Finding a qualified B2B technology copywriter can be a daunting task. Here are five things to look for before you sign a contract…
Your copy can be the most critical factor in determining a campaign’s success.
However, it can be hard to find the right copywriter.
B2B marketers often test several writers before they find the right fit. In fact, many of my clients had cycled through two or more copywriters before they started working with me.
The reasons for failure varied: The copywriter didn’t understand their industry, couldn’t meet deadlines, or had a conflicting communication style.
Choosing the wrong copywriter can increase your workload, cause project delays, and cost you more in the long run. But the right technology copywriter can make your life easier, improve your marketing results, and help you drive sales.
Here are five things to look for in a B2B technology copywriter:
1. Knowledge of your industry
Many copywriters are generalists, which means that they write about everything from consumer products to fitness. Agencies often hire generalists when they need a writer who can adapt their style to a range of clients.
But a generalist may not be the best choice for B2B technology companies that sell complex products and services.
If your product has a steep learning curve or a sophisticated audience, look for a writer who has prior experience in your industry. In particular, find a copywriter who understands the unique needs, concerns, and hesitations of B2B technology buyers. The tech industry is ever-evolving and doing so at a rapid pace. You need a copywriter who is familiar with your audience and stays informed of the latest news, trends, and studies that will affect them.
Working with a technology copywriter who has related experience can significantly reduce the amount of time you spend briefing the writer and managing revisions. This helps your project run smoothly, allows you to launch campaigns faster, and will bring you better results.
2. An understanding of your audience
Your copy is often the first point of contact between you and your customers.
If it doesn’t resonate, you’ll lose customers to competitors who have strong messaging.
You need a writer who “gets” your audience and can align your copy with your reader’s role, level of familiarity with your company, and stage in the sales cycle.
Your copy likely speaks to two buyers—the tech buyer and the business buyer.
The tech buyer wants to know how your product works and how it will benefit IT. Your business buyer may not be as tech-savvy but needs to understand how your product or service will drive value for their company.
To sell in B2B, you need to speak to both of these audiences.
A good technology copywriter can speak to both of these audiences in a relatable way. Look for a copywriter who can engage your readers and educate on their level—without dumbing down your messaging or overusing complicated tech jargon.
High-converting copy isn’t just words that “sound good.”
It requires strategy and data.
If your writer refers to themselves as a “wordsmith,” run away as fast as you can.
Instead, look for a copywriter who geeks out over:
- B2B marketing and sales
- The B2B tech buyer journey
- Data-driven copy
4. A proven process
Producing great copy is 50% writing skills and 50% process.
When you speak with potential copywriters, ask about their process. For example, what will they handle, and what is your team responsible for providing? You don’t want to hire a copywriter for a case study and later learn that they expect you to conduct the customer interview.
Here are some questions you can ask a copywriter about their process:
- What will you handle, and what are we responsible for?
- How do you conduct research to learn about our audience?
- Who will you interview?
- Do you get involved with testing the copy?
- How do you handle edits?
- What is your typical timeframe for this type of project?
5. The ability to get up to speed quickly
Depending on your niche, it may be challenging to find a copywriter who understands your business’s ins and outs.
If you’re bringing a new solution to market, you’ll need to educate your copywriter before you jump into a project. Try to hire someone well before your launch date, as they will need time to get up to speed.
It may take your copywriter 2-4 weeks to conduct the research necessary to bring you results. Here are some things that your technology copywriter may want to do before they start writing:
- Review your voice-of-customer data, including testimonials, reviews, and survey results.
- Conduct customer interviews or surveys if you don’t already have this data.
- Dive deep into your buyer personas.
- Become familiar with your brand and messaging.
- Analyze your competitors.
- Interview you and your internal experts, such as sales and product people, to gather the information to give your copy authority.
- Review your website analytics and heat maps to see how visitors currently interact with your site and where you have opportunities to boost conversions.
Copywriters tend to be introverted. This is a useful trait when it comes to spending hours alone writing copy. But client communications may fall to the wayside.
For example, some copywriters will get lost in their work, and you won’t hear from them until they send you the finished copy.
A hands-off approach might be okay with you. But if you prefer an active connection with your copywriter, you need to discuss this at the beginning of your working agreement.
Ask about their preferred method of communication and make sure that it works for your needs. Also, find out how long it takes for them to respond to edit requests, issues, or concerns. The last thing you want is to spend several days trying to reach your copywriter for an urgent request.
You should also expect regular updates on the status of your copy. Even if you don’t have a pressing deadline, your copywriter should inform you about how things are progressing.
If you’re working on a long-term project, set regular check-ins. You can have a weekly Zoom meeting. Your copywriter can also send you updates via email or Slack.
Your copy acts as a salesperson who turns your prospects into customers. Use the above tips to find a technology copywriter who can help you meet your sales and marketing goals.
If you want your next copywriting project to deliver real results, click here to get your FREE checklist: 10 critical questions you need to ask before hiring a technology copywriter.