B2B content writing has different nuances than writing intended for end consumers. Plenty of writers have many satisfied clients in both B2B and B2C markets, but when it comes to delivering consistent quality for clients whose primary client base is other businesses, there are certain qualities that you need to look for in B2B freelance writers. Here’s what you need to be on the lookout for when you’re scoping out freelance writers and you or your end clients do a majority of B2B marketing.
1. The writer has experience writing for the specific company size you are targeting.
WriterAccess has profile settings that tell you what size company the writer has the most experience writing for. For instance, solo business owners have drastically different content needs and audiences than C-suites at Fortune 100 companies or key employees at quickly-growing startups. If your B2B marketing efforts target different size companies, you can go with a B2B generalist but if your base is small businesses that don’t plan to scale much, then you want to get a writer who is a small business expert (such as the author of this post.) If your chief audience is decision-makers in larger organizations, writers who have familiarity with that kind of hierarchy are your best bet for successful B2B content.
2. Industry experience is incredibly valuable.
Freelance writers aren’t a monolith. Some stick to the industries that they worked in the past or still work in or take a “Swiss Army Knife” approach with respect to the copywriting they do across various industries. But when it comes to B2B, industrial experience is something you should highly value if your client base has a more industry-specific focus.
Prior or current experience with the industries you chiefly do business with is something you need to consider when discussing a writer’s rates and the frequency at which they will create content for you. A generalist may be able to get basic copy done cheaper than an industry expert (look for “Industry Elite” badges on WriterAccess profiles that show vetting of industry experience and credentials.) But if you’re looking to get high-quality content that demonstrates you’re a thought leader in your industry then you definitely want to work with a B2B writer who is familiar with how your industry works and its terminology. Someone who already knows the ropes is going to write more effective B2B content that consistently produces value for you over time–and is well worth what they charge.
Providing a style guide with a list of acceptable sources is always helpful to the writer (or writers) you will work with. But one major advantage you’ll have in working with a writer who has prior experience with the industry you’re targeting is that they will be highly familiar with authoritative sources and can maybe even introduce you to new ones. Nevertheless, having industry familiarity is always a major plus because that means you’ll spend less time explaining industry norms and “how it works.”
3. The writer has prior experience with B2B content in the desired length you have in mind.
Long-form content tends to do well with B2B audiences, but just because a writer is a rock star at blogging and ghostwriting influencer pieces doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be able to craft long-form content that will effectively drive engagement. Just like with company size and desired industry experience, you can also research writers by the asset types they are the most skilled with. Elite badges can also be award for content type!
But you also can’t neglect B2B outreach such as blogging, email copy, and social media posts specifically meant for B2B audiences. The methodology used to draft long-form content is different from blogging, but there are plenty of writers who have more experience with outreach than communicating a lot of knowledge and research into a longer piece meant to serve as brand positioning. Sales writing requires a whole other skill set than the persuasive (but not too salesy!) writing seen in B2B blog posts.
B2B writing still has some similarities to B2C writing in that the writer needs to have a clear idea of who the target audience is and what the intent of the content is. However, industrial knowledge and experience with the specific audiences (mostly the company size or role) are more crucial when it comes to hiring freelance B2B writers. You need a writer who knows exactly what this audience is seeking and also what type of language will turn them off from reading. Talk to the writers you’re vetting to get an idea of their individual experience in the spaces you’re looking to get a foothold in since they can likely bring in new perspectives you may not have thought of.
Rachel P is an indie game developer, writer, and consultant. She is also a content strategist here at Writer Access and would be happy to help you with keyword maps, customer journey maps, and buyer personas in addition to writing for you. If you would to like to hire Rachel to devise a content strategy for you, please contact your account manager or send a direct message.