Why is it important to know your target audience?

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“Our target audience is anyone who wants to buy what we’re selling.” I hear this from a lot of small businesses. But when it comes to developing a marketing strategy that gets you the most return for your efforts and money, this vague definition doesn’t cut it. It’s absolutely vital to know specifics about your target audience.

Why Knowing Your Target Audience Matters

Knowing your target audience matters for 3 key reasons:

  1. It tells you what your content should be about.
  2. It tells you what kind of content to create.
  3. It saves you money.

The more you know about your target audience, the more you can tailor your marketing strategy to them. The more tailored you marketing, the more likely it is to appeal to your target audience.

Consider how you would market differently if you knew:

  • What information your target audience is looking for (solutions to a problem, how-tos, tips, statistics, etc.)
  • What type of content your target audience likes to consume (videos vs articles, infographics vs podcasts)
  • Where your target audience spends time online (Facebook vs YouTube, Instagram vs Pinterest)

Your Target Audience Provides You With Content Ideas

A common problem small businesses face when it comes to marketing is a lack of ideas. “I know I should have a blog, but I don’t know what to write about.” The solution is as simple as knowing your target audience.

When you know the kind of information your ideal customer is looking for, you know the content you need to create.

Your Target Audience Determines What Type of Content You Create

Your target audience determines what content you create and how you’ll create it. 

Let’s look at an example.

If you wanted to create content about a sandwich for your:

  • 9-year-old niece – you’d create a humorous “how to make a grilled cheese sandwich” TikTok tutorial
  • middle-aged neighbor – you’d put a “best backyard BBQ burger on the block” review in the community paper
  • business associate – you’d write about “how this $40 lunch will improve your work performance” on LinkedIn

Your target audience makes all the difference!

Your Target Audience Maximizes Your Marketing Investment

When you know exactly what kind of content your target audience wants, you can invest all your marketing time and money into content they’ll actually pay attention to. Don’t waste valuable business resources on content that won’t get noticed by your ideal customer!

There’s no sense in spending precious marketing dollars and valuable company time on creating hundreds of social media posts that won’t be seen by your target audience because your target audience prefers to receive emails.

Can a business have more than one target audience?

Your business might have more than one target audience, especially if you sell multiple products or services. Amazon’s target audience, for example, is basically the entire world.

Each of your products or services might have a specific target audience. If you’re a bookseller, not all your books will appeal to the same audience, so you’ll need to identify various target audiences and market to each one individually. The reader of teen fantasy fiction probably won’t be interested in foodie memoirs. The music history buff might not be drawn in by your feature on planetary romance.

If you’re a B2B business, you might choose to target various industries in your marketing. You would market differently to the veterinary industry than you would to the finance industry, for example.

You can still market your business to a broader, more general audience, but targeted marketing typically leads to better results.

How to Identify Your Target Audience

“I know I need to identify my target audience, but how?” If you have no idea what your ideal customer profile might look like, take some time to answer the following questions.

  1. What problem does your business (product or service) solve?
  2. What is your solution to that problem?
  3. Who are your competitors?
  4. Why would a customer choose your business (product or service) instead of your competitors? What sets you apart?

These questions are foundational to pinpointing your target audience. When you’re clear on the answers, you can move on to questions about your ideal customer, such as:

  1. Where do they live?
  2. How old are they?
  3. What’s their income?
  4. What’s their lifestyle?
  5. How do they spend their time?

There may be further details you can identify depending on your business. For example, a residential renovation company would not target someone who just moved into a new home. Instead, their ideal customer is someone who lives in an older house. This detail clarifies more details too, such as the neighborhood the customer might live in. This customer is more likely to live in an older neighborhood than a new one.

This free buyer persona tool by HubSpot might help to get you started.

Still stuck? I’d be happy to help! Click here to schedule a free 20-minute consultation. I can help steer you in the right direction.

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Jana Carlson

Jana Carlson

SEO Content Writer & Strategist | I help small businesses attract more customers with a no-nonsense content strategy