School is out and summer is here! Are you ready for it? I know I am; particularly after the last few hectic months. You see, my oldest son (and newly-minted high school graduate), is heading to college in a few short weeks. And I can honestly say that the months leading up to this milestone have been a non-stop whirlwind of college tours and college applications. Not to mention the vast number of college essays he was required to complete. Lots. Of. Essays.
But coaching my son through this application process also made me realize just how important a good marketing story really is. Whether your goal is to market yourself to Prestigious U, or market your brand through effective technical writing, the tips are the same. In the spirit of campus and content education, let’s review:
1. Be accurate and authentic.
The typical college applicant may not have saved the world singlehandedly, but there’s a good chance he or she may have helped to make it a better place. Applicants are encouraged to share their community service work with the decision committee and to be accurate and authentic ― just be yourself!
This lesson also applies to content marketing and technical writing. Be accurate in your product descriptions and capabilities. Let’s face it, your product may not be the right fit for everyone, but it is just right for your ideal buyer persona. To reach this ideal buyer, invest some time in understanding what makes them tick. This exercise will help you understand the types of challenges they face and what motivates them. Do your prospects need to improve their manufacturing output? Lower production costs? How can your product help them reach their goals? With good, solid and accurate buyer personas, you can target your buyer with an authentic solution.
2. Write with a purpose.
Every serious college applicant wants to convince that mysterious admissions team to grant them the golden ticket of a coveted acceptance letter. So writing with a clear purpose in mind is a must (despite some less-than-creative essay prompts).
Technical writing follows the same rule; to write with a purpose. Begin by clarifying your goals and organizing your content. Do you want to educate your audience? Grow your social presence? Share a win through a case study? Increase downloads of a white paper? Each of these points all have a role in a solid content marketing strategy. Target your technical writing with purpose-driven content.
3. Talk to the experts.
In the college essay, there is no better “expert” than the applicant. Prospective students are encouraged to “write what you know,” but to keep it clear and concise.
Likewise, one of our top technical writing tips is to interview your SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) ― the engineers, designers and other technical pros. These are the folks who are in the trenches and can share first-hand knowledge and client experiences. You may be surprised at what you can learn by asking a few probing questions. Never underestimate the power of a good interview for generating new content ideas. Explore more of this process in Content Marketing 101 for industrial Manufacturers.
4. Share insights and examples.
Speak your mind in that college essay, as recruiters are looking for a diverse student body and unique points of view. Your personal experiences set you apart from the pack.
Similarly, when you share industry insights and examples in your technical writing, you become a trusted resource and thought leader. Use keyword research to understand what problems are being searched the most. Then build your content around those results. Develop white papers or how-to-videos that can become an entire suite of resources on your site to encourage return visitors.
5. Embrace evergreen content.
Why reinvent the wheel when existing material just might shine with a little tweaking? After writing so many college essays, it occurred to me that we need to save some of those college essays to repurpose for little brother’s applications!
Technical writing tip #5 is to create and embrace “evergreen content” or older material that can be easily refreshed and updated. Start by conducting a content inventory to determine what you have to work with, and how it may hold relevance to your audience. Then selectively update and refresh. Do you have a list of FAQs on a sales sheet? These could be the start of a series of blog posts. Working with a long-term customer? Reach out to them and develop a case study. Think green; reduce efforts and recycle content!
Ready to get started? Reach out for the best technical writing tips in the business! Want to improve that admissions essay? We’ve got you covered there, too, with some stellar interns on our staff this summer. Precision Marketing Group delivers from campus to content!