Humanizing B2B Copy Without Trying Too Hard
I’ve worked on content for a lot of what I like to call “unsexy” B2B brands. They keep buildings running and help businesses comply with government regulations. You know, the stuff you dreamed about doing when you were a kid.
When you work for these kinds of industries, it’s not uncommon for people to ask, “How do you make that exciting?”
Like most B2B marketers, I’m embracing the trend towards more “human” language. Ditch the jargon. Evoke emotion. Don’t be afraid of humor, etc., etc.
I’ve often found myself frustrated at webinars and presentations that focused on how to humanize B2B content. Many of the presenters come from “cool” companies – typically those that target marketers – and they can do all kinds of trendy, fun things.
But meme culture doesn’t exactly resonate with industrial lighting engineers or finance executives at biopharma firms. Forcing humor can come at the risk of credibility.
Subject matter experts speak human
Instead of looking to popular culture for inspiration, I tend to look to the people who know what I’m writing about best.
I’ve been on the phone with food manufacturing sanitors who talked well past the time we set up for the call. Accountants get fired up about reading new regulations. Even the guys I use for pest control love talking about bugs.
And that’s where the human voice is. Speaking in the language of passionate subject matter experts has been a great source of inspiration for me, even when I’m writing about sustainable lighting in retail environments or the nuances of accounting regulations.
The subject is exciting to the audience
Before chasing the latest trend, it’s important to remember that the audience doesn’t need to be goaded into caring about the subject matter. They may need to be convinced to engage with a particular piece of content.
But they’re passionate about the topic.
My job is to be a bridge between them and the SME/brand. There’s still plenty of room for creativity, as long as it’s inspired by something authentic.