Originally published August 26, 2021 , updated on August 27, 2021Reading Time: 8 minutes
Business writing comes in many forms. It can include articles, blogs, memos, whitepapers, ebooks, and much more. If you’re running a company, you will need to know how to write effectively, even if your content is being outsourced to business writing services.
In this blog, we discuss the top things to keep in mind in business content writing. In short, these are the questions to ask yourself when writing for business:
- Is the piece relevant to the business?
- Do you have an awareness of the audience?
- Is it formal but with limited jargon?
- How accurate is it?
- Does it have errors?
- Is it clear and concise?
- Has it been written in your company voice?
- Does it have a logical structure and good flow?
- Is there a clear call-to-action
- Does it showcase your business in a positive light and position it as a thought/industry leader?
- Has region-specific writers and business writing services been used?
Below, we go into greater detail on each of these key points for impactful and compelling content. For each question we give some insight into what you can do to really create extraordinary pieces of content.
Make sure all the following points are checked to write effective business copy your audience will love.
It Is Relevant to the Business
You will be surprised at how many people and organisations put out copy not relevant to their business. And this can really cause users to avoid reading your pieces.
This often happens when a company executive feels passionate about a particular topic or trend. While it is always a good idea to be a part of the conversation, do not try to jump on every topic just because it’s newsworthy. If it does not relate to your industry, either find a clever way to re-angle the topic or move on.
While there are ways to use news agenda in your copy, you should always try to keep things on-topic when creating business pieces. Write articles that will get you more leads and position your company in a good light.
You can, however, connect your business to something newsworthy in a way that keeps the piece relevant. For example, suppose you provide a project management tool for remote working. The news of the day is about smoke from devastating fires grounding flights across Europe. You can use this hook to highlight how companies and teams can still stay connected with your business even though many can’t get to the office. In this instance, it is important to tread carefully as you don’t want to come across as insensitive.
There Is an Awareness of the Audience
Always ensure you know who your audience is with every piece you create. If you are confused by who you are writing for, your pieces will come across as such with no real focus.
Are you distributing content for new or existing clients? Are you writing an article to share with fellow industry executives? Be clear on this from the start so that your writing reflects it.
A business piece for potential new clients won’t be the same as one aimed at existing customers. Existing customers expect a level of familiarity in your writing. If you are writing as if they are new customers with limited information about your business, they could be put off.
A good idea is to do an audience check for all copy you or your business writing service creates. In fact, highlight your intended audience in the initial writing brief. This will prevent confusion and unnecessary reverts.
It Is Formal but Does Not Overuse Jargon
Business articles typically use a more formal tone and writing style. This does not mean using industry jargon or complex words that will confuse the reader. This could be off putting to a potential customer. You do not want to alienate anybody with overly formal content.
For example, imagine your business as an app that allows people to donate money to organisations that support the homeless.
Instead of writing the following sentence:“There were over 2 000 more involuntarily undomiciled people in London in 2019/2020 than the previous year.”
Use this instead: “2019/2020 saw 2 000 more homeless people than the year before.”
You get the same message across without using jargon that many people simply don’t understand. Also, it comes across as more relatable.
People want to read articles written in everyday language. In fact, plainlanguage.gov notes that jargon is one of the things that readers complain about the most. It’s simply not necessary – even in a business story.
It Is Accurate
Business writing needs to be accurate. There is no wiggle room here. If a piece is inaccurate, it makes you look bad. If your articles include statistics or data, make sure it is fact-checked. Also, make sure to only include information from credible sources.
Include links and references wherever you’ve listed figures and stats. That way, people know where you got your information from and they can do further reading if they wish.
Publishing incorrect information can damage your reputation. In some cases, it can even cause unnecessary legal issues. This ends up being stressful, time consuming and costly for your business. Be sure to check, double-check, and even triple check your information in all your business articles.
Business Writing Services Ensure Your Writing Is Error-Free
Grammatical and spelling errors are not only embarrassing but unprofessional. A respected thought leader would not publish articles packed with errors. To your readers, sloppy writing can mean sloppy business practices. Even if you know your business is sound, people will judge you if your writing looks shoddy.
When you write and distribute business articles or blogs in your company’s name, ensure that there are no grammatical or spelling errors. Your copy should be clean before you share it with your audience.
This is why using a professional proofreader can be an important step that you shouldn’t ignore. Proofreaders will pick up on any typos, incorrect spelling or grammatical errors. Having this step in place also ensures that there’s just one more safety net before your piece is shared with the world. It provides you with some extra peace of mind when you know someone else is checking your work.
It Is Clear and Concise
All writing needs to be clear and concise. Business writing should leave little room for confusion. If your writing is messy and unclear, it can cause a number of issues. For one, your audience won’t understand your message. And two, you will seem unsure about your message as well.
You need to keep articles as concise as possible. You may be tempted to write longer pieces for SEO purposes or to sound smarter. In the case of the latter, the opposite is actually true. Also, your readers may lose interest in longer pieces. If you can make your point in shorter stories, articles or blogs, do it. Don’t overcomplicate your business articles unnecessarily.
When you feel as though you’ve run out of things to say, stop. You don’t want your article to come across as rambling. Even if your piece ends up being shorter than what you expected, this is better than including unnecessary information.
It Keeps With Your Company Voice
All businesses should have a voice. If you haven’t really established your voice, use small business writing services. A professional writing agency will plan and distribute content to help establish your voice in your industry. To establish your brand voice, determine what your business is and is not. Imagine your brand as a person. What type of person would it be?
All pieces you create should take on this persona and use the brand voice. If you are a casual and modern tech brand, your work shouldn’t be stiff and serious. It works the same the other way around, too. If you are a more serious company with a more formal voice, ensure that your writing is in line with that.
It Has a Logical Structure and Good Flow
Business stories need to have a good and easy-to-follow structure to them. If it’s all over the place, you will lose your reader and they will simply stop engaging with your content.
An online business piece should follow the same or similar structure to the rest of the content. Make the piece scannable with subheadings, have easily digestible sections, and ensure that there’s a logical structure and flow to it. People like pieces that they can scan easily and see which parts they want to read. It’s just how our brains and attention spans work these days.
Don’t jump from talking about chatbots in one sentence to talking about spreadsheets in the next. Use segues to get from one topic to another and ensure that it’s a good fit for the piece.
There Is a Clear Call-to-Action
Whether you are writing for new customers, existing clients, the general public or industry experts, always try to add a call-to-action to your pieces. It could be a “read more here” or a “get in touch with us to find out how we can help”. Whichever you choose, ensure that you add a call-to-action that benefits your business.
The “read more” could go to your blog page or link to a downloadable ebook or whitepaper. The “learn more” action can go to your contact or services page. Just don’t leave it out. The aim of the business piece is to add value and also encourage action.
While only 60% of people use the call-to-action, that’s 60% more readers and/or leads than you had if you didn’t use a CTA.
It Showcases the Business in a Positive Light and Positions the Business as a Thought/Industry Leader
Business writing needs to highlight the positives about your company. Along with the topic you are writing about, the piece needs to cement you as an industry leader.
Your writing must show that you know what you are talking about. It needs to highlight you as a subject matter expert – even as a small business. This builds confidence and trust in your brand and business. Over time, this builds a good reputation for your brand. It also contributes to more business leads and new customers.
After a while, you might even see other thought leaders reference your work and link to your stories.
Use Region-Specific Writers and Business Writing Services
This point is especially true if you are writing for specific locations. For example, if your business builds and develops telecoms systems in London, you should consider using business writing services based in the UK. Alternatively, choose writing agencies with writers from that region.
At Goodman Lantern, our writing team is based around the world. We can assign writers to region-specific tasks because of how widely dispersed we are. This gives us the advantage of having in-market knowledge from different cities around the world.
It just makes life easier when you know that a writing service has someone who has in-depth knowledge of a specific location. You can’t ask someone in the UK to write about business practices in Australia. They wouldn’t know where to start.
Business writing isn’t an easy task. It requires in-depth knowledge and research of an industry. That’s why using professional writing agencies is highly recommended. These services are professionals at what they do. If they are unsure about what’s happening in your sector, they will do the work to find the right information. This is work that you and your team don’t have to do, and you can rest easy knowing that your content needs are being taken care of by the best in the business.
Business writing services will be a good place to start if you can’t do the writing yourself. Let a writing service do the work for you, and you and your team can focus on other priority tasks within your business. Keep these top tips on hand for effective business writing and check it against every piece of business content created for your brand.