“We need some technical marketing content, like white papers, customer stories and blog posts. How do we do this?”
Let’s assume that you’ve done what it takes to find a B2B writer, or that he has found you. What next?
The first thing to discuss with the writer is your target reader: Whose attention do you want to get? It’s important to know who is in that audience. It’s also important to be convinced that your B2B writer can float that person’s boat.
Here are some ways to think about your target reader:
- Point in the sales cycle – Do you want material for early in the cycle, when you’re raising your prospects’ awareness about the technical problem you solve? Or for consideration, when they understand the problem and know they need to do something about it? Or when they’re ready to make a decision, when you can open the hood and describe what’s inside?
- Sophistication – Some prospects don’t need or want much information before they buy. Other prospects need a continuing drip-drip-drip of content to convert. You can’t use the same campaign or piece on both audiences.
- Messaging – Is the message for your target reader fully baked yet? I’ve seen marketing teams walk away from a willing and able B2B writer in the middle of a project. They wanted a white paper but hadn’t yet done the soul-search they needed for a solid, unambiguous message. The writer’s line of questions, while tactfully posed, made everybody realize the company still had too much homework to do on its intended market.
Once you’ve worked out the target reader, you can decide which materials – white paper, case study, Web content, technical article, blog – are the best fit.
Unique value proposition
Next, you need to describe your service or product in terms that will make it appear unique to that target reader. It needn’t be unique in the entire universe, but it does need to make you stand out from your competitors in the eyes of target readers, given their level of knowledge about your industry.
So, if you’re selling language translation services, don’t waste time and money on a me-too piece that every other translation company writes. When you find a B2B writer and arm her with enough information about you, she’ll write a document that could only be true about you.
Find a B2B writer who can tell a story about solving the customer’s problem
Finally, here’s Big Surprise #1 for the 21st century:
Nobody cares about your products or how cool they’ll be if they use them. They care about their technology problems and whether they can trust you to help fix them.
Big Surprise #2 is:
People love a good story.
Can you find a B2B writer who understands those two surprises and tell a story about how you can solve the reader’s technology problems?
Now that’s writing.