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How to Write a Great Copy Block: An Essential Piece of Your B2B Marketing Wardrobe

Friday, September 12th, 2014 by Ruth

In your closet, you have the essentials—a perfect white shirt, a little black dress—and then trendier pieces, like a sharp-looking fedora. Similarly, in your B2B marketing wardrobe, you need both essentials and more of-the-moment assets. One of the most basic, tried and true marketing components is your standard copy block. (Consider infographics oreBooks as the trendy “now” assets.)

Like a basic wardrobe piece, copy blocks are versatile, can be used on numerous occasions, and rarely go out of style. Copy blocks require you to think critically about the words you’ll use to convey your message. Whether you’re writing for a product, campaign, or theme, copy blocks are often the first critical step toward getting your message down on paper.

After final approval, copy blocks really shine as they’re disseminated throughout the organization. Use them verbatim in email campaigns or blog posts. Bring internal team members up to speed, or quickly inform downstream agencies. You’ll find parts of copy blocks living on web pages or in any number of marketing campaigns. Like a true basic wardrobe piece, copy blocks play well with other assets. You can dress them up or down.

Follow these general rules to create great copy blocks:

  • Gather the right input. Early on, identify older messaging, relevant source material, and the essential subject-matter experts. Understand what needs to change from previous messaging and what is critical to articulate in new messaging. Be very clear about your messaging boundaries, and include people with the authority to approve and publish the final copy blocks.
  • Establish a structure. Once you collect all necessary, preliminary input, consider creating and circulating a messaging grid for stakeholder review. The messaging grid is a great tool for framing the discussion and giving reviewers the structure and context they need to easily review and comment on the messaging as it is being developed. Incorporate comments and seek final approval on the grid, and you’ll have all the right input for your taglines and copy blocks.
  • Know the right length. Copy blocks vary in length and every word in every size copy block—short, medium, or long—is critical. Short copy blocks include only the most important themes or concepts at a summary level. The medium length adds a bit more texture and detail to the main theme. When you create longer copy blocks, you’re free to include even more details and examples to tell a very complete and compelling story on each subtheme.
  • Identify your audience. Copy blocks are most versatile when they can be distributed in a format that can be cut and pasted into downstream assets. Write as if the copy blocks will be read by your customers, making sure the language is consistent with your company’s brand guidelines. Use second person and speak directly to the customer in a friendly, compelling, and confident tone.

Next time you’re ready to invest in a new marketing asset, make sure you first have the basics covered.  Reach into your B2B marketing wardrobe for the versatile and timeless copy block—or contact us if we can help you create some.

Copy blocks, like the little black dress, are versatile, and essential to any wardrobe of B2B marketing assets.
Copy blocks, like the little black dress, can be versatile, and are essential pieces in any wardrobe of B2B marketing assets.

is a member of the Content Bureau editorial team.

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