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If you’re like many new writers, you’re hesitant to write for the B2B audience because you’re not quite sure what it means to be a B2B writer.
Sure, there’s a technical definition — business-to-business — but what does it really mean to write for a business? And what do businesses want from their writers?
Your questions are well-founded.
Businesses are serious business, and you don’t want to step into a field with a lot riding on your words when you don’t entirely know what you’re about. But, with the increased growth in the B2B writing market and rates that run upwards of $1 per word, it would be a disservice to avoid this field without at least looking into it.
Here’s a bit of background information about B2B writing and what it takes to be successful in this lucrative writing field.
Why B2B writing is worth it
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s recent 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends survey, businesses need content. Seventy-six percent of marketers report they will produce more content in 2016 than the year before, 51 percent say they’ll increase their budget for content in the next 12 months, and 60 percent say that producing the content is their number-one challenge.
You know what this means? It means that there’s a huge built-in market for writers who know how to talk about business problems and sell products and services to other businesses.
These clients already know they need your services and they already know your services are worth the cost. They just need to meet you and get sold on the fact that you’re the right writer for them.
Skills you need to be successful in B2B writing
You know the market is there, so how do you know you’ll enjoy the work? Here are three skills you’ll need to be successful or desirable as a B2B writer:
- Writing talent: You know how to put words together into convincing and well-received sentences. You know how to convey meaning clearly for readable, relatable online content.
- Business awareness: You understand that businesses invest in products and services to make more money and then re-invest that money in their products and services. You know how customer service, marketing, leadership, and sales work together to keep a business afloat (and if you run your own business, you definitely know this!).
- Digital research savvy: You know how to perform research online to uncover interesting statistics and quickly understand the lingo businesses use for their products and services. You have a basic knowledge of SEO keywords and writing for search engines to help businesses get online traffic.
If you aren’t strong in any of these three areas, that’s where you can hone in on your training to grow your skills and become a great B2B writer.
How B2B writing is different
Writing for a B2B audience is a topic that could be a whole course. But you can get started in this field by understanding a few simple principles.
First, understand that the B2B audience is made up of people who represent a company. While for B2C (business-to-consumer) writing you write to an individual who is making choices for himself, when you write for a B2B audience you’re writing for an individual who is making choices for his place of work. He’ll need to justify this purchase to his boss or his boss’s boss, and he’ll want to know all of the technical details up front.
Second, know that the B2B audience values statistics and information about the return on investment (ROI) that comes from the products or services being advertised. Essentially, they want to know that spending $1000 on the product you’re advertising will net the company $2,000 or $5,000 more revenue. Any investment needs to provide a return.
Finally, B2B audiences take in information in the marketing age in many different ways. B2B writing can take the form of blog posts and articles on a company’s website, or articles via a high-traffic publication like Forbes or Inc.
B2B audiences also might need to recieve content in the form of press releases, white papers, and case studies, each of which have their own format, best practices, and price points.
If it sounds like B2B writing could be a good fit for you, don’t waste another minute writing for low-paying content mills.
Dig deeper into which businesses could benefit from your writing speciality and craft a few example pieces with these principles in mind.
B2B writers, share your story: How did you get started in this field?