Are You Speaking English or Techlish in Your Content Marketing?

Dechay Watts

Written by Dechay Watts on Mon, Jun 15, 2015

Business9JargonIt may seem like it’s easier to write content for fun, glamorous, popular industries than technical, regulated or traditionally “unglamorous” industries. That’s not always the case. Creating innovative content can actually be more challenging for companies in “fun” industries because of the plethora of information already out there. 

The real opportunity comes for companies who create exciting content when nobody else in their industry is taking the lead. Highly specialized businesses can develop content that not only informs prospects, but answers questions and shows that humans are on the other side of the web page they are visiting or blog post they’re reading. 

The trick is to make sure the content that’s created is in English, not ‘techlish.”  What is “techlish”?  Urban Dictionary defines it as, “A very technical conversation in English. Difficult to understand. Also, a form of techno-speak.” 

At SPROUT Content, we know “techlish” is being spoken after a 30 minute discovery call that ends with our team Googling words we hadn’t heard before, likely misspelled from our notes, and saying, “I still don’t understand what they do – but I’m sure we can help them.” 

It's essential to explain complicated concepts in ways others can understand to have a hope of connecting with people through content marketing. People don’t want to feel left in the dark. Especially, potential customers. So, keep the jargon and acronyms behind the scenes with your programmers and developers and use English to explain your products and services, even if they are part of a technical conversation.

Watch this video to learn more about Tech-lish:

Can you identify the “techlish” version?

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A very technical conversation is hard to understand, even if the words used are English. Put the technical speak aside, and talk to your audience like humans. Here’s how:

Develop Personas

Before publishing any content, create personas and ask yourself if the human that you hope to be connecting with will understand every word included in the content. Here’s some information on creating buyer personas.

Avoid Acronyms

In meetings, acronyms are prone to fly around and nobody wants to be the one to ask “what does that mean?”  Someone reading your content won’t ask; they will move on to the next website that explains information clearly. Even in the marketing industry we find ourselves using acronyms that our clients might not be familiar with. Asking to speak to a client’s internal SME (subject matter experts) about content topics can result in a moment of silence. More often then not, when just using the acronym, they have no idea what we’re talking about.

If you find that acronyms are continually creeping into your content then define each one on a web page or blog post so you can link to that definition and help your visitor feel smart.

Speak Person to Person (P2P)

The age of B2B and B2C marketing is over. You now have to market direct to people, authentically and honestly and “business-speak” is not how real people speak. You can’t fool anyone with big words or super technical jargon. People will find the information they need with a Google search and it serves your business better to be the company that teaches and guides people than the company that forces them to go elsewhere to try and understand what a ‘hyper-converged solution’ is and how it can help them.

Learn more about growing your business by ditching the “techlish,” speaking to humans and dealing person-to-person.

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