Stop Writing Above Your Audience’s Head

3 Ways To Improve Your Voice and Message

Writing above your audience’s head

  • How To Use Design Thinking To Inspire Success
  • How Design Thinking Can Save Your Company
  • What Does The Design Thinking Process Look Like?

 

What do all three of these titles have in common? They assume you know (and care) about design thinking. And if you don’t know what design thinking means (apart from being an adjective + noun combination), then you probably won’t care what the article has to say.

These are actual titles we used at the beginning of our blogging days. We had some success with the articles, but not the kind that we’d been looking for. Why? Because the people clicking on the articles weren’t potential clients. And that’s who we’d been writing for.

We had a disconnect between our intended audience and our actual audience. Since then, we’ve analyzed our mistake and figured out how to prevent it in the future. We do this by asking this one question:

What language does your audience speak?

We’re not talking about languages like English, Spanish, and Japanese (though this is a very important, if obvious, point). We are talking about things like your audience’s:

  • technical knowledge or “lingo” level
  • level of professionalism
  • generation

Knowing these three things will help you make your content more interesting, accessible, and impactful for your audience, whether they are potential clients, other professionals in your industry, or another party.

Let’s look at why these three factors are so important.

Technical knowledge or “lingo” level

The reason why our articles didn’t work out the way we’d intended was because we were assuming people knew what “design thinking” meant. What we missed was the fact that if a reader already knew what “design thinking” meant, then the content of the article would have been too basic for them. Because they weren’t our target audience. They weren’t who we were trying to reach.

The people we were trying to reach (managers and CEOs) don’t care what the name of the methodology is. They care what it does. They care about the ROI, the logistics, the implications, and the results.

Know what technical knowledge your audience has so that you can make your content accessible. Know what kind of “lingo” they use on a regular basis so that you can be understandable. Also know the kind of language that they won’t understand so you can explain things in a different way.

Level of professionalism

This one can be a hard decision. You want to be true to yourself and your voice. But you also want to reach your target audience in a way they are comfortable with.

If your audience consists of banking CEOs, then you probably don’t want to say things like “Hey man, what’s up?” This applies to your content as well. Your content won’t sound very good if you try and write in a voice that is radically different than your own (unless you are an experienced copywriter and can pull it off).

Look for the balance between your natural voice and your target audience’s natural voice for your content.

Generation

Knowing what generation your target audience is very important because it gives you an idea of their values. This is important if you are making assumptions about problems they see and solutions they want.

For example, if we are trying to sell social media marketing, then we will have to go about it in very different ways for traditionalists, baby boomers, generation x, and of course millennials. What is more than obvious for millennials isn’t for the others. If you are focusing on social media benefits, things like loyalty will appeal more to traditionalists, efficiency to baby boomers, and adaptability to generation x.

Study your target generation and appeal to their values.

Speak your audience’s language

Considering who our target audience is (CEOs and managers), we can rewrite our titles.

  • How To Use Design Thinking To Inspire Success → Creativity, Problem Solving, And Collaboration Are The Most Important Ingredients For Success
  • How Design Thinking Can Save Your Company → Working For Your Customer’s Success Will Bring Your Company Prosperity
  • What Does The Design Thinking Process Look Like? → 5 Steps That Will Revolutionize Your Products, Services, and Brand

Now those titles are much more appealing for our target audience. They don’t use vocabulary that our audience doesn’t know. And they focus on values that our audience also values. They speak our reader’s language. And they’ll be much more successful.

About Pixel506

Pixel506 is a digital marketing, user experience, and software development company that specializes in combining these three crucial components into digital solutions that improve, elevate, and grow your company. We’re all about finding the right solution that will bring your company the most value.

Technical knowledge or “lingo” level

The reason why our articles didn’t work out the way we’d intended was because we were assuming people knew what “design thinking” meant. What we missed was the fact that if a reader already knew what “design thinking” meant, then the content of the article would have been too basic for them. Because they weren’t our target audience. They weren’t who we were trying to reach.

The people we were trying to reach (managers and CEOs) don’t care what the name of the methodology is. They care what it does. They care about the ROI, the logistics, the implications, and the results.

Know what technical knowledge your audience has so that you can make your content accessible. Know what kind of “lingo” they use on a regular basis so that you can be understandable. Also know the kind of language that they won’t understand so you can explain things in a different way.

Level of professionalism

This one can be a hard decision. You want to be true to yourself and your voice. But you also want to reach your target audience in a way they are comfortable with.

If your audience consists of banking CEOs, then you probably don’t want to say things like “Hey man, what’s up?” This applies to your content as well. Your content won’t sound very good if you try and write in a voice that is radically different than your own (unless you are an experienced copywriter and can pull it off).

Look for the balance between your natural voice and your target audience’s natural voice for your content.

Generation

Knowing what generation your target audience is very important because it gives you an idea of their values. This is important if you are making assumptions about problems they see and solutions they want.

For example, if we are trying to sell social media marketing, then we will have to go about it in very different ways for traditionalists, baby boomers, generation x, and of course millennials. What is more than obvious for millennials isn’t for the others. If you are focusing on social media benefits, things like loyalty will appeal more to traditionalists, efficiency to baby boomers, and adaptability to generation x.

Study your target generation and appeal to their values.

Speak your audience’s language

Considering who our target audience is (CEOs and managers), we can rewrite our titles.

  • How To Use Design Thinking To Inspire Success → Creativity, Problem Solving, And Collaboration Are The Most Important Ingredients For Success
  • How Design Thinking Can Save Your Company → Working For Your Customer’s Success Will Bring Your Company Prosperity
  • What Does The Design Thinking Process Look Like? → 5 Steps That Will Revolutionize Your Products, Services, and Brand

Now those titles are much more appealing for our target audience. They don’t use vocabulary that our audience doesn’t know. And they focus on values that our audience also values. They speak our reader’s language. And they’ll be much more successful.

About Pixel506

Pixel506 is a digital marketing, user experience, and software development company that specializes in combining these three crucial components into digital solutions that improve, elevate, and grow your company. We’re all about finding the right solution that will bring your company the most value.

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