Writing about a Technical Offering to a Non-Technical Audience

By Laura Lentchitky

Whether you’re selling to consumers, businesses, partners or suppliers, presenting a technical offering to a non-technical audience can be a tricky line to walk — if you make content too simple readers will feel patronized. Alternatively, if you overload it with complicated information, industry jargon or anagrams then readers might not understand what you’re trying to tell them. In a digital marketing world where attention is fleeting and hard fought, delivering a clear message quickly is key. The question is… how do you do it?

Confirm your target audience

Step one is to confirm your target audience, meaning you really need to do your homework on what their familiarity is with your topic. If you haven’t already, create buyer personas that represent your ideal customer. Do your readers frequent IT blogs or forums? Do they have hands-on experience with similar products already in their company’s IT environment or in their homes? Do they know how to reset a WiFi password?

By solidifying who your target audience is and creating personas, you can confidently write about products in a way that really speaks to them.

Allow the message to dictate the content type — not the other way around

Consider the phrase, “it’s not what you say but how you say it.” Choosing the right type of content for the message can help deliver complicated or advanced information in an easy-to-absorb method.

Ask yourself: If we had the full, undivided attention of our target audience, what would we tell them?

  • Are we looking to showcase new features of an existing product? Consider a webinar or a demo video.
  • Is there one aspect of an offering that is generating a lot of confusion? A blog entry might provide some clarity.
  • Do we want prospects to know that we recently won an award or received a high industry ranking? That might make a good press release.

Learn from your sales reps

Often times, your sales representatives will be an ideal source of information. By understanding out their sales processes, you can learn what prospects and customers are interested in the most.

Set up a meeting — in-person if you can — and ask a sales rep or reps to walk you through a sale of your organization’s products or services. (Keep in mind that some of the example questions listed below may overlap with ones you ask when creating buyer personas, and depending on your teams’ structure and availability it might make sense to consolidate these two steps.)

Thinking like a journalist, ask sales:

  • Who are your customers and leads? Who has decision-making power? Who can influence a sale or make a referral?
  • What are their pain points? What objections or questions do they have about our product or service?
  • Where else are they looking for research on this offering or topic?
  • When are they looking for our solution?
  • Is our offering new enough that you need to educate prospects on needs and benefits?
  • Why do they want and need our specific offering?
  • How will our offering make their lives easier or better? How will it transform their business?

Take a benefits-driven approach

It can be very tempting, especially when writing about technical products, to focus on features. This is fine and even necessary in the right application and medium, but diving too deeply into features can very quickly make content seem too “techy.”

Benefits are universal. You don’t buy a mattress; you buy a good night’s sleep. Focusing on the benefits of a product or service and its positive outcomes can make all the difference to a non-technical reader.

A lot of these tips are foundational work — by identifying and learning more about your target audience and by exploring different types of content with a benefits-driven approach, you can create content that will have the biggest impact on your readers.

Like what you read? Get to know us better by clicking here.