If you’re just starting out in your freelancing career and have joined a couple of freelance networking sites, you might have noticed adverts periodically emerging that mention B2B writing. But without much experience in this space, or with a limited business background, you might be unsure what B2B stands for, or what it means to be a B2B writer.
So what’s it all about? Let me explain:
Every business either sells to a consumer (Business To Consumer, or B2C), or another business (Business To Business, or B2B). An example of a B2C business could be a car dealership, where customers go to a showroom, select their preferred car, check out and leave with a little less money in their pockets. On the other hand, a B2B business might be an automotive parts manufacturer that sells the car parts needed to create the finished product.
Now, you might be thinking that it doesn’t matter whether your write for B2C or B2B, the principles are the same. But writing for B2B is unique. Here’s why:
Some marketing experts believe that consumers are very emotion-driven when making a purchase, where as buyers for businesses use logic to assess the product’s value for their company. A B2B company will therefore want to emphasise ROI (return on investment) to guarantee that the buyer (another business) is satisfied that their purchase will add value to their company. According to Forbes, almost half of surveyed B2B buyers said that they’ve been held back from making a business purchase through fear of risk. As a B2B writer, you’d need to think about how to sell a product or service using persuasive wording that gives the buyer no hesitation that they’re making an investment decision, rather than just a whimsical impulse-buy they’ll later regret. It’s also smart to remember that a business is required to justify its spending, so it’s critical they have enough information about the product or service you represent to effectively do this.
Depending on the product or service, B2B writing can be more technical than B2C writing. Going back to our example of car part manufacturing, writers for this particular space would need to demonstrate a good knowledge of technical language surrounding the parts, their purpose and function, and convince buyers that they’re investing in good quality automotive parts for their business. Consumers of the finished product (in this case, the car buyers) are less interested in the overly technical stuff and more interested in the general aesthetics and functionality of the car as a whole. Laymen terminology might be used in B2C writing, which is not often seen in B2B writing.
What B2B and B2C writing do have in common is the concept of storytelling. Everyone likes a good story, and there’s no reason stories can’t be appropriately used in marketing communications by a B2B company. The key thing to remember is to keep the needs of the buyer in mind. When working with a B2B company, ask to see a picture or profile of their ‘typical customer’. This could be as simple as a LinkedIn profile. Keep this profile in view when writing content and your language will adapt naturally.
Finally, B2B writing needs to be rich with facts and figures. Use authoritative websites to find interesting nuggets of information and inject these into your marketing material. This helps to persuade the buyer into making and justifying their purchase.
There’s a lot more to say about B2B writing, and that’s why we’d like to invite you to download our course ‘Be Your Own Boss, Learn To Write Content For Businesses‘. Alternatively, you can sign up to our membership programme and discover job postings, tutorials, interviews and much more.