If you’re like many of today’s savvy B2B marketers, you probably spend a lot of time creating educational content for your customers – such as blog posts, videos and e-books.
However, there comes a time when you must move beyond giving out advice to talk about your company. This can include anything from your “About Us” page to product brochures to press releases.
If you sell B2B technology services and have been in business for a while, chances are you do things better than your competition. It’s natural to want customers to know that you’re the best!
But when you talk about yourself, you don’t want to be like that guy …
You know … the jerk who bores everyone because he won’t shut up about himself.
So, how do you promote yourself in your B2B marketing materials without boring your customers?
Show, don’t tell.
When I studied creative writing in university, we learned the importance of showing and not telling. “Show, don’t tell” is a writing technique that drives a story through action, dialogue and sensory details … as opposed to simply describing what is going on.
Here’s an example of telling:
“Bill’s colleagues did not like him.”
And here’s what it looks like to show the same information:
“For the second year in a row, the marketing department failed to get Bill a cake on his birthday.”
The first example makes a statement and expects you to believe it. However, the second example offers evidence that Bill’s co-workers don’t like him.
To apply “Show, don’t tell” to your B2B marketing, you must provide customers with proof of your awesomeness instead of simply describing how awesome you are. Here are three ways you can show customers the benefits of working with you:
1. Drop the meaningless adjectives.
Many B2B technology marketers load their copy with adjectives such as “high-quality,” “innovative” and “best-in-class”. However, these adjectives are so overused that they’ve lost their meaning. Customers think of them as marketing BS.
2. Discuss specific features and benefits.
Instead of describing your products as “innovative” or “leading edge”, show customers the specific features and benefits that live up to these adjectives. For example, saying your service has a 99.7% reliability rate is much more compelling than saying it’s best-in-class.
3. Include social proof.
The best way to tell potential customers that you’re the best is not to tell them at all. Instead, have your existing customers tell them. You can do this by peppering your marketing with customer testimonials, positive reviews and case studies.
Also remember to tap into your social networks. Many marketers let rave reviews get buried in Twitter or Facebook streams. When someone tweets something nice about you, ask if you can post it on your website or if they would be interested in doing a case study (if appropriate). Don’t let all of these comments get lost just because they are under 140 characters.
The next time you look through your marketing materials, see if you have the opportunity to do more showing and less telling. This can make your content more interesting and help you connect with customers.
What about you? How else can you say you’re the best without boring your customers? Please leave your comments below.
Great post, Rachel! I love the ‘show, don’t tell’ rule.
Hi, Jessica. Thanks!
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