Hello Humanity! Why H2H (Human to Human) Marketing Copy Is Rewriting B2B Agency Rules

Estimated reading time: 10 minute(s)

Bye-bye B2B and B2C. The dynamic duo of marketing is dead.

Extreme? Yes. But also true…ish. Marketing in the 21st century is not your mother’s marketing. Thanks primarily to the internet, the way people connect to and with information has changed dramatically in the last decade. The result is a loosening of the grip that traditional B2B agency and B2C marketing exert on content creation.

Fun Fact: Forrester Research found that 99% of B2B marketing leads never—repeat, never —become customers. This means that you’re wasting 99% of your time if you’re using things like email blasts, form completions, and other traditional tactics employed by the typical B2B agency to generate clients.

So what’s replacing marketing’s longtime mainstays? The answer is human to human marketing (aka H2H).

Consider the most prolific and most successful brands you know. Now consider their messaging. Online retailer Zappos tells shoppers a joke at the start of customer service calls, and Forbes posts a daily “quote on the business of life” on its website. For both brands, the type of content reflects the personality: playful for the former, thought-provoking for the latter.

Even when a brand’s products are decidedly un-human, H2H marketing works. (Think AI, vacuum cleaners, and airplanes.) Software service giant MOZ, for example, famously adheres to six principles it calls TAGFEE: Transparency, Authenticity, Generosity, Fun, Empathy, and “[be] the Exception.” Taken together, these principles represent a brand personality that has made MOZ a tech titan.

Ultimately, all marketing is H2H marketing, whether designed by a B2B agency or categorized as B2C. Humans, after all, are what’s interacting with your brand and responding to your message at every step of your content funnel.

The rules for ensuring that message— – and all of your content marketing— – is H2H-friendly, look a lot like the rules for being a good friend and a decent human being. In no specific order, these are:

Listen More Than You Talk

Your Google Analytics and data tools are gold mines. Use them to create content that shows your audience you are listening and that you understand them. On social media, put as much energy into replying to user comments and engaging with other user and brand posts as you put into posting your own content. Humans who listen have more friends. Brands who listen have more customers.

Use Conversational Language

Don’t you hate it when friends try to fix you or constantly turn the conversation to them? It’s know-it-all and narcissistic, and it tells you everything you need to know about your relationship. In short: It’s a one-way street.

The same is true in marketing content writing. Skip the corporate collateral and tech jargon. It tells consumers you care more about showing off what you know than learning what they need. Write like a friend, dude. It’s that simple.

Show Some Personality

A college writing teacher once said something that has stuck with me for more than twenty years. (It’s a pretty common refrain, but at 18, it was the first time I’d heard it.) “You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

What does this mean for marketing copywriting? Don’t be afraid to show who you are. It’s as true in human relationships as it is in marketing copywriting. Is your brand serious or funny? Is it traditional or trendy? Figure out your identity and then embrace it. Your content won’t resonate with every single human being who has ever lived, but it will ooze authenticity—and authenticity is kryptonite for humans. Basically, write in a voice that is unique and distinct to your brand.

Don’t be a bot. It’s really not hot. To lean into H2H content and break from from the limits and confines of B2B and B2C marketing, email the content marketing writers at MarketSmiths today. We write copy for humans (and deliver results).

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Amanda Cargill

Amanda Cargill is a Brooklyn-based writer, video producer, and marketing communications strategist specializing in food, travel, culture and lifestyle content in domestic, multicultural, and international markets.

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