You wound't write a letter to a complete stranger, right? So why would you do that when marketing your business? You can have the most in-depth marketing strategy in the world, but it doesn't mean a thing if you don't know who your target audience is. It's not enough to know just their occupation, location and other basic information. You need to know more so you can get through to them on a personal and professional level. Not sure where to begin? Here's a list of some questions you need to ask and research to make sure your marketing strategies align with your audience and yield the best results.
1. Where do they live?
2. What's their education level?
3. Are they married?
4. What's their sexual orientation?
5. Do they have children? If so, what are their age ranges?
6. What are they passionate about? Dogs, volunteering, civil rights, education, etc.?
7. What is their means of transportation? Car, bus, truck, subway, train, boat, etc.?
8. What is their income level?
9. What is their lifestyle? Are they homebodies or social butterflies? Are they trendsetters or trend followers?
10. What motivates them?
11. What keeps them up at night?
12. What are their hobbies?
13. What is their ethnic background?
14. What is their race?
15. What are their daily tasks?
16. How much do they spend on services and products similar to yours?
17. Where do they hang out?
18. Do they watch television?
19. What are their priorities?
20. Can they adapt with technology?
21. What annoys them?
22. What inspires them?
23. How do they spend their free time?
24. What are their goals?
25. What problems do they have?
26. Are they religious?
27. When do they get new information and when do they prefer to get it?
28. Are they business owners? What industry is it? How big or small is the company?
29.Are they worldly or well-traveled?
30. What is their political affiliation?
31. Do they own pets?
32. What is their preferred method of communication?
33. How old are they? What age group do they fall in?
34. How do they speak? Do they use big words? Are they into slang?
35. What are their worries?
From the time to you entered school, you've been taught a myriad of grammar and/or writing rules. They range from "i before e except after c", to never start a sentence with "and". What they didn't tell you was that sometimes it's ok to break those rules. That's right, writing rules were meant to be broken. After all, it was obvious that you wouldn't be writing for your sixth grade teacher forever. And if you followed all of those rules she told you, chances are you're business would be going under. No potential client of yours wants to feel like they are reading their biology textbook when looking at your site.
Potential clients want to feel like they are your friend slowly building a relationship with you. Remember, when your teacher told you to write formally in almost all instances? Well, when it comes to marketing material, you need to stop that. Potential clients like to feel comfortable with their service providers. That means leaving out big words and using contractions when you can. After all, you weren't impressing people with your proper use of "cantankerous" anyway.
You are also not impressing anyone with very long paragraphs even though your teacher told you a paragraph must have at least three to five sentences. I'm convinced teachers only said that to stop students from being lazy and actually do their work. They couldn't possibly believe it's necessary. There's evidence of shorter paragraphs in the business world everyday. I've scene paragraphs as short as one sentence or even one word to draw attention. Besides, these days people have short attention spans and are very busy. So the shorter the better!
If you want to be really daring, take a walk on the wild and start a sentence with a conjunction. *Gasp* I know what you're thinking, but sometimes it's perfectly ok to start sentences with "or", "and", or "but". When speaking, we naturally use conjunctions at the beginning of sentences to transition. It works for marketing materials to - sometimes. Just make sure you don't over do it.