Content, for most of us, means writing lengthy blogs, articles or posts. Just a lot of words, strung together to communicate something to an audience.
It’s more than that.
Content also consists of videos you post, the photos you share, the design and everything else you see on social media. It requires planning, strategy and lots of analysing.
Chethna Sathyanarayan hosted a meetup on ‘Beginners Guide to Writing B2B Content’ where she gave examples of how she writes content at Instamojo. She even shared her own cheat codes that she's learnt while working as a marketer. You won’t find these in any book, blog, journal or video. 😀
In this blog, we cover those cheat codes so you can have a head start in your B2B content writing career.
Let’s start with the basics
According to Chethna, content is:
‘ The entire user experience you provide to anyone who comes across your brand. Think of your content as any medium through which you communicate with the people who use your products or services.'
Instamojo’s USP is to help small businesses find solutions for online payments.
Instamojo assists with clients' problems through blogs, videos, webinars & ebooks. The Instamojo Content team works to provide value to small businesses across India through their campaigns and blogs.
B2B content is different from B2C, but that does not mean it is boring. B2B content allows you to balance fun and facts for your customers.
With B2B content, you need to keep it crisp. People have a short attention span and imbibing to a few golden rules of B2B content writing can help you in overcoming this problem.
To get started, Chethna suggested Ann Handly’s book- Everybody Writes. This book is the ‘Bible for marketers’ especially for those who have recently started B2B marketing.
For those who might prefer to read short forms instead, Marketingprofs.com is a good blog to refer to.
Types of Content you can work on:
- Blogging = Storytelling
There are misconceptions that B2B blogs do not sell. As quoted by Hubspot (mavericks of digital marketing), B2B blogs are highly preferred after videos and ebooks.
- Infographics = Turning blogs into albums
Infographics are more than just a flow of images. They are facts, figures and essential forms of B2B content. They increase the reach of your website and blogs. The most important cheat code for infographics is this - follow a sequence and always, ALWAYS cite your sources.
- Ebooks = Not novels
Ebooks need not take too much time to write, and they need not be an actual novel! Ebooks are a great way to generate leads, especially when you ask readers to leave their email ID before downloading the ebook. Keep your ebooks clean, with good minimal design.
- Webinars = Perfect lead generation tool during a lockdown
This is the perfect time to conduct online live webinars with other businesses and brands who can have a direct impact on your audience. Find a topic that targets your crowd, wherever they are located and host your webinar on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or even Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
- Weekly emailers and newsletters
No matter what people say, emails are one of the most important engagement tools for B2B companies. Your message directly reaches your target audience and there are tools to see who all opened it. The open rates increase massively when you write a catchy subject line.
- Videos = Product tutorials/ launch announcements
Being creative with content allows you to try different things. One of the best ways to hook your audience is by sharing videos on topics they might be interested in.
Take an example of product manuals. Nobody likes to only read long forms of content. A 5 -minute video sounds quicker and has the same value. You can make videos on various topics like talking about a new product or features, customer stories, how-tos, the ideas are endless.
Process of writing a perfect B2B blog
Start with a vision in mind.
Most writers suggest writing the headlines at the end. But Chethna spends most of her writing time coming up with the ideal headline. The blog writes itself after that.
The headlines give the blog a vision of where it has to go.
Start the week by updating yourself with the news. Research what’s happening in the industries where your customers are, read about Government updates and public opinions.
Writing a blog is like crafting the perfect curry. You know the prominent ingredient for a curry is the main vegetable (e.g paneer), but you do not only focus on that. You also make sure you get the consistency of the spices right, you add just the right amount of vegetables, and you always go easy with the salt.
Keep this in mind when you write a blog and you will know if the curry needs less salt, more paneer or simply needs to cool before you heat it up again!
How to start writing B2B content?
- Start your blog by making short notes for yourself
- Share information that is valuable and useful to your customers
- Give some actionable steps to follow, so they save time and don’t have to search further on the topic
Remember, your overall blog should be like a short film. Keep them engaged till the very end.
Take key phrases from business news and put them in your title. These phrases are keywords that will help you get more reach
- Always keep your titles short and crisp, preferably within 57 characters
- Nobody likes to see big blocks of words. Use simple language
- Always use bullets and numbered lists where you can. They keep the attention of the reader going
⚉ Indian audience prefers straightforward English
When it comes to explaining technical topics, think of writing a letter to your mother. How would you explain her regression analytics? She doesn’t want to read fancy words and phrases. Mom wants a solution asap.
⚉ Keep them engaged
- Add fun elements like Gifs, photos, videos
- This hooks them to your blog and makes it more lively
- Use dry humour to add other verbal fun elements
⚉ Keep your buyer persona in mind
- This will help you know what your audience is looking for, what their problems are and how you can solve them
- If you have recently started with B2B content, mug up your buyer persona
- Define who your target audience is and how you can create an impact on them through your blogs
⚉ Always end with a CTA
- Redirect them to another blog, landing page or video
- You want them to stay on your website and know more about you
How to create content for your customers?
Make the vision a reality. The first and foremost rule is to understand your customers. As mentioned above, know your buyer persona so thoroughly that you know exactly what they are looking for.
- Start asking yourself what kind of content do you want to create and make a strategy around it
- For a sustainable blog strategy, make an excel sheet to fill in details about each blog. Like this one:
Once you have created discipline in writing, you’ve cracked the code! It will align all the other things.
⚉ Set up a content SEO plan.
- It is extremely important to have your keyword research done before you start your blog
- This will help you rank higher on Google
- People can find you easily when they search for the information you have to offer
⚉ But also don’t stuff your content with keywords. Put it in:
- The title
- Lede (the line just after the title, you can call it the sub-title)
- A few places in the body of your blog
⭐ Create a series for people to come back for more
Instamojo created a number of different monthly series to boast about the small businesses that use their platform.
One of them was mojoMakers that consisted of stories about businesses that were doing well using Instamojo’s products. Here is an example of how they used that content on their website.
Another was Merchants of Instamojo where they talked about their unique customers.
How to come up with ideas for B2B blogs? 💡
To generate unique content:
- Keep an eye on your competitors & customers
- Follow their Social Media (especially Twitter)
- Look out for what they are posting ( but NEVER copy them!)
- Find out customer/clients pain points and write a blog about it
- Find out what questions their customers are asking and write a blog on that too
- There will be a lot of old content with outdated facts and figures. Repurpose that content for your audience with current facts and figures
Tips on eBooks and Infographics
Chethna’s trick to produce an eBook in two days is to work around topics she has already written blogs about and give it a catchy title full of keywords.
An example she gave was- “The only guide you need to write B2B content. Exclusively for Indian companies”
You can also write an ebook in less time than you think. Here are some tips for you:
- Think of ebooks as a guide where you compile your blogs written on a certain topic
- Compile all blogs and articles you’ve written related to one topic
- When taking inspiration from others, never download two ebooks at once. You’ll have an information overload
- Before editing your ebook, come up with a catchy title that has all the relevant keywords
- Add unique infographics
- Keep the ratio of content and design equal (50-50)
- Keep it ‘tipsy’- give a lot of actionable tips
- Generate revenue by adding CTAs- take readers to the landing page, redirect them using links and show them other pages of your website
⭐ Don't give your eBooks for free. Generate leads by taking their emails to download the eBook.
An infographic is a picturesque way to put your content in the form of an album. Start with creating a content style guide for your infographics.
- Invest in the design. You should have a clear design idea. Keeping your designs simple and minimal is a key to attract the Indian audience
- Take other business examples, to begin with
- It should be in a sequence. Keep it concise and flowy till the end
- Always credit the primary source when collecting information
- Take your time to ideate and collect data when working solo
How can you transition into a B2B content writer?
Nobody is a natural B2B content writer. Even the ones who have been ‘natural’ writers find it tough transitioning to it.
B2B writing has a different tone, voice and technique. Chethna started her career as a travel blogger and has donned several hats since. She liked writing about travelling, food, and the city she lives in. So, naturally, it was challenging for her to build a B2B content writer’s mindset. Thanks to a supportive team, Chethna understood the industry’s user persona, audience mindset and blogging style after a few trials and errors and states that studying it deeply is one of the reasons why her blogs are easier to write now.
Tips by Chethna on how you can start writing B2B content:
- Coming from a different background might be challenging in the beginning. You might have a different approach to writing
- Understanding your company’s voice and buyer persona is extremely important. The buyer persona will help you think of relevant topics and ideas to write about
- Sometimes you’ll think the ideas might work, but it may end up NOT working because that's not what people want to read then and there
- Find out what your audience is reading and try to keep up with them
Understand what your audience will gain after reading your blogs. How will it help them or make their life easy?
Golden rules to always keep in mind
★ No idea is a bad idea. Make sure whatever you are doing, the customer is always in your mind
★ Use active voice while writing
★ Avoid using filler words like- according to, if, when, therefore
★ Start with writing an ugly first draft. Take a break and edit it
★ Focus on your H1, H2, H3s
⭐ And always remember:
Remove, Edit, Rephrase, Retract, based on what you think is right.
Hope this blog helped you in some way. Share your feedback below 😊
Find out about our upcoming meetups here.