The issue with writing is that it is all very subjective, at least if you are the one who has to read it. Someone else’s definition of “good” could be very different from yours.
Discussing books, playwrights, or poets, is still an exception. However, if you’re in charge of editing and approving written marketing content, it might be quite difficult to apply uniform quality standards.
But following the instructions and developing something that is effective requires a variety of factors. everything from your grammar and spelling to your writing’s structure, tone, and voice. Not only is accurate copy interesting and persuasive, but it is also simple to read. It recognises its audience and adapts to their needs. It motivates people to act.
We pose sixteen unambiguous yes/no questions, categorised into the five characteristics we believe all effective B2B content must possess:
- Accuracy – nobody will believe stuff that is full of errors.
- Clarity – time-pressed B2B decision makers must instantly understand what you’re saying.
- Authority – you need to sound like you know what you’re talking about.
- Empathy – Your reader needs to care about what you have to say.
- Wizardry – There is a tonne of content already available, yours must stand out.
Each one builds a little bit on the one before it, but none is more significant than the others.
1. Are there any factual errors in the copy?
The most important criteria is that all of the information in your post is factually accurate. If it’s not, you’ve already done damage to your brand. Although it may seem simple, double-check all names, facts, and statements. In particular, watch out for frequent math mistakes. You’d be surprised at how frequently percentage errors appear in B2B content when the author is “not a numbers person.”
2. Have you checked for spelling, grammar, and typographical errors?
This pertains to basic hygiene. While poor grammar and spelling won’t make your work convincing, they might immediately damage your credibility.
3. Is the article technically sound (in terms of character count, templates, style, and SEO)?
No matter how great the copy is, if it doesn’t do the simple things like satisfy the brand police and fit within the allotted area, no one will see it. Therefore, learn what they are and check for compliance.
4. Does the copy convey a strong argument with a logical structure?
Is the information presented in the text straightforward to understand and placed where it belongs? If there are glaring holes in your argument or if your reader loses interest midway through, you won’t persuade anyone.
5. Is the piece’s point clear from the outset and throughout the entire narrative?
All B2B decision-makers share the trait of being extremely busy, with several demands on their time. Therefore, you must get to the subject fast and maintain a clear line of reasoning throughout. You shouldn’t try to be too clever in this situation.
6. Is it simple to read each and every sentence?
This is a very high threshold, and most of our first draughts fall short of it during internal review. However, the reality is that most B2B information is difficult to read; in most markets, even a small amount of basic clarity may make a significant difference. So keep an eye out for sentences that are lengthier or more complex than they should be. Consider running your writing through a readability checker.
7. Does the content use technical phrases that are appropriate for the intended audience?
Some individuals may advise you to remove all the jargon from your material. They are speaking nonsense. To communicate effectively with your audience, you must adopt their vocabulary and express yourself in their style. But take care: this does NOT entail stuffing your writing with unnecessary technical jargon or trying to dazzle your reader with overly sophisticated terminology. Be genuine.
8. Are statements backed up by facts and specifics?
Simple rule: don’t assert anything you can’t substantiate. It will appear like you are lying even though you are not. Use facts, numbers, quotes, hyperlinks, and footnotes to show the reader you aren’t blagging without interrupting the flow of your story.
9. Is the writing free of nonsense, exaggeration, clichés, and excessively formal language?
When we lack confidence in a subject, we overuse language to make up for it. We all know this intuitively, so using intentionally confusing language is not good. If you wish to be perceived as credible and clever, use simpler language when possible,
10. Is there proof that the author is aware of their intended audience?
A lot of B2B material simply announces facts to the world, seemingly without even acknowledging the reader’s existence, much less taking into account what they are interested in. Good text communicates directly to the reader’s aspirations, difficulties, and worries.
11. Does the work avoid assuming anything about its audience?
Meeting the audience where they are and telling them what you think are two very different things. Recognize their difficulties, but avoid treating them like a lower class person by assuming you are more knowledgeable than they are in your line of work.
12. Is the content suitable for the audience’s interests, needs, and level of education?
Avoid using abbreviations and notions the audience won’t comprehend to confuse them. Conversely, don’t inform them of something they already know. Consider how many industry-specific websites begin with a summary of the industry and its significance.
13. Does the article provide the reader with unique insight and value?
A content article must offer the reader value they can’t receive elsewhere in order to have the best chance of success. Exists new information, privileged research, or a novel viewpoint? Or perhaps it is simply simpler to read or better compiled. But why would they pick this asset over the one offered by your rival?
14. Is the voice used appropriate?
Would it still be obvious who created this article if the branding and design components were hidden? Is the voice consistent with the brand’s typical style and does the tone fit the audience and subject matter?
15. Is it interesting and fun to read? (Or will it probably inspire readers to take action?
Did you find it easy to do it all, or was it a chore? Although thinking “this was beautifully written” is distracting, you should reach the conclusion more quickly than you anticipated. And once you arrive, you ought to want to move forward.
The final question:
16. Does the item reflect the appropriate messaging and adhere to the brief?
No matter how interesting and well written your material is, it must accomplish the purpose for which it was intended. Check your perception of the overall message and determine whether it achieves the key goals listed in your brief. If not, the process must start over.
Use your own version
There are questions on our checklist that are undoubtedly unrelated to the content of your brand, just as there are surely other items that are significant to you. But the idea is that you need to be aware of what is on your list.
Editing won’t become any simpler. However, it will provide you a chance to analyse B2B content with a consistent, impartial standard. If you’re very fortunate, you might even be able to prevent your stakeholders from revising everything.