You can choose your target audience. That’s right, your target audience—that dream group of ideal customers, is for you to define. This fact is so important to grasp that we feel compelled to repeat ourselves and shout it from the rooftops.
So often, we speak to amazing business owners who are ready to harness the power of content to reach their growth goals. And when we ask the question, “Who is your target audience,” some respond with, “Hmm…I’m not sure,” or they offer some mix of these responses:
“I work with anyone who needs me.”
“Our services can be used by everyone.”
“I’ve not really thought about that.”
Here’s the thing: Everyone isn’t your audience. You can’t serve everyone. There’s a specific group of people out there who will benefit from what you offer the most. And those people are the ones who turn into loyal customers for your business.
Your target audience is who you should aim to speak to with your marketing. All you need to do is define them and then create content that speaks their language.
Content Only Works When You Speak to Your Target Audience, Not Everyone
Did you know that 56% of customers stay loyal to brands that “get them”? It’s true. And you can’t “get” everyone.
Chances are, you started your business for a reason other than filling your pocket. While that’s important, there’s more to it than that. When we speak to business owners and professionals, they often say it’s because they wanted to help certain people or wanted to make a difference in their lives. Maybe this is true for you, too.
Those people who you want to help—you “get” them. You understand their fears, their needs and how your service can support them. You understand them on a deeper level than everyone else. Those are your people.
When you have that type of understanding, you can create content that speaks their language, moves their heart and solidifies that you’re the best choice to fulfill their needs. This is where targeted content truly works.
Generic content, written for anyone or everyone, rarely gets the job done. That’s why selecting your target audience is critical for growth through marketing.
How to Choose Your Target Audience
With all that out of the way, it’s time to get to the good stuff: defining your target audience. As a note, defining a target audience isn’t an overnight exercise. We implore you to take your time working through these steps.
1. Answer the Question: Who Do You Want to Serve?
When you started your business, who did you have in mind? Who did you want to impact? Who was your dream customer? Professional women? Stay-at-home dads? SaaS creators? Nonprofit executives?
Some experts will tell you that “dream customers” don’t truly exist. We respectfully disagree. Why? Because we’ve experienced finding them through our copy.
Take time to brainstorm what your dream customer would be like. Start by answering these questions:
- What does my dream customer need from me?
- What’s it like working with them?
- What makes them different from other customers?
2. Do Your Research
Doing a bit of basic market research can help you determine who is already engaging with you, so you can narrow the scope on your target audience to find your target customer.
You’ll want to dedicate time on your business social media or wherever else you show up online. For example, who is engaging with your Facebook posts? Who is leaving Google reviews? Is there someone who is constantly liking your Instagram posts?
Dig deep into these “whos” to determine who they are and what they’re like. Jot down some basic demographics as well as anything else that catches your eye.
No Social Accounts? No Problem.
You can also view your competitor’s social media accounts, websites, blog content, reviews and more to see who they’re speaking to and who’s interacting. This isn’t so you can simply copy what your competition is doing. Instead, it should help you narrow down your audience to discover who you don’t want to serve.
3. Define Who You Don’t Want to Serve
Speaking of discovering who you don’t want to serve, this is a critical step you must not skip. It may feel counterintuitive, but it’s necessary to reach the bullseye.
Who isn’t a good fit for your services? Who have you struggled to help in the past? Answering these questions can help you determine who you shouldn’t try to attract with your content.
4. Develop Ideal Customer Avatars
By the time you reach this step, you should have a pretty good picture of who your target audience is and who it’s not. Now, you can start to drill down further into what makes them tick, so you can understand them on a deeper level.
It’s time to create your first ideal customer avatar or ICA. Yay! We love this part.
An ICA, also known as a buyer persona, is a detailed description of your target customer. It’s a visual way to see all of your customer’s attributes and demographics.
To get started developing your ICA, create a list of the following attributes about your ideal customer:
You’ll also want to dive into their demographics, including age, location, occupation and more. There’s no such thing as too much information. Finally, give your ICA a name. Yes, a real name. It’s the only way to truly personify your ICA.
I Defined My Target Audience. What Do I Do Now?
Kudos to you! Defining a target customer and audience isn’t an easy feat. Now, it’s time to create content that connects with your target.
Each time you sit down to write a blog post, a website page or a lead magnet, think about your target customer. Would they find value in the topic? What should you include that would resonate with them? What fears can you eliminate with the piece of content?
Nothing should pass through your keyboard and onto your website without first being viewed through the eyes of your ICA. If you have any doubts that the content would connect, try it again.
Struggling to Choose Your Target Audience? We Can Help!
Identifying your target audience isn’t easy, especially when you’re so close to your business. If you’re struggling, we can help. To learn more about creating an ICA or to speak to someone who gets you, reach out to our team today.