It seems in our rapidly digitizing world, where everyone needs a website, that complex topics are becoming common. Marketers need to find ways to simplify the discussion, and present complex concepts in a way that inspires audiences to learn more, rather than become confused or frustrated.
A rewarding part of being a copywriter for a company that specializes in creating websites for manufacturing and tech clients is that I get to learn about all kinds of interesting products and solutions. However, most of the time when I get content from these clients, it’s been written for engineers rather than your typical customer. Then the challenge becomes figuring out how to break down this dense content in a way that makes sense to the target audience.
I have a few tips for simplifying dense content that any copywriter, editor, or marketer will hopefully find useful!
Learn about it.
I would highly recommend getting an understanding of what you’re writing about before you begin. This may seem obvious, but I mean really, truly, figure out what you’re writing about. This may mean seeking out external sources for research, or even going for a tour at the client’s production site.
Cut it in half and break it up.
It’s just like in college, when you would highlight sections in your textbooks when you were (pretending) to study. Go through the content you’re dealing with, and highlight the core messages. Usually there’s a bunch of filler text or wordy sentences that overcrowd the key messaging. This tends to be the case when someone who isn’t a writer wrote the original content. If you’ve gone through it all and decided there’s nothing you can get rid of, or have gotten rid of as much as you can, try to draw similarities between different key points and put them into sections. This way you’ll eliminate redundancies and help the reader by focusing on one topic at a time.
Yes, this part may take time, but it will really benefit you to go through it and figure out what exactly the message is trying to say before beginning to write.
Focus on the solution.
When dealing with complex, technical material, it’s tempting to emphasize its complexity. But dwelling on it can make audiences reluctant to grasp, much less purchase, the solution. My advice is to strike out technical jargon, and write it so it can be understood by everyone. Then, focus on the solution. What problem is this solving for the customer? Most of the time they don’t care how it works, just that it will work the way they expect it to.