Writing great marketing copy for the technology industry is its own special challenge—one rooted in traits of the industry itself: its complexity, its abundance of jargon, and its devotion to product features.
Complexity, jargon, and the overemphasis of features (to the neglect of benefits) are three well known enemies of marketing copy effectiveness. Skilled copywriters are always trying to simplify the complex, avoid jargon, and “translate features into benefits.”
Technology copywriting tips
Somehow, though, technical subject matter can lure even strong writers away from these copywriting fundamentals. So here are three reminders to help you stay the course when you’re tackling technology.
1. Simplicity and clarity still win
Yes, you’re writing about complex products for people who are typically very comfortable, if not enamored, with complexity. But it’s still your job to entice your readers and sell them something. And complexity is never as enticing as simplicity and clarity—no matter the audience or the topic.
So shorten those sentences. Break complex ideas into digestible chunks. Eliminate unnecessary detail. And translate the necessary detail to make it accessible to more readers. Make your reader want to read. Appeal to, interest, and win over your audience with simplicity and clarity.
2. Remain wary of jargon
There’s so much specialized language in technology that copywriters must use at least some of it—if for no other reason than to avoid sounding like an alien. Ultimately, though, the jargon rule still applies in technology. That is, the more universal the language you use, the more likely you are to engage and persuade your audience.
Remember that you may have audience members who are not well versed in technical jargon. Plenty of tech marketing communications are aimed at less technically minded, executive-level decision makers, for example.
So, while you often have to use technical jargon, don’t use it gratuitously. And don’t let concerns about looking like an expert coerce you into using it when it’s otherwise unnecessary.
3. Benefits as well as features
I know, I know, your technical copywriting work has you surrounded by people fascinated with security features, scalability features, quality-of-service features, and a towering pile of other features. Still, a well-chosen product benefit will always add selling power that product features alone simply cannot wield. This is true even in B2B technology communications.
Translating features into benefits tends to be more difficult in technology than in, say, consumer packaged goods. At times, it can seem impossible. But, if you’re a marketing copywriter, it’s still your job to apply this best practice as often as you can.
Go ahead and provide all those features your technical audience needs and your client insists on. But don’t neglect to speak to the benefits your audience ultimately cares about. Remember: No one really wants a drill; people who shop for drills want holes.
Stay the course
The good news is that there’s nothing new here. As a marketing copywriter, you already know these three principles. The bad news is that technology can make it tough to apply them. So remember the value you add when you apply your best copywriting practices, and stay the course.