B2B content and the art of writing an intriguing opening line

The headline on your B2B content needs to grab attention and stop the scroll, but your opening line needs to keep the reader hooked and make them want to read on.

It is a powerful combination, but how do you write an intriguing intro to your article or thought leader?

A desk with a notebook and pen in the foreground and laptop behind with a blank screen.
Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Writing an intriguing opening line is a powerful tool. There are simple ways of creating intrigue, and you can also get quite creative.

Below are just four ideas to give you a flavour and hopefully inspire your content writing. I’ve made up some examples to illustrate – they are complete fiction, so don’t think of them as actual market commentary.

1. Use a question

Questions can be used in several different ways – lookout for a future blog post on this. But one simple technique is to focus your intro on a question that you subsequently answer in the article.

Framed correctly it gives the reader an indication of what the article will cover and asks a question they are keen to find the answer for.

Examples:

In a competitive post-Covid office market, how do landlords ensure their vacant space attracts occupiers?

Or:

How do you land occupiers when the office market is competitive?

2. Challenge common perspectives (or misconceptions)

Presenting an idea which challenges commonly held perceptions or assumptions – or misconceptions can be a great way of intriguing readers.

It is something unexpected, and people want to know where there might be gaps in their knowledge.

Continue reading “B2B content and the art of writing an intriguing opening line”

3 ways to turn a conversation into B2B content

If you write B2B content for your business, there’s a strong chance you’ll have to create blog posts and articles based on conversations you’ve had with colleagues/clients.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

There are different ways to approach it depending on how you want to use the conversation and get the information across. For example, how much of the ‘interviewees’ voice do you want in your piece of B2B content?

Here are three different styles of write up to consider with pros and cons:

1. Simple Q&A

This can be the easiest way of getting across someone’s thoughts and ideas on a topic.

Writing up can be easy, too, particularly if you carefully plan your questions.

If you can, order your questions so that there is logical flow to them.

This means, when you come to write up your Q&A, you’ve already got a structure, so it’s just a case of trimming and editing the answers into coherent (and concise) written English.

If it’s been a more organic conversation, it can make it more tricky to pin down specific questions and answers. And you’ll have to work out a logical structure.

Q&A style interviews, because of their structure, means it’s harder to give context and background or set the scene (planning your questions can help).

But while you can rewrite your question to introduce a particular point, you don’t want them to be long and rambling.

Continue reading “3 ways to turn a conversation into B2B content”

Four ‘rules’ about B2B content writing you can ignore

Writing styles, communication and language evolve, but it sometimes feels like B2B content is stuck in the past.

From the questions and comments I get, there are several misconceptions about writing B2B content (and copy).

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

But here’s the thing: I’ve never found the rule book that sets out what you can and can’t do.

Which is good news for B2B content creators because it means you can make your own rules.

It’s about what works for you and your brand, your tone of voice, how you want to be seen and crucially, getting your message or story across.

But first, you need to let go of the invisible rule book:

Rule 1: You have to use technical language to sound professional.

B2B content is about communicating an idea, a story or message to your existing and target clients, peers, partners and potential collaborators.

And you want to do that in a way that is clear and easy for your audience to understand.

Using technical language risks misunderstanding. It can alienate your audience, or they simply won’t read on.

Just because you understand those words don’t assume your audience does.

Research by King’s College found that words and phrases the media commonly used, such as ‘woke’ and ‘culture wars’ are not as widely understood as their use would suggest.

Writing simply and clearly is not dumbing down; it’s the clever way of getting your story or ideas or messages across to your audience.

Rule 2: You have to use fancy words

A lot of B2B content uses words that you would never use if you were talking to someone. Would you say ‘utilise’ or ‘commence’ in a conversation?

The people you are writing for are no different from the people you speak to, so why use a different vocabulary?

Continue reading “Four ‘rules’ about B2B content writing you can ignore”