B2B marketing content that’s weighed down with extra words is hard to read. Why use 20 words when five will do? It’s easy to trim the fat with a little practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes to spot what you can cut.
Cut the fat from your B2B marketing content
It may be tempting to fluff up your content with big or important-sounding words. Marketers may think it impresses their audiences. The reality is that people prefer informal, concise writing. They like short sentences and paragraphs. Consider these sobering statistics from the Literacy Project.
- 45 million Americans are functionally illiterate. They can’t read above a fifth-grade level.
- 50% of adults can’t read a book written at an eighth-grade level.
Use a readability tool to improve reading ease
You can practice making content readable using Readable. It scores your writing and flags trouble spots. It also gives you suggestions for brevity. One caveat is that it takes getting used to if you’re someone who writes at a college level or above. For example, if you use the word, “metallography,” the tool will alert you that it’s a hard word. Unfortunately, not every word has a substitute. It takes patience working with it.
Make B2B marketing content readable for a broad audience
As you’re writing, see if you fall into old habits like the ones below. I see these all the time among novice and veteran writers. Fixing them is easier than you might think.
Are in agreement
Are in agreement is wordy. Example: Forecasters are in agreement that 2023 will be an active hurricane year. Better: Forecasters agree that 2023 will be an active hurricane year.
At the present time
At the present time is wordy and redundant. Example: At the present time, we need to turn the clocks back. Better: We need to turn the clocks back now.
Both is wordy, but it shows up in a lot of B2B marketing content. Example: The car hit both the building and the fire hydrant. Better: The car hit the building and the fire hydrant.
Despite the fact that
Despite the fact that is wordy. Example: The company beat profit expectations despite the fact that sales were down. Better: The company beat profit expectations despite reduced sales.
Due to is wordy. Use “because” instead. Example: She couldn’t run due to the bad weather. Better: She couldn’t run because the weather was bad.
Each and every
Each and every is wordy. Example: Each and every one of us can make a difference. Better: Each of us can make a difference.
Either is wordy. Example: I could either go to the store or relax. Better: I could go to the store or relax.
End result is redundant. Example: The team had the same end result at each game. Better: The team had the same result at each game.
I believe is weak. Example: I believe one of the most important things you can do in your B2B marketing content is to be honest . Better: One of the most important things you can do in your B2B marketing content is to be honest.
Information of value
Information of value is wordy. Example: The suspect gave the police information of value. Better: The suspect gave the police valuable information.
In need of
In need of is wordy. And yet, I see this everywhere. Example: The team is in need of new equipment. Better: The team needs new equipment.
In order to
In order to is wordy. This phrase shows up in B2B marketing content so often, it makes my teeth itch. Example: He must finish the report in order to get a raise. Better: He must finish the report to get a raise.
In regard to
In regard to is wordy. Example: Get help in regard to your B2B marketing content. Better: Get help for your B2B marketing content.
In the event that
In the event that is wordy. Use “if.” Example: In the event that she wins the election, the voters will celebrate. Better: If she wins the election, the voters will celebrate.
In the process of
In the process of is wordy. Example: The president is in the process of reviewing proposals. Better: The president is reviewing proposals.
In the summer of 2022
In the summer of 2022 is wordy. Example: In the summer of 2022, stock values declined. Better: Stock values declined in summer 2022.
Is able to
Is able to is wordy. Use “can.” Example: He is able to walk with crutches. Better: He can walk with crutches.
I think we need to
I think we need to is weak. Example: I think we need to join the gym, so we can get in shape. Better: We need to join the gym, so we can get in shape.
Just is wordy. Example: The day will come when writers will just omit unnecessary words. Better: The day will come when writers will omit unnecessary words.
Past history is redundant. You don’t need “history.” If it happened in the past, it’s history. Example: Her past history included writing B2B marketing content. Better: She wrote B2B marketing content in the past.
Prior to is wordy. Use “before.” Example: She won several awards prior to joining the firm. Better: She won several awards before she joined the firm.
Really is weak. Think of a more descriptive word or omit “really.” Example: The teacher was really angry. Better: The teacher was angry. Best: The teacher was irate.
Review by the state
Review by the state is wordy. Example: The review by the state will mean higher taxes for all. Better: The state review will mean higher taxes for all.
Seek out options
Seek out options is wordy. Example: Ruth will seek out options for hotels. Better: Ruth will seek hotel options.
Short amount of time
Short amount of time is redundant and wordy. Example: He’ll leave the office in a short amount of time. Better: He’ll leave the office soon.
Standardization of care
Standardization of care is wordy. Example: Hospitals are complying with standardization of care initiatives. Better: Hospitals provide standard care.
The goal of
The goal of is wordy. Example: The goal of Global Engineering University is to give graduates the chance to jump-start their careers. Better: Global Engineering University helps graduates jump-start their careers.
There is / there are / there were
There is/there are/there were show up in so much B2B marketing content, it’s sad. And weak. Don’t start sentences this way! It robs their power. Example: There are three actors in the play who are outstanding. Best: Three characters in the play are outstanding.
To be sure
To be sure is wordy. Example: To be sure, housing prices in many cities and states are high. Better: Housing prices in certain cities and states are high.
Utilize is wordy and government-speak. Substitute “use.” Example: The technician will utilize every tool he has. Better: The technician will use every tool he has. Side note: Readable didn’t flag this word, but it should have.
Verification of is wordy. Example: Who’s responsible for the verification of content in this blog? Better: Who verifies this blog content?
With respect to
With respect to is wordy. Use “about” instead. Example: He needs to stop being apologetic with respect to his lack of technology skills. Better: He needs to stop apologizing about his lack of technology skills.
Make the delete button your friend in your B2B marketing content
Less is more when it comes to clear, compelling marketing. Be ruthless about putting your marketing on a diet. Eliminate words you don’t need. Review each and every sentence. Cut, then cut more.