I read a piece of B2B content yesterday. Well I tried to read it.
The content writer was obviously well-educated and had tried to be clever in how they presented key points but instead had made the piece inaccessible.
It was already a technical topic but was peppered with historical references to illustrate what they were trying to say.
References that didn’t mean anything to me and had to look up.
I was so busy trying to work out the historical references I ended up not really understanding the points the content writer was trying to make.
The thing is, if your audience finds your B2B content difficult to read and understand, there is a good chance they will probably throw in the towel rather than persevere.
Or if they don’t get a particular refererence, they may misunderstand your point.
Using unfamiliar references can also alienate your audience, which is the opposite of what you want.
Your copy may even give a whiff of showing off or sound slightly smug and knowing.
Encourage reader engagement
None of which is particularly good for encouraging reader engagement.
If your target audience is engineers with a love of medieval literature, then fine, reference The Wife of Bath (Chaucer) in a piece about designing steel supports for large glass feature windows.
But if the majority of your audience don’t have a penchant for old English fiction, then it’s probably best to leave Chaucer on the bookshelf.
You could explain the reference if it’s easy to do so, but only if it doesn’t hugely detract from the flow of the piece.Continue reading “Is your B2B content alienating your readers?”