Do you blog for your friends alone and some intended group of acquaintances? You probably have a very limited audience then. Would you rather be read by a larger, heterogeneous audience? Most writers aim to reach a wider audience for their particular story, campaign, promotion, or advocacy. The term “audience” is generally defined as a group of readers, viewers, or listeners who collectively read a particular written content, or view & listen to an audio-visual material. In this particular context, we are referring to an internet audience for your online electronic content.
Audiences come in all ages, shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. They also read your content for different intents and purposes. Your particular audience will understand you better if you adjust your language to convey your message better. Let’s look at the profiles of our eight types of audiences and how to gear your content for them.
1. The Knowledgeable Children or Youth: They are the schoolchildren, the teenagers in or out of school, the youth who spends a lot of time finding helpful resources in the internet. They are internet savvy and are often interested in games, stories, homework pointers, graphics, social media, and a lot of other things which may not even be for kids. They are usually not your target audience but they are capable of judging your content, and if they find it extremely helpful, they will share it with their parents or other mature family members or relatives. This group needs an action-packed, descriptive vocabulary and a simple content presented in a more exciting form such as a video or interactive text.
2. The Lay or Non-Specialists: They usually know a little bit of almost all the things in life, work, business, technology, art, & science; yet they need to master at least one of these many things. They don’t possess expert knowledge and require graphical descriptions and more detailed information about most topics. It is quite easy to attract their attention. You can adjust your style, tone, and terminology to maintain their interest. They need visuals for easy comprehension.
3. The Executives or Managers. They are usually most knowledgeable about their own field of specialization or particular industry. They also know about many things, but they usually require a lot of supporting data and recommendations before they can arrive at conclusions, choices, or important decisions. Your writing must also appeal to the majority of people in their particular industry.
4. Academic Theorists & Non-Practitioner-Mentors: Like the experts and specialists, they need a well-written, well-documented paper. More than that, they want something new and interesting which should also be fully supported with references, citations, and peer review from fellow academicians, not necessarily from the field practitioners. They are well adjusted to reading gazettes, academic & government publications containing the so-called professional jargon. If you use dialectics, officious stock phrases, and high-handed language, they will find familiarity with such; but at the same time, they recognize and appreciate forthright, clear, and most concise writing.
5. Technicians, Specialists, & Experts: They require a completely specialized vocabulary when you write about their interests–the latest news about technology, science, and industry. The technicians & specialists know how a product works and how to repair it. The experts had designed the product, tested it, and know it inside out. They need actual peer tests & reviews, and with full documentation. Invite them to comment on your content and to share their expertise with others.
6. Specific Communities or Groups: Whether it is small or big, a group is a good target audience for advocacies, promotions, marketing, & other campaigns. Their collective choices, preferences, decisions and plans of action are easily arrived at through their group discussions and the collaborative/supportive efforts among the leadership & members. They usually have clear goals and targets achieved through open communication channels. Writing for them requires good convincing power through a simple, clear language. Convincing their leaders usually means convincing the entire group.
7. The Consumer: They seek the complete (usually comparative) information about certain products with the aim of making the best choice. They don’t want to make the mistake of spending their money on a product that won’t serve their needs, purposes, taste, or preferences. Product reviews help the consumer by: giving them relevant information about the product, help them save time and money, and lead towards product enhancements.
8. General Audience: If you have a readership of at least fifty thousand, there’s a huge probability that your audience is an assortment of types. Adjusting your readability level will help convey your message better. Most writers of marketing and advertising copies, target a general audience for a wider variability of readership and a larger probability of marketing success. A well arranged, well-illustrated, well written product user’s manual is a good example of a content written for the general audience. It is properly organized in a step by step procedure and easy vocabulary. Although it has technical content, it can be understood by the ordinary product user. Content for the general audience need not always be illustrated though. The use of clear, simple, powerful descriptive language is usually sufficient to convey your message. Your message could further spread to a larger audience through the ripple effect. Use appropriate style and structure and arrange the right information in the right way so that your reader can see the connection of all the sections. The consumer groups belong to this category, but falls under a highly specific type of general audience category.
There’s a need to consider these two things in writing your content: 1) writer’s purpose, and 2) intended and unintended audience.
Achieve your purpose through a clear and powerful language that easily convinces your specific intended (target) audience. Spread your message further to the unintended audience through word of mouth. A satisfied audience shares your message with their loved ones and friends.Your beneficial message has triumphed if it has been shared and continuously shared with many people. Write something truly helpful and your message will remain in the hearts and minds or your present and future audience. Why not start touching them all today?
– Ma. Francia O. Bengco