Before you write content for your website or ad campaign, it’s vital to know who you are writing for. Every company and every product has a most likely audience. Some audiences include a wide range of people, others a narrow segment of a specific industry. Whatever the case may be for your company, here are some important considerations about your audience that can help shape your copy.
Website content: How old is your audience?
To whittle down who you are talking to, start with an age group. If you’re selling to a younger demographic, contemporary slang can enhance your website’s appeal. But try using the same technique with an older group, and you’ll lose your audience quickly. To determine how old your audience is, review your sales and new clients over the past year — that should give you a ballpark age range to aim your content toward.
Website content: What gender is your audience?
I once designed an ad campaign for urban lofts which were close to Coors Field, Denver’s baseball stadium, and all the pubs and nightlife spots surrounding the ballpark. Even though it was a real estate campaign and classified ads in the real estate section might have worked, I ran in the ads in the sports section of the local newspaper. The response was tremendous and the loft project quickly sold out. Why? Because my research indicated that the most likely prospect to buy one of these lofts would be a male sports fan — the very people reading the sports section of the newspaper.
That’s an example of using information about your prospects’ gender that can make a significant difference in attracting and keeping website visitors. If I’d been marketing a new line of kitchen wares, a section of the newspaper better read by women would have done the trick.
Website content: How educated in your audience?
This is an important component to your website content. A good rule of thumb is to write using a vocabulary at the high school level which will be acceptable to almost anybody visiting your site. If you have a more upscale audience, use a college-level vocabulary. But always bear in mind these words of wisdom from William Strunk Jr. in his must-have book “The Elements of Style”:
“Avoid fancy words. Avoid the elaborate, the pretentious, the coy, and the cute. Don’t be tempted by a twenty-dollar word when there is a ten-center handy, ready and able.”
Follow these three simple tips, and you’ll be well on your way to writing content that will be both familiar and appealing to your website audience.