as the solution to key problems and concerns of other companies. For it to be effective, it needs to demonstrate the ability to solve business problems in a way that appeals to other companies. Copywriters take note of specific skills and abilities that your company owns and use them to position your company as a solution to a specific problem. Doing so brings your company into the spotlight, and makes decision makers more willing to explore business opportunities with your company.
Strong B2B copywriters understand their audience, do enough research to understand a company’s place among competitors, and draft 100 percent original content that connects with the audience. Creating content for businesses can be rewarding work. Choosing a writer with experience specific to the B2B space can make a difference in the outcome of a writing project.
Melanie G. is a freelance writer and editor living in Tampa, Florida. She’s freelanced full-time since she left her writing job at Nielsen in 2012.