After yesterday’s blog post, and mentioning that knowing your audience is the place to start in building your content strategy (and your list, and your products, and… and…) I thought that an article on understanding why it’s so important and how to go about defining what it is might be appropriate.
In marketing terms, the audience you define as your ideal becomes your target audience. While I’m not crazy about the terminology, knowing who you want to engage or sell to is a cornerstone of the foundation upon which you are building your business.
It’s crucial that you get this right.
(And no, you probably will not get it exactly right the first time. It often takes some testing and tweaking as you get to know your audience.)
Before we get to how you define your ideal audience, let’s look at why it’s so important to do this…
Why Knowing Your Audience is Important
The key to beginning the sales process is creating content and bringing potential customers into your funnel. You want to make sure that the content you create reaches the people who are most likely to buy what you’re selling – your ideal (or target) audience.
For example, if your business is designed to sell activity books for toddlers and children, it is crucial to know who is buying the books. You are not selling to toddlers and children. You are selling to parents, grandparents, and other adults who are buying the books for the children in their lives.
Now that we know who is buying the books, what hidden elements need to be considered when understanding this market? If you stop and think about who the ideal customer for children’s activity books is, you might say they:
- Have disposable income they like spending on their kids
- Value early learning activities
- Are likely to shop online
- Are likely to make repeat purchases
Knowing this helps you make crucial decisions about what to create, where to advertise and how to engage the audience. Instead of casting a wide net and hoping to find a few parents or grandmothers ready to buy, you can apply targeted and focused ads and content directly to people who are looking to buy your books.
The sale is made effortlessly because there are no roadblocks to the purchase. By finding and plugging into the market who wants you, you are there solving a problem that they had and are willing to pay for.
Knowing your audience is also important for your marketing decisions. It comes in handy when creating Facebook ads, posting to Pinterest, or using SEO for blog posts or online content. Being able to narrow down your market creates a bigger pool of potential customers. This saves your money and gives you a bigger ROI for your marketing investment.
How To Define Your Ideal Audience
Your ideal audience is going to be the thinnest slice of the market that you can focus on, from which all of your marketing decisions are based. This audience is the focal point of your decisions, making sure that your efforts are tailor-made to find them and draw them in.
Continuing with our previous example, this is going to be the parents, grandparents and other adults who are wanting to purchase activity books for the young children in their lives.
You want to create an image of the perfect person that is going be buying your products and consuming your content. We call this the customer avatar.
Creating an avatar is simple when you take the time to ask yourself specific questions about your target audience:
- Are they a man or a woman?
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What do they do for a living?
- How do they spend their time?
- What is the need that you provide a solution for?
Once you have the answers to those questions, create a profile, give it a name, and keep them in mind the whole time you are creating products and content that speak to their need to purchase activity books for the children in their lives.
That doesn’t mean you won’t be selling to other people. A lot of people think that once you have created your ideal customer avatar, that you can’t sell to anyone else.
Having an avatar doesn’t mean you won’t sell to a wider variety of customers; you absolutely will. Having an avatar means you are clear and defined about who your ideal customer is for this product or service at this time. This allows you to create marketing materials that are on target for your client.
The key to having a successful sales experience is knowing exactly who is buying your product. Understanding and defining your ideal audience is the best strategy there is.
This is because being able to sell your products is easier when you know who your ideal audience is. It helps you make valuable marketing decisions, speak directly to your best customer base.
Once you get in the habit of defining your ideal audience and creating an avatar for them, you’ll find the sales process much easier, and you’ll wonder why you ever wanted to skip this step in your content strategy!