According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average - or over 3.5 billion searches per day. That's a lot of people looking for content and, while those searches will incorporate a huge range of questions, the sheer volume indicates that there is an audience hungry for content.
But, with the increase in searches, comes an increase in the amount of content created. That means that mediocre content simply won't cut it. Searchers only consume the content that sates their appetite.
So, how can B2B content writers make an impact?
1. Think about the pain
Nobody likes to be in pain – generally, we all do our best to avoid it – but by addressing your target audience's particular pain, you will create far better content. After all, it is pain that drives people to make a change; to search for content that will set them on the path to finding relief. People purchase your products and services because they fulfil a need that they have – but you need to demonstrate to them that your organisation is the best fit for them.
Whether you're writing a blog post, eBook or technical paper, it's worth keeping your readers' pain at the forefront of your mind – and then seeking to solve it through your carefully-crafted words.
2. Cut through the verbosity
When you're a skilled writer, it can be tempting to think you need to weave complex sentences, filled with big words that require a dictionary to decipher. However, that's not the case. In a B2B context, concise language is generally preferable to wordiness.
That's not to say you should dumb down your content – for example, if you're working in a technical field, use all the associated terms (for your readers, they are the norm). Rather, you should seek to be as clear as possible. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself: can I say the same thing more succinctly without losing any impact? If the answer is yes, then you know what to do!
3. Be real
Ok, it sounds like we're moving into the realm of mindfulness and yoga here – but the point I'm making is, don't leave your personality at the door when you start writing. There is a tendency to view B2B writing as inherently serious, but there are few instances where it is not possible to inject humour or a dash of the conversational.
We're all people and when you're creating content that aims to form connections and build relationships, you're going to struggle if you switch to autopilot and adopt a robotic tone.
Writing for Copyblogger, Henneke puts it perfectly: "In a world of endless pixels and meaningless likes, we crave human connections and voices that resonate with us.
"So, be yourself. Brew a cup of green tea. Offer your readers a slice of homemade cake.
"And have a cosy chat.
4. Take a break
If you're ascending a mountain of work and facing looming deadlines, it can feel like you need to keep your nose to the grindstone at all costs. But there's nothing wrong with taking a break – and there's evidence to back this up.
According to a study carried out by DeskTime, the most productive people work for 52 minutes, then break for 17 minutes. And a paper published by the New Zealand Productivity Commission found that working more hours does not correlate with higher productivity.
So, if you've hit a wall in the content creation process, don't be afraid to take a step back. Go for a walk, put the kettle on, read an article about an unrelated topic – whatever works for you. Then you can return to your writing with renewed vigour - and make an impact.
5. Send a single message
It's important to convey a clear message in your content. Attempting to get across multiple messages can be both confusing and distracting, thereby detracting from the power of your words. We've already talked about keeping your readers' pain in mind – so, approach each piece of content as a vehicle in which you present a solution to the aspect of the pain that you are discussing. There might be multiple dimensions to the pain and multiple solutions but, generally, it's best to narrow your focus.
Having a clear focus also enables you to better optimise your content, so that more of the right people will find it. You can look for the best keywords to target and formulate a headline that tells your target audience exactly what your content is about.
B2B content writers don't have it easy. Today's digital landscape is hard to navigate - there's a lot of competition and capturing attention is a challenge. However, keeping in mind these tips can help you to surmount these obstacles and truly make an impact.