You’ve just been given a copywriting project. The goal is to write copy that will get people talking about a new technical product or service. In other words, your objective is to build hype. Maybe you know exactly what it does, or what it’s supposed to do. But it’s likely that if you were quizzed about the more technical features of the product, you’d probably fail.
So now you do your research. You look at similar products on the market and it finally starts to click. You’re beginning to understand the product and the people who might buy it, so now all you have to do is make a start on the writing.
You think about your audience. They’re smart, knowledgeable about tech, and well connected – mid-level professionals who are busy and may need this product to improve their productivity and save time. So you start typing, and maybe you’ve got it figured out. But if you find yourself thinking “I’ve got to sound smart, and technical….”, you need to slow down and re-think.
Before you start going down the path of making yourself needlessly erudite and tech-savvy it’s important to remember that good copy isn’t about sounding smart – it’s about selling a product. Here are three rules-of-thumb you need to keep in mind when writing copy for a tech product:
- Avoid jargon. SEO, ISP, DNS. I know what these mean, and I’m not that technical. You probably know what it means. But that doesn’t mean your customers do. Just spell it out, at least once. There may be a portion of your audience that will thank you for it, and that means more sales.
- Be clear and sell the benefit. This is the whole “not trying to sound too smart” thing. Stop brainstorming ways to sound smart, focus on the benefits of what you are selling. Streamlined optimization? Try “It’s twice as fast as our previous version.” That, I will buy. And speaking of optimization…
- Avoid words that aren’t really words. Optimization, actionable, bandwidth. These are fancy words, but do nothing but fill customers heads with complexity and pixie dust. Try: Faster, more efficient, effective, time saving……it won’t make you sound dumb, it will make your audience feel smart.
You might be thinking: this sounds great, but its not realistic. Technical people want to know that you speak their lingo, right? Or what about the clients that like this sort of speak? But wait – technical people still speak plain ol’ English. And so do clients. Avoid big, smart, and technical terms, and instead aim for simple English with a dash of quirkiness. Technology, at its core, should be easy. At the end of the day, isn’t technology about making our lives easier? Why should the content we write about it be any different? So don’t write it as complex as the technology itself. Streamline….errr, I mean make it easy.