How many times have you come across a seemingly interesting piece of B2B content with a can’t-help-but-click-it headline only to start reading and find it anything but useful? For creators of B2B content, rambling, roundabout executions are a cardinal but common sin. Luckily, they are also entirely possible to avoid. The trick is one you probably learned in grade school: start with a strong thesis, and support it (and only it) through the entirety of your piece.
Back to Basics
Your thesis is the essential point or message you are trying to communicate in a piece of content. It can be argumentative, analytical, or explanatory, but it should always be specific and straightforward. And it should be communicated to your readers in the form of a thesis statement, ideally in the first paragraph of your piece (or close to it). Your readers should never have to go hunting for your thesis statement, and they shouldn’t be left guessing if something is your thesis statement or not.
Why a Thesis Is Essential
A strong, well communicated B2B content thesis achieves multiple ends. First, it helps your readers decide whether your content is intended for them and if it’s worth their time. If your thesis statement is accurate, direct, and obvious, it will attract and retain the attention of the right audience (aka, your target customers)—assuming you understand what matters to your audience.
More importantly, a B2B content thesis keeps you, the writer, on track. Once you’ve identified your thesis, you know that the rest of your content needs to present sufficient information to support it. This makes it easier to plot out a logical and organized outline before you even begin writing.
Crucially, a B2B content thesis also helps you determine what not to include in your content, so you can keep things streamlined and easy to follow. For example, if your thesis is dogs are better than cats because they live to make humans happy, you know you can cut that tangent on turtles.
When your B2B content is focused in this way, it makes it more digestible and easy to follow, encouraging your readers will get more out of it. In turn, they will come to associate your brand with value, authority, and trust.
A Thesis Caveat
Identifying your thesis before you begin writing is key, but it’s also important to remain flexible. Writing is a process of discovery. You might learn something or come to a new conclusion that changes or adds nuance to your original thesis. If you do, change your thesis accordingly, and make sure the rest of your content aligns with your revision.
Quick Tips for Thesis-Driven Content
Ready to start writing? Keep this advice in mind:
- Write your thesis statement first, then plot out the sequence of information you need to present in order to prove or support your thesis. There’s your content outline!
- After you’ve finished your first draft, interrogate it with an eye toward your thesis. Is that sentence necessary to upholding your argument? Great, keep it. Is it superfluous information that doesn’t add to the integrity of your argument? Get rid of it.
- Refer back to your thesis when necessary. If you think the relationship between some evidence you’re offering and your thesis isn’t clear, don’t be afraid to spell it out for your readers. Just be careful not to be heavy handed with your point. That can be tiresome or irritating to readers.
- Reinforce your thesis in your conclusion. It’s your opportunity to synthesize all of the information you presented and serve it to your readers in a way that drives home your essential message.
Remember, if you’re worried about creating effective B2B content for your target customers, stay calm and focus on your thesis. It’s your best bet for keeping things clear, concise, and compelling and your audience coming back for more.