By Published On: February 15, 2020

Want to write B2B marketing copy that gets results? Compelling copy that grabs people’s attention, builds your brand, resonates with your audience, and generates sales? If so, you’ll find lots of ideas, tips, and advice in some of our previous posts (click here for more). However this time, we’re looking at things from the other side and focusing on what NOT to do. Here are some tips:

  1. Don’t make it all about you. We know, we know. When you’ve got a fantastic product or service, it’s only natural to want to gush about it. Surely, if you tell people all the great things you offer, they’ll want to get in on the action, right? Not necessarily. That’s because people don’t pay attention to your ad or brochure or website because they’re fascinated by your brand. They want to know what your brand can do for them. Now, we’re not saying you shouldn’t tell people about your product or service. But when it comes to delivering your message, it’s more effective to focus on benefits rather than attributes. How will your product or service make your customer’s job and/or life easier, better, more productive? What’s in it for her?
  1. Don’t overlook emotion. Most people assert that B2B marketing is more rational than emotional. Now, that may be true in general. When it comes to expensive, high-impact purchases, business people tend to want hard facts and compelling proof to support their decisions. But while those rational details are important, they’re not the be-all and end-all. Like all human beings, business people respond to messages that resonate on a deeper level. So while the facts definitely matter, don’t forget the role that emotions play in decision-making. And be sure to appeal to your readers’ hearts as well as their heads.
  1. Don’t be boring. We tend to think that the entertaining side of marketing is reserved for the beer, sneaker, and soft drink brands of the world. Sure, consumer brands tend to be flashier than most business brands. But that doesn’t mean your financial services copy or your industrial supply copy has to be stuffy and dry. Obviously, you don’t want to bore your reader with dull marketing copy. You want to keep him or her riveted. Remember, all brands have a personality. If you want to generate sales, earn followers, and grow your business, make sure yours comes through in the best possible way.
  1. Don’t use too much technical jargon. When you’re really, really close to a subject, it’s easy to forget that there’s a good chance other people don’t know what you’re talking about. So be careful not to assume too much or delve too deep into industry-speak. Step back and look at your copy the way your reader will. And cut out any words or terms that you have to be an industry expert to understand. Because effective marketing requires effective communication and effective communication requires clarity. So make sure your reader can easily digest your message without having to do a lengthy Google search.
  1. Don’t be overly wordy, flowery, rambling, chatty, babbling, loquacious, garrulous, verbose, or long-winded. This isn’t just about keeping your copy short (although generally, the shorter, the better). More so, it’s about making your copy only as long as it needs to be and not any longer. Edit ruthlessly and cut out extraneous information. And always, always leave out any unnecessary filler words. Your copy should read like an Olympic sprinter—lean, streamlined, and laser-focused. Don’t try to prove to your reader how much you know. Instead, give them only what they absolutely need to know and nothing more. Let them get in and get out quickly. Don’t waste their time, or worse, bore them by being long-winded.

So there you have it—five things to avoid in your B2B marketing copy (or any copy, for that matter). If you want to keep your copy effective and impactful, consider yourself warned. And if you’ve got some “To-Don’ts” of your own to add to the list, please let us know in the comments below.

About the Author: Mark Zukor

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