Write for Your Audience, Not Your Ego
If you’ve been following Weird Al lately, you know he has been on a whirlwind of video releases over the past eight days. The last of the series, Mission Statement, is definitely funny. It’s also a great reminder of what not to do in your content marketing efforts. Watch the video below . . . .
Do you have any mumbo jumbo on your website or collateral about world class technologies and leveraging core competencies? How about creating client centric solutions and finding synergies? There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these words except when you string them together in a sentence that does more to confuse rather than explain.
You may feel smart writing about leveraging core competencies, discovering synergies, and developing client centric solutions. The recipient of the message may feel dumb, bored, or suspicious. Too much jargon seems like the equivalent of an illusionist’s attempts at misdirection. You know he’s pulling a fast one and you are trying to look through all the misdirection to discover the secret. Too much biz blab leaves people scratching their heads wondering what you are trying to draw their attention away from with your jargon.
Ask yourself these questions when developing your next blog post, white paper, or other customer-facing content:
- Is the jargon I am about to use standard across my industry? If yes, use it sparingly and include a definition for those who may be newcomers. If no, either define it in clear terms or leave it out.
- Am I using big words or phrases to make myself or my company seem more intelligent? If yes, you probably need to axe it. Your language should seem natural. You don’t have to dumb your message down — just make it natural, appropriate, and engaging for your intended audience.
- Do I have acronyms in my copy? If yes, provide a parenthetical note after the first usage to spell out what the acronym stands for.
- Do all of your points support the main idea you are trying to express? If not, kill those points that don’t. Write another post or piece of collateral for that topic.
Now get out there and leverage your core competencies, gang!