In marketing, many businesses make the mistake of assuming that all audiences and broader target demographics are the same. However, much like in life, people of different age ranges and walks tend to have varying wants and needs. And with that it mind, it stands to reason that the attention of your target audience can live or die by the way in which you communicate with them. So, when targeting a specific demographic, it’s vital to know your audience.
Consequently, the ability to adapt your writing style to a specific audience is an invaluable tool for a skilled copywriter. If you keep that flexibility in mind across multiple audience types, you can keep your business or client at the forefront of your work. In turn, this leads to better brand awareness, more conversions, and stronger customer relationships.
Here are some of the ways in which you can adapt your copywriting style to accomplish these goals.
Research Your Audience
As a copywriter, putting in effort and doing some research should be a given regardless of your target demographic. Putting yourself in the shoes of your readers is a hugely effective way of understanding who they are. But it also helps determine what they want and how you can adapt your writing style to captivate them.
Persuasive writing that inspires actions and emotions within your audience needs deep and thorough research into the sex, age range and career hopes of the people you’re aiming to talk to. With that research comes insights into how to add the right tone and language to your pieces. And this, in turn adds more depth to your work.
Study Your Competitors
There’s nothing wrong with learning from the best. So, compiling a list of top-performing competitors within the industry you’re targeting can be an extremely effective way of finding common patterns and themes within the content itself. After all, one of the best ways to know your audience is to understand the content others are already successfully offering them.
For example, if you’re writing a page about Making Tax Digital initiatives, and it’s a subject that other businesses have also been writing about as of late, you can analyze the highest-ranking pages on the SERPs to gain a better understanding of what makes that content so effective.
Of course, originality is key, especially for those who have just started content or copywriting. So, always be sure to use this as a template and not something that you should imitate in any way.
Be Self-Critical and Challenge Your Work
While it’s important to study strong web pages and blogs, it’s also vital to keep a critical eye when it comes to evaluating your own work. Especially when what matters most is that it suits your audience and achieves its goals.
Throughout each draft, keep those core goals, principles, and audience mindset at the forefront of what you create. Attempt to read your work from the perspective of this target consumer and ask yourself some important questions:
- Does this content get to the point?
- Can you sum up the point or goal of your content in one sentence?
- Does it focus on a commonly experienced problem within the industry?
- If so, does it establish the product or service offered as the solution to these problems?
- Does the content actually suit the desired audience?
These questions can be a huge benefit to your content and help shape it into a strong piece of work that nails its objective and flows well.
Watch Your Language
This point is especially important for copywriters who work in one specific industry and write about it on a daily basis. Like all writers, sometimes habits can form that you are completely unaware of. Despite the best of intentions, this can lead to confusion and a lack of engagement with your audience. Suddenly, without even knowing why, you’ve potentially missed out on a lot of new business.
In other words, always be careful that the words you’re using are accurate, informative, and to the point. Why say, “Our punctuality knows no bounds and our gregarious band of merry subordinates shall stop at nothing to ensure your insatiable appetite for our goods is sated”? Instead, something like, “Our fast and friendly staff will deliver your goods on time, every time” says the exact same thing.
Industry-heavy jargon can put some consumers right off the idea of your business, while others may love to hear creative and poetic language that describes each and every last detail. However, this cannot happen unless you know your audience. It all comes down to a deep understanding of your readers. And, if you’ve put in the research, that should be crystal clear before placing a single finger onto your keyboard.
Tone of Voice Is Key
It doesn’t matter how many times you read over your work or how much you like that incredible opening sentence. Because if it isn’t fitting with the tone of your target audience, it may as well be a blank page. Much like missing a typo or a huge grammatical error, the wrong tone can completely undo all that hard work and leave your content in the dust as readers move on to another website or blog.
As a writer who is proud and passionate about what you put out into the world, it’s easy to let that passion run a little too wild. When that happens, it’s not uncommon for the tone and the overall goals of the content to become lost in translation. Nonetheless, one of the most important parts of writing for different audiences is being able to look at your own work and know when you’re writing well but not necessarily writing well for the people you want to get the attention of.
Remember – there is a difference between a great piece of writing and a piece of writing that serves its purpose. That’s not to say you cannot achieve both of these things in your work. In fact, that should always be your goal. But it does mean that you may need to reign in or add some more urgency to your content, depending on the audience in question. Yet again, you can only guess at the correct tone to employ if you don’t first know your audience.
Adapting your writing style to accomplish different goals within various sets of demographics is the key to gaining more readers. And admittedly, it can sometimes be difficult to know your audience. However, it helps maintain a strong relationship with your readers and showcases your brand as an industry thought leader.
But in order to make the most of these benefits and gain conversions from those readers, you’ll need to have the open-mindedness and empathy to step into their shoes and know how to captivate and lead them toward your content. With this effective combination of clear goals and strong insights into the audience and their respective needs, you’ll cultivate content that’s as effective and appropriate to them.
Aislinn Carter is a freelance writer living in Hallandale, Florida. She has extensive writing experience covering a number of different verticals including tech & business.