Lots of content I read on B2B company websites bores me to tears. It all makes everyone sound the same. The USPs all seem to lack any uniqueness. Bios all look the same. Companies come across as plastic boxes with plastic people. Come on... get emotional! Show me a little of yourselves please! Show me who you are, what you know, what you are passionate about.... not just what you do.
I am often asked about 'tone of voice' by our clients who are writing content for the first time. I say simply replicate how you sound when you're on the phone or when you meet one of your customers? Use that voice! It's not difficult and it should not be different just because your content will be on the company website. Be yourself - well at least be your work-self - being your late-at-night-singing-karaoke-self might not be the go.
It is a cliché but a true one - people buy from people not companies. I think this is particularly true when it comes to business to business. Relationships matter in business (doh)! Show who you are when you write content - be yourself.....
Now for some proper research; check out what CEB Marketing and Google concluded (see below) when they challenged the assumption that B2B customers make purely rational decisions and questioned whether B2B marketers focus too much on 'business value' to differentiate their brands rather than bringing in a bit of emotion. This research was from 2009. From the conversations I am having it sounds like we are still not putting enough emotion into our B2B marketing.
Rant over.... (sorry - I'm feeling a little emotional).
We like to think of organizations as rational and logical. The truth is, there are people within them, and those people are just as, if not more, influenced by emotion than everyday consumers. While the latter may place some value on bonding with a brand, the former needs an emotional connection to buy at all. By getting personal, B2B marketers can get ahead — creating purchase intent, pricing power, brand advocacy and, most importantly, happy customers. About the Research: This research was completed by CEB Marketing in partnership with Google and Motista