Three reasons why marketers write the worst technical blogs

Has this ever happened to you?


Your sales engineers promise to write a series of blog posts. Yet you have to constantly chase them to deliver. Time and again they push you off, citing important customer requests that surely take priority. You don’t want to be too pushy for fear of alienating them forever. On the other hand, you are already three posts behind on your editorial calendar.


This is the harsh reality of content marketing to product designers. You can’t get the sales engineers to write the content. In situations like this, which has been faced by basically every marketer ever, you may be tempted to write a few blog posts yourself. After all, how hard can it be?


Don’t do it.


Here are three reasons why not:


Reason one: Unless you came from the product team, you are short on technical knowledge


There are a lot of things that marketers are good at. But let’s face it, we aren’t software developers and we aren’t engineers. We went to business school. We are really good at building marketing funnels and editorial calendars. But most marketers don’t deeply understand exactly how their customers use their products. Let’s say you are a marketer for an engineering software vendor. Do you have that software installed on your desktop? Have you used it to design a product? I didn’t think so.


And without that deep technical knowledge, you will be hard pressed to convey exactly how your product fits into an application story. You won’t truly understand what the customer’s life was like before your product, or how big a deal a seemingly small enhancement can be. You can get close to the right answer, but you won’t hit the bullseye, and without that connection to your audience, your efforts will fall short.


Reason two: You love the product too much


Marketers get enthused about new product releases. They are excited about how customers can use their products to solve their challenges. However, they often aren’t well aware of the other ways that a prospect might solve that same problem. I’m not talking about competitive solutions. I’m talking about completely different solutions that aren’t even in your product category. Without that empathy, marketers often resort to publishing features and attributes of their products, sometimes with a competitive feature table. Those stories are about as interesting as reading a brochure.
The right sorts of stories start from your prospect’s perspective. What problem have they encountered and how are they going to fix it? Your product plays only a supporting role in this kind of story. Marketers have a very strong tendency to make the story all about the product. In this way, they get it backwards. The hero of the story needs to be the prospect, not the product.


Reason three: You are not an author


Marketers, particularly in technical environments, tend to write in a very matter-of-fact way. They surrender their voice to “business speak” because they are afraid to be themselves. It may be the corporate culture, or it may be a fear that the sales engineers who will proof read your story won’t appreciate your pop-culture references. Whatever the reason, the marketers who write for product design audiences tend to dehumanize their stories rather than making them fun, interesting reads.


And that is a shame, because boring writing doesn’t get read.


What’s a marketer to do?


So that’s why you shouldn’t write your own blog posts. And since you can’t get the sale engineers to write them either, where do you turn?
There are lots of technical marketing agencies who earn their living by creating excellent and readable technical blogs. Many of them do great work for $1,500 per post or less.


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