Whether it’s your website or a sales brochure, the success of your communication relies directly on how well your target audience understands what you’re saying. What’s the best way to get through to them? It’s simple: speak their language.
Learning to speak your target audience’s language really isn’t that difficult. It just comes down to doing a little research and paying attention to the small details in their language.
• Connect with them on social networks—A lot of old school marketers deride social networking as a waste of time because its results are difficult to measure. What they seem to overlook is that social networking is the most powerful tool for getting to know your target audience better. You’ll learn the lingo your target audience uses, their likes and dislikes, the trends they follow, and other important information. Simply put, social networking is a great way to learn to speak your audience’s language.
• Perform keyword research—Another way to learn how your target audience speaks is to check out the phrases they enter into the search engines. Check out a free keyword tool like the Google AdWords keyword suggestion tool to identify commonly entered phrases. See, when someone enters a term into the search engines, it’s pretty much stream of consciousness flowing from their brain to the keyboard.
• Read their magazines and newspapers—Find out which magazines, newspapers, and blogs your target audience likes to read. Commit yourself to reading these publications regularly. The reason you should read these is because these publications are targeted directly to your audience, and obviously, if your audience likes reading these, then they must be speaking their language.
• Hang out where they hang out—What better way to learn how your target audience speaks than to actually listen to them talking to one another? When you were defining your target audience, you should have identified the types of places they like to hang out at. Frequent these places, and feel free to do a little eavesdropping. People can alter the way they talk when they have to sit back and craft a blog post or status update, but when you listen to them speaking in person, you hear their true language.
• Check out the ad copy of their favorite products—If your target audience buys certain products, that means the ad copy of those products did a good job of connecting with them. Take a look at the ads of your target audience’s favorite products, and identify the common themes that run between them. Find out what these companies all do so well in their copy, and implement it in your marketing materials.
• Don’t forget the human element—Most importantly, if you want to connect with your target audience, you can’t be a corporate robot. In all of your communications, make sure you include the human element and ditch the corporate speak.
Do you speak the language of your target audience? How did you learn it?