When you decided to start your small business, you likely had to do a little research before setting up shop. You had to look at the market to determine whether there was a demand for your product, identify who your competitors would be and search for the perfect location for your business.
At the root of all this research is the fact that you need someone to buy what you’re selling. Otherwise, what’s the point of all it?
So, who is that person who is going to buy your product? What does he or she look like? How are they going to use your product or service? How does product or service benefit them?
If you don’t know, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Simply put, if you don’t know who your ideal client is, you’re going to have a hard time selling anything.
The same is true for your marketing strategy.
We’ve written about creating buyer personas before, and figuring out your target audience for your content is a similar task. Your target audience is the specific group of people you are attempting to reach with your content or your marketing campaign.
If you need help creating a target audience, think about the customers you deal with on a daily basis. And consider the following when deciding who your target audience is:
- Demographic information
- What problems are they facing (and how does your product or service help?)
- What they are looking to achieve?
For more information on figuring out who your target audience is, check out our post on building buyer personas.
If you don’t have a target audience, there won’t be anyone there to hear your message. Knowing who your audience is and how to best reach them is the key to creating a successful marketing campaign.
Here are five reasons why you should be writing to a target audience.
1. Stay Focused
Too often, businesses tailor their marketing efforts to appeal to everyone, but this is a sure route to failure. The result is content that is generic, broad and seriously lacking some punch. It falls flat, making no real impact on anyone.
Writing with your target audience in mind will keep your marketing efforts more focused, which helps you carve out a niche and reach the people who are most likely to become customers.
To make sure your written content stays focused, dig a little deeper. Don't just write to your target audience. Write to a single person. Choose one of those personas you created, and write to that person. How can you help them? What problems do they have? What questions will your content raise? If you can answer those questions, you can write hyper-focused content.
2. Create Relevant Content
That level of focus will help you craft content that will resonate.
For example, if you own a bar that caters to young professionals living in urban areas, you don’t want to fill your blog with articles talking about taking a break from the kids to come out and enjoy drinks.
Sure, there are probably some parents out there who would love a night out, and your blog could be just the thing that convinces them.
The only problem is that this type of content has the potential to alienate your most coveted customer, the young professional, who can’t relate to that story and might wonder if your bar is going to have the crowd they are looking for.
Writing for a target audience will help ensure that your content is relevant to the people you are trying to reach. Knowing who your audience is will allow you to customize the content to meet your customer’s needs and expectations.
For instance, if your target market includes young professionals who don’t often go out because they have trouble finding time to socialize with friends, you could write a blog post about how to (as well as why they should) find a good work/life balance.
3. Be Seen
Knowing who your audience is also helps you know when and where to find them.
If your audience is largely made up of Millennials, you know social media is going to be an important tool for your content marketing efforts (since 75 percent of Millennials have at least one social media account.)
On the other hand, if you're targeting the "soccer mom" crowd, you know that early mornings and evenings aren’t a great time to reach them because that’s when they’re busy with their children.
Your target audience will serve as your guide when deciding where you will promote your content and what the optimal time to distribute it is.
If your target audience is young professionals, they probably have free time during their morning and evening commute as well as at lunch time. So the time to promote content targeted to them would be during commuting and lunch hours when they are scrolling through social media.
By aligning your distribution times with the availability of your target audience, your content has a higher likelihood of being seen by a greater number of potential customers.
4. Preserve Resources
You’re investing time and money in your marketing efforts, two very valuable resources. The last thing you want to do is waste them.
If you’re not using a targeted approach to create and promote your content, there’s a good chance it’s not going to be seen at all, and if it is, that it’s being seen by the wrong people. That means all the time, effort and money you spent putting it together didn’t deliver the results you wanted.
When you’re spending that kind of time and money on a project and it doesn’t succeed, it’s a sign that those resources could have been better spent elsewhere. Don’t let that happen to your content marketing plan by failing to keep your target audience at the forefront of your plans.
5. Get Results
At the end of the day, you want to see results. Whether that’s selling more of your product, increasing views to your website, or getting more people to eat at your restaurant, writing to a target audience is going to help you achieve those goals.
Target audience information helps you create content that is focused and relevant, and it helps get your content in front of your customers when and where they want it. That’s the kind of approach that is going to make your content marketing successful and drive results.