In 2019, B2B content marketing is about so much more than organic traffic and generating the all-important click. Yes, SERP performance and conversions are critical to success — and those are both things B2B copywriting and content should address. But great B2B copywriters provide additional benefits.
Stellar B2B content positions you as a leader, an expert and the go-to brand, which makes it more likely other businesses are willing to purchase from or partner with you. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 96% of the most successful B2B content marketers say that target audiences see them as a resource that can be trusted.
Experienced copywriters also know how to incorporate marketing into that construct of authentic, helpful content. They craft copy that converts while it informs, which isn’t always easy to do in the B2B world because you must convince a person who is often making a decision on behalf of another person or company. B2B copywriting has to do more than persuade; it has to keep challenges such as purchasing processes and cycles, earning stakeholder buy-in and generating business ROI in mind.
You want to be the brand people trust, but you also want content that converts. Find out how to identify great B2B copywriters and where you can look for them today.
5 Traits that Make for Great B2B Copywriters
We asked people who have had success with blog posts, press releases, white papers or other B2B copy to share some traits they’ve found to be common in the best B2B copywriters. Here’s what you need to look for when hiring a freelancer to write copy for your B2B brand.
1. An In-depth Understanding of B2B Copy Needs
Nextiva CMO Yaniv Masjedi points out that B2B brands need writers who understand the concept of marketing to other businesses.
“When I’m assessing a B2B copywriter,” says Masjedi, “I’m looking for someone who absolutely understands the difference between B2B and B2C. We aren’t just talking AIDA or another formulaic approach. . . They also need to understand context: a savvy copywriter understands web design and can tailor their words and character count to the space they have allotted. If the writer is sending an email, they know how to maximize open rates; if they are writing landing page copy, they take into account the accompanying graphics, etc.”
Look for writers who have experience writing for business-to-business brands, not just freelancers with a portfolio filled with consumer-facing marketing copy.
2. Smart, Fast Learners
Clare Bittourna, a marketing designer for Codal, says, “When we hire B2B copywriters, we’re looking for fast learners; ones that can quickly adapt to a company’s existing voice, tone and style to produce copy that’s aligned with it.”
Any freelancer who works to craft copy for another brand must be savvy with tone and style, but B2B copywriters who are smart cookies can do a lot more for your brand than someone who simply knows how to string grammatical sentences together following your rules. Intelligent freelancers adapt to your niche, learning increasing amounts about it as they write. They may also be quick with wit, and all of that shines through to impress B2B audiences.
Look for writers that pick up on what you’re saying quickly, don’t require explanations for complex concepts and who ask intelligent questions about your brand and writing projects.
3. Excellent Communication Skills
Obviously, anyone you hire to craft copy must have communication skills high on the totem of their resume, but B2B writers must be able to do more than communicate in one direction.
According to Bittourna, successful B2B copywriting often results from rapid feedback processes, which require the writer to be able to receive, internalize and respond to editorial feedback in a professional, timely and positive manner.
“We’ve had a lot of success incorporating a rapid feedback process with our copywriters,” says Bittourna. “Instead of writing an entire site or white paper and then passing it to upper management for review, we have the writer quickly draft and send over more fundamental core concepts — like hero text or above-the-fold copy — and adjust or approve it before the bulk of the writing is started. By approving these foundational pieces, we reinforce the tone for the rest of the site’s copy early on and give the writer solid touchstones to lean on moving forward.”
Look for writers who practice good listening skills and are able to quickly translate the terminology of your niche and respond appropriately.
4. A Background in Your Niche
Masjedi points out, “If they have a background in the business they are targeting, they’re going to land higher conversion rates.”
This one is definitely a want rather than a must for some companies. If your niche is super-specific or your budget isn’t generous enough, you’re less likely to find a freelancer with hands-on experience working with or in businesses like yours. But when you can find a person that has work experience in your industry and skills with the written word, you often get the best possible B2B copy.
Look for writers with both B2B copywriting and experience in your niche on their resume. In lieu of that, look for freelancers with plenty of writing experience in your industry.
5. Stellar Research Skills
Bittourna says, “We’ve also found the most successful copywriters are voracious readers and researchers — nobody’s an expert on everything, but writing in a B2B space means familiarizing yourself with a specific industry or market space quickly, even picking up the jargon if necessary.”
Ask writers where they plan on conducting research. You want to work with writers who already know about industry-specific journals and other expert sources whenever possible.
Finding B2B Copywriters for Your Content
Whether you need case studies or B2B marketing that hits home with your audience, finding the right copywriter is important. But we know that B2B brands probably don’t have extra time to manage job postings and sift through all the (likely inappropriate) responses those might garner.
Luckily, Crowd Content can help. Our marketplace lets you connect with and hire freelance copywriters with both hands-on and writing experience in a number of niches. And we provide the tools you need to sort through these freelance pros to find the right people for your jobs.