On the spectrum of "business babble" to "delightful," B2B copy usually nestles in comfortably at the babbling end.
Then there are the B2B marketers who infuse a little personality, a little oomph, a little pizzazz (dare I say a little glitter?) into their content. Those are the ones we'll concern ourselves with today.
In this post, I'd like to celebrate the writers and marketers who remind us that B2B content doesn't need to be drab. Here are some of my personal favorites. Share yours in the comments, eh?
8 B2B Companies That Totally Nail Copywriting
R/GA's Twitter account, run by the guy whose bio reads "80 percent of success is just showing up. I have a spotty attendance record," is the reason the digital agency made this list. In particular, the guy's great at cracking a joke in 140 characters or less. Here are some of his gems:
The first known use of "selfie," according to Oxford, was by a drunk Australian in 2002 who fell on his face and took a picture of it.
If you can be consistently funny in 140 characters or less, you've got some copywriting skills in my book.
2) Velocity Partners
I have a hunch there are a lot of talented copywriters over at Velocity Partners, but the work I see coming from Doug Kessler constantly blows me away. He's great at not only identifying hot topics with emotional resonance, but also at using the right words -- and few words at that -- to explain the concepts.
He's also mastered the SlideShare format, on which he certainly knows how to tell a compelling story. Here's one of my all-time favorites from Doug.
Much like Kessler, the folks at Dropbox have mastered the power of saying a lot with just a few words. Its copy, when read alongside its images, really solidifies the Dropbox brand for me: simplicity.
The company's product is straightforward and easy to understand, and it wisely reflects that feeling in all of the marketing copy -- whether promotional or instructional. Take a look at the homepage, for example:
When's the last time you saw a homepage that concise? The "About" page is no different:
In the spirit of Dropbox copywriting, I'll shut up now and just say ... awesome.
Airclic. It's a company that helps distributors electronically track shipments and provide proof of delivery.
You know why I know that? Because the company has a website that helps you actually understand what the heck it does. It took me about 10 seconds to land on Airclic's homepage, read its explanation, and understand its business and value proposition.
Here, try it yourself:
Boom. Got it. Thanks, Airclic.
If you're looking for a model of a B2B website that's devoid of business babble, these are the folks you should look at.
5) Help Scout
Help Scout is one of two companies that'll be featured in this blog post in the customer service software space. Perhaps the industry attracts English majors?
Anyway, what I love about Help Scout's copywriting is how it infuses a sense of humor -- even a little bit of an edge -- into what it publishes. Here's an example, which I grabbed from one of its recent email campaigns:
It's refreshing to see B2B companies that don't take themselves too seriously. Just because we're in software doesn't mean we can't have some fun, right?
And now, for customer service software example number two. The folks at Zendesk excel at infusing an element of humanity into their copy. When you consume the company's content, you don't feel like you're talking to a faceless person -- or worse, no person at all. It takes pains to establish a real human connection and put a face and personality behind its marketing content.
The best example I've seen from them is their "story of" content, which I've featured in the past on the blog:
In this case study, Zendesk removes the anonymity of phone-based customer service and replaces it with a real relationship. (Seriously, they get into a real relationship. It's kind of cute.)
7) Feldman Creative
It shouldn't be a surprise that Barry Feldman is featured on a copywriter list -- the guy's written the guide on copywriting (for us, at least) and continues to create content that teaches others how to actually do good copywriting.
What's noteworthy about Feldman's copy about copy is that ... it's really hard to write copy about copy. It's like trying to explain to someone why a song is good and how they can replicate it to create their own number-one hit. I mean, how do you put that into words? And how do you translate those complex concepts in a way that enables your readers?
Barry figures out a way. If you'd like an example, just read this post. Or this one. Or this one. Barry has a knack for educating businesses and marketers, explaining complex concepts in terms that make you feel like maybe you can actually pull off the stuff he's teaching you.
Here's a list of things the folks at GE have managed to make interesting: big data, machinery, math, garages, phonographs.
How'd they do that? By using empathy to find the common ground between folks like us and these "boring" subject matters -- and then communicating that common ground in words that resonate with us.
There's nowhere the company does this better, in my opinion, than on social media. One of my favorite instances of this is when it capitalized on the "Hey Girl" meme to get people excited about inventors. Check it out.