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B2B Copywriting: hitting the sweet spot

B2B Copywriting: The Sweet Spot

So broadly, there are four kinds of B2B copywriting and they fall into the neat little quadrants formed when two important axes intersect: Clarity and Authenticity.

Clarity is probably the most important and least common dimension in B2B copywriting. It’s about saying exactly what you mean and making it easy for the reader (or listener or viewer) to extract your meaning. When people talk about ‘good writers’ they usually mean people who write clearly.

But even good writers can fall short on the other important dimension in B2B copywriting: authenticity. Authenticity is about sounding like you really know what you’re talking about. The best way — but not the only way — to achieve authenticity is to actually know what you’re talking about. If you do, you can’t help but be authentic when you speak or write.

The problem in B2B copywriting is that the people who really know what they’re talking about are not often the people who can write clearly. This leaves the B2B marketer with a tough choice: produce knowledgeable stuff that normal people can’t or won’t read; or generate slick, well-written copy that lacks credibility and that sense of having actually practiced what it preaches.

The Sweet Spot in B2B copywriting is copy that combines authenticity and clarity. Sweet Spot writing is 10-37 times more effective than writing that sits in any of the other three quadrants because:

  • Buyers read it effortlessly
  • They take away exactly what you want them to take
  • They’re much more likely to believe you
  • They’re left with the impression that you’re a company of experts
  • They appreciate that you haven’t wasted their time or blinded them with science
  • They feel much more inclined to do business with you

How do you get your B2B copywriting into the Sweet Spot?

1) Find the best writers you can – inside your company or outside

2) Get them together with your experts – and buy them really good sushi

3) Have your experts review the result – but don’t let them ruin its clarity

All this relates to the style of writing rather than the content itself. Of course, you can have clear, authentic copy that still tells a soggy story or builds a weak argument. For this, you might find our Holy Trinity of B2B Marketing helpful.

The moral of the story is: invest the time, money and effort in getting your B2B copywriting into the Sweet Spot and you’ll get rich, famous and fulfilled. Fail to do so and you will become poor, obscure and frustrated. Which would be a shame.

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2 Responses to “B2B Copywriting: hitting the sweet spot”

  1. Dennis

    “The people who really know what they’re talking about are not often the people who can write clearly.”

    Completely agree.

    I’m challenged by this every day when I’m trying to write more technical things. My strategy to know what I’m talking about is to not stop with the product overview presentation. Keep learning about the products and business, with or without sushi :)

    And sometimes that does mean reading that boring 150 page report!

  2. Doug Kessler

    Thanks Dennis. We spend a huge amount of time getting under the skin of our clients and their products and markets. Lots of up front work but it ALWAYS pays off.

    Interviews with our clients’ customers are a particularly fruitful source of authenticity. You harvest their language — the way they talk about their problems.

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