This may seem a ridiculous question, but it’s a mistake businesses make every day.
They create communications that alienate and disengage their audience — and they don’t even know they’re doing it.
This article reveals three things businesses need to stop doing if they want to engage their market.
Are you putting your audience first?
When you create your communications, your audience should be your main concern.
You need to be telling them exactly what they need to know, using the right language to help them understand it.
If you’re doing any of the following three things, you need to seriously rethink your approach.
1. Using unfamiliar jargon and acronyms
Imagine trying to read something and constantly having to break off to look up terms and acronyms you’ve never heard of before.
Then, trying to determine the context and meaning of those words and acronyms as they were meant in the text you were reading
Does that sound like fun?
Didn’t think so.
But this is what your reader has to do when you use industry jargon and unexplained acronyms in your copy.
What makes perfect sense to you doesn’t necessarily make sense to someone who has never been around those terms before.
Think of it this way: Every time you cause your readers to break away from reading your copy, you risk losing them altogether.
Avoid using jargon wherever possible and explain your points in layman’s terms, so the average person can understand them.
If you have to use industry terms, make sure you explain them the first time you use them, so your reader comes to understand what they mean.
2. Using highfalutin language
Everyone wants their business to sound professional.
But if you think that means you have to use big words and fancy language, you’re wrong.
When businesses use highfalutin language, at least one of these things usually happens:
- They sound pompous and pretentious
- They make errors because they don’t understand the meaning of the words they’re using — or how to use them correctly
- They end up alienating their readers.
According to the speaker at a seminar I recently attended, the average reading age in the UK is 9. This is the age tabloid newspapers, like The Sun, are writing for.
The average age of a broadsheet newspaper reader is just 14.
It’s worth remembering this when you’re writing your copy.
Communicating professionally is about more than just the words and language you use. It’s about knowing and understanding your audience and using language that is appropriate for them.
3. Using language that doesn’t align with your brand
In today’s competitive market, a strong brand can set your business apart from its competitors.
Customers buy into brands where they feel an attachment. For example, if the brand’s core values align with their own.
A strong brand is made up of six main components:
- A clear target market
- Its reason for being
- Its values and culture
- Its personality
- Its promise to its customers
- Its voice and the way it communicates.
All of these elements must be aligned and working harmoniously together — including your copy.
If you run a high end restaurant, but sound like a back street café, your customers will find that difficult to buy into.
Similarly, if you run a pound shop and constantly talk about ‘quality’ and ‘excellence’, you’re also going to be way off the mark.
Think about your product/service and your market when you write. Use appropriate language that embodies your brand and helps your customers find an affinity.
Do you need someone who can help you avoid these mistakes?
If you’re struggling to write copy that connects with your audience, the chances are you’re too close to it. You need someone who can look at it objectively and tell you where you’re going wrong.
This is where I can help.
I’m a freelance copywriter, content writer and copy editor based in Leicester, UK.
If you need someone to make sense of all the jargon and present it in a more user-friendly way — I can do that.
If you need someone to make your brand sound more professional, without alienating your audience — I can do that.
If you need someone to establish a tone of voice that aligns with the rest of your brand — I can do that too.
To find out more, visit my website or get in touch.