Decide Which B2B Formats Appeal to You Most

Welcome back for Day 4 of The Writer’s Life.

I’m Gordon Graham, and so far this week I’ve urged you to take your writing dreams seriously, to consider the vast opportunity in B2B content marketing, and to learn the most popular forms of B2B content.

Today I’d like to help you pick the types that appeal to you most … the ones you can truly see yourself writing.

B2B content makes a big list.

Remember, the popular types of B2B content make a huge list:

  • Some are short, like the bullets in a slide deck.
  • Some are long, like white papers.
  • Some are visual, like infographics.
  • Some are spoken, like speeches.
  • Some are a mix of visuals and voice-overs, like slide decks and video scripts.

How can you tell which formats will appeal to you?

Remember our persona, Sheila C.

Sheila works in a health insurance company, handling inquires from hospitals and health service providers who’d like to partner with her firm.

So, Sheila routinely visits healthcare blogs and websites. Since her whole sector is changing, there’s a lot of new information being published.

Sheila figures there’s a good market for someone with her knowledge to write blog posts and websites.

Let’s consider the questions Sheila asked herself to reach these conclusions.

Which types do you know?

Sheila often sees blogs and websites on the job. Are you already familiar with any types of B2B content?

If so, do you see why some examples work vs. why others fall flat? Would you like the chance to prove you could do better?

(By the way, that’s why I specialize in white papers. I was intrigued by the format, but disappointed in the execution. I thought I could do better.)

Which types do you like?

Follow your own instincts. Are there certain types of content that make you sit up or lean in?

Are you fascinated by online video, infographics or slide decks? Maybe you should pursue those.

But, do you cringe at the thought of reading a 10-page white paper? Are you overwhelmed at the idea of writing a speech? Maybe those aren’t for you.

Which do you want to try?

A few other questions can help. Do you like to write long-form or short-form? Do you like doing a pile of research? Or would you sooner just do a little research and then get writing?

Keep on learning.

Once you find your preferred formats, keep up with them. There’s no magic here. If you want to be an expert, study your field.

I figure I routinely look at 1,000 white papers a year. At that rate, I can’t help but notice trends, changes, and cool ideas.

You can get a great overview in the AWAI Crash Course in B2B Content which I created. For the 12 most popular types of content from blogs to white papers, you can find tips, samples, suggested fees, and further resources.

Share your comments here.

And tomorrow, I’ll give you a final tip on how to promote yourself with the type of content you want to write most.

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Published: August 20, 2015

10 Responses to “Decide Which B2B Formats Appeal to You Most”

  1. Hi Paul Lawrence Allen here. I have just finished my Autobiography, and I am seeking Publishers. Any recommendations l? Also I am writing an R&B\SOUL BOOK. My Autobiography is 103 pages. I also have novels, Articles that I written about. Paul Lawrence Allen

    Guest (Paul Lawrence Allen)

  2. Hi Gordon, I'm really enjoying your series and appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experience with us.

    Quick question: When you say you read about 1000 white papers a year to follow trends etc., do you read them in all areas or stick to your specific area of interest. Does the structure of a white paper change based on the topic? Or is it similar in all fields?

    Thanks again, cb

    Chris B

  3. What I came away from this installment with was the knowledge that I will have to look deep inside myself to build my business successfully. It was a real I opener for me. Thank you for bringing me this much farther.

    Guest (Amy)

  4. Aloha Gordon, my "bruddah" and indeed yes I have some comments for you, to help us "new kids on the writing block" to understand! And I will try to make this very simple for you to answer.

    When you (and Rebecca & others) are telling us what kind of lucrative living we could be making by going into the B2B, you neglect to give us an article to compare by. As I said to my buddy who was preparing to "tell" me how to weld uphill - brother, I'll put on my hood and watch you - very simple very easy!


  5. You are right, and this applies to all of us, from newbies to experts: the learning never stops. As a newbie myself (I am still going through the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, and just ordered your Crash Course in B2B Content), I want to absorb as much knowledge as possible to get started on the writer's life. AND, I will also need to know how to market myself. Any suggestions? :-)


  6. Thank you, Graham for a concise and insightful essay!

    Guest (Jane E)

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