An experienced copywriter knows the importance in defining the audience. When we talk to each other face-to-face, we adjust how we say something. For instance, you say the same thing differently to your mom as compared to the policeman as compared to your best friend forever.

You do the same thing in copywriting as you do in face-to-face communication. When you start putting your thoughts down in black and white (or blue and white, depending on your writing medium), you should have a good idea who will be reading. If you don’t know your audience, how will you be able to adjust your style to fit both your reader and your reader’s situation?

Start by asking yourself why are you writing? Are you selling? Explaining? Documenting? Entertaining? Or is your objective one, several or all the reasons behind your words?

Make sure that you know your purpose before committing a single word to paper.

No matter why you are writing, you usually know one of two things: 1) Either have a definite audience in mind or 2) you just start writing. Just remember your copy’s purpose will drive your target audience.

Writing effective copy requires that you know your audience, to get into their skin so to speak. You must have a firm grasp of their vocabulary, what they want to gain from reading your copy, and what writing style they will respond to.

To get down the road to defining your target audience, ask yourself

  1. Who makes up your audience? Is your audience family? Friends? Clients? Laymen? Mangers? Experts?
  2. Who do you want your audience to be? This involves some future thinking. Where to you want your business to be 5 years from now? What will you add to your product or service line down the road? Start with a description for your ideal new audience. Consider their needs and obstacles preventing them from joining you.
  3. Create audience profiles – demographics, hobbies, professions, needs, wants, problems, knowledge, and perceptions. After you have created your profiles, cater to the common goals of the various groups and explain what value you can provide.
  4. Find the facts about your audience. Ask current customers verbally and/or perform an online survey. Find out things such as what currently attracts viewers to your site and other things they would like to see on your site. Evaluate whether or not you can provide what your viewers want either now or in the near future.
  5. Join your audience through research, networking, and subscribing to the same newsletters and bulletins of your readers. Find out how others in your niche are engaging their audience. What do they write about? What commotion are they creating? How do they engage their audience? Are they using social networks, newsletters, or articles?
  6. Engage your audience by commenting on industry websites and writing useful content. By useful content, write problem solving articles, address frequently asked questions, or just write about interesting topics your audience likes.
  7. Find out the search queries your audience uses. This is important for SEO. Different regions, age groups, or gender have targeted queries that they specifically use.

Once you know the purpose of your copy, defining your audience really isn’t hard. It just takes a little recon and a bit of thought. Or you could call one of Directory One’s copywriters.