B2B Content Hall of Fame: making dry subjects engaging at Air Charter Service

Technical writing doesn’t have to be dry and academic. Nick explains how Air Charter Service makes a niche product accessible to a broad audience.

B2B Content Hall of Fame: making dry subjects engaging at Air Charter Service

Aviation. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but for my turn nominating a piece for the Radix B2B Content Hall of Fame I just had to focus on a 2017 blog post from Air Charter Service.

Bear with me. Because Private Jets of World Leaders perfectly encapsulates how to make a niche product accessible and less intimidating to a wider audience.

What’s more, the blog’s full of plane-pedantry. *Rubs hands*

So here’s why I think it’s a truly great piece of content, and why it works on so many levels. Buckle-up.

Leaders and dictators: they’re just so this year

Take a moment to consider the past 12 months – eventful huh? And at the centre of most stories in the news is a fearless leader, despot, or a mixture both.

Whatever your political views, they’re undeniably captivating. They’re megastars in the world’s most convincing (and terrifying) soap opera. And the way they go about their unusual, high-security lives is – for most people – fascinating.

Take Trump’s Presidential inauguration in 2017. Among the sea of general reporting, there were some interesting articles that surfaced about Air Force One (actually the call sign for the President when he’s airborne, but it generally refers to his aircraft). And even “the Football” (the briefcase containing the nuclear launch codes which never leaves the President’s side).

This is all really interesting stuff. And for me, it broke the monotony of reporting and speculation. But more importantly, people actually learn something about how their democracy works, without feeling like they’re cramming for a test.

So using world leaders as an window into aircraft chartering, is in my opinion, a stroke of genius. And a really effective way of turning a potentially dull subject into excitement, coupled with current affairs.

Missile detection systems? That’s James Bond stuff

So when the writer put Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, and Xi Jinping at the start of the blog, this was no accident. These fun-loving chaps are regularly in the news – almost like a boy band or super-group. Except Boyzone never had weapons of mass destruction…

[Um, have you *heard* “Love Me for a Reason” lately? – Ed]

But seriously, give your tech a human or emotional side, it’s guaranteed to grab attention.

When you’re talking about a leader’s plane for instance, you’re not going to bang on about the size of Trump’s 747, because after all, it’s just a converted airliner. But what you are going to talk about are the anti-missile systems, and the fact it doubles-up as a flying White House during a crisis.

That’s where the key to truly engaging content lies. Tell people something different about a common product – and crucially – something they didn’t previously know.

Close-guarded secrets are fascinating

And it’s at that point where you really draw people in.

If you give people well-researched facts or information they didn’t previously know, or that you really had to dig deep for (like detailed insights), it’ll compel them to read to the very end.

I mean, why does Angela Merkel need a soundproofed negotiation room onboard her Airbus A340-313X VIP? We may never know. But as someone with an interest in aviation, that nugget of information compelled me to find out more, even if it was a quick scan of Wikipedia.

Some people love a chassis number

And some people don’t.

So before you start writing, you need to decide who your content is for. For example, you could write an entire blog post containing acronyms, technical language, and product numbers. But if you’re target audience aren’t engineers or developers, it’ll fail to captivate, no matter how good your writing.

Likewise, if you produce a high-level overview when your audience are product experts, engineers, or general techies, you’ll likely be telling them what they already know and will come across as patronising.

In the case of this piece, they’ve aimed it at quite a high-level audience, presumably to make it easily shareable on social media.

And guess what? That’s exactly how I found it.

Technical writing: it doesn’t need to be dry and boring

Sometimes technical writing needs to be on the less interesting side of content marketing. Indeed, it’s often one of the best ways to get across incredibly in-depth subjects in the most efficient way.

But that’s not to say some of it can’t be fun and engaging. In fact, in a world of content noise that’s notoriously difficult to break through, having a quirky twist on a serious subject may just be the thing that gets your writing noticed.

In the case of Air Charter Service, they’ve clearly realised that writing content solely about their product won’t necessarily attract the attention of their big-bucks target market.

But throw in some tongue-in-cheek current affairs? You’re onto a winner.

Can I make my tech writing fun and engaging?

Of course you can – we’re dab-hands at making tech copy stand out. If you want something special and out of the ordinary, head over to the rest of our blog for more copywriting tips.


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