New technology has always forced us to rethink the way we do business—even in the most unexpected industries. 3D printers, for example, use digital models to produce prototypes of anything you can imagine, from shoe designs to furniture to wax castings for jewelry. They’re also used to create resources for high-stakes industries like medicine and engineering. The reality is that there are just as many brands manufacturing 3D printers as there are industrial and commercial applications for these devices.
In fact, there might be too many 3D printing brands for the typical consumer to keep pace with. After all, when a lot of companies you lack brand affinity for offer similar product lineups, how do you choose the one that can best solve your organizational challenges? That’s where the copy comes in.
Use words that command attention
3D printing marketers need to communicate what makes their product lineup uniquely compelling. When they can’t put their products directly in your hands, using words can be the next best thing. We should know: it’s our bread and butter.
Of course, the sharpest copy goes a step further: it shows you a world where the product or service in question becomes an indispensable part of your and your customer’s lives.
Businesses that sell pricey 3D printers thrive off of this kind of meaning-making. After all, who doesn’t have at least one horror story about trying to get an old-fashioned paper printer to work an hour before class starts? Add in a third dimension—plus expensive filaments—and suddenly the need for compelling copy becomes a no-brainer.
Of course, not all words are created equal. While some briefly invite you into a new world, others dig deeper by illuminating their offerings and the broader cultural challenges they aim to solve. This longer-form approach can be useful for bringing in new, top-of-the-funnel prospects, as well as sealing the deal with bottom-of-the-funnel enthusiasts.
Think: eBooks, white papers, and blog posts—just like this one!
Find words to create excitement
Enter Materialise and Nano Dimension, two companies that communicate the virtues of their 3D printing products through head-turning content. Both run blogs that host a wealth of supplementary content, with posts that explore what’s exciting key industry players, where 3D printing technology is headed, and how recent technical advancements can transform specific industries.
Take this post from Materialise, centered around 3D printing’s potential impact on a less-than-obvious industry: sports. Specifically, this post dives into the world of 3D-printed orthotics, or devices that can shape the structural and functional characteristics of human neuromuscular and skeletal systems.
Readers are taken on a journey that begins with CEO Fried Vancraen’s first encounter with 3D printing. You’re regaled with anecdotes about the unique and far-reaching impact of this groundbreaking technology, which has delivered performance benefits, rehabilitation and injury therapy breakthroughs, and higher-quality sporting equipment.
Consider this paragraph on how Materialise’s 3D wearables transform the hearing aids market:
“In the span of two years, Materialise helped to transform the market for hearing aids. Traditionally, these (3D-printed wearables) were shaped by hand, requiring several trips to the specialist for alterations before they were ready for the patient to wear. This process was time-consuming for the customer and labor-intensive for the specialist, but with 3D printing, it became unnecessary. Now, the specialist simply begins with a scan of the ear canal and uses software to design and print a hearing aid customized to fit it — a method adopted for around 99% of cases worldwide.”
The first sentence piques your interest by boldly declaring that Materialise helped revitalize the hearing aids industry. We then discover the problem of outdated hand-crafting procedures impacting both the consumer and specialist experiences, and finally close on how Materialise’s solution completely changed things for the better.
In one fell swoop, this paragraph takes you on a journey from problem to solution—and crucially, you walk away feeling as if Materialise could be an agile and effective balm for your own organization’s challenges.
Crucially, this piece leaves technical specifications by the wayside. The intended audience isn’t programmers or manufacturing engineers—it’s sports scientists and strength coaches who may be technical laymen. But as the story wraps up, you’re treated to an aspirational discussion of the intersection of technology and practically any industry—one that would inspire anybody to become part of its future:
“As far as Bryan is concerned, these examples are merely the tip of an ever-expanding iceberg, and the future of 3D printing is incredibly bright. Whether it’s science, technology, engineering, art, or math, moving from working with 2D to 3D can only bring long-term benefits.”
Here, the writer briefly expands the scope of the piece to show us how 3D printing is an expanding field with a litany of applications. If you work in a non-sports related industry, the orthotics-focused CTA might not resonate with you so much. But the idea that 3D printing could stake a claim in your own company’s future does—and it was only possible to bring readers not interested in sports science to this blog’s finish line thanks to the aspirational copy strategy employed here by Materialise.
Regardless of how much football you played in high school or how quickly you can swim 400 meters, Materialise shows us how a sales director and a cashier alike can benefit from 3D-printed wearables that reorient the body and relieve pain.
Find the right voice
Compare this with Nano Dimension’s more exacting approach to blog posts. This piece teaches readers how to avoid the fiber weave effect in printed circuit boards (PCBs) with 3D printing. Another explains how to overcome PCB insertion loss in mmWave interconnects, a challenge that all chip designers face since insertion loss—the amount of energy a signal loses as it travels—is a naturally occurring phenomenon.
Both go to great lengths to unpack the technical minutiae of their respective subject matter. They’re less about taking you on a ride somewhere you’ve never been, and more about feeding those already in the know facts relevant to the matter at hand.
This approach isn’t a problem, per se. In fact, if you’re an engineer or technology expert, these pieces may be fascinating and enlightening reads. Nano Dimension’s blog content accomplishes what it sets out to do: convince technical people of all backgrounds that it’s a highly competent partner with sophisticated products and services. For its target audience, conversions are likely.
Take it from a team of copywriting experts: both Materialise and Nano Dimension successfully target the audiences they seek. Put another way: both companies know that their content won’t land for everybody, because if that were their objective, it wouldn’t land for anybody. For example, non-technical people may find Nano Dimension’s colder, more calculated copy daunting. An engineer, on the other hand, may prefer that approach—which quickly offers up the cold, hard information they’re after—to Materialise’s simpler, more accessible style.
A medical technology startup found its voice
Ezra uses the latest technology to screen patients for prostate cancer. Unfortunately, its website didn’t match these ambitions—it was too serious, and risked alienating the at-risk patients Ezra was trying to attract. But after approaching MarketSmiths, Ezra soon got a website it could be proud of. Interviewing a number of SMEs, we dug deep into the science of cancer diagnosis—while keeping copy upbeat and approachable. Between that and help with social media and SEO, we’ve helped transform Ezra into one of the most impressive healthcare firms around—and kept their audience safe from the scourge of cancer.
Discover words that redefine branding
Materialise and Nano Dimension cultivate valuable audience connections in their own ways. Their success is no fluke: they know they have the technical chops to develop great products at scale. But they’re also aware that in the business world, what you offer isn’t enough—it’s about how you show it off (and to whom). To that end, both companies deliver thoughtful copy that targets their intended prospects, and then converts them into delighted, committed customers.
If your technical organization needs help bringing your marketing copy to the next dimension, contact the team at MarketSmiths.