When it comes to marketing and branding a small business, technical writing (also known as business writing) is a piece of the puzzle that’s often overlooked. And that can be a big mistake: Succinct, accurate, and intriguing technical writing is often critical to becoming and remaining competitive in the marketplace.
But it can be overwhelming for small businesses to know where to start, which is why we’ve done the work for you. Here are four common uses for technical writing that can help you prepare your own company for success.
Your website’s content is your business’s primary use for technical writing because it aims to educate, engage, and persuade visitors to buy your product or service. The language must be informative, and, most importantly, resonate with your audience’s needs. This includes everything from your product descriptions to your About Us page – every word counts when it comes to establishing credibility online. Emily Ridge, a web developer, uses technical writing masterfully on her services page of her website. There are service descriptions that include industry terms but are not overly complicated. If someone is looking for web development services, they can quickly browse her site and find what they’re looking for. Writing in this manner takes time, so enlisting a professional technical writer can save you time and resources.
2. Printed marketing materials
Much like your website, physical marketing materials such as brochures, business cards, and flyers all often include technical writing. Printed materials offer people a way to understand your business in seconds, and an opportunity to follow up with you if they’re interested. Technical writing conveys your value proposition and paints a picture of your business. Service Engineering Company’s brochure is a prime example of technical writing. The document explains what they do, how they do it, where they operate, and their selling proposition. With limited space on a printed document, every word matters and this brochure utilizes industry language to convey their value. Choosing the right wording for each marketing material takes practice, but when done well, your bottom line will thank you when they lead to new clients and sales.
3. Instructional guides and user manuals
When you hear the term “technical writing,” you likely think of instructional guides and user manuals. Accurately explaining how to install a product or use a service demands industry terminology that can be understood by a novice. Finding this balance between technical language and accessibility means your guides and manuals serve their purpose and are useful to your clients. Foxit software has extensive user manuals for all of its products. They are detailed and easy to follow at the same time. A customer can quickly understand what the product is and how to use it by reading their manuals, which is all user manuals and instructional guides can hope to be. If you need a document to be written well and quickly, using a technical writer with industry experience is a great option.
4. White papers, published articles, and blogs
Researched articles, such as white papers, are inherently technical. Incorporating the right mix of business terms while making your point are two foundational components of white papers. Similarly, any articles or blogs published by your business should be technical too – but also clear and easy to grasp. Understanding industry lingo, using it to inform and educate your audience, and discussing relevant trends creates legitimacy for your business. While many industry terms may seem second nature to you, they can be new to your readers, so provide as much context and explanation as seems necessary to develop valuable content. Magic Logix published White Paper: A Guide to Responsive Web Design, which speaks to a major topic in web design and is of interest to both those in the industry and the general public. For those searching for quality articles about this topic, this is a great resource and underscores the company’s investment in continuous education.
Technical writing should be a part of any business’s marketing plan. Incorporating language, statistics, and guides into your printed and digital marketing materials means your audience can quickly glean your unique offering and get immediate value. This is a simple way to build trust and become a resource for your clients and potential customers. Remember, if writing is not your strong suit, try outsourcing to an expert. The most important thing is to get your technical writing right the first time so you make the best impression.
Have you mastered technical writing? Share your tips for getting started in the comments section below.