I get this question all the time. Or rather, they assume a technical writer is the same thing as a technical copywriter, which is not the case. We both communicate technical or specialized topics to an audience, such as writing about SaaS, medical procedures, or aviation regulations. We both communicate using technology, whether it’s a web page, social media tool, or help files. We both make information more usable and accessible to readers and advance the goals of the company or product we’re writing about.
Yet there’s still a difference between us.
Is a technical copywriter the same as a technical writer?
In a word, no. The main difference between a technical copywriter and a technical writer is the main purpose for writing the content. A technical writer aims to provide instructions on how to do something, while a technical copywriter aims to persuade and explain to readers a technical topic (instructions are not usually included.)
Think of it like this:
Why hire a technical copywriter?
A technical copywriter has specialized knowledge and skills that will help you reveal the magic (or benefits) of your tech products to your market. She’ll write marketing materials like business blog posts, online articles, landing pages, email newsletters, and Tech Marketing Playbooks that help you sell your tech products. She understands high-tech products and services like Saas, PaaS, software applications, infrastructure & hardware products like servers & network storage, or professional services like enterprise application implementations.
These are specialized topics that require specialized knowledge or at least a specialized copywriter who is familiar with the environment, terminologies, and methodologies used by these companies to produce their products and services. A technical copywriter is someone with that specialized knowledge and can jump in right away to help you.
Someone like me.
How I help my tech customers and clients
That’s because I’ve worked as both a technical writer and technical copywriter for various tech companies in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). I’ve helped them support their products through help files and admin manuals, as well as helped them sell their products with web copy, business blog posts, and online articles that develop their online presence and thought leadership.
All my geeky experience means I understand what high-tech companies are talking about, and I’m able to translate this into my marketing copy. My customers don’t have to waste time explaining the technology behind their products to me, but instead, can focus on the features and benefits of it. Then I take those features and benefits and write technical marketing materials for them that their prospects will understand.
What I do for my tech customers
At the most basic level, I do three main things for my high-tech customers:
- Translate technical information into an understandable message for their audience.
- Apply principles of copywriting to that technical information. (Principles like Unique Selling Proposition [USP], web page layout, and lead generation)
- Add the human element to their technical information. Surprisingly, a lot of technology companies forget that humans are the ones buying their products, and don’t always appeal to them.
Translating Technical Information
Technology companies have their own language when it comes to your products. It might be an industry-specific set of terminology or principles that apply to the programming language you use or a highly-specialized set of words you use when talking about your products and services. This sometimes makes it difficult for you to convey your USP to your prospects because it’s buried behind 15-syllable words or abstract concepts.
That’s because I’m a Geek too
It’s true. My love of computers is what lead me to become a technical writer in the first place. I understand these abstract and complex concepts. I’ve worked for technology companies for over 13 years, so I am familiar with different programming languages like Java and PHP. I’ve visited enterprise data centers and have written about racks, layouts, and admin topics for a variety of industries (finance, insurance, and gaming).
But I’m also a copywriter
Often technical marketing materials are simply lists of product specifications that don’t give a clear indication of the product’s overall benefit to the customer. All of this geeky experience means I understand what high-tech companies are talking about, and I’m able to translate this into my marketing copy.
My customers don’t have to waste time explaining the technology behind their products to me but instead, can focus on the features and benefits of it. Then I take those features and benefits and write technical marketing materials for them that their prospects will understand.
As a technical copywriter, I am able to analyze the technical specifications of your product or service and find the benefits. So when you say:
- “Uses cloud computing to detect zero-day malware“, I write “Online community-based analysis lets us detect malware for you instantly.“
- “Decision support for adjusting workforce levels and optimizing sales mix“, I write “Our software has a decision-based wizard that helps you adjust your workforce staffing levels and optimizes the sales staff mix in your stores.“
I bring humanity to your tech products
The final element I bring to my work as a technical copywriter is humanity. Technology workers often forget about the human aspect of our work, and copywriting is no different. Marketing materials must focus on the human, because after all, it is the human that will make the purchasing decision, and it’s the human that will take the final step to purchase your technology product or service.
Speak to everyone involved in the purchasing decision
In the B2B technology space, the larger the company, the more people involved in the purchasing decision. So your marketing materials should reflect that. Are you only two people away from a purchase, or 4 or 5? A technical copywriter can help you navigate those steps, as I am aware of the audience for the marketing materials. I can tailor them to help move your prospect along your sales pipeline, and ultimately change them from a prospect to a buyer. You still need to appeal to the prospect’s emotions, but they’re slightly different than in the B2C space.
B2B technology prospects want to look good to their bosses and make their workdays and the workdays of their colleagues better. So your marketing materials must be relevant and memorable enough to remain at the top of your prospect’s Will Call list. That means that when they’re ready to present an option to their bosses who will make that ultimate purchasing decision, they choose your product. If you’ve spoken to them correctly, and humanely, through your materials, they’re going to call you.
Now that you know what a technical copywriter is
What are you waiting for? Contact me today and see how we can work together.
You’ll save time and money by working with someone who understands you and your tech products.
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