February 03, 2021
By Omar Sofradzija, Content Specialist
Start with the ending.
Get to your key takeaway right away when drawing up B2B content marketing blogs instead of doddering around generalizations and easing into the point you’re trying to make.
We often treat content like a social event: we open with niceties and background before we get to what we really want to say. And that’s a mistake because the B2B content marketing audience isn’t being social. They read because they want information to help them solve their own problems and move their business forward. Therefore, efficiency and ease of understanding are key.
Think of any content as an internal report, and your first sentence or two as the executive summary. If the reader goes no further than your first paragraph, they should understand what value they’ll get from reading the blog and why it’s important to them.
It starts with clearly identifying the whys and hows. Ask yourself these questions:
Start your content with exactly that. Find the words that state it plainly: Our new widget-stretcher will double the length of your widgets and double your profits, and such. Don’t worry at first about whether it reads very well; just use it as an anchor to fill out the rest of your content. You can always go back and tweak your first sentence after filling out the rest of the content block.
After establishing your key point, back into how your reader will get there. With the leading sequence focused on why the topic matters and how it helps your customers, then you can get into the whos, whats, whens, and wheres. These are the things we usually start writing with that get our communications bogged down before we often get to our point.
It may look weird to you because our examples of storytelling usually are so different. Since our schoolhouse days, English composition and creative writing classes drilled into us the idea of the “satisfying ending.” That is, you write to pull people into a journey that ends with how everything ended up: “And they lived happily ever after.” You tempt them to find the ending. When we’re grown, books and movies do the same. It seems too direct and awkward to just start with the conclusion.
But with books and movies, you commit yourself to follow through until the ending as a form of entertainment. In B2B marketing, making your point is how deals get done because you efficiently bring clear value to the customer. You don’t waste their time or yours.
For the customer that likes a long read, they will still have everything they need. For the customer who wants a quick take, they will get your point even if they don’t read very far. And maybe a tantalizing start will lure them into reading further than they usually would: after all, if you get a taste of something that emphasizes a benefit to you, wouldn’t you want to read on and see how it could happen?
Imagine if I held the main point of this post until now. Would you still be here? Would it be as impactful? Don’t risk it. Make your point, and make a solid connection with your client. Start with the ending.
Image source: Pixabay
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