4 Ways to Create Content That Speaks To Your Readers - Not Above Them

In today’s media landscape, content is king. It’s vital for everything from maximizing search engine optimization to getting free shares on Facebook and Twitter.

How can you make sure your content is as effective and accessible as possible? A lot of your blog’s success comes directly from the language and voice that you use.

Here are a few ideas that will help you speak to your readers, rather than above them:

1. Use Language Your Audience Knows

Before you write, get to know your target audience. Think of the specific types of people you’re trying to reach and research them across social media – observe how they write and behave through posts and comments, and try to get a hold on the style of content that they’re already reading.

Once you know your audience and their preferences, you’ll know how to better write for them. Use their language to your advantage by including the key words and common phrases that you see crop up again and again. And while this trick makes your content more accessible to readers, it will also give you a serious edge in SEO at the same time.

2. Don’t Get Bogged Down in “Brand Speak”

While it’s good to include the sort of specific details and industry know-how that your audience is looking for, don’t just write like a robot, rattling off keywords like a string of ones and zeroes.

Avoid technical jargon and insider acronyms, and don’t overuse industry-specific terms (unless you’re ready to explain them in plain language as well). The most important thing is to draw in your reader and make them comfortable with your voice and ideas; lay a solid foundation of knowledge so that the heavier, harder-to-grasp details can be built in later.

3. Avoid Assumptions

When you assume… We’re going to guess that you can fill in the rest.

Don’t go into every blog post or multimedia piece with the assumption that your target audience knows everything about your business. Take every chance you get to explain who you are, what you stand for, and what makes you stand out in your industry or field. For that matter, be sure to give insight into industry conditions and standards whenever possible.

When you successfully provide your readers with all the context - both positive and negative - that they need, you seem trustworthy, giving your business the sort of authenticity that turns readers into clients.

4. Be Conversational

Think of the most compelling conversationalist you know – maybe an old business partner or a popular friend from college. Odds are, a talk with this person was full of back-and-forth banter, winning stories, and more than a few jokes. Why should your content be any different?

There are certainly times when your content should take a high and mighty tone; the rest of the time, don’t be afraid to write the way that you – and your readers – talk.

When you feel it’s appropriate, use slang or more casual language to make your readers feel like you understand them. It can also be effective to speak to your reader, literally: Use the first and second person (which focus on “I” statements and “you” statements, respectively) to make your content feel personal and even intimate.

And when possible, structure your content to read like a conversation: Try formatting your articles as lists or alternating questions with answers to create a flow that makes your reader feel like part of the discussion.

Have any more questions about content marketing strategies? Want a hand creating shareable content for your site? Geek is here to help! We’ve got the team and the experience necessary to meet the all of your growing business’ needs.

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).