Making a Connection
Copywriting, at its heart, is like any other kind of writing – a form of communication. You, as the writer, want to send information via your words to the reader – and make a connection with them so that you can get your message across.
The ultimate degree of success of this communication depends on the depth of the connection. If you write in a way that doesn’t connect – that is uninteresting, inappropriate or irrelevant, the reader will switch off, with little to no chance of them ever engaging again.
Knowing Your Audience
So, how can a B2B copywriter avoid these kinds of disconnects? Know your audience.
Business to Business (B2B) involves transactions that occur between two companies, as opposed to transactions involving consumers (B2C). For a copywriter that wants to specialise in B2B, there are some fundamental differences between the two in terms of the audience you’re writing for.
1. Business buyers have a dual personality
Consumers are buying for one person – themselves. B2B copywriters need to cater to someone who is making a decision for themselves, AND for the business they represent.
For example, they might look at a product as an individual and love it – it ticks every box and if it was personally up to them, they would buy it in a heartbeat. But from a business perspective, there are extra considerations that come into play.
A computer manufacturer is looking to buy parts from a supplier. Here are some of the questions a purchasing officer may have in mind, with some thought processes in brackets:
o Can I buy wholesale?
(Obviously, I’m not interested in retail prices.)
o Can I buy in very large volumes?
(I need to ship to customers all over the world in bulk.)
o Are prices ultra-competitive?
(As I’m buying in bulk, I need to look carefully at the value I am getting.)
o Are prices relatively stable?
(I have a set monthly purchasing budget.)
o Do you offer fast delivery times?
(My customers expect fast turn-arounds.)
o Do you offer deferred payments?
(This is my preferred way of doing business.)
Now of course, a B2B company might not be able to answer ‘yes’ to all of these options – but you need to know which ones are possible. If you can incorporate that information seamlessly into your copy, you’ll go a long way to building a deep connection because the audience will quickly see that you’re meeting their needs.
2. Business buyers are more sophisticated
Impulse buying in a B2B scenario is rare. What business buyers purchase in comparison to B2C is often bigger and more long-term in nature. In addition, expensive acquisitions need to be justified to the boss. This means that they can’t afford to make a mistake, so they usually take quite a bit longer to make a decision.
Some B2B copywriters think that because business buyers are generally more sophisticated, they need to have to add an ultra-high level of ‘elegance’. So, they put on their ‘super-wordsmithing cape’ and go into full-on ‘high-class’ message mode.
Let’s imagine they’re asked to write about a company selling a new software package. It might look something like this:
We believe our clients should abjure their allegiance to the antiquated and apocryphal technology of our competitors and show a high level of acumen by assiduously approbating our systems.
And this is just using words that start with the letter ‘a’!
Yes, of course you need to have a writing tone that has a certain level of sophistication. But writing that is too ‘lyrical’, too ‘outlandish’ makes it look like you’re focusing on trying to make yourself look clever, rather than focusing on connecting with the audience.
If you’d like to read more about the art of copywriting, look out for more blogs in this series. Or if you’d like to share your thoughts, contact me at [email protected].