Technical content writing in the manufacturing industry can be a daunting task.
There are so many things to consider when creating accurate and informative documentation, from the specific terminology used, to ensuring that the instructions are easy to follow.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the challenges you may encounter when writing technical content for the manufacturing industry, and offer some tips on how to overcome them.
Technical Content Writing for Manufacturing Companies
If you work in the content marketing industry, you can’t avoid technical writing.
I’ll start by differentiating technical writing from technical content writing. They may be used interchangeably, but they are not synonymous.
Technical writers are exceptional in the field of writing; they can write manuals, product descriptions & specifications, safety procedures, assembly instructions, and a variety of other technical papers.
A technical content writer, on the other hand, produces material for manufacturing marketing such as blog articles, web page content, case studies, and white papers; these are aimed at achieving marketing goals such as increasing site traffic, enhancing SEO presence, producing Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), branding, thought leadership, and trust.
A manufacturing content marketer is more than just a copywriter.
They can develop a content marketing plan, create buyer personas, understand SEO, know how engineers and industrial buyers go about their purchase journey, understand email marketing, content promotion on social media, and tracking & measurement etc.
According to the Manufacturing Content Marketing Insights, 51% of manufacturing content marketers admit they are challenged with creating valuable content instead of sales-orientated content.
And to make matters worse, 59% of manufacturing companies only have a small content marketing team to serve the entire business; they have too much to do and too little time.
5 Challenges in Technical Content Writing (And How To Overcome Them)
Lack of Information About Users
When producing technical content, it’s essential to have a good sense of who your users are in order to write effective material.
You must know their age, location, job status, and more. Content that is successful depends on a thorough understanding of users; otherwise, your technical writings would be worse than useless.
In order to properly tailor your content to the demands of your customers, you must first get to know them as well as possible.
Technical writers should be the user advocates in the company and allow users a voice within the product or service.
The solution: to learn more about your consumers, conduct interviews with users.
To use the marketing team’s user personas as a foundation for your technical documentation, work closely with customer support.
Get an idea of the questions that people are really asking by collaborating with the customer support team and using their concerns as a baseline for your technical content.
Gathering Information From Experts
A technical writer’s duty is to interact with Subject Matter Experts and obtain information. You will be in charge of conducting interviews, reviewing material, and incorporating the ideas of these essential coworkers into your content.
SMEs are busy and may not have the time to respond when you request their input on content. It’s not a smart idea to ask for contributions at the last minute with the intention of receiving a high-quality contribution.
The solution: stop by their workstation for a conversation and learn what their job consists of. Then, when the time comes to ask for their assistance, you’ll be able to put in the background work required to successfully seek a contribution.
Writing for non-technical audiences should be coherent and clear.
However, when a document has been generated over a period of time by several authors or modified in an unorganised manner with no regard to consistency or readability, this does not always happen.
The document may be clashing in terms of style, layout, tone, and so on – e.g. you might refer to the readers as “you” in one section and “they” in another, resulting in confusion for the readers.
The solution: Try to get a sense of the document’s context, particularly tone and tense, if you’re altering an existing paper.
Make sure your modifications are seamlessly integrated into the current text so that they make sense for the reader.
To ensure uniformity in voice throughout the content and to offer direction to multiple authors who may collaborate on it, use a style guide.
Getting Content Reviewed
Getting people to review your work is one of the most difficult tasks, especially if you’re the only writer on your team.
If no one ever reads your documentation, flaws in it will go undetected and transmitted to the end user. This reflects poorly on both your writing and the company as a whole.
That said, content must go through a review procedure before it can be published, so allow for plenty of time for thorough examination and follow-up if necessary.
The solution: as with any aspect of business, you need to be clear about what you want from a review.
Send your work out for a good evaluation as soon as possible, with enough time for others to respond, and don’t be afraid to keep following up until you receive the type of review that you want.
It’s no easy task to get the technical details of a product or service.
The more difficult endeavour is to communicate those specifics in simple terms that anybody can understand.
Technical information comprises industrial content since its primary goal is to inform customers about the manufacturing and processing procedures of a product or service.
A writer might inadvertently place too much emphasis on the technical aspect, or vice versa, causing text to become boring or uninteresting.
The solution: The content should have a balance of technical and finer details, as well as flowery language, to produce clear and clean copy for industrial products or services.
Be sure to use terms that are easy for the average person to understand, and define any jargon before using it.
With a focus on delivering value to the customer, the goal is to engage them while informing them about what you do.
The Bottom Line
Don’t be shocked if you come across these challenges in your role as a technical writer in the manufacturing sector and keep pushing forward to overcome them.
Writing technical content is a sociable task that necessitates collaboration with many stakeholders during a project. It’s tough to deal with so many people at the same time, so work on your people skills if necessary.
This blog was produced in collaboration with Weightru.