When it comes to technical writing, many presume that this form of communication exclusively lends itself to the production of things like instructional guides and documentation for computer hardware and software. While technical writing has traditionally been used to document complex technical processes in these areas, this form of communication can have multiple uses for business owners.
Similar to most other forms of written communication, this style of writing is meant to convey the writer’s thoughts to their audience. To be more specific, technical writing is meant to be informative while helping the audience better understand and solve specific problems as they pertain to different products and services.
This is most evident in certain practices many businesses already put into place via online documentation in the form of help guides, authoring tools, and frequently asked questions.
While these tools are useful for the end-user, businesses can repurpose these documents into opportunities for marketing and branding.
Branding Your Help Tools and Documentation
Many businesses miss the opportunity to make their online technical documentation into branded marketing tools.
Things like user guides and manuals are quite text-heavy; however, they can be branding opportunities when companies add visual components like logos and trademarks.
Implementing these elements consistent with a company’s style guide can make a business’s online technical content a standalone piece of marketing content.
Using Online Technical Content to Build Trust
Online technical documentation is often an important factor when it comes to a consumer’s decision process when purchasing a product or service. Usually, in the form of a product specifications page, trial guide, or FAQ page, this information must be accurate and easily accessible for the consumer to further consider the purchase.
Whether they are in the market for a new smartphone or a new website, technical writing assists with providing the consumer with the information they need to feel confident about deciding to complete their purchase.
Social Listening and Engagement
While online technical documents can help build trust with consumers, the business-to-consumer relationship can’t survive on content alone. Consumers are often vocal and feel the need to submit their input regarding the different aspects of a product, service or experience.
To foster an online environment focused on collaboration, many businesses may want to consider enabling comments and feedback forms on technical documentation pages.
While there are many automated response options, businesses should strive to have each consumer’s post answered by a real person. This level of interaction will allow businesses to demonstrate their “social listening” skills and build online communities. These actions may, in turn, produce more advocates for the products or services offered by the business.
Optimize Your Technical Content for SEO
Technical writing undoubtedly plays an integral role in allowing consumers to better understand a product or service. When looking for answers to specific topics, consumers often turn to search engines as a way to quickly find and sort through information. Businesses may want to keep this in mind when creating or updating their marketing strategies.
While help guides and user documents may be available on the business’s website, online technical documentation may not appear in search engine results.
Many businesses may want to consider placing carefully planned keywords within their online technical documentation so search engines can properly index the content. This may help to bring the right content pages to the top of results as well as provide an additional source of exposure for the product or service.