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.

Photo by Lucas Davies on Unsplash

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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Twitter can teach you better B2B content engagement

First, it was text messages that had a limited number of characters, then Twitter arrived, and we had to hone our skills at writing succinctly while grabbing attention.

Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash

And yet when we are writing B2B content for platforms where there aren’t restrictions we seem to forget we need to work just as hard to get people interested.

Just because you have more space to fill with words doesn’t mean readers have more time to read.

Most B2B content is consumed in a digital format rather than print now. We scroll headlines, and social media feeds to find interesting content, often making snap decisions about whether to engage – click through – and read based on just a few words.

The discipline of writing succinctly for a Tweet – although more characters are allowed now – is a good one. It teaches you to get to the point in an engaging way.

In just a sentence or two, you need to say something interesting or intriguing or useful. Or you want to make them feel something or react.

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Simple ways to improve dwell time on your B2B website

Web search tools such as Google, like your B2B website more if people spend time on it rather than having a quick look. It’s a sign that your website is useful and interesting and content can play an important role in this.

Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi on Unsplash

First of all Google et al check your site to see if there is new content being published regularly, so having a regular flow of news, blogs posts, insight – whatever form your content takes – is a key part of optimising your site for search (SEO).

Your B2B website is also monitored for the time visitors spend on it which is often referred to as ‘dwell time’ or just ‘dwell’.

Having good quality, relevant content to read is, of course, important but also having some longer pieces helps.

It is good practice to include an image or photo with all content – it not only helps tell the story but can help grab readers attention if they are scrolling.

Longer pieces can additionally be broken up with subheads, infographics, pull quotes etc all of which can also help grab attention and keep readers engaged.

(There’s a practical reason too, big blocks of text are harder to read on screen.)

Interaction – engagement – with your B2B content can also increase dwell time so you could allow people to comment on your posts.

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Unlocking the benefits of regular B2B content – and my goal for 2021

It’s been two years since I set myself a goal of writing regular blog content here on my business website but like a lot of New Year’s Resolutions, it fell by the wayside.

I knew I needed to blog regularly because it is good for business, helping to build authority and traffic for my website. And I also knew I should practice what I preach.

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

But it wasn’t until a lightbulb moment in September last year that I was finally on the road to achieving that goal – and as a result, it’s unlocked a new content marketing opportunity for 2021.

Up until last Autumn, my blog post writing was sporadic at best with some months going past without publishing anything at all.

It meant my web content wasn’t delivering with no discernible rise in traffic or engagement. And few business leads came from my website.

Content ideas weren’t the problem as I was publishing regularly on social media – LinkedIn – and getting good results.

So what changed? The spur – or perhaps kick up the backside – was a conversation with a fellow freelancer who refocused my B2B content strategy.

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