Marketing copy in the IT services arena seems to suffer from the same problem – jargon overload! In attempt to showcase their expertise and highlight the strength of their product, tech businesses often end up producing content that reads more like a self-high five than material meant to elevate the reader. This trap is fairly easy to fall into when you’re focused on establishing your brand’s identity. It’s easy to lose sight of the customer’s perspective. As we run through a few examples of live technology marketing copy, notice which ones stand out to you as reader-focused.
Two Tales of VPS Hosting
WebHostingPad and BlueHost both offer hosted virtual private servers (VPS) in addition to their traditional web hosting solutions . If you check out the VPS hosting page on WHP’s website, you’ll see a straightforward layout that presents the different classes of VPS packages customers can sign up for along with a massive list of features and specifications. That’s pretty much the gist of it.
WebHostingPad nails the simple and straightforward facets many web design experts recommend. Unfortunately the page fails at its main objective: selling VPS solutions. The firm does a poor job of pointing out any advantages of signing up for the service, and fails to offer any background on VPS itself. Unless it’s an existing customer looking to upgrade or someone who has done enough homework to determine that this company is a good fit, the average prospect is likely to take their search for reliable VPS hosting elsewhere.
If you take a trip to the BlueHost VPS hosting page you’ll be greeted by an equally simple layout that forms the backdrop for the different tiers of plans available. Instead of lulling the visitor to sleep with a scroll full of features, the page highlights each plan and their corresponding resources. I thought that was a savvy little nuance, because system resources trump features in a virtual computing environment. BlueHost really knocks it out the park with brief, but detailed summaries of the benefits the customer receives by signing up. The copy is written in language the typical web hosting customer can grasp, yet avoids the use of buzzwords and overly technical jargon.
Managed Security on Opposite Sides of the Fence
Allied Market Research projects that the global managed security market will reach nearly $30 billion by 2020. The industry is poised for explosive growth, but if you’re judging by the strength of marketing copy, you might infer that not every industry player is eager to ride that capital wave.
On the surface, MSSPs Masergy and Bae Systems appear to be in two separate classes. Masergy stands out with an example in marketing that is as comprehensive as its all-encompassing approach to IT security. Right off the bat, its managed security solutions page lets the visitor know that despite all their efforts, their security infrastructure is still vulnerable to attack. Masergy proclaims itself as the answer to the client’s concerns by introducing its patented security technology and outlining the core components of the solution. Not bad.
At the time of this writing, the managed security page Bae Systems put together looks more like a work in progress. Visitors are greeted with a generic headline and a two-sentence paragraph on what its managed security services bring to the table. No mention of security technology the company uses or how it works. More importantly, no real emphasize on the benefits to the client. While Bae Systems appears to be a veteran in the MSP space, it’s hard to imagine such a lackluster presentation getting too many new prospects fired up about hiring the firm for managed security.
Keep This In Mind
In scouring the web for relevant examples I came to the conclusion that there are lessons to be learned from even the most cringe-worthy content. Hopefully the following takeaways will help keep your technology marketing copy compelling and engaging:
Let Your Audience Lead the Way
Every piece of marketing content you produce should aim to identify with your target audience. How well you know them will dictate whether your message takes a more general approach, or provides advanced level details that go beyond the basics. Don’t hesitate to check out your rivals to analyze their strategy and any feedback their content generates. Might make you feel a little dirty initially, but there is a lot to learn from the competition.
Tell a Story (If you can)
Storytelling is a white hot trend you want to leverage when you get the chance. Why is this timeless art form so effective for content marketing? I can think of a few reasons:
- Stories paint a picture that connects you to your audience.
- Stories drive home your unique value proposition.
- Stories transform dull information into memorable packets that hold meaning for the reader.
- Stories are much more likely to be retold (shared).
- Stories are engaging by nature. Long before alphabets and writing, all culture was preserved and transferred through stories.
Clearly not every piece of content warrants story weaving. But if your topic allows you to highlight a problem, outline the key points, and offer a solution, you have enough fodder to tell a story.
Make It Visual
Maybe you’ve noticed that the visual era of content marketing is upon us. Makes you kind of wonder how we ever managed in a digital world without it. Strategic use of content such as images, videos, and infographics will illustrate the point in a way that makes it easier for customers digest and remember your message. By pairing your copy up with relevant, high-quality visuals, you can give your content another layer of engagement goodness.
Find a Balance
We’ve been told that short and sweet is the way to the go when crafting content for people who are pressed for time. Sounds good, but shorter isn’t necessarily always better. You have know when to apply this theory. For instance, a business card would be the perfect environment for a short snappy ad and catchy slogan. If you’ve got an entire web page at your disposal, you may need all of that real estate to sell complex IT products and services. Neither human readers nor Google will mind lengthier content as long as it delivers value by being relevant and useful.
This is one point I can’t stress enough. Okay, lack of originality may not always show up as blatant plagiarism. Still, copying another site’s writing style or concepts is just a bad way to roll. Chances are, prospects will visit several websites in the field before paying you a visit. Imagine the shock and disdain they will feel if they see copy that looks like it was copied from another company’s page. Plus, stealing ideas is essentially a lost opportunity to showcase your business and what makes the brand unique.
You don’t have to be a perfect writer or champion marketer to produce stellar marketing content. If you take anything from this post, let it be the importance of putting your audience first. Keep their needs and preferences in mind, and you’ll more than likely come up with something that keeps them coming back to you for more.