Why is B2B Web Copy So Lousy?

by Karen

Sometimes it seems as though every B2B website I look at has lousy copy.

It’s vague. It’s packed with marketing or industry jargon. It’s ambiguous. It’s scarcely helpful to the reader.

Oh, and it’s usually dry as a bone and far less interesting or compelling than a bone.

I’ll try to illustrate what – in my opinion – makes B2B web copy lousy:

• Vague and ambiguous

Empty promises from phrases such as “dramatic improvements” or “significant results”. Neither “dramatic” nor “significant” are specific. They’re also not measurable whereas a “12.8% increase in energy efficiency” is specific and measurable.

Specifics make your web content more valuable and relevant to readers.

• Packed with jargon

Most of the time I see marketing jargon – hype. But you can also have too much industry and technical jargon in a marketing piece intended for a novice to your market. This newcomer has much to learn and you can chase them away with terminology that assumes a higher knowledge level.

For example: “Reduce costs and resource utilization with proactive facility portfolio monitoring.”  That statement is loaded with jargon. Deciphering exactly what it means takes time and thought. Most web readers gloss right over it and miss the vital point you thought you made.

Why not use a few simple bullets instead?

– Lower electrical costs up to 30%

– Save up to 350 man-hours per year with real-time data on energy consumption

• Scarcely helpful to the web reader

Don’t simply state that you offer structural health monitoring systems. And don’t simply state “… that when a natural disaster or event occurs; you have the information you need to make intelligent decisions quickly regarding your structure.” Yawn.

Instead, paint a picture. Describe exactly what you monitor and the data customers have at their fingertips as a hurricane pounds their offshore oil platform.

Share specific data/results on how much faster and accurately they’ll know what was damaged and to what extent. And just as critical, how your customers will know what wasn’t damaged so repair crews needn’t spend precious time examining that undamaged equipment/structure.

• Dry as a bone

We deal with countless serious topics and issues in the B2B world. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t infuse personality into your web copy. Make it interesting for your readers.

Help prospects get a “feel” for the real people working hard at your company. Show your people in action.

Share anecdotes you’ve heard from customers describing their plight before your solution made their life easier.

What’s more a cartoon here or there can also work wonders. They really catch the eye of your web visitors and add a touch of fun to their learning process.

One more way to avoid bone-dry web copy is to add emotion. Remember that humans cannot make a decision without the aid of emotion. That’s a scientific fact. So I say again, add emotion to your B2B web copy.

Don’t chase web visitors away with lousy B2B copy.

You’ll generate more leads . . . and convert more lookers into buyers with B2B web copy that is specific. With web copy that paints a clear picture of the benefits you offer. With web copy that is free of meaningless jargon. With web copy that has personality and triggers emotions in web visitors so they can make a decision.


Photo credit: “Chaly“ via PhotoPin.com

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