3 Lessons Your Tech Company Can Learn From a Copywriter by@brennammiles

3 Lessons Your Tech Company Can Learn From a Copywriter

tldt arrow
Read on Terminal Reader

Too Long; Didn't Read

The success of your company rides on how you present yourself to your users and consumers. Focus on how your tech product or service can truly impact your customers’ lives. Highlighting the benefits instead of the features first will always inspire more conversions. Highlight your expertise with Simplicity, Not Gobbledygook. Use a true story to show them what you can do more than telling your audience what you have to do. Be open and honest and guide us through your guide guide through your thinking.

People Mentioned

Mention Thumbnail

Companies Mentioned

Mention Thumbnail
Mention Thumbnail
featured image - 3 Lessons Your Tech Company Can Learn From a Copywriter
Brenna Miles HackerNoon profile picture

@brennammiles

Brenna Miles

Writes words about tech & other things. Also loves cacti...

Learn More
LEARN MORE ABOUT @BRENNAMMILES'S EXPERTISE AND PLACE ON THE INTERNET.
react to story with heart

I love tech. Like, I drool over it. I love to write about it, read about it, talk about it and scream about it. But, I’m not a CTO or a CIO. I’m not a data scientist, a software developer, or an engineer.

I’m a copywriter.

Hey, you don’t have to listen to me. After all, what does a copywriter know about building apps, testing software features, or introducing innovative tools to the world? Not much. But, I do know that the success of your company rides on how you present yourself to your users and consumers.

And that’s where the copywriter comes in.

After writing hundreds of blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, website copy, and more for everything from telecommunications companies to SaaS start-ups, I have a few hard-earned lessons I’d love to share with you.

1. Benefits Over Features First

Why do we call our local internet provider when we need a link to cyberspace? Is it because they offer the best Wi-Fi router? Nah. We do it because we need to connect.

Why do we download photo editing apps to our phones? Is it because they offer endless ways to filter our dinner photos for Instagram? Nope. We do it to leave a personal mark on the world.

Creating content for your customer means leading with the “why”.

Over the past 7+ years, I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to talk to so many innovators in so many niches, from telecommunications to SaaS. And every one of them is brilliant. Another similarity is that many of them were too close to their businesses to see how their products or services truly supported others.

They could explain everything about each product feature or what makes the tech different from other options on the market. They could even tell me their entire start-up origin story. While all of this is important, you must dive deeper to truly resonate with your audience. But, when you’re knee-deep in the technical pieces day in and day out, it’s hard to pull yourself away from that mindset.

The solution? Highlighting the benefits instead of the features first. Illustrating the benefits your customers can expect will always inspire more conversions (sorry, marketing jargon 🤮) than a bulleted list of features ever will.

Source: Apple

Source: Apple

Oh, Apple. As a proud target customer for the tech giant, this message for iOS 14 instantly resonated with me. I love new tech and innovation, but not enough to sacrifice productivity in my daily life. #sorrynotsorry

The promise of a brand new aesthetic that feels like what I’m used to is enough for me to feel some type of way. And guess what…I clicked that “Learn more” link faster than you can say, Steve Jobs.

So, how do you lead with the “why”? Learn and accept those things that truly matter to your audience. Find out what keeps them up at night. Dig deep into what brings them the most joy. Then, craft your messages accordingly.

TL;DR Focus on how your tech product or service can truly impact your customers’ lives. They’ll more than likely go ga-ga in return.

2. Highlight Your Expertise With Simplicity, Not Gobbledygook

I sure wish I would’ve coined that term. But alas, I did not (here’s looking at you, Maury Maverick). “Gobbledygook” first appeared in the New York Times in 1944 in an article written by Mr. Maverick titled, The Case Against Gobbledygook.

In his article, Maury argues the need for more simplified English usage. While Maury may have been targeting government-issued reports specifically, his message rings true in all industries. After all, Albert Einstein said it best: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

image

Your audience doesn’t need technical jargon as proof that you know your stuff. And yes, this also applies to technology that isn’t necessarily consumer-facing. At the end of the day, all your audience needs to know is that you can solve their problem.

Listen, in the pit of despair at 2:00 a.m.; your customers aren’t thinking about “synergy” or “iteration”. They’re reeling over their problem and what they need to do to fix it.

Positioning yourself as the “fixer” means more than telling your audience what you can do. You have to show them. Use examples. Tell a true customer story. Be open and honest.

“Let us guide you through your company’s digital transformation” doesn’t mean nearly as much as “Let us help you increase your productivity, improve your customer experience and grow your business”.

You don’t have to take my word for it, of course. In 2020, Ohio State University completed a study on the use of jargon in science and politics. What did they find? People exposed to jargon “when reading about subjects like self-driving cars and surgical robots” later said they were less interested than those who read the same topics without the specialized terms.

TL;DR We’re all humans out here. Keep your language simple.

3. It’s Not About Y-O-U


image

You should be proud of what your company has designed and developed. Go ahead and publish that press release and those social media updates. Spread the good news of your product or service far and wide. And by all means, list your awards or accomplishments on your website.

Just don’t forget…

…this isn’t about you. There is someone at the other end of your app, software tool, machine or device.

I really hate to do this to you, but it’s for your own good. Pull up your website or recent blog post. DO IT. Seriously. Now, skim through it and count how many times you use the words “we, us and our”. Now, count how many times you use the word “you”.

If the “we, us and our” far outnumber the “you”, it’s time to refocus.

This is the equivalent of having a conversation with someone you care about while scrolling through cat GIFs. It’s time to make some eye contact. It’s time to get personal.

How? Here’s some #realtalk:

  • Stop focusing on self-promotion and instead offer true value to your audience through your content.
  • Stop treating your audience like the third wheel by speaking to them indirectly in your marketing materials.
  • Stop pretending you know your audience and start listening and researching to dig deep into what makes them tick.
  • Stop using technical language and start speaking your customer’s language.

TL;DR Prioritize your audience and not your ego.

If you walk away from this post with anything, let it be this: You deserve to make the impact you’re destined to through your tech. (If that sounds a bit woo-woo, so be it.) And the only way to do so is by speaking directly to those who matter most, crafting a message that underlines the life-changing effects of choosing you, and leaving your ego in the dust.

Easier said than done? Maybe. But, you’re a tech guru…anything is possible, right?

RELATED STORIES

L O A D I N G
. . . comments & more!
Hackernoon hq - po box 2206, edwards, colorado 81632, usa