If you’ve been on a B2B tech website, you’ve seen this sentence (or a near-identical version of it): “Our product bolsters operational efficiency for your organization through our innovative, cutting-edge software.”
Basically, they’re saying they make stuff better. But what stuff? That sentence doesn’t say what their product actually does. Are they automating manual processes for HR so they can focus on getting new talent in the door? Maybe they’re speeding up the contract review process for attorneys? It’s anyone’s best guess.
As writers, marketers, and professionals, it’s time to get rid of the complexity. This is coming from someone who has used her fair share “maximizing business operations” in headlines to polish off an article. However, speaking plainly is the best way to make your content land with your audience. Here’s why:
The simpler, the better
Research shows that people don’t dig complex language. Not only do they dislike it, they even question people’s overall competence when they use it. Studies have found people think you’re either low-status or less intelligent when you use complex language. They wonder what you’re compensating for. Is it an ego thing? Do you use fancy words because you’re insecure? Worse yet, are you using them because you don’t understand your own point?
Your credibility is everything. You could share life-changing tips for someone, but if they don’t believe in what you’re saying, it’s all moot. Let’s go back to our B2B tech product above. The operational efficiency it provides could transform someone’s daily work, if only that someone actually believed the overly-complicated description. Do yourself and your audience a favor — simplify your content.
Less is more
As a writer, I love words. And, like most writers, it’s tough to get my message across in only so many words (thanks Twitter). But we’re in an era of information overload. The average person
Less is more. People are busy — and their attention spans aren’t what they used to be. Unless your audience is choosing to read Oscar Wilde or Maya Angelou, they want to get to the point. Make it easy for them to experience that “aha” moment.
Simple isn’t easy
This all seems simple enough, right? It’s not. Trust me, I’ve put in the enormous amount of work that goes into creating a single content asset. All of that work is worth it, though, if it sparks a conversation, or best case scenario, a future sale.
So, friends, long story short, speak simply and succinctly. And don’t even get me started on corporate jargon… That’s another article for another time. We’ll circle back on that later.