B2B copywriting tips – taken from the world of journalism
By Paul Maher
S eeing as it’s National Storytelling Week (27th January – 4th February 2024), the team thought it was a good opportunity to lean on my past experiences and share some tips on B2B writing.
Prior to joining Fourth Day, I worked as a journalist for more than a decade – and since then I’ve been adapting and applying the lessons I learnt during that time to the world of B2B comms.
So, here are seven brief tips on B2B storytelling, taken from the world of journalism.
1. Be more tabloid
Don’t make readers wade through a load of waffle. Be succinct and concise. It’s hard to write short but take the time to do it. Your readers will thank you.
2. Lead with the good stuff
Don’t leave people guessing. It’s not a novel. No one has time to wait for the ending. Tell the reader why this is going to be interesting, straight away.
3. Give it a hook
Grab people’s interest. Make it relevant to them. Not sure how to do that? You can always find an angle in the news agenda. Or draw a narrative from the latest conversations taking place within your industry.
"Don’t just wing it. Be confident what you write will hit the mark with your reader."
4. Know your reader
You are not the reader – and neither is your client/ boss. Speak to your target audience. Talk to them in a language they will understand.
5. Know your stuff
Do your research. If you don’t know what you are talking about, speak to those that do. This might be a subject matter expert within your organisation, an industry analyst or an academic. Don’t just wing it. Be confident what you write will hit the mark with your reader.
6. Don’t kill a story with facts
Don’t just share things because they are interesting. It’s easy for readers to become blinded by details. Pick a message you want to share, and only include details that support that storyline.
7. There’s always another story to be told
You don’t need to cram everything into one piece. Be prepared to hold things back for another day. It will help you keep the conversation going.
Paul is Fourth Day's Head of Content , based in Manchester