Content has become a vital part of every small business’s marketing mix. But if you want it to work, you have to make sure to speak your target market’s language. Using your industry’s jargon is an easy mistake to make, but it can ruin your entire marketing.
So let’s have a look at why jargon can ruin your marketing content and my 4 top tips to help you avoid it and see better results!
One thing to keep in mind is that jargon is not always a bad thing for your marketing content. But whether using jargon is helpful or detrimental to your cause depends on who you’re talking to.
For example, when you are addressing a group of peers, there’s no need to hold back on industry-specific vocabulary. Quite the opposite, doing otherwise might make you seem unprofessional or even condescending.
But while marketing your small business, you’re often talking to an audience who doesn’t have your background or expertise. A thorough look into your target audience will show you what to expect and how to word your next advert or newsletter.
Read more about how to define a target market for your small business.
Or not to jargon
To make sure your marketing activities help your small business grow, your content needs to present your services and products in the best light. But one thing that’s sure to confuse your readers and prevent sales from happening is your industry’s jargon.
Any lingo you’re using internally for your products or processes can be alienating potential clients. You only have seconds to grab people’s attention and if they don’t understand you, they’ll simply walk away.
So keeping an eye on the language you’re using in your marketing content is important to finding new clients and customers.
4 tips to avoid jargon in your marketing content
So what can you do to avoid alienating potential customers on social media, on your website or in your advert? Here are four steps to make sure your small business marketing copy is accessible to all:
1. Think like your customers
When you write for your target market, put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself:
- What do people ask for when contacting you?
- What words do they use to describe what they’re looking for?
- How did existing clients describe your services in their online review or testimonial?
Use these insights to promote your products or services and their benefits. And make sure to use your customers’ language whenever possible.
2. Avoid acronyms
If you ask me, acronyms are the worst part of any jargon. CTA, SEO, USP, KISS, SMART, AIDA, CRM, PPC, SaaS, UX – take your pick, marketing is full of them. But it’s also a sure way to make people’s eyes glaze over when seeing them on a leaflet.
So in order to improve your marketing content and get the results you’re looking for, avoid them in your copy if possible. If you find you have to use one, tell the reader what it means when you use it for the first time and add the long version in brackets.
3. Use tools
One thing that keeps me honest when writing marketing content for myself or my clients is the Up-Goer Five text editor. It’s a really efficient way to de-jargon your small business’s marketing copy.
Simply copy and paste your text into the box. It will highlight every word that’s not among the one thousand most used words in the English language. Slightly infuriating, but very helpful.
4. The granny test
I was introduced to the granny test when I started working as a copywriter. And I’ve used it ever since. It’s another great way to get rid of any jargon or lingo in your small business marketing content.
Simply choose somebody with a completely different background and knowledge base to your own and let them read your draft. Ideally, they’re part of the audience you’re targeting with your marketing but anybody outwith your own industry will do.
To read more about this topic, have a look at these:
How to Write Compelling Copy in 12 Steps
4 Steps to a Successful Web Copy
6 Tips to Convert More Website Visitors Into Paying Customers
Content Marketing Ideas – A Brainstorming Tool for Small Businesses