Whether you manage projects for a content marketing agency or your in-house marketing team, you’ve likely battled a massive wave of content that threatens to crest over you. If you’re crunched for time, you might hire a writer – any writer – that can string together sentences coherently. And for most content marketers, that’s because finding a B2B content marketing writer with subject matter expertise is difficult. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 69 percent of respondents to a recent survey identified this as their top challenge.
But hiring a warm body with a laptop is a mistake. It’s like entering a surfing competition with a boogie board and hoping the judges don’t notice you’re not popping up on your board. Sure, you’ll ride the wave to the end, but you won’t impress your client. When you’re outsourcing content creation, here’s why it’s so important to look for partners with B2B writing experience.
Logic, Not Emotion, Prevails in B2B Buying
In the Star Trek universe, Andorians are volatile and passionate, while Vulcans are steady and calm. When you’re writing for consumers, being volatile and emotional is a feature, not a bug. Consumers purchase most items, particularly smaller items like cosmetics or even travel reservations, based on emotion. They want to seize upon that lifestyle: the palm trees, the clear skin, the laughing group of friends.
But in B2B content marketing, you’re writing for Vulcans. Particularly for enterprise software purchases, buyers want logical information: how much could the company save using this solution, how easy the solution is to implement, and what they’ll be able to do in the future. And depending on the industry, they won’t want a lot of fluff. “Storytelling” will annoy them. A writer without B2B writing experience, who dwells in the B2C universe and tries to spice things up, won’t impress the B2B world’s Spocks.
The B2B Buyer’s Journey Is Different
Both B2B buyers and B2C buyers start their purchasing journeys online, but that’s where the similarities end. When consumers buy something, they’re likely the sole decision-maker or consult with one other person. Consider an appliance purchase: Jane Smith will research several refrigerator models. She’ll compare the pros and cons of getting one with an ice maker, and she’ll envision how it will fit into the house. Jane will ask her partner what they think of the fridge and if it fits into their budget.
But a B2B buyer will go through a much more involved process. At work, Jane Smith needs to choose a customer experience management (CXM) system that works with its ERP software. She’ll form a team to review vendor websites, read white papers and case studies, and speak with the sales department to find out what they need from the CXM software. She’ll also check with the team in charge of the ERP software to find out if anything unusual about the setup would make integration difficult.
Jane may narrow down the CXM choices to a few. Then, she’ll set up demos for critical stakeholders to attend. After collecting feedback, reviewing the numbers, and meeting with management and potential users, Jane and the team will select a vendor. It’s a much longer process than when she bought a new fridge for her home. Someone with B2B writing experience understands this and will know how to align content to each stage of the journey.
B2B Audiences Have More at Stake
When consumers buy a dud of a product, they’re not answering to an entire organization. Jane might have purchased her car partially based on emotion, but when it breaks down, she’s not letting down everyone who relies on it to get their jobs done.
But if the CXM software she chose is challenging to use or implementation runs way over budget, she has to answer to end users and the C-suite. Jane needs to know that choosing Acme CXM is the right decision for her company; she doesn’t need to read fluff. Her career is on the line, and she wants to know with certainty that the software will integrate with their existing technology stack and that she’ll get the results promised.
B2B content marketing writers understand this. They don’t start blog posts with questions or use purple prose that only inflates the word count but adds little value. They’re the ones paddling out on their longboards, ready to pop up when the perfect wave nears its crest.
Are you looking for an experienced B2B writer? I’ve been writing content for Vulcans for over a decade. Contact me for a quote on your next project.