How to Write Engaging and Persuasive Content for Different Audiences

November 29th, 2017 by Cameron Collins

Knowing who you are writing for is important for creating content that is engaging and persuasive. When communicating face-to-face, people speak differently to a business professional compared to a student. Communicating online is no different; each audience type will be more engaged in a message communicated in style and tone they are comfortable with. The right tone and style will lead to more landing page visits, more purchases, more appointment requests … you get the picture!

Below is a passage of content which aims to convince readers to click through and visit a web page to find out more information. Notice the content is broad and doesn’t target anyone in particular:

The Dell #1234 Laptop is widely regarded as one of the best multi-purpose laptop computers. Easy to use, lightweight, long battery life and with 256GB of memory there is enough space for most personal and business-related purposes. Find out more!

This text may gain a few clicks from people who perhaps were already highly motivated to purchase the laptop. However, we expect that such a product would be ideal for specific market niches. Let’s take a look at how to promote the same product to different audiences, but in a much more engaging manner.

Copywriting for a professional audienceProfessional audience

The Dell #1234 Laptop is the preferred computer choice for professionals who require flexibility in the way they work. The #1234 is easy to use while commuting, with lightweight construction, 12 hour battery life, removable battery option, and for your privacy, a narrow viewing angle. Read more.

When writing content for a professional audience, the tone should be formal and courteous. Treat your audience with a level of respect and avoid being overly assertive, emotional or rude. If you were in a face-to-face business meeting, the conversation would be polite, professional and direct; your writing should maintain these formalities. Keep sentences concise by writing in an active rather than passive voice and avoid use of filler words such as basically, certainly and honestly, as a professional audience will find these patronising and insincere.

Use jargon and terminology that is common in field but don’t overdo it, get to the point. Statistics can be useful to provide credibility and reinforce key points, provided you can demonstrate their importance.
Correct spelling, grammar and punctuation is important for all audience types, however a professional audience will be the least forgiving for these mistakes and will question your credibility and expertise. Common punctuation and grammar mistakes include run-on sentences, incorrect word selection (e.g. it was a breathe breath of fresh air) and excessive comma usage.

content writing for studentsStudents

For the purpose of this exercise, we are targeting university students from 18-23 years of age.

The Dell #1234 Laptop was voted by PC Magazine as the Best Student Laptop of 2017. The #1234 has all the applications you need to succeed at uni, pre-loaded! Such as the complete Microsoft Office suite, as well as graphic and video editing apps for infographics and video assessments. Stream movies and enjoy glitch-free online gaming with the 3.5GHz processor. Find out more!

When writing to a student audience, a less rigid and more conversational approach is more likely to retain their interest. Avoid cliches or coming across like an out-of-touch older person who is trying to be cool. This generation has grown up in an era that is skeptical of traditional marketing methods and knows when something isn’t completely authentic. Stand out and build trust by including genuine customer reviews or recommendations from respected influencers. Features alone won’t be enough; millennials are experience-driven, so explain the excellent experience that the features enable.

content writing for elderlyElderly

The Dell #1234 Laptop is excellent for browsing online and communicating with friends and family. Designed for functionality over features, it has a larger keyboard and screen and is portable enough to be used in all rooms of the house. The built-in camera enables video-calls with family and friends. Read more here, contact us on 03 8525 2082 or info@dellcomputers.com.au or visit us at 468 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004.

When writing content to target an elderly audience, it is important to brush aside the old-person stereotypes. You should expect elderly people to be active, independent and enjoying life. They use many of the same products and services that the middle aged consume and are spending increasing amounts of time online. Understand their needs and how your product/service would benefit them, and describe these.

Don’t label them with words such as ‘elderly’, ‘old’, or ‘seniors’, or make any other reference to their age, even if your product/service is specifically designed for the elderly. Treat them as wise consumers who are experienced in reading marketing material; get to the point, solve a problem and present your offer. While the elderly are becoming more online savvy, they’re also more conversational than millennials, so include multiple ways to respond to your call-to-action, such as a phone number, email and store address.

content writing for raving fansRaving fans

This month I interviewed PC Magazine product guru John Smith to find out his opinions on mid-range laptops and find out how the Dell #1234 stacks up against the competition. As usual, John didn’t hold back, and provided some great tips for those shopping for a new laptop. Watch the video!

So you have worked hard to build up a loyal fan base? Excellent! Engage and look after these people and they will be advocates of your brand for years to come.

Don’t make selling your focus here. If all your communications come across as sales-speak, your fans will lose trust in you. Provide content that offers value for your fans and let them decide if and when they wish to purchase.

Write to suit the persona of your fan base and the channel you use to communicate through. Is this a B2B product with a fan base of professionals that you communicate with through LinkedIn? Or a shoe company for young men who frequent Instagram? Tailor the tone appropriately.
Create a consistent and likeable persona by writing in first person. Allow fans to get to know you, instead of a faceless brand. Share stories and encourage your fans to share theirs. Offer free or exclusive content. Anyone can do this, for example John Deere obviously wouldn’t give away their tractors, but they offer computer wallpapers with pictures of their tractors on their customer’s farms.

content writing for engineersEngineers

The Dell #1234 provides the following benefits for engineers:

  • 3.5GHz Intel Core i7 processor and dedicated graphics card for the smooth operation of graphically intensive programs such as AutoCAD and MATLAB
  • A high resolution 15.6 inch 1920 X 1080 pixel screen enabling multiple windows to be viewed with clarity

The #1234 was voted best computer of 2017 by the Australian Engineers Association. Read more.

Engineers spend their time solving problems as efficiently as possible. Don’t offer them content with fluffy intros or sales pitches. Don’t bother trying to entertain engineers or take them on some kind of sales journey, keep it concise, formal and factual; if there is value in it for them, they will see it. Offer advice and practical solutions to their problems. Engineers are not easily impressed by brand names and will look for evidence which supports your claims.

content writing for sales personsSales People

Mobile sales professionals will find the Dell #1234, weighing 1kg and providing up to 12 hours battery life, to provide the flexibility they require. The 1920 X 1080 pixel screen displays CRM data and spreadsheets with clarity. Read more!

Selling to a salesperson may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be this way. Salespeople are human too, and purchase goods and services to meet their needs. Provide clear points and avoid coming across as vague or misrepresentative. Don’t take them on a long-winded sales pitch, present clear facts and a brief explanation of the benefits.

Failing to address your audience’s needs and preferred style of communication will significantly reduce engagement with your readers and conversions. By helping clients to implement effective content, we create what is for many clients, their highest performing marketing channel. The imagery used throughout this blog is a little tongue-in-cheek, however, picturing and describing your target market segment will help you to write in a more engaging way.

Contact us now to discuss how we can help your website, email, blog, and online ad content to engage with the right audience.

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