We live in a world of instant gratification. It’s easily seen at work, in school, at home, and (perhaps most of all) online. For instance, research indicates that people make decisive judgments about a website, and by extension the company behind the website, within 10 seconds or less. If they don’t like what they see, then they leave.
The same principle applies to consumers looking for answers to their questions. If they can’t find their answers easily or quickly on one website, then they often go away disappointed, and never come back. They may even leave with a bad taste in their mouth.
However, does that mean that your Technical Marketing Content (TMC) should just be an answers-oriented endeavor, or a FAQ-style guide to some product or service? Let’s discuss some reasons why there is a better path to take.
Spark Discussion, Don’t End It
Here’s one of the biggest issues that results from a focus on answers, instead of value: you end the discussion with the potential user before it actually starts. Whether your reader is a developer, designer, engineer, or technician, your goal is not necessarily to provide them with a black-and-white answer that fulfills their immediate need but offers little long-term benefit. Rather, your objective is to help them see the latent possibilities that come from using your product or service; e.g., the inherent value in it.
Steve Jobs and Henry Ford lived decades apart, but they both understood this vital principle. Jobs once said: “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Ford, the creator of the Model T, expressed similar sentiments when he remarked: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” The point is, well-crafted TMC should inspire users to think of your product’s potential value; leave the details for your technical documentation, your Getting Started guides, and your support teams.
Use CTAs within your technical marketing content that support this strategy. For instance, your CTAs could including phrasing such as:
- What will you build?
- How does this apply to your development?
- Will this work for your use case?
- What issues will this solve for your application?
Focus Outward, Not Inward
It’s easy for a company to center its marketing messages inward, around its featured product or service. For instance, a brand may brag about the high-speed capabilities of its new software, or the simple navigational features of its new app.
The problem is, just because you are interested in the specifics of your product doesn’t mean your readers will be. However, if your TMC focuses outward on common use cases, pain points, and customer concerns, then you’ll generate much more interest in your solution. For example, will your product or service:
Help your users to streamline or simplify their tasks (via automation, enhanced support, or other means)?
Ease common pain points (like lack of scalability, high implementation costs, or overly complex processes)?
Enable significant gains (such as faster time to MVP, or better app security)?
If you orient your TMC to focus on all the things the user can now do because of your solution, or all the problems they no longer have to deal with, then you’re well on your way to converting skeptical prospects into believing clients. Help your readers get to that “aha” moment when the realm of possibilities suddenly opens up before them, uncovering an array of potential solutions. Stimulate their imagination by focusing on actual and potential use cases that your product/service enables.
In short, focus on solutions, not features. Focus on users, not products. Focus on value, not answers. If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to talk to a Catchy Content strategist today.