How to Win Time and Attention with B2B Conversational Content

How to Win Time and Attention with B2B Conversational Content

November 24, 2022 | By Judy Blaeske | No Comments

“The most precious gift you can

give someone is the gift

of your time and attention.”

 

You see that on social media memes and posters. Makes you feel kind of warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it?

But hang on a minute…

As a B2B copywriter, isn’t that what you want from your customers and prospects? The gift of their time and attention?

Now, gifts are exchanged as a sign of friendship, respect, appreciation, trust. There’s a relationship involved.

And developing a good relationship requires…? Yep. Time and attention. You need to work at it.

It’s the same with B2B marketing strategies. You’re working to build a relationship and win your customer’s trust.

How do you do that?

You engage them with business conversational content.

Be careful, though.

You’re not using overly familiar or colloquial language. It’s not flippant, but it’s not formal or academic either.

Steve Slaunwhite describes it as, ‘Writing in an intelligent, business casual style that connects best with business buyers.’

 

How Does It Work in B2B Marketing?

 

We know there are B2B marketers who don’t want to let go of the corporate-speak old school rules. They are highly suspicious and flatly reject conversational content. (I’ll share a best practice on handling that situation in a bit.)

Yet the reality is, conversational content does work in the B2B world. Well-known digital marketing expert Nick Usborne believes that B2B is the birthplace of conversational copywriting because sales happen through conversation naturally.

Why’s that?

The B2B sales journey involves more steps and more people along the way.

Look at the four stages of content marketing’s full sales funnel: research, comparison, purchase, and success or retention. All four involve a wide variety of content. Here are just a few examples:

  • Blog posts
  • Web pages
  • Social media posts
  • Reports
  • White papers
  • Case studies
  • Sales letters
  • Emails
  • Newsletters

 

Decision-makers will read that content throughout the sales journey and make their final decisions based on it.

It’s up to you, the B2B copywriter, to create the business conversational content to keep them engaged during that journey — so they’ll give you their time and attention.

 

Writing business conversational content isn’t a snap. It can be challenging.

So let’s look at some of things that’ll help you meet those challenges.

Know Your Customer

First of all, you should know and understand your target audience.

You can’t do that unless you have answers to the following essential questions:

  • Who are they?
  • What do they want or need and why?
  • What do they do?
  • And what do they care about?
  • What upsets them?
  • What makes them happy?

Remember that every audience is different. It depends on who wants your client’s product or service and why.

Once you know your audience, you’ll be able to engage them in meaningful conversations.

It’s that time and attention concept.

Here’s where a customer persona is helpful. Not sure what that involves?

A customer persona is a fictional description that identifies your client’s ideal customer or target audience. It does this with the help of certain key demographic and psychographic information, like:

  • Location
  • Personality type
  • Occupation
  • Age group
  • Interests
  • Common pain points and problems

It’s an amalgam of features that applies to the majority of your client’s customers.

What if your client doesn’t have a customer persona? That’s a win-win opportunity to work with them to develop one as part of your proposal.

Watch the Jargon

Once you know who your target audience is, you should know how to speak their language. Otherwise you won’t be able to create the business conversational content to hook them — and keep them engaged.

 

This is where jargon comes in. Let’s back-track a little.

Business conversational content should inform, engage, and persuade. It’s not pushy or salesy.

And, as mentioned earlier, B2B marketing communications have traditionally been bogged down in jargon corporate-speak. They were (and some still are) full of industry-specific phrases and buzzwords which ignore the most important factor: the audience.

But there are times when jargon or buzzwords fit.

For example, as copywriters and content writers we use jargon or buzzwords that are relevant to us and what we do.

Folks outside “our tribe” wouldn’t have the foggiest idea what some of our insider terms mean so we wouldn’t use them.

On the other hand, marketing a big-ticket item involves different stages understood by different people who will contribute to making the ultimate decision. Don’t forget them. You may have a scientific product to market for your client, and you’ll need some content that speaks to scientists at the prospect company. But some of the decision-makers at the prospect company may be financial decision-makers, managers, and purchasing agents.

If your content is loaded with technical terminology and corporate speak, you’ll lose some of them along the way.

Trying to sound impressive and using jargon and gobbledygook will leave the reader either confused, bored, uninterested — or all three.

Again, this is where you as the B2B business conversational content copywriter come to the rescue — you deliver quality content and valuable information.

You either revise the jargon right out of your content or else place it within a context that means something to the reader.

You earn their trust and lead them to wanting to purchase your client’s product or service.

In other words, you remove the barriers between your client and their target audience by writing business conversational content.

You engage them — and they give you their time and attention.

Conversational Content and SEO

 

Now, how does business conversational copywriting interconnect with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

 

I need to quote Nick Usborne again: “The concept of conversation is built in and has always been the foundation of what SEO is all about. It’s helping people find answers to the questions they have.”

And questions are the first steps in starting conversations.

Now, what’s the language your client is using to reach their target audience? Is the content written for the questions they’re asking?

If your client’s marketing tools are loaded with jargon and corporate-speak, how will they rank in search engine results?

If content isn’t written in a business conversational style that recognizes the keywords used by the audience in their questions, they won’t rank very well.

Why? The client isn’t listening to their audience so the audience isn’t giving them their time and attention. And the search engines know when that happens.

And If Your Client Says No?

You will meet clients who want formal, academic copy. They may want to keep filling their websites with complicated words and long, boring sentences and paragraphs.

They may stick to that preference even after you’ve shown them examples and comparisons. Maybe even a few Site Audits backing it up with some Google results.

You’ve got two options here.

You can agree with the client and do it in the style they want to keep.

Or you can tell them that you don’t write any other way.

You might lose the project. But if you don’t usually write in a formal style, you might not feel comfortable and may not give them the quality of work you normally give a client.

It’s a personal decision.

Wrapping Up

Steve Slaunwhite believes conversational writing style works best in B2B marketing. It engages.

Content that isn’t at all conversational is forgetting about the target audience.

So the target audience isn’t listening.

They aren’t giving their time and attention.

About the Author

Avatar

Judy Blaeske

Latest in B2B Copywriting

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top