I talk about people-centric communication quite a bit. Mostly because I am aware that everything I write is read by another human being trying to get on with their day.
Sound obvious? Maybe so. But how many times have you started to write something at work and thought:
“This needs to sound more academic,” or,
“How can I make this sound more impressive?”
If this doesn’t sound familiar, look at it this way. How many times have you sat down to read something and thought:
“I wish this was MORE complicated!” or,
“I love how difficult these sentences are. It makes my life so much easier!”
Formality isn’t dead – but over complicating things to sound impressive should be. You don’t necessarily have to be funny or creative, but when it comes to strong business content, you need to keep it clean, sharp and as simple as possible. Because this is not about you. This is about your reader.
B2B: Businesses are people. Get to know them.
To really communicate with your audience, you need to first remember that a ‘business’ is not an external thing with no feelings or personality. Surprise surprise, businesses are made up of people. People start a business, people manage that business, people ultimately choose whether to buy your services and people benefit from the outcome.
Therefore, when starting a B2B content marketing strategy, people should ALWAYS come first. Look at the decision makers in a company and ask yourself: who do you need to connect with? Who is calling the shots? Who does the research?
Then, work out what they need to know. Do they understand finance, but not the technicalities of the services they need to buy? Do they want to start doing things differently, but aren’t sure how to get started? Do they simply want to save money? Or streamline something they already have?
Your job is to clearly explain how you will help them do this.
“To create engaging and interactive content, put yourself in the shoes of the new B2B buyer audience, understand their challenges and build a campaign around those insights.” Nick Clark
The people-centric approach to B2B communication acknowledges that people are the heart and soul of every single business. Consider their needs before putting pen to paper, and talk in a way that they will understand – or better yet, enjoy.
B2C: Build trust with your customers through personal communication
When it comes to B2C, things are no different. Typical sales content starts with how well your company does something or how good your product is. But this doesn’t necessarily solve your customer’s problem, and it rarely captures their attention.
The first step to any content marketing strategy is not thinking about what you do – it is carefully considering your core customer group and thinking about what they want and need.
Do they want to read a long list of benefits, or do they want to learn something new? Perhaps they are sick of generic products, and want to know why yours is different. Maybe they want to know your ethical standpoints, or just want to see something fun and engaging.
Whatever it is, talking to your customers in a personal way makes them feel part of something bigger. Not only because they actually understand what they’re buying (and want to read more about it) but also because they see the personality behind your organisation.
This builds trust, which drives conversions. A study by Bonfire Marketing found that 63 percent of customers will choose an authentic brand when making a purchase. People care about who you are and what you are doing. Like any quality human relationship, trust matters.
So stop hiding behind business jargon and start making personal connections with your business writing. Ultimately, taking a people-centric approach helps your customers understand your company and encourages them to engage. Whether that’s by clicking on links, browsing your website, commenting on your posts, signing up to your newsletter, or buying that product, it starts a dialogue. And this drives what we all want and crave – leads.