Thursday, 26 January 2012

Writing Technical Copy with Credibility

What technical retailers value above all else in marketing copy is credibility. Waffly copy without substance is fine for non-technical customers, but the goal-driven, pursuit-following technically minded will expect sound knowledge. And the more often buyers visit a site, the more technically clued up they become. It’s all out there, how are you going to present it to consumers to make them want to purchase, and convince them to buy from you?

Writing for techies involves providing the information they're seeking in bite-size format. You need to filter information for the key features that will help customers select and drive those important sales. Benefits, to a certain extent, take second place to the main characteristics.

Think in terms of marketing property. Most house-buyers want to know things like the number of bedrooms, location, whether there's a garden etc. A breakfast bar or hot-tub may well be lifestyle benefits but are more bonus features than essentials.

The savvy techy customer wants to read a genuine representation of the product, presented with integrity, or you will lose credibility. That doesn't mean you have to be negative with something you see as an inferior product. Every product has something positive about it, with which you can lead in to your review.

It can be hard finding the balance in writing for true techies and the less clued-up customer, who may need a little hand-holding. You may need to include a jargon-busting hyperlink for those who need it, without putting off the true techie with too much basic detail in your copy.

For both types of customers, a winning format is to lead in with a concise nut-shell description, then a run-down of the product's main USPs in clear feature-benefit format, which should help your copy to remain concise.

For most technical products, there will be a lot of facts and figures to support the undoubted benefits. Although you may have covered some of them in the main text, a table or bullet points to summarise provides easily digestible information to the prospective customer and can act as a powerful call to action in its own right.

What are your top tips for writing technical copy and establishing yourself as a trustworthy authority?

Our very own Bear Grylls, Danny Kendall is an excellent technical copywriter, with a sound grasp of SEO and a passion for outdoor pursuits. Mostly he's out there climbing, cycling, mountain biking or having operations to put right all the bits his action man lifestyle have put wrong. And very occasionally he can be found creating content for some of the UK's biggest outdoor retailers. If you need the technical mustard cutting, he's your man.


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