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We’ve all been there. We’ve sat in those meetings where the new consultant begins talking with so much industry-slang that no one else in the room understands what they are saying. But instead of making themselves sound like the expert they supposedly are, we’re left confused, and, frankly, a bit insulted that this consultant seems to think they’re above the rest of the group – even though that likely wasn’t the intention.
Content marketing is a great avenue for organizations to share industry information with and educate their audiences, but there is a fine line between educating and alienating. Using common language to better connect with your audience will go a long way in your quest to becoming a Thought Leader in the industry. Your audience will appreciate it and understand you better if you use the same words they do – so avoid the latest buzz words and industry jargon and keep it simple.
Know Your Audience
Rule #1 when it comes to content marketing! While it’s important to understand your target audience and what their needs are (so that you can give them the information they’re looking for), it’s also important to understand what their level of knowledge is and their comfort level with industry terms. Are you writing for a C-level audience who’s been in the industry for years, or are you targeting younger, new-to-the-industry employees who may not have a complete understanding of the game just yet?
We’re never advocates for using too much industry slang in any piece of writing, but if you’re targeting entry-level employees you want to be especially careful about this one. Your goal should be to educate them using language and terminology they understand, so they can learn and then confidently brief their boss on why the company should buy your product or service. If they can’t understand what they’re reading, your audience will quickly close out of the window and move on to the next company’s article.
When you’re attracting new clients, you want to demonstrate that you’re an expert in your field, but you also want to be personable. Nobody wants to be friends with a robot (or that over-eager consultant), right?
The more conversational your piece is, the more your readers (AKA your potential clients) will connect with you. Use common words and phrases to make your point, and not only will you have a higher chance of actually educating and providing value to your clients, but they will see you as an ally and trusted source of easy-to-digest information who they will keep going back to for guidance and advice down the road.
The easier it is to read, understand, and learn from your content, the more likely your audience will begin to value your opinion and come to you first when they begin to research for their next assignment, or when they want to learn about the latest industry trends. Remember, you don’t need to use big ‘expert’ words to be seen as one.