Does your business really know how to speak to your target audience, or are you in fact doing your business more harm than good by addressing your audience in a language that holds no appeal for them?
Thanks to the internet and social networking sites, it has now become easier than ever to understand your target audience and bring their attention to the latest services and goods that your business may have to offer. For example, countless businesses are now able to take advantage of blogging to communicate with their customers more closely and keep them up-to-date with any news, promotions or products launches that your business may have to offer.
Having said this, how can you really know if your blog or business is really speaking to your audience? If you are not taking care to truly understand your target market and speak to them in a language that they appreciate then you may be damaging yourself in the following ways:
Thankfully, you will be relieved to learn that as a result of social media, finding and applying a language that will appeal to your audience can be easy. Because of this you will soon have refined your writing craft to use words and language that will keep your audiences hanging from your every word.
Until then, here are six of our top tips on how to use social media to the advantage of your blog writing skills.
The only way that you are ever going to get through to your audience, inspire, inform or even entertain them is if you truly understand and know just exactly who you are addressing.
Possibly the simplest and cheapest way to conduct research on your target audience and observe the popular language and terms that they use is to observe what is being said on the social media websites. From Twitter and Facebook to Google+, these social media sites are a goldfield of keywords and popular terms, all of which are right there for the taking in the form of tweets and comments.
When you are hoping to gain a deeper understanding of your audience, why not follow some of their blogs? Popular blogs within your target audience’s community will help you to familiarise yourself with the current hot topics being discussed and will further enable you to explore the language of choice for the majority of bloggers within your chosen niche.
Forums and reviews can also be greatly beneficial for finding out more about your target audience. By searching for relevant forums within your industry, you can take a peek at the most commonly asked questions and trending topics amongst search users – study their language and take note of what interests them most, some of the most commonly asked questions could be used as inspiration for a successful blog post of your own.
The age-old marketing technique used by countless businesses when they want to learn more about their audience, is to conduct interviews. By choosing to carry out interviews with those that you would consider to be your ‘target audience’ you can gather information on what interests them the most, what they already think of your current service or brand and more importantly – the language that they use to convey these needs.
Social media sites will help you to write more targeted blog posts, however, they should be used alongside alternative and more conventional audience research methods such as interviews, as these tried and tested methods should always function as the backbone of your research.
Whether you opt to conduct your interviews in person, on the phone or even by email, you should always take care to do the following:
Thanks to social media sites such as Twitter, it is easier than ever to pinpoint the latest trends and topics to be circulating amongst your audience. Finding out what is currently trending can be incredibly quick and simple – search trending hash tags on twitter and you will discover all of the latest topics within your industry that are taking your target market by storm.
The inside information that social sites such as Twitter can provide you with is truly invaluable, as in the click of a mouse you will find all of the words, topics and phrases being used by your audience, right there for you to browse and study at your own leisure.
Overused buzzwords and clichés should have no place in your blog post if you are hoping to communicate effectively with your target market – so why let them slip into your videos and images? It doesn’t matter how you decide to interact with your audience and customers; be it through a blog post, a ‘how to’ instructional video or through posted images, you should take care to avoid falling into the trap of using the same old buzzwords and ineffective language that you have decided to banish from your blog posts.
The negative impact of cliché or untargeted photos and videos can often go unnoticed by bloggers; however, they can be just as detrimental to your relationship with your clients as a badly written blog post. Therefore, before you next go to upload a photo or video to your blog, try to think of any stock photography or videos as buzzwords or cliché language – i.e. bad for business.
Stock images and videos are ineffective for several reasons;
Sometimes it can be all too easy to overlook the very people on your own team who may be able to offer you the most valuable information of all. Consider all of the people within your business who are on the front line when it comes to dealing with clients and customers, and on a daily basis – they will know better than most what it is that gets your customers ticking and will be well rehearsed in the language of your target audience.
From your sales reps to customer services reps, social media reps to retail reps; sit down with them all one-by-one and gather from them as much information as you possibly can on the language that they have personally developed to effectively communicate with the people that they come into contact with. Do they know what resonates with your audience? What popular phrases are currently being used? Can they offer any suggestions on what your customers are talking about the most?
Once you have spoken in depth to your team you will most likely be shocked at the tremendous wealth of information that you already had, right at your very fingertips! Using the feedback that you have collected, you might then like to create a marketing guide, summarising what you have learnt about communicating with customers. It would then be useful to provide all members of staff with a copy, to ensure that everyone is kept abreast of the new language that is being implemented when addressing customers.
After you have devised a new plan of action, you and your team can focus on moving forward and writing only in the newly recognised language of your audience.
To ensure that all buzzwords, clichés and outdated language is eliminated from any forms of writing used for your business, you should take care to edit and clear all of the jargon from the following pages:
As you can see, uncovering what your audience talks about the most and pinpointing how they say it, can be incredibly easy – thanks to social media. Thankfully, when you take the time to come to understand your audience that little bit better and learn to speak their language, writing compelling and interesting blogs that your audience will enjoy will become easier and easier.
However, no matter how well you may come to know your audience, it is important to remember that the only thing you can expect with certainty from your audience is that they will change. Therefore, be sure to not become complacent and take continual action to remain up-to-date with the latest happenings and language to preoccupy your target market.
Keep your eyes and ears open to your customers at all times and your business will go from strength to strength.