Finding a qualified B2B tech copywriter can be a daunting task. Here are 7 essential traits to look for before you sign a contract …
Good copy is an essential part of a B2B marketing plan.
Research shows that 47% of B2B prospects read between three to five pieces of content before they speak with a sales rep. But many B2B marketing teams are small and don’t have the resources to produce tons of copy in-house.
Working with a B2B copywriter helps you create content that supports your campaigns, engage leads, and turn prospects into customers. However, it can be hard to find the right copywriter.
Many B2B marketers test several copywriters before they find the right fit. In fact, many of my own clients have cycled through two or more copywriters before they started working with me. The reasons for failure varied: The copywriter didn’t understand their industry, couldn’t meet deadlines, or had a conflicting communication style. Choosing the wrong copywriter can increase your workload, cause project delays, and cost you more in the long run.
But the right copywriter can make your life easier, improve your marketing results and help you produce more content – faster. Here are seven traits to look for in a B2B technology copywriter:
1. Industry Knowledge
Many copywriters are generalists, which means that they write about everything from consumer products to fitness. Agencies often hire generalists when they need a writer who can adapt their style to a range of clients. But a generalist may not be the best choice for B2B tech companies that sell complex products and services.
If your product has a steep learning curve or a sophisticated audience, look for a writer who has prior experience in your industry. In particular, find a copywriter who understands the unique needs, concerns, and hesitations of B2B tech buyers.
The B2B tech industry is ever-evolving and doing so at a rapid pace. You need a copywriter who is not only familiar with the basics of the tech industry, but who also stays informed of the latest news, trends, and studies that will affect your customer base.
You need a copywriter who’s not only familiar with the basics of the tech industry, but also does this:
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Working with a copywriter who has experience in your industry can greatly reduce the amount of time that you spend briefing the writer and managing revisions. This helps your project run smoothly, allows you to produce content faster, and can bring you better results.
2. An Understanding of Your Audience
Your copy is often the first point of contact between you and your target audience. To engage customers, you need a copywriter who understands their unique point of view.
Your B2B tech copywriter must match your tone to each reader’s role, level of familiarity with your company, and stage in the sales cycle. For example, your audience may include IT pros who want to know how your product works. But you may also have business buyers in your audience who aren’t as tech-savvy but need to know how your product or service will drive value for their company.
A good B2B tech copywriter can speak to both of these audiences in a relatable way. Look for a copywriter who can engage your readers and educate on their level – without dumbing down the content or overusing complicated tech jargon. Here’s more information on how to find your unique B2B brand voice.
3. Marketing Savvy
A great copywriter is part marketer, part storyteller. Because copy is all about selling, you need a writer who knows how to sell your product or service in a way that aligns with the needs of your target audience. But selling by itself can be soulless and come across as gimmicky if you don’t have a meaningful, sympathetic story behind it.
A capable B2B tech copywriter can turn your facts, figures, and statistics into an empathetic narrative. Here’s more information on how to use storytelling to convert prospects into customers.
4. The Ability to Write Email and Landing Page Copy
If you sell software or tech services, you need a copywriter who understands how to write effective email and landing page copy. Both go hand-in-hand with engaging leads and converting them into customers.
Copywriters who excel at writing marketing emails know how to keep the copy short, understandable, and action-oriented. Email marketing is one of the top strategies for nurturing leads. In fact, email generates a $38 return for every $1 spent. When your copywriter excels at conversion-focused emails, you will massively multiply your return on investment.
Your copywriter can produce email sequences that motivate new subscribers (who have just downloaded a piece of your content) to sign up for a free trial or demo. They can also write a sequence that turns free trial users into paying customers.
The ideal B2B copywriter should also know how to write landing pages that sell. A landing page is not only useful for capturing email addresses, but also for building a foundation of trust with your target audience. When done correctly, your landing page will enhance your credibility and motivate customers to take the next step towards working with you.
You need someone who can get back to you quickly.
Some writers are hermits. After making the agreement, they’ll retreat into a metaphorical cave, and you won’t hear from them until the deadline. For some tech companies, that works out fine. However, if you want to maintain an active connection with your copywriter, you need to set those boundaries from the beginning of your working agreement.
Find out their preferred method of communication and make sure that it works for your needs. Also, ask how long it takes for them to respond to edit requests, issues, or concerns. You should also expect regular updates on the status of your copy. Even if you don’t have a pressing deadline, your copywriter should keep you informed about how things are progressing.
You must ensure that your communication styles are acceptable to each other upon entering an agreement. The last thing you want is to spend several days trying to reach your copywriter for an urgent request.
You will also hit more deadlines if you send your copywriter background info, schedule interviews, and respond to questions quickly. If you don’t give your copywriter the info that they need until the day before the project is due, they might not meet your deadline.
6. A Proven Process
Producing great copy is 50% writing skills and 50% process.
When you speak with potential copywriters, ask about their process. For example, what will they handle, and what is your team responsible for providing? You don’t want to hire a copywriter for a case study and later learn that they expect you to conduct the customer interview.
A typical process may include interviewing your subject matter experts, submitting an outline, and researching your audience.
Your copywriter should also have a process for edits, as this can greatly impact your timelines. How many rounds of revisions do you typically need? Be sure to account for revisions when planning your timelines.
7. The Ability to Get Up to Speed Quickly
Depending on your niche, it may be challenging to find a copywriter who understands the ins and outs of your business. If you serve a very specialized audience, you may need to educate your writer before you can rely on them to write compelling copy.
If this is the case for you, don’t overlook capable copywriters in pursuit of a magical unicorn who likely doesn’t exist. As long as you can find a copywriter who checks off the other items on this list (especially one who has expertise in your industry), it’s likely that you can train them to understand the specifics.
When working with an adept copywriter, take your time to educate them about your industry, your customers, and your business. During your introductory process, a good copywriter will ask you plenty of questions to guide their research, but be ready to provide additional resources that will help them get up-to-speed.
A good B2B copywriter plays a huge role in converting leads into customers. Use the above tips to help you find a copywriter who can help you attract more high-quality leads and turn them into customers.
Also be sure to download your FREE checklist of 10 Critical Questions You Need to Ask Before You Hire a B2B Technology Copywriter.