4 tips for successful advertising copy in B2B
At first glance, advertising copy in the B2B sector sounds rather bland. But appearances are deceptive, because B2B ad copy in particular can be entertaining, relevant to the target audience, and even funny - with these 4 tips, you too can spice up your ad copy.
Relevant attention is the keyword in B2B ad copy. It's how you generate interest in the buyer group and persuade them to buy your products and services or take an action like a click or download. But what makes a good ad copy? I will explain what's behind it and have 4 tips for successful B2B advertising copy ready for you.
What is an advertising copy?
An advertising copy is a text from a company's perspective that, for example, describes the company's brand, promotes products, solutions or services and aims to boost sales. The main task of the advertising copy is to arouse the interest of the buying center and to convince the group of buyers of the company and/or ultimately motivate them to buy.
The vast majority of advertising copy is found on advertising media. These can be, for example, ads and banners, but also (paid) posts on social media, billboards, packaging, flyers or videos. There is no stereotypical example of an ad copy. They can consist of just one sentence, as well as a headline, sub headline and body text. This is determined by the copywriter in question. There are no limits to the creativity of the writer when it comes to the presentation and the text itself.
B2B copywriting has also benefited more and more from bold marketers in recent years. Campaigns are funnier, more unusual and more emotional. This is necessary, because the attention of potential customers is limited - especially online. At the same time, however, the flood of advertising in all media is increasing. For advertisers, this means that you not only have to create meaningful and impressive advertising texts, but also harmonize them with the design of the respective advertising medium and choose the right medium for your advertising campaign.
B2B copywriting - and the key differences from B2C copywriting
B2B ad copy is probably the more difficult piece of copy when you compare it to the consumer space. This is because the target audience in B2B is much more pointed, and as a B2B copywriter, you need to capture the buyer group in the right environment to actually attract relevant attention. But the key word here is content seeding. It's important to distribute copy through the right channels and hit the intent of the buying center there. Creating a buyer persona is worthwhile here.
Due to products that require explanation, B2B marketers are often faced with the challenge of creating short, crisp, and attention-grabbing ad copy. On the one hand, it must be clear to the target audience what the product is about and why they need that exact product; on the other hand, companies need to stand out from the crowd of ads and copy. B2B storytelling is also suitable for this mammoth task.
However, as a B2B copywriter, you need to be aware that no matter what medium you use for your ad campaign or copy, it will rarely be as successful as it is in B2C - so you should not compare your campaigns to consumer campaigns.
After all, if you are advertising shoes, furniture or a fitness plan, you have some distinct advantages:
The target group is broader and larger and can be reached through more channels
The products are often easier to "emotionalize" because users use them personally and not just professionally.
You can more easily find influencers, reviews and multipliers to promote these products
B2B products and services are common knowledge and do not require explanation
For B2B copywriting, this means that it's not just the words or the graphic design that are responsible for the success of a campaign. Rather, the elements of text and design will only help you if you know your target audience, their problems and their professional consumption and research behavior very well.
Only then will you be able to create copy and a campaign that truly appeals to your B2B customers. As a rule, however, copywriters do not have to start from 0. Use your existing B2B content marketing strategy as well as the knowledge you already have about your customers and target audience. You should also analyze and evaluate old advertising campaigns, such as ads on social media or banner ads in trade media: How did they perform? Did you appeal to your target audience? How many clicks did you generate?
Then you can identify the first indicators you need to change. Maybe there was just too much text on the ad. Maybe the ad text did not use the language of the target group, or the text and images and design did not match or were too inconspicuous.
You can also be inspired by campaigns and advertisements from B2C. Because big brands in particular are usually very good at assessing which texts and formulations work. The reason: You have a large target group with whom you have already been able to test numerous text variations and campaigns.
How do these brands formulate? How long are the sentences? Are you addressing the potential buyer directly? Is the text emotional?
How is an advertising text structured
Admittedly, B2C advertising copy is different from B2B advertising copy. However, there are some points that all successful copywriting have in common, even in B2B, them
speak the language of the target group
primarily focus on customer benefit
draw attention with concise words and text modules
are quick and easy to read
are emotional: inspire, are funny, shocking
have a tempting offer up their sleeves
have an engaging call-to-action (CTA)
As I said, there is no general example of advertising copy. The good news:
Copywriters can let their creativity run free while writing. However, you should keep the following points in mind:
The headline/claim must be particularly "catchy" and catch the eye, because it decides whether the reader continues reading.
You have to address the target audience. So choose a statement that the players in your buying center can identify with immediately. It can be a wish, a need or a problem.
The spice lies in the brevity: Most people are indeed lazy to read. So avoid long running texts in tiny letters.
Emotionalize you. If you make your reader smile (for example with a stereotype joke from your target group) you will immediately create a good feeling with your advertising copy.
Include a strong call-to-action at the end to increase conversion rates.
The perfect advertising text: How to find the right writing style
Writing brilliant advertising copy is not easy. So, to strike the right tone, you should first analyze what media your potential and existing customers consume. This will give you a feel for what style of language you should choose. This research is not only important for the speaking style. It also shows what the presentation, design, colors, text size, images, and layout should look like to match the target audience.
Engineers are a particular example. This is because engineers' perception of advertising is surprisingly different. They do not like bold advertising at all. Technical marketing is actually a big challenge for copywriters.
Writing that is appropriate for the target group is a matter of learning and practice!
Use media that your target audience reads as sources of inspiration. Other companies that have a similar target audience can also provide information on how to appeal to that particular group of buyers. Often, copywriters have a creative surge or a brilliant, witty inspiration and the copy (or at least the idea for it) almost comes naturally. Unfortunately, not always.
If you can not think of anything, it helps to brainstorm. Form a small working group of 4 - 6 people from your company. Feel free to mix: marketing, sales, production, assembly, consultants, etc. The only important thing is that the people participating have an insight into your buying center and its players. Because the focus must always be on the customer. What you yourself find hilarious may be completely incomprehensible to the potential buyer.
Conclusion: 4 tips for successful B2B advertising texts
1. Know your customers and get their attention: write B2B ad copy the right way.
Before you hit the keys, write down and answer the following questions:
Who is your target audience?
What does your target audience want?
What problems does your target audience have?
What are the hopes of your buyers?
What do you want to accomplish with your writing?
Where does your target audience read?
How does your target audience read?
After that, a grid emerges that will help you determine not only how to write your ad copy, but how to structure your entire campaign. Where will it be published and through what channels? What does the core message need to be? How do I get the reader's attention? If you answer these questions and keep them in mind, the target audience will always automatically be the focus of your B2B campaign!
Use strong words that trigger emotions and sensations and polarize:
Temporal: finally, now, never again, immediately, once.
Encouraging: guaranteed, exclusive, unique, new, ingenious
Personal: your, you, name
Cost: free, gratis, save, cheap
Secure: proven, safe, leading, more, personal, tried, tested
Emotional: simple, easy, successful, guaranteed, fast, perfect fit, first class
Numbers: 4 tips, 6 solutions, 9 examples, 86%, 9 out of 10
Solution: create, manage, master, solve
In addition to strong verbs, concise phrases, and inviting sentences, you can also use other tactics to draw your audience's attention to your message. For example, using a shocking or false headline. However, you can also make a typical statement that your target audience can identify with. In the first step, it is important that you stand out from the 815 ads.
You can also use a joke or even a faux pas in B2B. After all, not only is your target audience limited, but so is their attention. Therefore, your ad copy needs to stand out from the crowd - at least the headline. In the body text and other explanatory lines, you can then devote yourself to the benefits, solutions, and facts and figures, because that is of course relevant to your potential buyers. But with the headline and the design of your advertising campaign, you get the customers to read the message as well.
2. Advertising text, image and design in harmony
An ad copy is only as good as its environment. For a campaign to work in B2B, it must be coherent and consistent. Because not only the text, but also the layout must fit the target group and also contribute to the goals of the campaign.
My tip: Copywriters and layout artists need to work hand in hand here. Once the idea for the campaign and the channels in which it will be played out have been established, the message must be conveyed both textually and visually. The copywriter must design the presentation of the campaign along with the layout (and vice versa). Accept each other's tips and suggestions. The layout and headline get the most attention in the first second of reading. If these are inconsistent, the reader usually does not read on.
3. Include examples in advertising copy
The reason is simple: examples are easy to understand. Especially in the B2B sector, products and software often require a lot of explanation. Explanations about them are usually very understandable for your own company, but often far too abstract for outsiders. In a shell of technical terms and phrases, it is often not clear what the customer benefit of the respective product is.
The step of abstraction, i.e. the question "What can I do with the respective product in my company?" is passed on to the customer. The copywriter must take this hurdle from him. Give him a concrete example with which he can directly identify. Indeed, it is very difficult to put such a clear explanation on paper in a few words.
But it is worth it!
Always think of an elevator pitch. "You need to make a potential customer understand what your company does during a short elevator ride.
Help yourself with an example from industrial marketing:
Let us say you are a manufacturer of cutting materials: What is the feature of your product that is most important to your customer? In the case of cutting materials, it's probably their durability, because they need to be able to withstand immense cutting forces such as heat, as well as mechanical and chemical stresses. And preferably with as little wear as possible.
Illustrate the application and excellent wear resistance of your cutting materials with a specific customer example. Show exactly what your product was used for, how much the cutting material was able to withstand, what additional chemical loads it was exposed to and what machining task was solved with your product, which your cutting material survived under the highest loads without any signs of wear.
The advantage: You let your own customers speak for your product and give the potential customer a concrete application case with which he can identify and compare his own company. This is also the marketing strategy of a case study: convince customers with customers.
4. B2B advertising copy must be adapted to the medium
The right channel for the target audience must be chosen at the beginning of the campaign. Again, your W-questions will help you here: Where does my target audience consume content? The campaign must then inevitably fit the medium. Radio advertising, for example, rarely works in text. And banner ads rarely translate into a good print ad.
If you plan to distribute the campaign on different channels, you should also adapt the text accordingly. For example, if you are running ads on YouTube, a print ad in a trade magazine, and a social media ad, you'll need different text variations that still convey the same message.
For example, the video ad needs to sound good. The print ad needs to catch the eye or it will be skipped, and the Facebook post needs to be short and snappy because space is limited. When you write, make sure your copy can be varied and that it works in channels other than the written piece of paper.
It's best to test your finished campaign:
Show different groups a format of the campaign and then ask them what the main message is that you took away. If all formats are well received and the responses are consistent across channels, you have done everything right.