How to adapt your writing to ‘speak to’ different market segments

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If you have two or more clusters of individuals that you need to reach with your writing, it makes sense to produce pieces of copy for ads with different messages and run them in targeted publications. However, if your budget is stretched, or if you’re running an ad in a more general medium, you can produce one ad which addresses your different target audiences.

Mac McIntosh, who is a B2B sales lead expert, recommends that you write ad copy that “states the pain points of each audience: “Sales wants this; IT wants that, and Marketing – a little different altogether. How do you fulfil their expectations? With a single product – the XYZ software app.”

Understanding what your audience needs and expects, and adapting your messages accordingly, greatly enhances your chances of communicating successfully.

So how do you speak to different market segments? Let’s start by asking them.

Gather Data About Your Audiences

If only it was possible to start each copywriting assignment with audience conversations. They’re an untapped resource for creating valuable content. Ask the audience targeted questions about the:

  • Company or product/service/offering,
  • Industry at large,
  • Decision-making habits.

You need to ask anything which will help you understand what they need and how content can connect with them. Information that is gathered should include:

Emotional information

  • What is most important to them?
  • Why would our product make a difference in their life?
  • How do they feel when they have a wonderful experience with our product?

Positioning information

  • Why might they consider our competitor?
  • What is lacking in our product?
  • How does our product differ from that of the competition?
  • Why would they refer it to someone else?

Other information

  • Check Google Analytics to establish what pages our audience visit
  • Ask the sales team for audience insight

Once we understand the positioning of our audience segments, we can decide how to create content that works for their needs and our goals.

This should leave us with several options on how to adapt our writing.

Give them separate experiences from the start    

In digital copy this is simple. The tried-and-trusted version of this path is a landing page with two big buttons which ask someone to select their identity to navigate your website.

As for the other mediums, in print you could use different models depicting the different audiences. For example, use a model of a builder to show how he uses his phone to order supplies. Use a model of a teenager to show how they use their phone to order pizzas. Using different voice overs in a radio ad will help addressing different audiences.

Speak to all of them at once

Switching between models, and using vague language means you’re never fully committing to one. The goal must be to find the fundamental unifier. The audiences may be different on the surface however if you dig a little deeper it is possible to find the connection or goal that they share. Discover the elements that are important to both of them.

Write for the audience more expected to convert

If you have a segmented audience with one segment more likely to convert than others, the clear solution would be to focus on them as long as this is in line with the company’s goal.

Devote different channels to each audience

Think about the themes that should be communicated across all communication channels. Your different audiences across these channels will differ. This means that considering purpose and general content themes is a good way to decide how to write.

While you should never completely change your brand’s personality and voice across platforms, changing your tone is typically necessary. For instance, your prospective employees would probably have distinct wants and needs as opposed to a customer. The channels should reflect that.

The one message that we’d like to leave you with is that you need to strictly adhere to deadlines. Deadlines are the single thing which all copywriting briefs have in common. The client needs the content and they need it in a timely fashion. Copywriters are meant to be professional, and that means never missing a client deadline. If you do, you risk damaging your reputation and losing a valuable client.

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