3 copywriting trends to watch in 2024
The way your target B2B audience likes to receive information is changing, and it all comes back to one digital marketing activity: copywriting. In a high-inflation, cost-squeezed environment, the power of business can feel like it’s in the hands of your audience more than your own. But words are how your brand can take back control. The B2B marketing tone of voice is becoming less professional and more personal as audiences seek genuine connection and trust. Let’s look at the copywriting trends set to shape B2B marketing next year and put some of that business power back in your hands!
1. Hyper-personalisation and customisation
Did you know a personalised call-to-action (CTA) has a whopping 202% better conversation rate than one that’s generic? (Think ‘book your demo’ VS ‘book a demo’.) I’ve written about how the lines between professional and personal tones are blurring in modern business communications before. It’s something that I think we’ll soon stop referring to as a ‘trend’, more of a ‘norm’.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re putting together an email marketing campaign targeting manufacturing CEOs or social media copy for school HR teams – your audience are people. And against a year where we’ve all seen and felt the continued effects of the cost-crisis on home soil, and watched as geopolitical tensions and humanitarian crises unfold around the globe, people seek communications that are genuine, relatable, and personable more than ever.
switching up the language of CTAs on your website or B2B email to include more second-person pronouns (you, your, yours) might sound simple. But the proof’s in the pudding! And I think it’s a pudding that’s going to continue to prove itself well past this year’s Christmas tables and as one of the main copywriting trends for 2024.
2. Copy with feeling
In a similar way, talking to your audience (rather than at them) should always be an active consideration for any brand communications, but especially during the next year. Christmas ads will soon be gracing our screens, with heart-hitting storylines that reflect the nation’s shared sentiments of the year that has (almost) been. Reflective, thought-provoking, emotional are three ingredients of any impactful Christmas ad. And three elements that we’ve all come to expect from the likes of festive favourite, John Lewis.
As the first mince pies work their way around the office, I suggest you don’t just watch the ads. Really listen to the response they’re met with. How – and what – do they make your colleagues, friends, and family feel? What sorts of reaction are you seeing among your X/Twitter network? What are they giving you a sense of?
Christmas ads from the big retailers with their big budgets and big names are planned to a T, a metaphorical hug for a nation’s shared feelings. Ignoring the messaging at their heart is one of the biggest marketing mistakes you could make going into 2024.
Ad sentiments won’t be forgotten as soon as the fireworks go off at midnight on 31st December. They’ll carry us into January (and not to mention, through it!). If you can channel these feelings in your brand’s copy, be it your next series of blog posts or thought-leadership opinion piece, you might just find the initial barriers that often exist between you and a new client prospect are a little lower than usual.
3. The AI-slowdown
Last but not least, AI. I’ve never been on the AI hype for copywriting (e.g. ChatGPT), nor do I think I will be anytime soon. Yet, that doesn’t mean I’m ignorant to the breadth of its applications or the ways it can be leveraged for a range of activities.
At Halston B2B, our clients come from industries ranging from your staples, like manufacturing and life sciences, to up-and-coming sectors, like SportsTech. Now, AI can be used as an alternate to Google to prompt the layout of a piece of copy. Or, help find facts* quickly. And though I prefer to be old-school and use Google for my research, I understand why others turn to tools like ChatGPT. But in 2024, I think AI’s reputation as the all-singing, all-dancing answer to rolling out blog on blog on blog at speed is going to be replaced with a somewhat more considered use.
*She says, with a pinch of salt.
And that’s not just because Prime Minister Sunak said only the other week that ‘in a worst-case scenario, society could lose all control over AI, preventing it from being switched off’.
Course, B2B marketing use of it isn’t so scary. But it’s important to recognise that the types of clients we work with are at the absolute fore of their industries. And this places a limitation on what, or how much, AI knows about their emerging piece of tech.
It’s also because the hype of AI-generated/supported content that we spent this year consuming is dying down.
Initially, I think people were impressed by the ‘intellectual’ copy that chatbots were generating. Sentences were written with a formalese that wouldn’t be out of place in a dissertation, but it didn’t stick. And for good reason! 8 out of 10 people only read the headline of a blog. Want your copy to truly resonate with the 20% that read the full article? Cater for a short attention span! People tend to skim, rather than read, a piece.
So by all-means, reap the benefits of using AI to support content generation, but use it as a tool. Not a creative reliance. Make sure the copy in your final piece has the right balance of impressing but not alienating. And make sure language is understandable, relatable, and personal to your business’s audience.
Jingle all the way
We’ll have to wait to see how far these three copywriting trends pull through into the B2B marketing world. Learn more about copywriting that resonates with your audience year-round by getting in touch with our team! For now, I’m off to heat up my first mince pie of the festive season. And settle down in front of the tele for the premiere of that department store’s Christmas ad for this year.