Is your website copy clear about what you do?

‘Of course, our website copy tells people what our company does,’ I hear you say.

Slightly different question: Does your website copy describe what your company does using the same words and phrases your clients would use?

Photo by Benjamin Dada on Unsplash

Because that’s the thing, the words you use and those your potential clients use might not be the same. And it’s a crucial distinction if you want your business website to appear in searches.

When you are in the flow of writing about what you do, talking about your services and offer, it’s tempting to make it sound, well, a bit more flash. You might want to use technical terms or marketing lingo.

Here’s an example. I came across a company name, and I wanted to check what they did. I had an inkling were an office fit-out business.

So I Googled the company name to find their website and clarify what they did.

After spending 10 minutes scrolling through various pages on their website, I was still not 100% sure if they were an office fit-out company.

Fancy phrases vs clear and simple

The reason? Nowhere on the website did it mention ‘fit-out’. Instead, they used phrases like ‘end-to-end workspace solutions’.

If you were looking for a company to fit out your new office, would you search for ‘end-to-end workspace solutions’? Or would you search for ‘office fit-out company’?

It’s not unusual for B2B website copy to leave visitors confused about what the business actually does.

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Panel events: Are you creating an echo chamber of views?

Many years ago, I chaired a roundtable on the future of business parks.

A business park developer, an agent who leased business park space, an architect who designed business parks, and a business park tenant took part in the discussion.

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

There was lots of excited conversation about what the business park of the future would look like, what facilities it would have and how it would be used.

The occupier wasn’t joining in, so I asked what they thought of the suggestions. What they said stopped everyone in their tracks.

Why?

The tenant – the business that may or may not lease space in the future – didn’t want most of what was suggested.

Instead, they reeled off a list of what they did want from a business park.

I used to regularly chair panel discussions for the magazine I worked for.

Curve ball panellist

They were great generators of content and brand awareness but what made them really fly was when there was a ‘curve ball’ panellist.

There would be a range of people on the panel representing different sides of property development. However, the best discussions were when there was someone whose experience was different from the rest of the panellists.

An outsider.

One example was a discussion about economic growth in a particular region. Four out of five of the panellists were from the area and one was not.

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The benefits of putting personality into B2B content

‘I don’t think sounding authentically you is the exclusive preserve of social media.

When I’m writing and commenting on social media, Grammarly grumbles at my word choice. Or rather, it points out that I overuse words such as ‘great’, ‘brilliant’, ‘really’ and ‘excellent’.

Make your writing sound human. Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

But when I am writing as myself, rather than for a client, those words are me. They are words I say—a lot.

I see social media as a conversational platform. It’s not a report or a brochure; it’s me talking to my connections, so I use the same words I’d use in a conversation.

They reflect who I am. Why hide my personality?

But I don’t think sounding authentically you is the exclusive preserve of social media.

Think of it another way. If you go to a networking event, how do you talk to people?

Do you talk in a manner that makes you sound like a PowerPoint presentation? I doubt it.

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Why publishing regular B2B content doesn’t have to be difficult

Producing regular B2B content can seem really daunting. If you are aiming to publish weekly, that’s 50 odd posts which can seem like a lot of ideas.

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But it isn’t as onerous a task as it initially appears.

First of all, don’t set out to write 1,500 words a week; website content, which is 400 words and upwards, is fine. Concentrate on writing what each topic is worth rather than hitting a particular word count.

To make coming up with B2B content ideas seem less daunting, start by thinking about the key pain points/areas of interest for your target audience.

Break down your ideas

You talk to your clients so you know what concerns them most, what questions get asked regularly and where they most need help.

Draw up a list of key subject headlines. Then think about how you can break each headline down.

Rather than writing one long piece on one topic, think of writing a series of shorter pieces looking at different aspects.

These can form the basis of your ‘evergreen’ content. Write a bunch of them in advance, so you have them ready or at least have the ideas sketched out to inspire you.

Then think about key events and dates in your business calendar, which will generate ideas or that you will want to comment on.

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Want people to stop scrolling and click on your B2B content?

Promoting your content on social media can be a great way of increasing engagement with your B2B content but there is an art to writing posts that get people to stop scrolling and click through to your content.

A row of people in suits all looking at their smart phones - picture is a close up of their hands.
Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

Think of LinkedIn or Twitter as like a huge crowd with everyone shouting to be heard. You need to craft a few sentences that stand out and grab attention.

It’s not simply a case telling people you’ve written something and they will click through and read.

Doing this just lets down all the hard work you put into your creating your B2B content.

Look at it this way. If you were selling a book door to door, you wouldn’t simply say: “I have a book, do you want to buy it?”

You’d talk about what was in the book and why it was interesting or useful.

And yet it isn’t unusual to see a social media post that says something like: ‘Our latest report on the office market is out’.

Now context, the business brand or person writing the post might help.

But it may not.

And if you are relying solely on who you are to ‘sell’ your content to potential readers, then you are missing out.

Hint: People may not know who you are or have read anything you’ve written before.

You want to make people stop and pay attention and to do that you need to capture their interest or intrigue about your content, so people want to click through and read it.

Here are some ideas for how you can do that:

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