6 top tips for talking to your audience

Communicating effectively with your audience is absolutely key to making a success of your business. If you and your audience cannot understand each other, you will never be able to make a connection that converts to sales.

Here are some of our top tips on talking to your audience. These apply to written and verbal communication, so keep them in mind the next time you're writing copy for your website or a script for a voice over.

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#1 Identify the audience you want

It sounds obvious, but this step is often overlooked. Identifying your audience is one of the first things every company needs to do. While it’s tempting to try and appeal to EVERYONE, this is impractical. Appealing to everyone will only make your brand boring and vanilla. Instead, it is much better to choose your audience and only try to appeal to them. If you get your communications right, you will have much more success working with a smaller, dedicated audience that’s bought into your brand than a large audience that doesn’t really care about you.

It’s also important to be aspirational. Maybe the audience you have isn’t the audience you really want. You can get the right audience if you communicate with them in the right way - but if you continue to communicate as you do, you will always have the same audience, and maybe that’s not right for your brand.

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#2 Align your beliefs

It’s something we go on about ALL THE TIME, but that’s because it’s really important. In order to make a meaningful connection with your audience, you need to be targeting people who believe what you believe. Your entire brand should scream ‘THIS IS OUR CAUSE!’ and your target audience should be able to immediately make that connection. Think about how Dr Martens communicates with their audience - their whole brand is punk, rebellious and authentic.

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#3 Avoid jargon

Unless your audience is made up of people who have the exact same technical knowledge you do, you need to get rid of all that jargon. This is hard to do if you’re immersed in the technicalities of product development, but it’s essential for bridging that gap between you and your lay audience. Your instinct is to list a load of scientific or technical things that make up your product, but for most people this will mean absolutely nothing. Instead, ask yourself what is the end benefit of that particular technical thing? Why do you use that method? What is the result for the end user?

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#4 Mimic the way they talk

We’re social animals and much of our interactions are based on mimicry. If your audience speaks in a certain way, adopt that method of communication. A person’s speaking habits will depend on age, gender, location, class, education and sub-group. Study their language patterns and get on the same wavelength to get their attention. This isn’t just about tone, but also vocabulary. Each generational group has its own slang and neologisms, so you’ll need to learn to use these.

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#5 Think about word associations

Certain words have certain associations that trigger certain responses, despite being entirely neutral themselves. These associations are ingrained socially and historically, and can work on a subconscious level. A word with a negative association can be enough to put someone off your product without them even realising why. Think about the emotions you want to evoke and be careful when choosing your words.

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#6 Keep it short

Most consumers don’t have time to absorb swathes of information. Keep your communications short, simple and memorable. If you feel like further information is necessary, offer it as an optional download, handout or article.


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