One of the first things they teach in journalism school is the inverted pyramid style of storytelling. B2B content writers should take note and use it too.
A news writer essentially tells the whole story in the first paragraph–the lede as it is called in the industry–usually in two sentences or less.
How do you write a lede? Think in terms of questions of Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. Choose which of them are the most important to your reader and go for economy of words when answering these questions. Such is the nature of front loading B2B content.
The supporting facts and background narrative come in the following paragraphs and build out the lede. Journalists do this order of importance, from top to bottom.
Business writing should be structured the same way. Why? It is the best way to get to the point and hold the reader’s attention which is priority number one.
Driving SEO value
Google wants to know what your article is about in the first 100 words or so. Getting in your keywords right away is critical for indexing your content. It helps you to state clearly why your article fits the target keywords, and helps the article get right to the point.
Front loading applies to all business writing
One of my favorite copywriters, Josh Bentoff, is a big proponent of front loading in all forms of business writing. Whether it’s white papers, proposals, or pitch e-mails, any form of business correspondence should follow this rule. This is great advice and something every copywriter should strive to do at all times. Just get to the point and the rest takes care of itself.
Front loading for page conversions
A lot of B2B content is designed to move readers onto other pages. This might be a sales page, onto other content about specific products and services, or a call to action to sign up for more information (a lead generation or conversion). These are all different points in what marketers call the “sales funnel.” A direct, linear route through the funnel gives your content a fighting chance for keeping readers’ attention long enough to move them towards a conversion.
B2B writers should take a reporter’s approach with the inverted pyramid structure and get to the point in as few words as possible. Front loading the important facts and concepts improves all facets of B2B writing. Adopt this attitude in all organizational communications.