When it comes to technology and business copywriting, you have to speak your customers’ language if you want to have a lasting impact. But what does that even mean?
Let’s think about this in the simplest possible terms. Unless you have a massive advertising budget, there’s no need to use television or magazine ads. Instead, we’re talking about website content and blogging, the likely focal point of any digital marketing campaign. In these mediums, your readers sought you out. They’re present by choice. This means you’ll have to work harder to provide value and keep them engaged.
What you’ll need to do is step into their shoes for a moment. Consider the problem that brought them your direction. What does someone new to this situation look like? (In other words, who is your target market?) What are the best ways for them to solve their problem? Your customers have questions. The quicker that you can identify the problem and provide the solution the better.
3 Ways to Speak Your Customers’ Language
Identify with Your Customer – This is actually much easier than it sounds. Think about the purpose of your content. Think about the goals you are trying to accomplish with it. Now what is the driving force that brings your customers to it?
At the beginning of a web page or blog post, it’s always good to identify the problem and position yourself as the solution. This shows your reader that you understand why they are there. You empathize with their problem. You also have what they need in order to be able to fix it.
Drop the Jargon – It’s tempting to want to show the customer what you know. It’s natural to want to speak about it in the same language and voice that you might behind closed doors. Here’s the thing…you have to resist that temptation.
Your customers have a problem and view you as the solution. That doesn’t mean they have the technical expertise already. Avoid industry jargon and acronyms. If there’s a simpler way to explain a concept, go with the simpler way. If you have to use a complex industry term, define it on the first use so you don’t leave your customer out in the dark. The same goes with an acronym. Spell it out on the first use.
When the customer doesn’t understand what you’re talking about, they become less sure that you’ll help them solve their problem. Then, they leave.
Carefully Select Your Language – The pronouns you select can set the tone for the piece. Make sure to use the pronoun “you” more than “I, me, and mine.” If the balance is off in this respect your entire effort can come off self-centered.
It’s also good to use words that emotionally register with the reader, to draw them in. Words such as “free” and “new” can have a charged emotional impact. Make sure that you’re using the most effective words in your marketing.
Most importantly, speak conversationally. There’s no need to be overly formal about your writing. One good strategy might be to picture yourself out for coffee with your ideal customer. You wouldn’t speak over your customer’s head if you could visibly see their facial reactions.