I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve talked about pointy words in the past few months. But it’s a lot. Pointy as in hitting the target, think arrows heading for a bullseye.
Because you know when you read a piece of content, maybe a blog, a caption on social media – anything. You read it and think, yep, that’s nice. Or nod your head but then go back to what you were doing. It’s not offensive but it doesn’t trigger a reaction.
That’s what we’re trying to avoid. I don’t mean that every single piece of content must set the world on fire and provoke an extreme emotional reaction, but it should speak to your reader. It might lead to a classic lightbulb moment.
It might be an ‘Oh, I hadn’t thought of it like that’ moment or they feel like you’re reading their mind.
I know these intangible ‘are you reading my mind’ reactions can be hard to pin down but they’re worth the effort.
Listen first, write second
And the sure-fire way to do this is to know who you’re writing to and what you want them to know, feel and do. And I guess this starts not with thinking about what you want to say. But listening to them. What do they need from you?
And the other thing is that it’s down to you to put in the effort. They won’t know or realise that you can help them with your products or services. It’s down to you to show that you understand them and their challenges. This is what you need to reflect in your writing.
Dial down you, dial up your reader.
When you have a conversation with a client watch out for the words and phrases they use, the visual ticks and cues that giveaway what they’re thinking. Weave all of that into your copy.
Segment your audience
The answer with one client has been to tailor communication to the audience. This isn’t revolutionary by any standard and our digital world makes it super easy to do. Our monthly blog now comes in two versions one for each of our two identified target audiences.
And we’re looking to segment those audiences further. Our content still has the same overarching theme – but the angle, tone, messages are now specific to the audience and we’re already seeing a positive result in email open rates.
From the writing perspective, it’s a whole lot easier (and more fun) writing for a specific person or audience than churning out bland, blah messages that are nice, but dull and miss the mark.
So, the message here is that pointy words rule.
Drop me an email if you need help finding pointy words!