5 things that make your content terrible and less effective | Isoline Communications

March 28, 2019


I’m sure your content is doing just fine, but could it be doing better?  It’s not uncommon for B2B tech content marketing material to be a bit dry and technical, let’s face facts. It’s the content writers job to make it exciting and inviting, while keeping things informative and providing value to potential and existing customers. Although you are marketing your products or services to other businesses, it’s still a conversation with other real live people who ultimately do the purchasing. Let’s take a look at a few things that may be dragging your copy down and discuss a few ways to fix that.

Self-Centered Copy

Is it all about you? It shouldn’t be. The goal for the content you put out there is to create an open dialogue with potential customers, to build an information bridge between your services or products and the end user. This experience should be about the customer and how you can answer their questions and resolve their pain points. This seems obvious for B2C writing but sometimes B2B tech content forgets this simple truth.

People are bombarded with information and content these days, and it can be pretty overwhelming. You don’t have long to reach someone and keep them interested in your message. So, don’t start your communication off talking about yourself, it doesn’t work on a first date and it won’t work here either – ‘Our company was established… We are the industry leader in… Our mission is to…’ you’ll wind up losing them right off the bat because “who cares” really comes to mind. It’s not about you, it’s about them and their buying journey.  

Whether it’s the development of your website and the language you use there, or a blog post or social media outreach, you need to focus your content on your customer and their problems.

Let’s fix it – remove the ‘I’ and the ‘We’ from the beginning of any content. It’s OK to share this information on your company website, if someone is truly interested they’ll find the information, or include a short blurb at the end of the insightful and informative article you’ve just written.

Salesy copy

‘Buy our solution, it’s simply the best at just £9.99 ~!’ This  statement says nothing about the product. It’s just a call to action to buy your very cheap product. Your customers need answers. They are looking for the benefits your solution can provide them with or the ways in which it can make their job or life easier – they aren’t looking for a sales pitch. We’ve all been the recipient of a sale pitch at some point in our buying journeys, whether for personal products or when buying equipment or services for our businesses, and in most cases, we walk away and look elsewhere for the answer to our problems. It’s the content writer’s job to present the problem-solution narrative in a way that impacts the customer on a deeper level. “Our solution will cut your startup costs and speed up your time to market.” Customers want benefits and they want you to be the answer to their problem. So, let them know you are.

Fix it – when you are drafting your content, be sure to address the benefits not the features of your offer. Reach out on a more emotional level, express how your solution will help make the customers job easier, let them know you can handle it so they can focus on the 1000 other things on their calender for that work day.

Overly Technical Copy

“Our service provides 2.38 times more Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, connect via our RESTful API.”  Yes, this is a ridiculous statement, but if you are stepping out of your comfort zone to explore a new way of doing business, or trying to incorporate new technology into your current business, extremely technical terms may look just like the previous sentence to you. When writing for a B2B tech audience, sometimes we make certain assumptions. We know we are speaking to other business people who are educated in the sector and we don’t want to simplify things too far. This is a valid concern, but keep in mind that customers are coming to you because of your expertise, they are very well versed in what they do but what you do is potentially new to them, or at least it’s not their area of expertise. What can happen after this assumption is made, is that you include too much technical information, making your content dry, boring, overly complicated and hard to follow.

Whether it’s your company website, or a published article, you could you be losing your audience by being too technical. If you are including too much scientific or industrial terminology, then you could be limiting your audience to people that already have an understanding of what you do. You don’t want to cut people out at the beginning stages of their buying journey by providing too much technical information too quickly.

Why not fix it – when creating your content, keep the aforementioned in mind. Write for everyone, keep things as light as you can while still providing value and answers. Write like you are having a conversation with a colleague in another field, explain what it is you offer in a way that is easy to understand and always leave the conversation open for questions.

Obsolete Copy

“2010 will see a record year for IoT R&D.” If your old blog posts get to this point and stop there, it’s time to update with some current information. Keeping up with changing trends and technology can be a full-time job but it’s well worth it. Things move fast and that means some of your older content may be out of date and inaccurate, yet still out there circulating around the internet. When people query for the answer to their question and receive their search results, it’s not always the newest content that they encounter first. This is relevant in any industry, but especially important in any B2B tech field.

Potential customers need to know that you are on your game, and have the most current solutions to their problems. While there’s no issue with keeping relevant facts from 2010 in your posts, it is helpful to incorporate some current facts and figures as well.

Time to fix it – it’s not a bad idea to revisit some of your older posts and do a quick review to see if they could use some updating. If you have an older high-ranking post that is still getting views, you’ll want to make sure that you are providing up to date, currently relevant information.

Writing to the wrong person

Don’t try to sell a hat to a woman without a head. Rule one of all marketing is that you need to understand and communicate specifically with your target audience. The messages and information you are putting out there about your business are all about them and their needs. If you are going to provide materials that your readers want to read, you need to write directly to them. Knowing the people in charge of making the ultimate buying decisions is extremely important here, as not everyone is receptive to the same type of content delivery.

The most common way to get a feel for the intricacies of your audience is to create buyer personas. These are small case studies on the companies and more specifically, people within those organizations who make up your customer base. They are based on in-depth research and real data that you collect. You need to discover who your customers are, what they want and what they are looking for from you. Make notes on their background, demographics, goals, challenges, fears, objections… you name it, it will become useful at some point in the sales cycle.

If you create content without knowing who you’re talking to, the chances are that you won’t reach your audience, let alone start a meaningful conversation with that audience. Think of it as going to a party and just speaking out loud to the room, hoping that someone will pay attention and start a conversation.

We can help you fix it! Get in touch if you’d like us to assist as you develop buyer personas for your potential customer base, or if you’d like a hand with any of the other topics covered here today… we’re here to help.

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