Whether you’re involved in mechanical engineering, manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering, materials engineering, civil engineering, chemical engineering or electrical engineering, almost everything in the world has been engineered or manufactured in some way. However, if you’re like most engineers or manufacturers, you rely on word-of-mouth to spread the word and find new clients. But as the market grows and becomes more competitive, referrals may no longer be enough for the smaller, less established brand names, in which case, you need to find other ways of telling people about the quality of your work or the value of your products. That’s where engineering and manufacturing copywriting can help – transforming complex technical concepts into lead-generating content.
While the primary goal is to inform, good manufacturing and engineering copywriting marries the technical specs to the marketing message, striking a balance between enough technical detail to gain the audiences trust and respect and enough personality to engage the non-technical reader. The majority of your readers will be fellow engineers and manufacturers. They like efficiency, respect evidence-based information, so it’s vital that your communications adopt a no frills, no fluff approach and tell them what they need to know as soon as possible. Short, benefit-led paragraphs and sentences that speak directly to the reader are preferable in a format that helps them find the information they’re looking for and shows them measurable results.
Start with a pain-point that briefly tells the reader that you understand the issue, before you explain directly how your product or service solves it, saves them money or reduces time, presenting the most essential information up front and breaking it down into short, memorable points. Although it’s tempting to talk about a product or service in glowing terms, always be honest and never make empty, non-specific claims that you can’t substantiate or that some keen-eyed engineer can poke holes in. If you’re aware of any shortcomings, always address them before someone points them out. Proactively answering any questions or objections builds trust. By overstating or overselling the value of your product or service, you’ll lose their trust and confidence, never be able to regain it and word will soon spread. Finally, the writing should almost always be complemented by visual aids such as comparison charts, infographics, flow charts, component schematics, renderings, images and videos. Not only do they add visual interest to the page, they are also solid representations of your product or service.
I’ve been writing about engineering and manufacturing of all sorts for the past 25 years and have a good grasp of the sector, from the nuts and bolts on the shopfloor to the number-crunching in the boardroom. During this time, I have written a wide range of materials from website content to brochures, brand guides to data sheets, user manuals to advertisements, product descriptions to product naming, catalogues to straplines.