Great content is fuel for SEO, but it needs consistency to reap the benefits – creating an additional workload many businesses struggle to maintain. For some, outsourcing experts in B2B marketing copywriting can be an ideal solution, providing a middle ground between hiring a new salaried employee and attempting to juggle content creation unsupported.
But a quick search for ‘content writers’ reveals an overwhelming abundance of options. In this article, we’ll be looking at key attributes for B2B marketing copywriting professionals, when to go with a freelancer vs an agency, and best practices in B2B marketing copywriting to look out for.
Attributes for a B2B Marketing Copywriting Professional
They Understand the B2B Space and the Content it Requires
B2B marketing copywriting requires specialized knowledge of the industry, even if a potential writer has had great success writing for B2C clients. For one thing, the B2B space has much longer sales cycles than B2C, as several decision-makers are typically involved and a significant amount of research is undertaken before a purchase is made.
The best B2B solutions are disruptive – innovating a new solution that shakes up the industry. Disruptive products require educating the consumer about the solution, as they may not know to look for it. Again, the marketing required here is very different from that of a product boasting a slight variation or improvement on an existing solution.
They Are Open and Honest
Great communication is essential for a B2B marketing copywriting service – both in their work and in their relationship with you. Great content writers will demonstrate clear, concise communication across their correspondence. It’s important to remember that content marketing is not a quick process – it can take 6-9 months to see results. For this reason, you need writers who understand the long game and will be honest with you about timeframes.
They will also need to take the time to understand your company and its buyer personas before getting started.
They Are Well-Versed in SEO
Understanding SEO best practices is essential, as there’s no use for content that no one can find. Even if your potential B2B marketing copywriting service won’t be providing help with technical SEO, an understanding of SEO-friendly formattings – such as H1 tags, meta-descriptions, and secondary keywords – is necessary to save you time and money optimizing their work later. Look for certifications from Hubspot, SEMrush, and Google Analytics.
If your chosen B2B marketing copywriting agency is also developing a content plan and strategy for you, they must undertake thorough keyword research as well.
Choosing between a B2B Marketing Copywriting Agency and a Freelancer
Generally, there is no golden rule for whether to work with a freelancer or an agency for content writing. It depends on your individual needs. If you’re simply looking for someone to supplement your content with additional blog posts and other media, then an established freelancer may be a great option for professional results quickly.
But if you need more than that – a content plan, a significant amount of content written, or help with your SEM strategy – an agency is the better choice. For one thing, if you need to scale up your content output, later on, you’ll likely need to hire a second freelancer or more. This means liaising with multiple freelancers to ensure they are all using the same voice for your brand and have the same understanding of your target audience. Keeping a team of disparate freelancers unified may require significant management on your part. Furthermore, if one quits, the onus is on you to replace them quickly or risk falling behind.
With an agency, there is far more room to scale your efforts. Your business will likely only represent a fraction of their overall workload, which means they can assign more writers to it as and when necessary. Maintaining continuity of voice across your content will be handled internally, as will any staffing issues. Ultimately, you may find significantly more value from your marketing spend with a committed, experienced agency.
What To Look For In A B2B Copywriting Agency
Evidence of Success
It’s crucial your potential B2B marketing copywriting agency demonstrates relevance in their portfolio – are they providing what you need to their other clients? Testimonials and reviews from relevant previous clients are also a very good sign. Finally, their marketing efforts are a huge indicator of their level of commitment and strategy. If they don’t blog, only write about their internal company news, or have a poorly optimized website, this indicates only a superficial understanding of SEO and the practices underpinning successful content marketing.
Big Picture Strategizing
As mentioned above, content marketing, while highly effective, is not a quick process. Your chosen agency needs strategies that reflect the long-haul nature of this marketing type. How can you drive traffic to your site while your content slowly gains momentum? They may suggest using paid ads and other forms of marketing to supplement – this is a good sign.
You’re looking for an agency that’s resourceful, flexible, and accountable. Don’t be lured in by promises of ‘guaranteed SEO’ or swift turnaround times for increased traffic – this is usually only made possible via ‘black hat’ SEO tactics – unethical SEO practices that go against search engine guidelines. This may provide the appearance of short-term success, but will quickly collapse in on itself. B2B content marketing is all about trust – you win customers over by providing valuable knowledge. No quick fix is worth damaging your credibility.
Great Relationship With Staff
Look for an agency that invests in its employees. Even if your initial contract is limited, you’ll want to develop a trusting partnership with an agency so you can return to them for more work as and when needed. It’s worth being aware that some agencies will use interns or outsource work to freelancers overseas to cut down on costs. Not only does this mean the quality of work you’ll receive is far from reliable, but it also puts a ceiling on how much skill and strategy you can expect to be applied to your work.
A great B2B marketing copywriting agency will hire for character, and train for skill, actively investing in their employees and providing them with a positive working environment.
Ultimately, the right B2B marketing copywriting agency will understand your market, invest in their staff, be accredited in SEO, set big goals, and be willing to experiment to reach them. Beyond that, it’s important to find an agency that works with you, and understands your individual requirements.
At Nituno, experience has taught us that great SEO content mixed with SEM strategy is rocket-fuel for growing your business. We are a Hubspot and SEMrush certified B2B copywriting agency, that uses a bespoke mix of inbound, outbound, paid, and video marketing to turbocharge our clients’ growth. Need compelling, effective content for the B2B space? We can help.