Some people believe you have to “dumb down” your content so that everyone can read and understand it. But that’s a myth. Your audience matters. Who they are, the problems they have, and what they want to know matters. You can’t write FOR your audience until you identify who they are and figure out what they want to know.
Identify Your Audience
Identifying your audience will take some research on your part. Research is necessary in order to learn who your audience is, know what they do, and discover what interests them.
To identify your audience, take some time to consider who your audience is and what they want from you. These tips will help:
- Pay attention to and listen to their questions. What questions are they asking?
- Interact with your audience. Ask them what they need and want.
- Analyze your web metrics. Google Analytics will help you figure out what people are looking for when they visit your website:
• What pages do people visit most?
• Where do people spend the most time?
• What are the top search phrases that people use?
Write FOR Your Audience
Your audience matters. And the best way to write FOR your audience is to write from their perspective, to put yourself in their shoes. Keeping your audience’s perspective in mind while you write helps you decide what to write and how to write it FOR them.
It’s easy to forget that you are actually writing to someone when writing for your audience. To keep yourself from forgetting this, write your content as though you are writing or speaking to them in person, as though they are sitting across the table from you. Pretend you are looking at them as you write.
Let me illustrate. Imagine you’re writing to two people about your stay at a nearby bed and breakfast, a neighbor, and your best friend. What details and stories would you share with your neighbor whom you don’t really know? What would you share with your best friend? Is there something that you should leave out when writing to your neighbor? What about your best friend? Can you see how writing TO someone you know and enjoy sharing information with would affect the content, structure, and tone of your letter?
One more thing …
Once you identify who your audience is, don’t write for anyone other than your audience. For example, don’t write for 5th-grade students if your audience is HVAC customers, soccer moms, or homebuyers or sellers. And the best way to write for your audience is with a story. Tell them what they need and want to know in the form of a story.
If you don’t know where to start, contact us. We will help you identify and write for your audience. If you’re a storytelling pro who already knows how to identify and write for your audience, please share your favorite tip in the comments below.