3 Simple Steps to Writing Better B2B Web Copy
When you work in a B2B industry, it’s hard to boil down the essence of your business into a few bullet points. After all, your sales cycle could take months of back-and-forth calls, meetings, pitches, quotes, and contract negotiations before it comes to a close. How do you condense all of that information into a website?
Easy. You don’t.
A B2B website can’t be everything for every reader, and it shouldn’t try. Oftentimes, though, it’s your first point of contact, and what you say matters.
Think of your website as a cold call, a sales meeting, and a trade show booth all rolled into one. This is where first impressions are formed and the foundation of your relationship is laid.
When you’re creating copy for your website, there are three simple tips that you have to keep in mind. If you can do that, you’ll be on the right track to making the right first impression with more of your visitors.
Remember: Nobody Cares What You Can Do
When a potential client gathers information from your website, they don’t care about what you can do. They care about what you can do for them. Want to give that reader the information they’re looking for in a quick, concise manner? Follow the same philosophy shared by some of today’s best novelists:
Show, don’t tell.
Your website has to spend some time explaining the products and services you provide, and that’s perfectly OK. But to engage your reader and convince them to take the first step in a long and complex B2B sales cycle—contacting you—that reader has to be able to see themselves benefiting from the relationship, and they have to see it right from the get-go.
Your website can serve as a venue for demonstrating your potential by sharing stories about past successes. Use case studies to explain what problems your clients have faced, what you’ve done to solve them, and how they ultimately benefited. This paints a clear picture for your site’s visitors, showing them that they could be next in line to reap the benefits of working with you. Instead of asking readers to take your word on the value of your services, you give them tangible proof that you can deliver the results they need.
Be Plain and Simple
When you’re writing online, it’s easy to overdo it with industry jargon and marketing speak. Need to find a way to describe your business? Step away from the keyboard for a few minutes.
Imagine that you’re talking with a few new acquaintances at a cocktail party. “What do you do,” they ask. Do you know what you would say?
You probably wouldn’t tell them, “Oh, I’m a marketing thought-leader for an agency that specializes in synergistic digital solutions founded on innovative statistical principles and consumer behavior predictive analysis.” Sure, the words sound vaguely impressive, but are these strangers going to walk away having any idea of what you actually do?
Think of the writing on your website as your digital elevator pitch—in less than a minute, you have to be able to explain yourself well enough that your prospect can walk away knowing who you are, what you do and what they can expect.
Figure Out What Makes You Different
There’s a reason your business exists. It’s the reason you have customers. Do you know what that reason is?
If you can’t communicate a value proposition that separates you from your competitors, your prospects won’t be able to tell you apart, let alone think that you’re their best choice. The trick to a great value proposition? Be objective. Here are a few examples of bad value propositions:
- Great customer service
- Fast delivery
- Quality product
- Reliable results
These aren’t just cliché—they’re subjective, and that’s just as bad. Your prospects see statements like these and think, “According to who?” Here are four value propositions that communicate similar ideas, but with the detail and objectivity that can make a major difference with your readers:
- Live customer service available 24/7
- Orders ship within 12 hours
- All products have satisfaction guaranteed
- 98% success rate
Objective statements like this make your value proposition tangible and well-defined, both piquing the reader’s interest with the promise of real results and giving them the confidence to reach out to you.
Naturally, designing a website and fortifying it with the right copy is more complex than just following these rules. If you show your readers what your business is capable of, communicate using language that makes sense, and deliver a powerful value proposition, though, you can much more easily lay the groundwork for generating more leads and getting the sales cycle off on the right foot.