As a tech marketing professional, you might have struggled to find the right person to handle your content writing.
- On the one hand, they need to generate engaging, informative contentfor your website.
- On the other, they also need to both understand how your product works and explain its features effectively enough to drive conversions.
Finding the perfect balance of skills in a writer can be challenging, but here’s what you need to best position your products as solutions — a specialised style of content creation we call “technical content writing.” There’s a reason why technical content writers are so in-demand as more and more tech companies recognise their skills in finding the right words and language to drive sales, seal deals and deeply connect with, educate and engage customers.
But hang on … surely we mean technical writers? And how does a technical content writer even differ from a regular content writer in the first place? Are they even different?
Short answer: no, we don’t. Technical writers, technical content writers, and content writers all have similar roles that do overlap but with some distinct differences that we’re going to cover. In this post, we trawl through the sea of content writing types to find out what exactly counts as technical content writing, how it differs from technical writing and what makes technical content writers different.
Here's what we cover:
- How many types of content writing even are there?
- What makes technical content writers different?
- Who's writing your technical content?
How many types of content writing even are there?
As tech evolves, so do markets — and both need seasoned professionals who know how to use the right words to drive the best results. But when you’re looking to build your own marketing team and are searching for content writers, you’re probably going to run into a bunch of confusing terms like:
- “technical writers”
- “technical content writers”
- and “content writers”
Let’s get started by viewing these three terms on a spectrum — technical writing on one end, content writing on the other, and technical content writing firmly in the middle.
In general, technical writing and content writing have one major common goal: they’re meant to educate readers and explain what a product might do. Technical writing takes this a step further and has a more instructional tone, while content writing tends to be more explanatory and informational. If you’ve ever read a user guide or an instructional manual, that was the work of a technical writer.
Technical writers describe how to use a product or service in simple terms so that anyone can understand what they're reading without having any background knowledge on the subject matter. You’re most likely to find examples of technical writing in fields like electronics, machine learning, robotics, engineering and software, but also others such as pharmacology, medicine (including Medtech) and chemistry.
Technical writing isn’t meant to market product features or explain its benefits. It’s simply there to explain how products work and how you can use them. For this, technical writers need to have highly specialised knowledge about product features and the ability to communicate this knowledge easily to ensure that anyone reading it can understand and follow instructions step-by-step.
Content writing falls on the other end of the writing spectrum: it’s more marketing-focused and is a tool for building product awareness. Like technical writing, content writing educates readers about the benefits and features of different products and services. At Say it right, this is where we position ourselves as well.
Unlike technical writing, which is highly specialised in technical industries, content writing is broader and works for any niche. Companies of all shapes, sizes and strategies need content writers to fill their company blogs with articles explaining what their products do and how they help. They also need to create compelling marketing stories for their brand-building efforts.
Content writers needn’t necessarily be subject-matter experts in their company's niche. Their job is to understand product benefits and communicate this in a way that readers can understand and engage with the brand. Content writers are often accountable for following the brand tone of voice guidelines and need to adjust their writing style accordingly. Technical writers needn’t be mindful of this, as they’re simply trying to explain, while content writers are trying to both explain and inspire in the voice of their brand.
Technical content writing
As a tech marketing professional, you need someone with skills from both ends of the spectrum — the technical end and the marketing end. Enter technical content writers: the bridge between the specialised tech knowledge of technical writers and the communicative abilities of content writers.
So what is technical content writing? Simply put, it’s a form of content writingspecialised in educating customers about the benefits of tech and software products. It’s really as simple as that.
Technical content writing works with the same format as regular content writing: blog posts, articles, white papers and e-book content, ultimate guides — but specialising in software and tech products. At Say it right, this is firmly where our content writing specialisation lies.
Your tech products might indeed have excellent features and flawless specs — but technical content writers are your key to connecting these features to the benefits your customers are more likely to be interested in learning about.
What makes technical content writers different?
Tech content writers work closely with product and tech teams to learn the ins and outs of their product features, create compelling stories of their benefits, and write and create content marketing materials for tech companies. Besides educational blog posts, white papers and landing pages, technical content writers might also create product descriptions, tutorials for software applications, landing pages and more.
Technical content writers might also wear different hats in the tech marketing space and develop a balanced mix of marketing and tech capabilities. This might include more in-depth knowledge of SEO best practices or content optimisation techniques while still bringing expertise in what language and high-quality content best engages customers with brands. Compared to technical writers, technical content writers are still … well, less technical and more marketing-focused. At the same time, they might still be better “techsperts” compared to regular content writers.
In the end, their goals are the same as technical writers and content writers: technical content writers take their tech know-how and translate it into engaging, compelling content meant to educate customers and draw them down the marketing funnel.
Who’s writing your technical content?
The first step of a great content strategy is deciding who’s actually going to be producing your technical content — no matter if it’s an in-house team or outsourced to a content writing agency, great technical writers come with a few tricks up their sleeve.
At Say it right, for example:
- We’re passionate about tech and the benefits it brings to people’s lives.
- We can balance explaining tech features with communicating their benefits in an engaging, accessible way.
- We care about how your brand wants to communicate with its ideal audience.
- We can find the best language to position your products as solutions to your ideal customer.
Savvy tech marketing professionals know how difficult it is to make your products stand out in a rapidly changing tech landscape. It’s your job to make sure that your products are seen and heard by not just as many people as possible but the right people.
For this, you’re going to need the right people to produce your content.
Interested in what technical content writing looks like in practice? Check out this post on some inspiring examples of tech content writing from three companies (who all happen to be Say it right clients).