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The next excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content material Advertising Handbook. Purchase it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble or click on right here to purchase it instantly from us and SAVE 60% on this guide while you use code MARKET2021 by way of 4/24/21.
A number of B2B advertising and marketing both promotes technical merchandise, sells to a technical viewers, or each. The character of those advertising and marketing campaigns poses a problem to those that should create them as a result of the entrepreneurs tasked with executing these campaigns typically lack a technical background. Due to this fact, they might have a steep studying curve and problem understanding what they’re promoting and to whom they’re promoting it.
I’ve been writing copy to promote technical merchandise to engineers, scientists, programmers and different techies for greater than 4 many years. Listed below are seven methods of the commerce that give me an edge in creating copy that pleases the consumer and persuades the prospect:
1. Construct an correct “truth financial institution.” A truth financial institution is a sequence of statements describing the product and its options which have been vetted by a technical skilled. Earlier than I begin writing my copy, I’m going by way of the supply materials for the challenge and write down 5 to 10 sentences that exactly describe the product, the way it works, its main options and the way these options translate into vital advantages. I electronic mail these sentences to my shoppers with the request that they assessment them and make any obligatory corrections, additions, or deletions. After they do this, I incorporate their edits. Now I’ve a set of preapproved sentences I can use to assemble my copy, and I do know what I’m writing is technically correct. The shoppers then get a primary draft of copy on a extremely technical topic that’s appropriate and on the mark.
2. Purchase a kids’s guide on the subject. If it’s important to write copy a couple of technical topic, purchase both a kids’s guide on the topic or an grownup nonfiction guide aimed toward a lay viewers. For instance, after I needed to write copy for an aerospace contractor, I used to be aided by an Isaac Asimov guide for younger readers about satellites. The kids’s books particularly will present clear, easy-to-understand explanations of key phrases and ideas. The grownup books will seemingly have descriptions of options and performance you may paraphrase in your individual copy. (If I “borrow” from books, I alert the consumer by including a footnote and ensure I’m not plagiarizing by rephrasing in my very own phrases.) One other good buy for the high-tech copywriter is a dictionary of business phrases. At varied occasions, I’ve owned dictionaries for computer systems, telecom, banking, finance and aerospace.
3. Ask the consumer for copies of PowerPoints. Engineers in particular are typically visually oriented, so you must have visuals to accompany your textual content. Relatively than draw a variety of charts and graphs, I ask the consumer for copies of PowerPoints utilized in displays by their technical and gross sales workers. I then paste into my copy no matter visuals I feel will work finest, rigorously noting the identify of the PowerPoint and the web page quantity from the supply. Typically I discover a super diagram for illustrating my level on an internet site that’s not the consumer’s. If I exploit it, I add a word explaining that it’s for reference solely and have to be redrawn to keep away from copyright infringement.
4. Perceive that graphics have that means. Until you beneathstand what a chart or graph means, don’t use it. It’s excessively embarrassing to chop and paste a diagram from a consumer’s PowerPoint into your copy, solely to be unable to clarify to the consumer why you used it. You must perceive every visible so effectively you could write a transparent, descriptive caption for it — after which accomplish that.
5. Use electronic mail for interviews. I typically interview subject material consultants (SMEs) over the cellphone when writing copy. However occasionally I get SMEs who can’t specific themselves effectively verbally. In these circumstances, I supply to electronic mail them questions to allow them to electronic mail me their replies. Typically technical individuals who can’t converse English effectively can write effectively — maybe a results of the rise of electronic mail, which forces individuals to write down typically. At occasions, the e-mail replies are so clear I can nearly paste them proper into my copy. If the solutions are nonetheless unclear, I rewrite them in plain English after which electronic mail my rewrite again to the SME for assessment. Normally the SME makes a couple of minor edits, and after that, it’s prepared to make use of.
6. Use Wikipedia — with warning. You may’t wholly depend on information in Wikipedia to be correct as a result of it’s compiled by volunteers. Nonetheless, I’ve discovered that entries on technical phrases often begin off with a plain English definition of the time period, which might be invaluable. However while you’re researching statistics to enhance your copy — for instance, the date the laser was invented or the velocity of sound in a vacuum — most shoppers need a greater supply than Wikipedia. Web sites are additionally iffy while you don’t know who’s working them, as are blogs. I want to quote an article from a revered business or scientific journal.
7. Get sensible. In case you’re going to be commonly writing a couple of product or know-how, it is smart to get some additional schooling on the subject. One advert company president informed me he assigned an account govt to deal with an industrial welding account. On his personal, the account govt took night time college programs in welding, ultimately turning into a certified welder. Sensible transfer!
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