Quick Guide: Write Marketing That Convinces And Commands Attention
Reading Time: 8 minutes
B2B marketing copy is not rocket science, it just involves thinking about the words that make up your marketing in a different way. The biggest change is going to be keeping your customer top of mind with all that you write. We’ll cover some ways I’ve found effective for doing that.
Let’s talk about it:
As an English major, this fact always got to me: words do not always explain exactly what we want to say in all its complexity.
Words are just sounds we make up to mean things — but they have no inherent meaning, other than what we agree they mean.
When you consider the word “copy,” what is it really? And what is “messaging?” How different are they really?
I’m likely going to be using words like “copy” and “messaging” interchangeably. Please know that I’m essentially referring to the same thing, writing words that persuade, aimed at new customers.
First, before we jump into more specific messaging tactics, let’s talk about the basics of copy for B2B lead generation.
Copy for B2B Lead Generation Basics: What You Need to Know
When I began my marketing career some years ago, I was obsessed with the idea of being a proper copywriter. I drooled over the ‘elite’ classes offered by such-and-such organization by such-and-such expert, disappointed because they always seemed to cost more than I was willing to pay. Luckily, the story has a happy ending: I ended up learning copywriting by actually writing copy for top internet and media brands, some featured on popular outlets such as Refinery29, MTV, and Cosmopolitan.
Here is what I learned about producing great copy, and what I’ll cover quickly here:
- Keep it simple.
- Keep it toned.
- Keep it action-oriented.
- Start at your prospect’s level.
- Tell ‘em what they have to do.
- Insert an overarching story, if applicable.
You would not believe how well this works. In the past, it’s helped me spur a near-comatose mom-and-pop office business into one where overcrowding will soon be a problem. We’ve seen increases of 600% to 800% in actual money-in-hand leads. Also, as a consumer these copy tactics have sold me more than a few times.
Keep it simple
You’ve heard of K.I.S.S.? Well, all you have to do is follow it as a guideline for good copy. Avoid using ten dollar words in your copy and terms that might appear on an SAT study sheet. A great way to write simply is to imagine yourself sharing this information with a buddy out loud. In fact, reading your writing out loud is a lovely trick for noticing how naturally it flows.
Note (and warning): Writing for the purpose of sales IS NOT about writing in the Queen’s proper English, with perfect grammar, and academic correctness.
Honestly, after graduating with honors from an English program, I had to unlearn most of what I learned in university, in order to be an effective marketer.
For example, I know ending sentences with suppositions like “for” and “to” are frowned upon—but I do this anyway since it’s how people talk. And it sounds more natural.
Just imagine if U2 had been focused with grammar,
“But I still have not found that for which I am looking”
Not really catchy, is it?
Keep it toned
You want to create a content style guide, use it to stay on tone and in your preferred voice.
Keep it action-oriented
Top marketers will often use lively and action-oriented phrases for buttons and other CTAs (call-to-action) such as:
- I Want This!
- Download Now
- Access My Free Class
- Send This Now!
Start at your prospect’s level
Using your supreme knowledge of who your ideal customer really is , what they want and how they behave, start your writing where your prospect currently lives.
For example, if you are selling a program on how to build lean fitness model-type muscle and burn fat, yet you know your ideal customer is several pounds overweight and sedentary, consider starting with the story of your struggle. Talk about how unsavory life was as a couch potato.
This helps work your empathy muscles, connect with your prospect in a deeper way, and makes writing copy more fulfilling.
Tell ‘em what they have to do
Especially when it comes to calls-to-action (or CTAs), make sure you are crystal clear when telling people about the next steps to take. It is not too much to say something like,
“Please scroll down to the bottom of this page and click the blue button that reads: ‘get my guide!’”
This leaves no room for misunderstanding.
Insert an overarching story, if applicable
It always makes writing flow better, and honestly, just makes it more entertaining to read when you keep an overarching story in mind while writing copy. This is a strategy that makes sense for longer, multipage pieces.
An example theme for a white paper on time management might be baseball. So, if the topic of baseball were our theme or overarching story, we would likely use headers such as:
- “How to Cover Your Bases with Time Strategies”
- “3 Strikes and You’re Out: Time Management No-No’s to Avoid”
- “Daily Distraction Curveballs to Be Ready For”
Tips For Writing Effective Messaging: B2B Lead Generation Tactics
Here are some of my favorite tips and tweaks for turning prospects into leads and converting those leads into sales. Where the tip is self-evident, I’ve decided to let it stand on its own and save you the reading. If further explanation is needed, I’ve added it in.
Focus your messaging on them
If your request benefits them, let them know how, as soon possible.
Use the least amount of words needed to get your point across
Use paragraph spaces religiously
Break up your blocks of text for better readability
Decide who you ‘are’ and let it shine
Let your brand (a.k.a who you are in business, your main super-power, trait, etc.) shine through all of your communication. Example: if you’re a wisenheimer, add in a tongue-in-cheek line at the end of your emails.
End with a question?
It helps to focus your message on a single point. It also guides leads on how they should respond to your message.
What do you think?
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