How To Adjust Your Language To A Target Audience

How do you know when your blog post or a social media message has reached your target audience?

When they leave a comment on your blog page or any of the SM accounts you may have?

When they buy your product or service?

Or do you just throw whatever you are selling out there and hope for the best?

If you want to have a successful line of communication with potential or existing customers, the first thing you need to do is know your brand.

(If you want to see why it’s essential to create your brand’s tone of voice, read one of our previous blog posts.)

The second thing — understand who they are.

“If you want to create messages that resonate with your audience, you need to know what they care about.” — Nate Elliott, Marketing Technology Advisor

The man has a point. I mean, when you know your target audience, when you understand them, you are on solid ground. From there it’s just the matter of giving them what they want in a way they will appreciate the most.

Take a look at this ad:

It’s a straightforward ad — short, but quite effective, simply because the seller knows their audience. For men of the larger constitution who do manual labor and need flexibility, (like plumbers or construction workers), it’s a good idea to buy jeans like these.

Why?

Well, if not for themselves (in the interest of avoiding singing soprano), then to prevent flashing unsuspecting clients while diving under the sink or passers-by when crouching to do something or other at ground level. No one wants to see that!

Yet, knowing your target audience is a job half done. In that sense, you need to familiarize yourself with your intended demographic based on their:

1) Gender
2) Age
3) Social status
4) Life cycle
5) Occupation
6) Income
7) Generation

Now all you need to do is deliver your message the right way. Duluth Trading knows who they want to sell this particular product to — men, visual creatures — and so, they don’t dilute the message by talking too much. They recreate a simple situation that is easy to relate to (Kind of what we are doing right now, isn’t it?).

This is the approach you should adopt when doing your own version of digital marketing. Also, it’s just one example of how you can adjust the way you use language in your ads.

The existence of visual language is not the absence of language in general.

What’s more, certain groups in your target audience will appreciate it more than anything else. Do you know who I mean?

Well, a beautiful picture will generally leave a good impression on anyone, but the younger population will definitely notice the absence of one. Members of Generation Z cannot imagine their day without photographing moments they want to share with others and have them join in on the celebration of something dear to their hearts.
So, a sure-fire way to get into their good graces would be not to force them into reading long-winded descriptions of your products or explanations why they will like them but simply show them.

This type of laziness in using language is glaringly obvious in the way both Millennials and Gen Z don’t really use full sentences or even entire words in everyday conversation. The quick pace of life dictates that people mostly communicate through IMs, which means they have limited time and space to convey the intended message.

Think about it…

When you want to see where you are supposed to meet with friends for coffee, do you write:

Or would you write something like this:

No, you will definitely not ask your friends a quick question as though you are trying to reach Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Nor will your targeted groups of potential or existing customers appreciate such an approach in dealing with them. So, don’t suffocate youngsters.

A modern way of talking (and writing) includes these:

On the other hand, people who were not brought up by the Internet may not appreciate you trying to speak to them as you do with younger generations. If you use abbreviations and slang vocabulary in a misguided attempt to make them feel younger, rest assured they will think you are talking in code. And if they cannot hope to make sense of their offspring at home, don’t torture them further. Make their lives just a little bit easier and speak plainly, so they can actually understand you. Full sentences, punctuation, and eloquence do not seem to be forgotten, so if you want to target more mature audience, remember all those papers you had written in school and write as if you would for your teacher. Just remember that this time, you can actually be funny to get them to like you!

A similar principle applies if you are unsure of how to adjust your language to different social groups or occupations your customers belong to. Without offending anyone, it is customary that the better the pay, the better the education. Consider that when addressing your audience. Treat them with respect and try using more sophisticated language the higher you aim on the social ladder, but still try to be friendly and approachable.

If you think everything you read here up to this point is applicable only in B2C marketing, you are mistaken, my fellow marketer. You can and you will do just that in B2B marketing, also!

Yes, you may be writing to impress a company, but who you really need to awe is the person reading your blog post or email or SM message.

A good way to do that when addressing anyone really is to give them some emotion to latch onto while reading your blog post or SM message. For example, in our previous post, I mentioned the horror (let’s be honest here) of your grandma stumbling upon an ugly holiday sweater in your mess of e-commerce website. I assume that for some of you, that was incentive enough to go and do something about it? That was because you recognized the emotion those words were supposed to evoke in you.

Few people are immune to emotions, so use personal examples, try humor and don’t be shy in sharing. People like to laugh, too. So why not give that to them?

Remember Robin using adult diapers:

That was from a TV show, but it serves the point I’m trying to make here.

60 Second Marketer backs me up in this and gives us the emotions you should use in communication with your customers:

Finally, let’s go over all that was said here.

When you are clear on the image representing your brand, select your target audience. Pick out your ideal customer, so to speak.

And then what?

Then you simply speak to them.

Don’t rely just on the topics you want to cover on your blog. Don’t limit your communication only on the categories you want to establish. Do it in the way you speak, too. Or write, as it were. Every word should be loaded with your knowledge of what makes your target audience tick. Approach every single group of people in such a way they can understand you, and what’s more, the way they will like you. Don’t be shy. Make the first step!

If you are unsure of how to do that, we can help you. Call us today and we will be happy to give you free pointers!