Imagine being invited to a drinks party and you find yourself stuck in a corner with a person who talks ‘at’ you in a boring monologue, interrupted only by some statistics to back up his theory? You couldn’t escape fast enough, right?
If you write marketing content that isn’t engaging and of relevance to your audience, then you’re at risk of it becoming the equivalent of that bore in the room.
The past 2 years has seen a seismic shift in our working lives. Hybrid working has blurred the boundaries between office and home and when once your work communications were read in a traditional office setting, they can now be accessed in the garden, on the sofa, while out on a dog walk.
The result of this change in our work/life balance is that every form of marketing, including B2B, now must reach an audience with a new, less corporate mindset.
Any writing for B2B marketing needs to shift its tone from the equivalent of a ‘telephone voice’ to something that’s less formal and more human, empathetic, natural, and genuine.
The best way to ensure that change in tone? Start by only using words or phrases that you would also use while speaking.
6 reasons why it’s important to write like you talk
Customers have less time
Customers may have switched their daily commute for their daily constitutional 10,000 steps, but that doesn’t mean they have more time. The working day is now being interrupted by the realities of home life, meaning any marketing needs to grab their attention quickly and efficiently to be effective.
Everyone is multi-screening
Come on, we all do it … start watching a movie only to find yourself scrolling through your emails 10 minutes later. With advances in technology meaning, you can access almost all communications on a mobile device, you’ll often find yourself swapping from your personal Instagram feed to a work email to LinkedIn within the space of 10 minutes.
The reality of this screen surfing means effective marketing needs to resonate with the intended recipient quickly, whenever, and wherever, whether that’s suited and booted and at their desk, or in their PJs on the sofa. Marketing communications that can’t engage the audience quickly, that are too longwinded or formal, will quickly find themselves forgotten.
Customers only want to read what’s relevant to them
With the growth in digital marketing, the amount of content that consumers are exposed to daily is at an all-time high. The way to reach your intended audience is to make sure your marketing material is relevant, engaging and offers them solutions to problems they currently need to solve. Content that bamboozles with facts or stats or formal language will no longer make you stand out in the daily tidal wave of digital marketing.
Customers increasingly expect marketing to be more personal
Sophisticated algorithms are resulting in more in-depth analytics, meaning marketers can tailor their content to be increasingly personalised. Playing it safe with a more formal, generic style marketing message that may not connect with your audience is unlikely to win the marketing long game.
The effect of the chatbot
The increase in organisations utilising chatbot functions means that people expect to speak to an organisation in real-time. Gone are the days of long emails to customer service, today we expect to get an answer within a matter of seconds simply by typing our query into that bottom right-hand square! The term ‘chatbot’ is a giveaway, people now expect to be able to communicate with almost any organisation in this rapid, informal way.
Trust is more important than ever
With the reduction in face-to-face interactions, an organisation's marketing must now build trust with their customer. If your marketing content comes across as formal and remote, it’s unlikely to send that message. Make it sound genuine, human, and real and you’re one step closer to building that lasting relationship.
Finally, remember the intended result of any content marketing is to generate leads and make sales. In an increasingly congested digital landscape that may seem an uphill challenge, but following the simple steps of
- capturing their attention with smart imagery or a standout headline
- keeping them engaged with written content that resonates or intrigues them.
- then leading them to a well-placed and timely call-to-action
is the recipe for success.