none

INDUSTRIAL COPYWRITING ISN’T LIKE SELLING STEAK KNIVES

05-03-2018
by 
in 
Peter J Mills

Is industrial copywriting different from that done for consumer companies? Not in principle, although it has some unique elements, which may require specialist skills.

First, it probably won’t be read casually on mobiles or tablets. Desktops are likely to be the norm, as the readers are professional buyers. Therefore you can write at greater length, although without sacrificing the sacred principles of readability and good layout. These require short paragraphs and plenty of sub-headings.

Secondly, the copy is likely to be more technical, but must still hit the hot buttons of performance, price, ease of use, durability – and attractive appearance. Purchasing officers are human and are not immune to emotional appeals.

Thirdly, industrial purchasing typically has more steps and is a longer process that consumer buying. Large contracts are the norm. You’re not selling steak knives.

Therefore the copywriting will seek intermediate steps before the sale, such as acceptance of further information, sampling, a consultation or a demonstration. The call-to-action at the end of the copy will reflect this.

Fourthly, customer testimonials included in the copy should run to more than a sentence or two. They may be pages in length, mini case studies even, and can be appended or linked to the body copy.

Fifthly, facts are what impress, not unsubstantiated superlatives such as revolutionary or state-of-the art. People do however like to know that you’re the leading supplier in your product category. Achieve this by becoming focused and shrinking the scope of the category until you are able to claim this.

Sixth, as in all copywriting, the selling intention should be invisible. You appear to be providing helpful information, while guiding the reader towards the next logical step in the process.

Seventh, a written guarantee should always be included. This won’t necessarily be a money-back pledge, but will promise that all steps will be taken to ensure a successful implementation of the product or service.

Eighth, industrial copywriting doesn’t dispense with an enticing offer. A sweetener is just as important as in consumer copy. It’s a sort of thank-you gift in advance. The offer also needs to be time-limited to impart urgency.

Finally, test your copy, modify it, test again. The missive may not spill blood the first time. This principle doesn’t change just because you’re writing about industrial products.

Peter J Mills is an awarded writer and principal of WordMills, an industrial PR/marketing consultancy. Contact him via www.wordmills.com or 02 9966 8300.

 

Related news & editorials

  1. Brendan O'Connor, Shadow Minister for Defence and former Shadow Minister for Industry and Innovation.
    01.03.2021
    01.03.2021
    by      In , In
    Since I last wrote for Industry Update Manufacturing Magazine there have been some significant changes to my role within the Federal Labor Party. 
    In January I changed portfolios to become the Shadow Minister for Defence and Ed Husic has now become the Shadow Minister for Industry and Innovation. ... Read More
  2. Kim Carr, former Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
    01.03.2021
    01.03.2021
    by      In , In
    As Australian industry clicks back into gear after the lockdowns and disruption of 2020, it is important to reflect on the way the pandemic has changed the way we are governed.
    Governments have played a vital role in suppressing community transmission of Covid-19, thereby making a safe return to... Read More
  3. Scott Philbrook, ANZ Managing Director, RS Components
    24.02.2021
    24.02.2021
    by      In , In , In
    Covid-19 seriously disrupted supply chains throughout industry worldwide. Scott Philbrook, Managing Director RS Components Australia, explains today’s necessity for supply chain resilience and continuity.
    The Institute of Supply Management reported that in March, at the start of the pandemic, 75%... Read More
  4. Sales used to be an outside activity
    09.02.2021
    09.02.2021
    by      In
    Most executives think of sales as an outside activity.
    Justin Roff-Marsh claims that it isn’t and that it hasn’t been for at least 15 years.
    Furthermore, he argues that if you design your sales function based upon the assumption that sales is an outside activity, you will seriously handicap the... Read More
Products
Suppliers