Talk to your audience the right way with FiveThirtyEight’s n-gram tool

It’s a no-brainer that engaging with your audience is essential to creating an excellent brand online.

A lot of businesses are realising the power of content marketing. However, for every company getting it right, there are three more who are floundering.

Creating content is not just about making something that is aesthetically sound; the research process is just as important. Content needs a reason to exist beyond creating something just because.

Your content needs to speak to your target audience. You need to find out what content your audience will most likely engage with and use the language they use to effectively communicate with them.

Let’s say your target audience is males aged 18-24. You need to talk to them in a way that’s authentic. But what if you don’t know the language your audience is using?

With those crazy kids around these days, it’s so easy to get lost in the hip lingo and fall behind. On top of that, a lot of buzzwords lose their appeal very quickly. If you’re not up to scratch with trends (or inversely are too up to scratch and are trying too hard), it could potentially affect your engagement rate and, ultimately, conversions. Perish the thought!

You don’t want to be seen as the uncool business beside your competitor, do you? No? So what is a not-with-it marketeer to do?

Firstly, you give a good ol’ fashioned shake-of-the-fist at the local young folks and tell them that you still have street cred. That’ll make you feel better. Secondly, you take some action to optimise your content and communicate with your audience the right way. What could you use to help with that?

Learn how the internet talks with FiveThirtyEight’s n-gram

FiveThirtyEight have created an n-gram analysis tool to help you get a sense of the language used on Reddit – the ‘front page of the internet’. All you have to do is type a buzzword into the text bar and it’ll scan every comment on Reddit since its inception to tell you how frequently it’s used with a neat graph.

audience

It’s completely free, easy to use and can really give you a sense of what language your audience is using. You’ll get results in seconds and you can even download it to an excel sheet, or if you want, just tweet it out to your many, many followers.

audience

There is one problem though… Since 80% of Reddit users are male and the tool scans its user’s comments, you’ll have to keep that in mind when you’re using it to delve into your audience.. That said, it’s still a pretty great tool to give you an insight into the lingo and general trends of the internet. After all, every little helps. 🙂

A caveat though: n-gram isn’t a dictionary of words you should readily start using – more it’s helpful for spotting emerging trends and phrases you should OCCASIONALLY (all caps necessary here!) use in your content if the Reddit userbase is your userbase too.

Need help engaging with your audience?

Do you need help to effectively speak to your audience the right way and nurture them to convert? We’re always ready to chat if you need any advice or want to use our award-winning content team.

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About Greg McLoughlin

Greg is an SEO & Inbound Specialist with 256. With a passion for music, Japanese food and above-average size dogs, Greg intends to take over the industry. Add him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/greg-mcloughlin/