By Connie Howard, ETMG VP & Founding Writer
A Technology Copywriter is a Little Different
Advertising agencies are always on the lookout for great copywriters. Typically focused on consumers, great copywriters produce all kinds of promotional materials; print and Web ads, commercials, and collateral. And because those copywriters are consumers themselves, the trick isn’t understanding the product; it’s making the product attractive to others.
Engaging ad copy that differentiates is a real advantage when your product needs to reach consumers. But when you’re marketing technology, whether to savvy consumers or other businesses, you’ll need copywriters with some additional qualities.
Here are a few tips for finding copywriters who will write compelling technology-marketing copy for prospects and customers.
Find a Writer Who Understands Your Technology and Sector
Just about everybody understands fried chicken, cars, cosmetics, and soft drinks. But not everyone understands scalable processors, converged infrastructure, flash memory, or the Internet of Things. And that’s just in high-tech. Energy, manufacturing, medical device, and healthcare companies also take complex, highly technical products to market and need technology writers with some very specific knowledge. In addition to product or industry knowledge, sometimes there are regulatory guidelines that your writer needs to know about and incorporate.
Finding a technology writer who understands your product and industry shortens the learning cycle. A savvy writer will absorb existing materials faster, ask better questions, and conduct better interviews. You’ll get better content, faster.
Find a Writer Who Understands Your Audiences
In tech, getting to the sale means educating and persuading many different kinds of people. CIOs, architects, network administrators, IT managers, and security personnel will all have to sign off on any large-scale technology purchase. Sometimes, technology solutions focus on specific business functions, like HR, finance, manufacturing, or legal, requiring another set of sign-offs and different audience needs to address.
The right technology copywriter has to know who will read the piece and make sure that it speaks to them. An administrator doesn’t care about ROI the way a CIO does. The CIO can’t dig into the technical weeds that an administrator has to, to make sure that the purchase will work with what’s already in place. Either your technology copywriter understands both audiences, or you may need to find individual writers to address specific audiences.
Find a Writer Who Knows How People Consume Technology Marketing Communications
There are kinds of content that technology audiences recognize and reach for at different times during the sales cycle. There are also multiple social channels that need attention. Web copy, email, tweets, and blogs are important to create awareness.
Case studies, customer references, and white papers come into play once prospects need to know more. A case study about the deployment of a security product, or a customer reference about a site-wide IP phone installation, help prospects understand the successes of similar customers. These kinds of pieces help people understand how similar companies fared with your product in a similar environment. Application notes and data sheets show a different audience how easy—or difficult—bringing your product into their world could be.
To Find a Technology Copywriter, Do Your Due Diligence
Regardless of experience, you still need a technology copywriter who writes well and can emulate your brand’s voice and tone. Here are some other ways to ensure that you find the right writer:
- Request samples of work in your industry and targeted for your audience(s).
- Request and check references.
- Set up an interview either on the phone or in-person to get a sense of how they will work with you, other key stakeholders, and team members.
- Look for these qualities in the interview:
- Do they listen?
- Are they asking good questions?
- Can they collaborate well?
- If they will be interviewing third parties, such as partners or customers, will they represent you and your company well?
- Bonus: do they have experience in journalism and/or public relations writing for trade press in your industry?
It’s Easier than You Think
Finding the right technology copywriter may seem like a tall order, but it isn’t. There are many fine writers who will hit all of these targets, and write great copy, too. Asking colleagues, vendors, or partners for referrals, or simply doing some recruiting, you’ll find many writers who can meet all of your needs.
Content Marketing Institute, How to Hire Effective Content Marketing Writers and Editors