Why must you know your audience when writing content?
To give an answer to this question, you need to first understand why in the first place you are writing a particular blog post, web page, or landing page.
You are writing to serve the need of someone.
Whom are you talking to?
Why should they listen to you?
What words and search terms do they use when talking about or searching for your business?
What common questions do they have?
Successful content writing takes an audience-centric approach
It may be difficult to do extensive research on your audience before every content writing project, but you can do a little bit of study or questioning to at least find out for whom you are writing.
I will give you the example of this blog post.
I’m writing this for people who are looking for the importance of defining an audience when writing content.
I am also writing for people who are simply researching for their own blog post, or would like to link to my blog post when referring to information present here.
Am I targeting people who need to hire a content writer?
Maybe indirectly, but not directly.
People looking for a content writer may not search for how to write content for a carefully selected audience, unless their awareness level of content writing is an entirely at a different height.
This University of Maryland article makes very nice suggestions about selecting your audience and then modifying your communication accordingly.
Suppose you have a car accident. It was a minor accident, but an accident, nonetheless.
You tell your parents about the accident – you may tell them differently.
You may tell your friends about the same incident a bit differently.
What about the insurance company?
What details are you going to skip or include?
Will you tell these different categories of people your story in the same order or different order?
Obviously, the narration will be different.
Email can be another example.
The season’s greetings that you send to your customers and clients are completely different from the greetings that you send to your cousins and siblings.
The point is, whenever you are communicating, you are communicating to a certain audience.
The same is true for content writing.
When you are writing content, you need to modify it based on your audience.
When you are writing content, you cannot please everyone.
If you try to please everyone, you please no one.
Therefore, you need to narrow down your audience.
Select that one person for whom you are going to write.
In content writing terminology it is called “defining persona”.
How to target the right audience for writing content?
There can be different types of audience based on
- Marital status
- Social background
- Health status
- Professional background
Understandably, you can just imagine the traits of your audience.
You may need to check out different data sources such as
- User feedback
- Customer surveys
- Internal customer database
- Third-party analytics tools
- Onboarding and exit interviews
- Your own research.
Suppose you have designed a health app.
You want to write lots of blog posts and articles about the benefits of using the mobile app.
But you want to target only those people who stopped going to the gym in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak.
Even when things are back to normal, they don’t seem to be able to catch up with their old habit.
You want to make them health-conscious again.
They are lacking the motivation.
They need a psychological and emotional push.
You may have to write your blog posts differently for this set of people.
On the other hand, there are people who are motivated, but are not getting enough time.
They don’t need to be encouraged.
They are simply looking for a solution that would allow them to maintain a good health despite their busy schedule.
For them, your blog posts will sound differently.
The better you can target your audience, the more effective will be your content writing.