Your ideal prospective customers are not the only ones who can see your content, especially if you post it in a public place.
If your content is too jargon-heavy, you might miss the chance to reach others audiences that can move your business forward.
Talking Past Valuable Readers
Let’s say you’re writing a case study that tells the story of how you helped make your biggest client more successful. Who’s going to read it?
Potential clients in the target industry, of course.
But other readers could include:
- Prospective employees
- Potential clients in other industries you might not have considered
All of these readers are smart - they just lack the specific knowledge you’d assume of your target customer.
With a little context, you could bring them into the conversation and expand your content’s potential reach.
Reaching Customers You Never Considered
Readers need to connect the subject of the case study to their own business. But for anyone outside the subject's industry, jargon blocks opportunities to see those similarities.
Accessible prose empowers more readers to imagine themselves as your client. Some of these readers may be from industries you never thought to target. Even though you haven’t discovered them, understandable content allows them to discover you.
Even Private Content Has a Broad Potential Audience
Let’s go one step further. Let’s say that your case study will only be a PDF sent directly to target customers. Now you can assume certain baseline knowledge because you know exactly who your audience is. Right?
Not quite. Once again, your audience could be bigger than you think.
What if your target reader passes your PDF to a junior associate who’s still learning the ropes?
What if the PDF lands of the desk of a non-technical boss for approval?
A case study focused only on your target customer may miss the mark with others in the same organization.
Leveling Up Without Dumbing Down
Of course, some industry-specific terms and concepts are unavoidable. In that case, approach them like The New York Times or The Economist.
These great media organizations assume their readers have a high level of general intelligence, but they don’t assume any specialized knowledge.
When introducing a new concept or term, they briefly explain it before proceeding.
Their articles still provide valuable insights to readers who are already subject matter experts. And by adding context, they’re able to make general audiences smarter, too.
To Be Smart, Be Sneaky
Effective explanations don’t have to be obvious - there's a subtle one planted earlier in this article:
Let’s say you’re writing a case study that tells the story of how you helped make your biggest client more successful.
If you already knew the definition of case study, then that explanation wasn't for you. But it probably didn't bother you either.