Writing for the industrial sector is unique given the technical features of the content. Add in the B2B aspect and suddenly you’ve got detailed, complicated material for a very specific audience. Anyone can put together words on a page, but it actually takes a lot of skill to effectively write for industrial clients. Here are some of the best writing tips we’ve learned over the past few years.
Ask questions and then ask more
When talking with subject matter experts at your company or your client’s company in order to gain valuable information, it’s important to have a list of questions going into the interview – that’s journalism 101 – but there should always be more questions that arise during the interview. The more information you can glean from the expert, the more your fact-based writing will be understandable to the reader.
Become an expert
Your writing is better when you know the subject material. Clearly articulate the nuances of the subject matter by collecting an abundance of information. Study the information until you have a thorough knowledge of the subject.
Know your audience
Every piece you write should have target personas identified. Work with your client to develop a list of personas and before you start writing copy, identify which persona(s) to aim for. Targeting specific personas will enable you to craft the message for best results.
Find a balance
Keeping the target personas in mind, the audience you’re writing for will vary widely in terms of pre-existing knowledge of the subject material. Find a balance in your writing between technical and educational. If your target audience is engineers, a more technical driven piece is appropriate, but if you’re writing for a purchasing manager, a focus on the benefits instead of the technical specifications may be the right approach. Depending on your target persona, you don’t want the information to be too rudimentary, but you also don’t want it to require a doctorate to read.
Don’t use jargon for jargon sake
Building off the last tip, jargon is a fine line to walk. Jargon should be used in places in which it will enhance the writing, and when it’s essential to the information. Too much jargon will alienate the reader and make them feel like an outsider in a room of experts talking amongst themselves.
So much of the subject matter you come across will be foreign. Be curious. It’s much easier to write about a topic of interest. Curiosity will help increase your own interest in the topic and more often than not, the writer’s interest – no matter what level it may be. And your genuine enthusiasm will be apparent in the writing.
Research, research, research
This is two-fold – research the subject material to become the expert, and research the competition to see what has already been written on the subject. Knowing what others have written will give you a sense of what you could do differently to rank better for search.
Keep your goals front and center
Before you start writing, know the purpose of the content. Is it to target specific keywords? How about drive conversions? Know the specific content marketing goals beforehand and keep them front and center throughout the writing process. It’s easier to write with goals in mind rather than backtrack to attempt to fit already written copy into the goals.
Have an SME (subject matter expert) approve what you write
While you have done the research, asked many questions and become an expert on the material, using an extra set of eyes from an expert in the field will catch any factual errors that may be present.
Often B2B writing can be viewed as boring and uncreative. That doesn’t have to be the case though. As long as you are true to the material and the project’s goals, have fun with it. Be the creative writer you were hired to be, because if you’re not – the material will be just like many of the examples you read in your research: flat, uncreative and boring.
A great example showing these tips being utilized is the content marketing strategy behind The Korte Company. Over time, The Korte Company’s online presence has grown into the company’s “voice.” Their unique voice conveys a sense of confidence and relatability in the construction world thanks to each of these tips being implemented to their fullest in the writing.
While many of these tips will improve your writing overall, they’re particularly helpful in B2B industrial marketing. From expertise and curiosity to balance and fun, make your writing stand the test of time in a field that is constantly changing.
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