Even in a world where AI tools can generate content at the speed of light, B2B business leaders still need to invest in high-quality, engaging content marketing strategies. Effective content is still the best way to not only capture the attention of your audience but nurture crucial relationships.
According to the 2022 Demand Gen report, 61% of B2B buyers say they read up to 7 pieces of content before they trust a brand. What’s more, 81% of marketers from all industries believe content is a crucial part of their marketing strategy.
However, while the value of exceptional content hasn’t changed, the strategies content writers need to leverage to engage their audience are evolving. If you want to compete with generative AI tools and changing search algorithms, you need a powerful plan.
Here’s your guide to the best content writing tactics for 2023 and beyond.
What is a B2B Content Writing Strategy?
A B2B content marketing strategy involves creating various types of content, from useful guides to powerful blogs, to connect with customers throughout their purchasing journey.
Content writing still delivers exceptional results to B2B leaders, generating up to 3 times as many leads as outbound marketing, with 62% less cost. Harnessing your content marketing skills in the B2B world is how you generate trust through thought leadership, increase your presence in the digital world, and drive traffic to your website.
B2B content writing differs a little from B2C content writing, as the B2B buyer journey is more multi-faceted and complex. B2B buyers often invest in more extensive research and rely heavily on insights, data, and analytics to make purchasing decisions.
However, this doesn’t mean your content writing should be jargon-filled or boring.
With the following content writing tactics, you can ensure you’re informing, engaging, and nurturing your audience through every stage of their purchasing journey.
1. Use Data to Relate to Your Audience
The best content writers generate leads and sales because they connect with their audience on an emotional, evocative level. Before you start producing blog posts, guides, or even email campaigns, you need to know exactly who you’re trying to reach.
Extensive customer research will help you not only choose the right tone of voice and language to use in your content writing but also boost your SEO potential.
Creating comprehensive buyer personas for each of your B2B target audience segments is crucial. Customer profiles will allow you to step into the shoes of your target customers and address their specific needs and interests with your writing.
Since Google is now phasing out third-party cookies, you may need to look into new ways of collecting data about your target audience. Gathering first-party data will be an excellent way to improve your chances of success.
For instance, you can:
- Evaluate trends: Use solutions like Google Trends, BuzzSumo, and SEMRush to find out what kind of things people are searching for in your industry. This will give you insights into the kinds of content you should be creating.
- Request insights: Send surveys to customers, request feedback from your VIP clients, and speak to your sales and marketing teams to get a clear view of customer preferences. Collecting information from customers directly will help drive your marketing plans.
- Experiment: Create your own marketing experiments to gather psychographic data. Host polls and webinars to look at engagement levels. Pay attention to the content people share on social media.
2. Write for Every Stage of the Customer Journey
Thanks to economic uncertainty and an impending recession, there’s a good chance purchasing decisions in the B2B world will take longer in the years to come. This means customers are going to be consuming more content and searching for more information throughout the buying journey.
As a B2B content writer, it’s up to you to ensure you’re addressing your customer’s needs and concerns through every step of the purchasing process. The content you create should support customers in making the right decision, demonstrate thought leadership, and provide insights.
Using the information you’ve collected about your target audience, start mapping customer journeys for each of your segments. Think about the kind of content customers will consume when they’re searching for solutions to problems and comparing products.
Focus on writing content that:
- Educates and informs: Educational, informative, and insightful content will always be crucial to the customer journey in the B2B world. Find out what questions your customers are asking when searching for solutions and answer them. Share first-party data from your experiments and analytics, and focus on “helping” rather than “selling.”
- Generates trust: 92% of customers read reviews online before buying anything, and that doesn’t just apply to B2C consumers. Use your writing skills to draw attention to testimonials, case studies, and other sources of useful social proof.
- Write for existing customers: Content writing isn’t just a way to attract new customers to your company; it can also be a critical tool for retention. Focus on using your campaigns to retain and support existing customers. Create onboarding content for new clients, and look at “success” content, like webinars and how-to guides.
3. Draw Insights from Your Competitors
As a content writer for the B2B market, you should always be looking for ways to pull inspiration and guidance from your competitors. Reading the content produced by other businesses in your industry will give you a more direct insight into what you should also be writing about.
Additionally, a comprehensive competitor analysis could help you to pinpoint gaps in their marketing strategy that you can take advantage of.
Look at your competitors’ current content marketing strategy in depth. Examine their website, social media ads, keyword strategies, and overall messaging. You may find that your competitor isn’t focusing on niche content for specific segments of your target audience. That means you can step in and fill the gap.
You might also find that some of your competitors are creating more complex, jargon-filled content. That gives you an opportunity to differentiate your business by creating content that’s more user-friendly and relatable.
Tools like SEMRush, SpyFu, and Ahrefs can give you exceptional insights into your competitor’s SEO and PPC strategies. However, it’s also worth doing some social monitoring. Look at what your customers share from other companies online. How do they respond to marketing materials in comments, and what do they say about other companies?
4. Invest in Artificial Intelligence
Whether you like it or not, artificial intelligence is becoming a crucial part of the content writing landscape. While it’s important not to rely too heavily on AI to generate your content for you, working with, rather than against, the bots can give you an incredible competitive advantage.
There are numerous AI content writing tools available on the market today that can help with all aspects of your creation process. You can use these tools to:
- Research ideas: Generative AI tools are excellent for inspiration. They can research market trends, collect information for potential topic ideas, and even create writing briefs for you to follow. Some solutions can even suggest specific ideas for your target niche.
- Automate content generation: AI solutions are excellent for speeding up the content marketing process. They can produce fantastic articles, blogs, email content, and even social media posts that you can tweak to match your brand voice.
- Optimize your content: AI content generators can also help with editing and enhancing your content. They can provide suggestions on how to improve SEO, enhance your language, and even eliminate spelling and grammatical errors.
Using AI in your content writing plan can be an excellent way to accelerate the creative process and give more depth to your articles and other pieces.
5. Create and Leverage Your B2B Community
Exceptional B2B content writing relies heavily on insights. One of the best ways to collect information about your target audience, and generate ideas for content, is to build a community. Around 66% of respondents to one study said they appreciate belonging to B2B communities.
Communities can empower your content writing in a variety of different ways. First, they provide behind-the-scenes insights into what your customers are talking about, what issues they face, and what goals they want to achieve. This can give you ideas on what to write about.
Secondly, communities offer a fantastic way to collect user-generated content you can use in your content writing strategies and marketing campaigns. Sharing quotes and snippets from other people in your community can make your writing more engaging, relevant, and relatable.
Nurturing a community is also an excellent way to learn which of your content writing strategies are paying off. Exploring what kind of content your customers share and which posts gather the most attention in your community can help you to make more data-driven marketing decisions.
6. Avoid Boring, Jargon-Filled Content
One of the biggest challenges B2B content writers face today is figuring out how to make highly targeted and niche content more engaging. Since you’re writing for business leaders and buyers, there’s a chance your content will include more jargon than the average B2C post.
However, that doesn’t mean you should be boring. Showing genuine personality in your content with humor, anecdotes, and unique insights can help you build powerful relationships with your audience.
Many marketers in the B2B world are now taking inspiration from B2C advertising to boost the impact of their campaigns. With this in mind, look at how you can adapt your language and content styles. Experiment with different tones of voice and hyper-personalized content.
Use genuine emotion in your campaigns, and focus on “demand generation” rather than just “lead generation.” It might even be worth exploring different types of writing, from creating simple listicles and how-to guides to writing scripts for podcasts and videos.
7. Update your Keyword Strategy
Keywords and content writing go hand-in-hand. To make sure you’re ranking for the right terms and boosting your visibility in today’s world, you’ll need to take an updated approach to SEO.
Start by thinking carefully about the keywords you target. Writing content with a high focus on intent will be essential. Think about what your customers are actually looking for when they interact with your content. Are they looking for information and guidance? Do they need help comparing products, or are they looking for advice on making a purchasing decision?
Focusing on intent will help you to select more relevant keywords for different styles in the buyer cycle. You can use tools like SEMRush to evaluate the intent of different terms, looking at informational, transactional, and navigational keywords. The chances are most of your campaigns will be either information or transaction-focused.
It’s also worth rethinking how you optimize your content for SEO in 2023 and beyond. With more B2B customers now using virtual assistants and voice apps, you’ll need to ensure your content is optimized for how people speak, as well as how they type.
8. Go Beyond Keywords with SEO
While choosing the right keywords will be essential for B2B content writers in 2023, it’s important to remember there’s more to ranking than selecting the right terms. As a writer in this new world, you’ll need to think more carefully about how you optimize every piece you produce.
Focusing on link building will be a valuable tactic for writers today, as it will help to generate authority for your website. Adding links to other pages within your website to your content will also help B2B customers to navigate your site and encourage them to spend more time on your pages.
Other important tactics to keep in mind include:
- Technical SEO: Think about how your content writing is structured and how you can ensure your pages load quickly for your audience.
- Metadata: Ensure you’re using your target keywords in your metadata, and make your meta descriptions as engaging as possible.
- Alt tags: Infuse your content with images, videos, and other types of multi-media content, then add alt tags to help the search engines navigate your page.
Google has released some useful advice on how to master SEO for 2023 and future search engine algorithms. It’s worth keeping up to date with the changes happening in this landscape as you expand your skills.
9. Focus on E-A-T
E-A-T content writing tactics are still essential in 2023. The term E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. Google is investing heavily in creating more intuitive experiences for customers when they’re browsing online. This means if you want your content writing to stand out, you need to ensure you’re showcasing E-A-T consistently.
Demonstrate expertise by displaying your credentials and sharing genuine, authentic experiences with your audience. Showcasing your own experience will set you apart from the content generated by AI systems in the online world. Building your own personal brand with a strong social media presence and other branding solutions can also help to elevate your expertise and authority in the modern market.
Show authority by linking to relevant sources and backing up your claims with evidence. You can also improve your authority by sharing your writing on multiple landscapes, from LinkedIn to guest blogs. This will help you to appear more valuable.
Finally, generate trust from your followers with “about us” page insights into your life as a writer, biographies, and similar tools. You can also create trust by including more user-generated content, reviews, and quotes in your writing.
Mastering B2B Content Writing in 2023
Becoming an excellent B2B content writer in 2023 is about more than just honing your writing skills. To compete with not just other companies but the influx of AI bots and generative tools in the modern marketplace, you need to take your strategy to the next level.
Today’s B2B content writers are under more pressure than ever to connect emotionally with customers in a complex market. While standing out as a B2B content writer can be difficult, the tactics above should help you to drive the right results.
Focus on creating engaging, entertaining, and informative content, and you’ll be more likely to delight your audience, generate demand, and increase your leads.
How do B2B and B2C content writing strategies differ?
B2B content writing strategies generally focus on connecting with decision markers in a business environment. This means companies and creators need to produce more informative content for a longer purchasing cycle. B2B content needs to showcase how a product or service can solve a company’s issues while generating trust and credibility.
What makes good B2B content?
B2B content writing should generate demand and engagement from your target audience. It should inspire customers, educate them, and guide them through the purchasing cycle. Your content should give your customers the information they need to choose your product or service.
What makes a good B2B writer?
An excellent B2B writer should have extensive knowledge about the industry they serve and their target audience. They should be able to create highly relevant content based on their understanding of their customer’s pain points, purchasing cycle, and goals. B2B writers also need a strong knowledge of SEO and should leverage the right tools to boost business results.