Has this ever happened to you?
You’re watching a movie with your significant other. This time around, it was there turn to pick the movie. And the movie they chose was OK by you.
But 2 minutes in, it hits you. This movie is going to suck. And everything around you begins to call to you. Your phone, your tablet, even your laundry… Because the movie you’re watching is so dreadfully dull.
Why is that?
The movie isn’t for you.
You’re not the target audience.
And because you’re not the target, you’re impervious to any happenings in the film.
Now, take this mindset, and apply it to anything you write relating to marketing.
Why You Must Know Your Audience When Writing
Like a movie, writing is content.
And for content to click, it has to resonate with the audience.
But people are different. Someone who likes The Terminator probably isn’t into Chocolat.
Which makes complete sense, because different people have different tastes.
But as a content marketer, you have to understand the tastes of your audience. AKA your customers.
So, how can you do that? Let’s break it down.
Work Off Your Known Target Personas
When you’re writing content, start from the ground up.
Look at your target persona(s) alongside your content topic, and think “how can I communicate these concepts in a manner that my reader will:
For this blog, I know the audience is most likely a marketer who is writing blog posts, social media updates, or some other form of marketing content.
And because content marketers are writers themselves, they’ll enjoy a conversational piece, with a bit of storytelling, and a logical process.
Because I’m a content marketer writing for other content marketers, I have an advantage.
I read the same content they do. So I can stand on the shoulders or giants like Copyblogger, CMI, and other content marketing publications for inspiration and technique.
But you may not have the luxury. So here are a few things you can do.
Look at What Your Target Persona Is Sharing
You may not have the same luxury as me, but you do have a target persona. And a desire to create epic content readers will love.
And one way you can tap into that is to look at what your customers are sharing. What types of blog posts, white papers, videos are they promoting on their social channels?
Be a Fly On The Wall In Forums
A forum is where your audiences hang out online. And it’s informal in nature, so you can get a great sense of what appeals to your them.
Analyze Writing Styles
After homing in on what your audiences prefer to read, start to analyze.
The first is to look at individual posts. And you can do this using Pagezii’s Chrome Extension. Here’s how:
Let’s say your target audience is sharing my SEO Keyword Strategy post.
You use Pagezii’s Chrome Extension to analyze the page, on the spot.
And Pagezii tells you the post is categorized as “Broadcaster”.
But what’s this, you ask?
So, you go ahead and click on the broadcaster icon and land on the Reader Profile Knowledge Base article.
And in this article, you learn how Pagezii categorizes writing style based on content complexity and reading ease.
He’s a quick run-down using the Reader Profile Matrix:
You now have a better idea of how to write for your audience. Based on a piece of content your audience loves, you can assume they prefer an easy-to-read piece of content with simple concepts.
And remember how I said I’m able to stand on the shoulders of giants? Well, you can too. If you want Reader Profile analysis for an entire blog, just run a Pagezii’s Blog Pulse Report. It will analyze a blog’s recent content and categorize every post into a specific Reader Profile. See how it works in this quick webinar tutorial:
And with that, you now know what style of writing appeals to your audience.
Now, It’s Time To Write
You”re thinking of your target audience and you know what writing styles resonate with them…
So, start writing. And always remember to keep your audience in mind while you do. This is going to increase engagement, build thought leadership, and convert prospects into customers.
Do you have any other tips you’d include when writing for your audience? Share them in the comments below.