A Lighted Path for Your B2B Communications

by Karen

When it’s dark outside and you’re walking through the park, you’ll find it easier, safer and faster to find your way if the path is lighted. This holds true for B2B communications as well.Path for B2B Content

B2B communications get easier to write, get more effective in the marketplace and therefore more profitable for your company when you have a lighted path to follow.

This path is a guide on how to avoid common mistakes and it keeps all your marketing on a consistent track. And I’m not talking about a style guide for your communications.

The blog, B2B Voices by Allan Schoenberg refers to the path as a B2B Manifesto.

Schoenberg includes seven “lights” in his manifesto:

1 – Understand your customers’ needs. Here’s a great suggestion by Schoenberg: Think of three or four questions to ask every customer you meet, and then ask them whenever you have the opportunity.

Don’t guess. Find out what’s most important to them and then write about it in a reader-centric style.

2 – Stop comparing B2B with B2C communications. Sure you can learn a lot from B2C. Just recognize that there are differences and you can’t always duplicate what the B2C world does. Spend most of your time reading about what’s working for B2B marketers.

3 – Do awesome things. This is another great point he makes. It starts with being passionate about your job. Think big. Push the envelope. Make what you share interesting for your readers by including some emotion and excitement about the subject.

I’ll add that you’ll be even more amazing if your writing is reader-centric, conversational, and as free of marketing and industry jargon as possible. Again, make it interesting. Avoid dry and stoic copy like the plague.

4 – Understand digital. It’s here to stay. Any and all campaigns should include digital as a crucial part of it as opposed to a “separate” digital campaign. And if you don’t understand digital or want to do it, then hire someone who does.

5 – Take the long view. Another way to say this is, don’t lose sight of the forest because of all the trees. Or don’t get so wrapped up in today’s problems and workload that you fail to think strategically. That you fail to think long term. That you fail to evaluate progress and any adjustments to make. This includes adjustments to your marketing communications.

6 – Build relationships. Not contacts. Regardless of your age or the age of your prospects, clients, and vendors, we’re all human. And that means making time to meet people, both internally and externally. Focus on relationships that matter to your brand. You’re free to choose whether you do this or not, but if you do it Schoenberg wisely states that the investment in time will payoff in many ways.

7 – Change is going to happen. Not only will it happen, but these days it happens faster and faster. There’s no avoiding it (assuming you want to stay in business). So figure out how to deal with it. Figure out how to react to the unexpected as much as possible. And while we’re on the subject of change, I’ll ask you to consider the likelihood that it includes the need to change your B2B writing style. (See my comment on #3)

I wrote about Schoenberg’s B2B Manifesto because I think it contains many elements of winning content. I especially like that it goes far beyond a style sheet / guide for your company. This is because it includes being inspired, motivated, prepared for change, and continually evaluating how your communication efforts are going – what’s working and what isn’t.

I recommend you read his post, “A Manifesto for B2B Communicators.”

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Photo credit: Veisto via PhotoPin.com

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