Content Marketing: Defining Your Audience

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Defining Your Audience: Who Are You Trying to Reach?

Welcome to our March issue! As I continue to cover what I consider to be the essential guiding principles for those who want to market their businesses/organizations effectively, a major piece of the puzzle that’s often determined before moving forward with any promotional efforts is WHO you need to reach in order to meet your goals.

As a part of formulating your marketing plan, you’ll need to decide who falls within your target audience. In other words, this is who will be on the receiving end of your marketing efforts. For some this is fairly straightforward, but for others it will take some thoughtful consideration of who you need to reach and why that group would be the right fit for your brand and have a distinct need for your offerings.

You’ll need to do a little legwork to gather the necessary parts that work together to define your target audience, including evaluating your business plan, doing your research, developing an ideal client profile, and finally, finding out where you need to be in order to be in front of those people. With the ideal client profile, it’s helpful to create a set of 3-4 “buyer personas” that would be found within the specific demographic you intend to target, which better familiarizes you with the “who” and in turn makes it easier to figure out the “where.” Once you’ve identified your target audience, make sure to monitor the results of your efforts and evolve your strategy accordingly.

While it feels constraining to narrow the pool of prospects–because of course we all want as many people as possible to know about our businesses–it’s not so much about being exclusionary as it is deciding where to allocate your resources to communicate and engage at a more meaningful level (and one that will ultimately earn you more clients and increased profits).

However, proceed with caution when it comes to narrowing down your target audience too much. In this day and age, all consumers like to be informed whether or not the offering pertains to them. Why would it potentially be beneficial to increase your scope? Word of mouth. We all like to help our friends, family, co-workers, and even sometimes people we don’t know by making recommendations if we know of a solution that they haven’t yet considered. As such, broadening your target audience may be a sensible option to keep on the table. This might include finding advertising avenues that reach both B2B and B2C audiences as just one example that’s feasible without having a huge budget at your disposal. While oftentimes it isn’t cost effective to target everyone, there are still avenues that have significant reach while remaining just as powerful. Just keep in mind that the bottom line is you won’t appeal to everyone and that’s not a bad thing. And even though your offerings might appeal to a large group of people, it doesn’t make sense to market to everyone, everywhere for a variety of reasons. After all, just as in darts, you have to aim if you’re going to hit the target!

Once you’ve defined your target audience it will be much easier to find the best ways to reach them, capture their attention, and show them not only that they do in fact have a need, but that your product or service is the best solution for their “pain” or necessity—which is exactly what effective marketing is all about! This will not only drive customers through the door, and thus increase your profits, but also serves to educate consumers about your business in general as well as the specific products/services that you provide. If your efforts are focused on those who are more likely to understand your message and find it useful, your mission (and ultimate goal) of getting them to act on it will be less stress and more success!

To learn more about how Strictly Business can help you, contact me directly at (402) 466-3330 or visit www.strictly-business.com/connect.