Write, Edit and Repeat – 10 Tips for Telling a Story without writing a STORY.
As veterans of high tech for – hate to say this – 20+ years, we’ve been bombarded with a ridiculous amount of jargon and acronyms to last a lifetime. Sadly, as marketers, we confess to using them as well -- from "innovative and robust" and "fully-integrated," to "enterprise grade" and "customer centricity" (that one hurt).
Don’t get us started on the acronyms too, such as ATM (not the money kind), CPC, GIGO and PIP (to name but a few). Then, there are combinations of words like Internet of Things (IOT)and Native Advertising, and some that just sound like an eight-year old made them up…’viewability’, ‘diarizing’ and ‘zerotasking.’ Go ahead and Google those….we’ll wait.
Ok, so now that we’ve gotten that off our collective chests, let’s get to the point. How do you tell a story without writing a STORY.
1. Probably the first step is the hardest…start with a clear idea of what you want to write about. Whether it’s a white paper or a blog, you need an objective. And this will help with the wordy wandering.
2. Ditch the words, especially the big ones, which have snuck in from your professional or technical jargon. Be really, really careful about the buzzwords of the day. Be selective.
3. Nuke anything that could be replaced by “ya-da-ya-da-ya-da.” (We stole that one!)
4. Wield that red pen with a purpose. Edit the adjectives and adverbs. Do they help readers understand what you’re saying? Reduce, refine or remove.
5. If you can say things in one sentence, rather than five, then by all means use ONE.
6. Pretend you are being charged money for each word you write.
7. Think about how you would tweet your content.
8. Replace longer descriptions with links for the relatively few people who want more information.
9. Make sure that the facts and figures you include support the most important ideas. The more clutter you clear, the more brilliantly your diamonds will shine.
10. Never, ever try to word to a certain word length. Just because the space is there, you don’t have to use it. Minimalism at its finest. Remember that most people will focus on the introduction and not read to the end.