COM0014 Blog #2 – In the Know: How to know your audience, build trust, and communicate well

To communicate well, you’ve got to know your audience inside and out.

Knowing your audience enables you to create valuable and relevant content by understanding their perspectives, needs, and knowledge. Build trust – and community – with your audiences through a strategy of listening, responding, and storytelling.

What target audiences am I talking to?

“You talkin’ to ME?”

Analyzing your target audience(s) includes identifying their demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, age, etc.) and psychographic characteristics (i.e., why do they want your product or service?).

Most people will have more than one target audience, and each requires different communication styles and can be found in different places (geography) and spaces (online).  

Group of people of various genders, races, and ages standing in a circle with their palms in the centre together.
Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash

How do I get to know my target audience?

Social and active listening

Social listening is joining the online conversation as an observer. This looks like reading your competitors’ – or, collaborators’ – social posts and blogs, and reviewing Google Trends and hashtags related to your brand/work.

Always keep up with online conversations, so you aren’t a step behind. For example, how can you join in on a trending meme in a way that’s relevant to you?

Active listening looks like responding to all comments and questions, plus asking your audience questions (e.g., ask them about their questions for you, what kind of content they’d like to see, etc.). This is interactive and helps you share relevant information.

For example, a poll on operating hours may lead to changes that make your service more accessible or your product more profitable by making it more available.  

You may also be surprised by what you learn – what if you have an audience you don’t know about?

From target audience to trusting community

Trust takes time

You aren’t just providing a service or product; you’re supporting your audience, offering solutions, and building a community.

Building a community means striving for one where people feel they belong. We need to see ourselves there and feel heard.

The more perspectives going into your product or service, and how you’re talking about it, the more likely that what you’re putting out into the world will resonate with more people.  

And while brands have their lanes, you only need to ask yourself how you can support your audiences from where you are – with whatever folks might be facing – because if there’s a will, there’s a way forward.

What’s yours?

Two-lane paved road with white dotted line in the middle, guardrail on the right, and forest on either side of the road.
Photo by Luca Dugaro on Unsplash

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