Influence people

Friday, January 8, 2016

B2B Marketers: Help Customers Browse Your Content

When will B2B marketers get the memo?

Minimalism is back.

The style's all the rage with runners, designers, gastronomers, photographerseven white guys.

But B2B marketers keep pushing bloated content.

When will they get it? When you subtract, you attract.  

Tight copy encourages browsing.

In their writer's guide Clear and Simple as the Truth, Francis-Noël Thomas and Mark Turner implore writers to write in the "classic style," cutting the excess and making every word count.

Making words count boosts your content's value. 

And that discourages skimming.

"It is possible to skim certain styles," Thomas and Turner write. "Most after-dinner speeches are presented in styles that claim only part of our attention. Many textbooks and news articles are written in styles that allow us to bounce over words and phrases and still feel that we have extracted the sense accurately."

By making words count, you encourage readers to browse.

"Classic style allows browsing but not skimming. We may turn to just one paragraph, say, in an essay, or even to one sentence, and focus on just that. But once we focus on a unit in classic style, and intend to understand it, then we must pay attention to every detail. Writer and reader assume that every word counts. If the reader skips a single word or phrase or sentence, the sense of the unit may be lost. Classic style contains crucial nuances, which can be lost in skimming."

Skim-reading is mindless; browsing's another thing. Browsing is considerate. Browsing is window-shopping.

Customers love to window-shop.

So help them.

"Perfection is achieved, novelist Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, "not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

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