Copywriting for business: The Business of copywriting

I got some emails from some of the people reading my blog asking me to help them by explaining what b2b copywriting is.  I’m guessing this is because of sudden spike in the job market for experts into b2b and the like.  Good for you cousins, I am always impressed by people with a strong entrepreneurial drive in them.  I’ve always liked that old saw that said “you can’t discover new lands if you’re afraid to lose sight of the shore”.
B2B stands for Business-to-Business.  This is when you have a service or sell something directly to businesses rather than marketing out to the general consuming public.  Writing in this fashion is often more technical, and somewhat lengthier than the usual text.  Business to business copywriting is also somewhat trickier because you already have a specialized audience. They mostly know what you are trying to tell them, so it’s up to you to either dig up new and additional information about what you’re trying to sell them, or present the same old information that they already know but in a an angle that makes it look fresh to them.  Either way, it can be pretty tricky but not impossible.
So how do you go about writing in a manner that is tailored for the b2b requirements?
What makes you think I know?
Well, actually, I do know and it’s why you’re still reading up to now.  So here we go:
Use laser precision
You probably have a lot of topics to cover in your article since you’re trying your best to describe the details of the product.  That’s no problem; write about everything you need to write about, just be sure to keep them relevant and focused.  Cluster all related topics as much as possible, and separate those that are not really related.  This practice also falls under the purview of keyword strategy, where all the related keywords are bunched in together while the other non-relevant ones are separated.  This practice will not only make sense to the search engines, it will also make for a good, coherent, and concise article.
Ultra-specific works
Most businesses operate within very specific segments of industries called niches. If you’re writing b2b copy and you want search engines to really pick your work up and rank it high for terms that people in your chosen industry are looking for, you’ll want to use a blend of short tail and long tail keywords.
Short tail keywords are terms that are 1-2 words long and are generally broad enough to attract larger volumes of searchers yet descriptive enough to be associated with a certain field of interest. These keywords can provide you with a lot of traffic but they can be tough to rank for and they usually bring less targeted visitors.
On the other hand, long tail keywords are phrases that are 3 or more words long. They usually contain short tail keywords and other words that narrow down the intent of the keyword. Long tail keywords are more specific in context and they’re easier to rank for in search engines. They also allow you to zero in on a very specific target audience such as professionals who operate in a certain niche.
You’ll need to use both in b2b copywriting, but I would recommend a heavier dose of long tail keywords. Businesses usually operate within their niches and decision makers for purchases seek out products that are most relevant to their operations. Having content that’s rich in specialized keywords will help you identify yourself with a line of business that you’re trying to market to, giving you an easier time in persuading people to buy.
More is MORE
You’ve always heard that less is more, right?  This is not really the case in business copywriting.  You are writing for a targeted group that is accustomed to reading lengthy posts and articles, since specifications and product details are often what most companies are all about.  You’ve probably had a slight problem in trimming your writing for other purposes where minimalism is valued, but this is different. B2b copywriting is a chance to really have at it and go wild with the details, describing the heck out of the product as you go along, making sure whoever reads your copy will know exactly what your product is, what it does and why it’s better.
Link Internally Depending on Intent
If you’re writing b2b copy for your website’s pages, internal linking with the right anchor text pointing to highly relevant pages is a good thing. It helps search engines find other pages in your site and helps them rank better. However, if you’re writing a sales letter or copy for a page that requires the prospect’s action, you might want to rein yourself in a bit with those links.
When trying to solicit action from your target readers, you’ll want as few distractions as possible to keep them focused and engaged on the message you’re trying to get across. Internal links can be a distraction if they’re clocked and a user is taken to another page. In the worst case scenario, the prospect can find it hard to go back to the page where your copy is and simply walks away, eliminating your shot at converting. The lesson? Internal linking is great, but there are things of higher priority that you’ll have to consider.
I hope those four simple points help you in your campaign to get some conversions going from corporate clients. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.
Later,
Andy “writing-is-my-business” Jenkins