Finding the perfect balance between technical industry-speak and readability.
I’m going to be frank. A lot of marketing writers are, by trade, professional bullshitters. They gain a high level understanding of what a company does, and use that baseline knowledge to cook up a full menu of content. The result? Generic, fluffy marketing speak—most of the stuff you see on corporate marketing materials.
On the flip side, if you’ve ever read marketing content created by an in-house technical writer (bless their hearts), it’s typically a snoozefest. These writers are so engrained in their precise line of work that industry jargon (those words that hardly anyone outside of the industry understands) flows out of them like beer flowing out of the tap at happy hour.
But here at Moncur, we take a different approach. We don’t hire professional bullshitters. Rather, we hire marketing writers who have a curiosity and passion for learning how to become a creative technical writer for each and every client they work with.
How, exactly, do we gain this expertise?
We immerse ourselves in our clients’ businesses. Through our strategic messaging process, we conduct thorough interviews with business leaders and industry experts, compile comprehensive competitor reviews, and glean insights from our clients’ customers. We dig into the messy details and emerge with a clear understanding of exactly what we’re working with.
By the time it comes to putting pen to paper, we’re industry experts ourselves.
But that begs the question: If we’re industry experts, how do we walk the fine line between truly looking like an expert, and creating content that is actually readable?
The key is to know your audience.
Each piece of collateral you create — whether it be a website, a sales brochure, or a social media post — is intended for a specific audience.
As a general rule of thumb, the broader the audience, the more critical readability becomes. For example, think of a website homepage as the catchall for anyone who’d possibly be interested in learning about a given company. Homepage visitors could be potential customers, employees, investors, or even just people in the local community. This wide range of users will have varying degrees of industry knowledge, so it’s best to keep the content here high-level, colloquial, and engaging.
But, as you dive deeper into a website, you’ll often find there are pages that only very niche audiences would click on. For instance, a person would probably only navigate to a spec sheet if they worked in the industry and were interested in buying a product. Thus, it would make sense to speak to this audience in the technical language with which they’re familiar.
By strategically matching your level of industry-speak with that of your audience for each individual communication, you can avoid alienating non-experts with confusion and boredom, yet still demonstrate your expertise to those who will value it.
My advice to the marketing writers of the world?
Quit with all the bologna! Instead, eat up all the knowledge you can about the company and industry you’re working in — and translate it into compelling communications that will deliver true impact and clarity to your audience.
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