You’re not the only marketer eager to reach the B2B buyers who are flocking to the Internet for information. That means it’s more important than ever that your copy is optimized to meet the expectations of a digital audience.
I don’t mean optimized for SEO—although that’s important, too. I mean that we read copy online differently than we read printed materials. It takes special care to attract and keep digital readers’ attention in a world that’s dripping with competing content and seemingly infinite distractions.
Write for Scanning
When we read online, we’re more likely to scan the content, jumping around the page to see images, callouts and keywords. It’s much less linear than the reading we do curled up with a good book. So digital marketing is no place for long musings or flowery prose.
Focus on brief, powerful copy with no wasted words. Think action verbs and short paragraphs, punctuated with subheads that help tell your story with key terms and ideas. Do everything you can to make sure that readers can grasp the main ideas quickly, even if they’re skimming.
Tailor Content for Specific Audiences
Whether it’s a white paper, an infographic or an email, potential buyers engage most with content that speaks directly to them. Even in B2B, today’s readers are more likely to engage with conversational copy that tells a story without lots of jargon.
Personalization means more than inserting a prospect’s name in the copy. Use the language, images and pain points that resonate with the people you’re trying to reach. Dig deeper, targeting readers by industry, job role and even location. Use what you can to build a rapport from one human being to another.
Search engines are important, but readers come first. Pack your content with relevant information rather than a laundry list of keywords. Keywords alone may get your content found, but it won’t impress an audience looking for useful details, let alone turn them into leads.
In fact, filling your content with keywords doesn’t pave the way to great search results anymore. Google’s algorithms these days actually penalize copy dominated by keywords and instead favor content that delivers on intent. Think instead about how to write the best copy to rank for informational, navigational or transactional searches. Check out Tonya Vinas’ recent post, SEO Bizarro World: Are You Too Focused on Keywords? for more tips on writing for SEO.
Writing for a digital audience can be challenging, but you’ll set yourself on the right path with concise, relevant copy designed to resonate with your prospects on a personal level.
For more content writing tips, read 5 Ways to Create Irresistible Content.
Holly Celeste Fisk is an accomplished marketing pro with 20+ years of experience in B2B and B2C. She’s responsible for Content4Demand’s internal marketing efforts, managing everything from content creation and email marketing to events and sponsorships, blog publishing, website management and social media presence. When she’s not working, you’ll find her sliding into third at softball, buried in a book or practicing her Italian.