“I’m new to the manufacturing industry and I would like to know how to deal with heavy and technical information when producing flyers, blogs and updating the website. Not everyone understands technical language used by engineers so what is the best way to simplify industry jargon and get the process across in layman terms?”
Great question, Georgia! Industrial marketing can sometimes involve a lot of technical jargon or in-depth subject-matter knowledge. But what if you as a marketer struggle with the mechanical information? What if, when you turn to your engineers, they struggle with understanding how to structure or write user-friendly content?
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1. IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE.
Step one of creating content, especially in the B2B space, is always the same. First, you need to know who the content is meant for.
Are you creating materials for everyday people? For expert engineers? Or both?
You may struggle with technical jargon, but it may be what your audience expects if they’re engineers. On the other hand, if they’re “everyday” people like you, then translating the engineering-speak into layman’s terms is definitely important!
Without planning out for your audience, you’ll be stuck between a rock and a hard place.
If you’re creating over-simplified materials for engineers who want to get into the weeds, their trust of your expertise will deteriorate. But if your buyer or influencer doesn’t understand the complicated language you’re using, then all your efforts will still be a loss.
Depending on where your viewers are in the funnel, they may care more about results than a detailed explanation of how your product works.
2. ASK THE EXPERTS.
Whatever your audience wants, it is then your job to provide them with that information. You are tasked with being their translator, so you must interpret the data and simplify industry jargon if they need it clarified.
So what do you do if you don’t understand the engineering jargon either? Swallow your pride and turn to interview the experts. Go to your engineers, your sales team, or whomever else in your company that you know you can learn from.
Sit down; say, “Talk to me like I’m ten years old,” and ask questions.
Don’t be afraid to push back if you still don’t understand something. Dig into inquiries that buyers might even have, about what sets your company apart.
In some ways, your requests for answers may challenge your own staff to do more than spout the same buzzwords and standard phrases.
We also highly recommend recording the conversation, at least via audio if not with video. That way, you can reference the information later if you can’t remember particulars. You might even be able to take some of those transcripts and use them word-for-word in your content!
3. RELAX: BECOMING A SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT TAKES TIME.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re new to an industry and suddenly expected to create expert marketing content for it. You were hired for your marketing skills and your marketing expertise, remember: not because you have all the know-how of an industry engineer.
Not yet, anyway.
If you need to create technical content, shadow the experts and be patient with yourself.
No one can fault you if you’re heavily investigating and improving your technical knowledge all the time. Do your homework. Tour facilities. Spend a week shadowing your sales team. Find an expert who can help guide you. In some ways, it’s like learning a new language.
If you need to write material with a foreign vocabulary, start by writing it in your own language first. Then, get help translating it.
And remember: you definitely aren’t the first marketer hired to advertise a company about whose solutions they know next to nothing!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and clarification.
Every industry has its own collection of buzzwords…even marketing! The key is, are you willing to learn it all? You need to eventually need to be able to simplify industry jargon and use those terms as easily as you can set them aside– all depending on what your audience needs.
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If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!