Posts tagged with “audience analysis”

Do You Know Your Audience & Purpose?

Tuesday, 5 May, 2015

I know I’ve written about this topic before and probably talk about it just as much to anyone and everyone (students, friends, clients), but when I think about what is most important in communication, for me it always comes down to two central elements:

  • do you know who your audience is ?
  • are you clear on your main purpose?

Without in-depth knowledge of these two elements, you can’t formulate any form of coherent, well organized communication, nor can you succeed with that communication. To me, this applies in a business context as well as  a personal context.

3D Movie AudienceFirstly, you need to think carefully about your audience and conduct an audience analysis, whether in your head, on paper, in a mind map or scribble. You can do this in a very formal way, using demographics and psychographics, but a lot of it is common sense and putting yourself in that person’s shoes.

See if you can answer these types of questions:

  • what does my audience already know and not know about this issue?
  • what does she expect from me in terms of tone, formality, language?
  • what are her information preferences (e.g. does she prefer a phone call to an email?)
  • what are her biases? likes and dislikes?

The more you can pin down exactly who you’re communicating with and what they need and like, the easier your job will be. Sometimes, though, we have no clue who our audience is. In that case, do the best you can with making an educated guess based on the person’s job title (and don’t forget that a sometimes a simple Googling or a quick look on LinkedIn can yield a lot of information).

Once you have some clarity on who your message is for, you then need assess the point of your message. Ask yourself:

  • what is the main idea I need to get across to my reader? what do I need her to know/do/think?
  • what type of detail supports that main idea? what doesn’t?
  • will it make sense to the reader as is or do I need to include more background?
  • will anything change if I send this message?
  • is there a specific action I need her to complete?
  • is the timing right?
  • what can I take out to keep the message concise but clear?

When you can start to make a habit of this type of process, I can guarantee you’ll find that it makes creating the message so much easier, and you are more likely to get the response you want because you’ve anticipated objections or questions. You’ve also packaged the message in a way that takes your audience into account in all aspects (from information to organization to language and tone).

When you have absolute clarity on what you’re trying to achieve, your audience will too.

(and you’ll be surprised how often it can get you out of doing the dishes 😉 )

Geraldine

 

 

SEO and Content Workshop with PowerUP Concepts

Thursday, 10 December, 2009

Writing a LetterI recently had the pleasure of presenting on Organic SEO and Content Development at an Advanced WordPress workshop being run by an innovative company, PowerUP Concepts. It was such a pleasure to talk to the dedicated, enthusiastic group! Juliana and Sasa of PowerUP offer a great package (with special rates for Wired Woman Society members too) and it was wonderful to be a part of it.

Something that I stressed to the group, which I don’t think people give much thought to when they are developing their website is the audience! It sounds strange and obvious, but we get so caught up in how we want it to look and what we want to say, that we forget to think of WHO we are trying to target. My suggestion to the group? Sit down for 15 minutes to half an hour and sketch out your ideal reader. Draw a picture of them if you need to! And every time you sit down to write something or design something, keep them in mind. Also ask yourself some of the following questions about that ideal reader:

  • What do they need to know?
  • What kind of language or design principles speak to them?
  • What level of information should you include?
  • What would you need to know if you were them?

By conducting an audience analysis like this (and you may need to take it further and do some market research, ask around, look at other similar sites etc), you can ensure that the content and design you offer on your site hits its target every time!

We’re hoping to run more of these combo type workshops in the new year, so watch this space.

Geraldine

PS- you can read Sasa and Juliana’s reflections on the workshop on the PowerUP Concepts website.