There’s one easy trick you can use right now to make your B2B blog content way more engaging. But before I share it, let’s see if you can guess what it is.
Read the two versions below. Can you spot the difference?
When a business owner begins searching for a B2B software solution, they’re likely to start with a Google search. Long before these businesses speak to a sales rep, they’re learning, comparing solutions, and exploring potential vendors’ websites. According to a DemandGen 2017 B2B Buyer’s Report, 75% of B2B buyers said that the main reason they chose one vendor over another was the vendor’s content. This is good news for B2B companies who have already invested in high-quality, original, and helpful marketing content, and a huge opportunity for those who haven’t.
When your potential customers begin searching for a B2B software solution, they’re likely to start with a Google search. Long before your prospects speak to a sales rep, they’re learning, comparing solutions, and exploring your content (and your competitors’ content) online. According to a DemandGen 2017 B2B Buyer’s Report, 75% of B2B buyers said that the main reason they chose one vendor over another was the vendor’s content. This is good news if you’ve already invested in high-quality, original, and helpful marketing content, and a huge opportunity if you haven’t.
If you noticed Version Two is written in second-person voice, you’re right! That’s the only main difference between these two paragraphs, but it’s a powerful one.
Writing in 2nd Person: Reasons Why You Should Do It
For a refresher, there are three main points of view (or “voices”) you can use in your blog posts: first, second, and third.
First person: “I love B2B content marketing!” Or, “we love B2B content marketing!”
Second person: “You love B2B content marketing!”
Third person: “Amanda loves B2B content marketing!”
Each has its own ideal use case — for instance, a whitepaper or a formal document is probably not going to use the more casual first or second person voice.
However, when you’re writing a B2B blog post, most of the time you’re speaking directly to your audience and their challenges. If you leave the “you” out of it, your content can feel dull or out of context. Your reader may literally have no idea where they fit into the picture. Third-person has a tendency of reading in a detached or tentative way, and you’re not either of these things — you’re bold, excited, and ready to help!
Fix It Now!
Test it out for yourself. Find a blog post on your site that doesn’t speak directly to its audience (pro-tip for finding one: navigate to any old blog post, hit “Ctrl + F,” and search for the words “you” and “your.” If these are virtually nonexistent, you’ve found the perfect guinea pig for this experiment).
Now, edit your post into 2nd person voice:
If your customers are solopreneur marketers, don’t say “solopreneur marketers have to wear a ton of hats,” say “you have to wear a ton of hats.”
Instead of “B2B buyers want to find quick and reliable answers on B2B vendor websites,” say “your customers want to find quick and reliable answers on your company website.”
Don’t go nuts and change every “B2B buyer” to “your future customer,” of course, since you’ll risk losing some context (and not every situation calls for a direct reference to the reader). But examine your post for its overall feel, and read it aloud, if possible. If it sounds conversational and direct, you’re golden.
I could talk about writing and editing all day, so please do contact me with your specific questions! Otherwise, remember: be concise, be direct, use second-person voice.