The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook . Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code MARKET2021 through 4/24/21 . A lot of B2B marketing either promotes technical products, sells to a technical audience, or both. The nature of these marketing campaigns poses a challenge to those who must create them because the marketers tasked with executing these campaigns often lack a technical background. Therefore, they may have a steep learning curve and difficulty understanding what they’re selling and to whom they’re selling it. I’ve been writing copy to sell technical products to engineers, scientists, programmers and other techies for more than four decades. Here are seven tricks of the trade that give me an edge in creating copy that pleases the client and persuades the prospect:
1. Build an accurate “fact bank.” A fact bank is a series of statements describing the product and its features that have been vetted by a technical expert. Before I start writing my copy, I go through the source material for the project and write down five to 10 sentences that precisely describe the product, how it works, its major features and how those features translate into important benefits. I email these sentences to my clients with the request that they review them and make any necessary corrections, additions, or deletions. After they do that, I incorporate their edits. Now I have a set of preapproved sentences I can use to construct my copy, and I know what I’m writing is technically accurate. The clients then get a first draft of copy on a highly technical subject that’s correct and on the mark.
2. Buy a children’s book on the topic . If you have to write copy about a technical subject, buy either a children’s book on the subject or an adult nonfiction book aimed at a lay audience. For example, when I had to write copy for an aerospace contractor, I was aided by an Isaac Asimov book for young readers about satellites. The children’s books especially will provide clear, easy-to-understand explanations of key terms and concepts. The adult books will likely have descriptions of features and functionality you can paraphrase in your own copy. (If I “borrow” from books, I alert the client by adding a footnote and make sure I’m not plagiarizing by rephrasing in my own words.) Another good purchase for the high-tech copywriter is a dictionary of industry terms. At various times, I’ve owned dictionaries for computers, telecom, banking, finance and aerospace.
3. Ask the client for copies of PowerPoints . Engineers in particular tend to be visually oriented, so you should have visuals to accompany your text. Rather than draw a lot of charts and graphs, I ask the client for copies of PowerPoints used in presentations by their technical and sales staff. I then paste into my copy whatever […]