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Be a Know-it-all:  Transform Your Tech Writing to Tech Marketing

January 5, 2016 - Marketing - ,
By: Yolanda Fintschenko

Technical writing is difficult. Technical marketing can seem even more difficult. Scientists, technology developers, and marketeers all struggle with transforming technical specs into a story. Why? Tech writing reveals what the product is and does — a cinch for a technical person. Tech marketing reveals why the product is necessary for the customer.  That requires more complexity than technical detail — add empathy, emotion, and problem knowledge to solution knowledge.

Now what?

Regardless of your target audience or your marketing medium, stories are easier for people to absorb and remember than a list of facts.  So if you can feature your product as part of a story, your target audience is more likely to recognize the product, the company, and feel connected to it. That connection, which is emotional, is what will make them buy it.

What should you keep in mind when trying to craft a memorable, resonant story?  Write what you know.

Know the Audience

The audience for your marketing material is the customer. Write to the customer.

Persona, persona, persona. Who is the customer? A consumer with no technical background? An investor? A fellow techie? What flavor of techie/investor/consumer? What does he or she care about? Write to this person (not a market segment).

Your answers to these questions are critical to selecting the story line and the technical detail needed to resonate with your reader.

Know the Goal

Write with the end in mind.  Goals encompass two important elements, the type of customer engagement and desired customer action.

Content marketing engages the customer in one of three ways — problem awareness, solution education, and product pitch.  Write your copy with ONLY one of these three objectives in mind. That will give consistency and clarity to your tone. This builds authenticity and trust with your reader.

Your call to action can be a download, sign-up, vote, reply, visit to your website, request to Tweet or to Like on FaceBook, a contact page, a purchase.

Your story inspires and motivates the customer to take the action you ask him to make.

Know the Story

The human brain likes stories!  All you need is a hero,  problem or conflict and a resolution that the reader can identify with.  A successful storyline might be one that makes your customer feel like she will be the hero in her world by using your product.  To do this, you need to know her and her world — what are her business goals, obstacles, environment. What success story resonates with her?

Time to write and still struggling?

Trouble with the writing process? Check out copyblogger’s advice for writing good content.

Evocative writing does not require a novel. Need to build your brevity skills? Visit Six Word Stories, imitate, and practice.

Worried that your product or service is too abstract or technical for storytelling?  Take Sarah Mattern’s storytelling advice for web design and apply her approach to your communication.

 

Tech writing…transformed.


Yolanda is a scientist, writer, marketer, coach and avid runner who lives and works in Livermore, CA.  She founded Common SciSense, a marketing company for technical products, and co-founded founderTRACTION, lean marketing services for startups. 

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