By Becky Tumidolsky
If you want to create mind-blowing B2B content, you must think like a content writer.
I’m not just referring to the mechanics of good writing. These are embedded in the subconscious of every experienced writer. Language flows pretty easily through our internal filters; we do a lot of editing before we write. But that’s only part of the reason why marketing teams need us.
Our real value lies in the high-level awareness, intellect, and sensibility we invest in every piece of content we create.
Our Mental Journey: Far Off the Beaten Path
B2B content writers, like good journalists, boldly go in new directions. Here’s how we reach our destination, step by step.
1. We leave tired industry boilerplate at the trail head. We’ve got no use for it.
2. We orient ourselves by asking the right questions. We don’t start plotting a course till we know the lay of the land.
3. We soak up our clients’ rays—their core values, industry distinctions, and branding goals.
4. We ignore low-hanging fruit. We’re not content with parroting content we’ve seen before.
5. We zero in on interesting features, including (and especially) the ones our clients miss.
6. We’re always on the lookout for unexpected detours. Little epiphanies lead to big ideas.
7. We CAN see the forest for the trees, which helps us develop a contextual framework.
8. We use every tool at our disposal to craft narratives that resonate with target audiences.
Above All, We Think Like Readers Do
We talk a lot in the marketing business about prospects’ “pain points” and why they need addressing. I submit that one of their biggest “pain points” is realizing they’ve wasted valuable time reading substandard or overly promotional content that’s neither helpful nor engaging.
Good content writers are, at heart, “audience advocates.” They understand that communication is a two-way street. They know if they fail to meet audiences where they are—engaging their hearts and minds, addressing their concerns, and earning their respect and trust—the whole exercise is pointless.
Like many of my fellow writers, I observe the Golden Rule of Content Marketing: Engage audiences the way you would like to be engaged.
When I’m writing a company’s story, I approach it from the reader’s point of view. I ask myself the following questions (bearing in mind industry, market niche, channel, and intended audience):
Would the headline draw me in?
Would I find the hook intriguing?
Is the creative angle appropriate? Does it make sense?
Is the language too similar to that of other industry content?
Is there a human element that resonates?
Is there too much puffery? (Could the company’s achievements be presented in a more nuanced way?)
Does the writing seem authentic?
Are the company’s distinctions clear? More importantly, why should I care about them?
Does the ending capture the gist of the company’s message and leave me with a positive feeling?
Left Brain and Right Brain, Working Hand in Glove
Good content writers are strong analytic thinkers with boundless creative energy. You can set them loose on any topic, brand, industry, or product, and they can absorb all the technical details and present them in ways that command readers’ interest and compel them to act.
I write content for a living because I enjoy projects that light up both hemispheres of my brain. I have as much fun writing technical reports as I do writing blog posts or creating offbeat slideshow presentations. Because I’m passionate about what I do, I take pride in doing it well—no matter what the project demands.
A Question for My Fellow Marketers
Does this post reflect your experiences? What strategies do you use to ensure your content meets the needs of both clients and their target audiences? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
Since 2001, Becky Tumidolsky has written awareness-building content for B2B brands and their discerning audiences. Her work has appeared in leading publications such as Forbes, U.S.News & World Report, Bloomberg Markets, Newsweek, and Inc. as well as corporate blogs, websites, white papers, and other content assets.
Becky loves writing fluid, error-free prose. She’s even more passionate about building the foundation for her work—uncovering core brand distinctions, framing them thematically, and developing fresh, compelling narratives that advance corporate strategies.