When it comes to B2B writing, your readers are busy people bombarded by information. Put yourself in their shoes. Do you think they have the time and energy to curl up with a long treatise or academic paper? Or would they prefer something concise and helpful?
If you answered “long treatise or academic paper,” thanks for playing. We’re sending you away with some lovely parting gifts, including the home version of this game.
If you answered “something concise and helpful,” you’re right! Your goal is to respect their time — show that you value it as much as they do. As the great B2B content writer Aretha Franklin once said, it comes down to R-E-S-P-E-C-T. (Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me.)
How do you keep your writing concise and helpful? Here are a few tips:
- Write naturally: You don’t need flourishes.
- Take out anything that’s redundant: You’re not in college, so there’s no need to pad your writing to reach a certain length.
- Take out anything the reader already knows, unless it’s important to restate the facts: If you’re writing about GAAP for a group of accountants, you don’t need to explain what GAAP is. In fact, they’ll probably think you’re talking down to them if you do.
- Put away the thesaurus: You don’t need a ten-dollar word when an everyday term works just fine.
- Use bullets wherever you can: A bullet list (like this one) is easier to scan than a paragraph.
Don’t take this tip to the extreme. Some concepts can’t be boiled down to the length of a tweet. Use common sense. And when in doubt, choose the option that makes your document shorter.