I have read a plethora of articles about how to narrow your target audience when doing digital marketing. What surprised me is how few of those articles actually talk about why that is important. And it is. Important that is. It can be crucial to your success no matter what stage of the process of building your own business you are in.

So what’s the big deal with a target audience?

I’d tell you, but maybe it is easier to show you. Say for example I am selling a tool that will revolutionize the way you lay ceramic tile. It speeds the process, eliminates the need to wait between steps, makes julienne fries, and allows you to work one-handed, leaving one hand free to eat those fries. Now let’s say I try to market my fancy new tool exclusively at conventions for accountants. While there may be the one-off, do-it-yourself jack-of-all-trades kind of accountant who would buy my product, odds are my sales won’t be very high. If I instead tried to market my product at a convention of contractor chefs, I would have better luck, don’t you think?

So why approach digital marketing any differently?

The internet is your “conference” where all your audience lives and interacts. But you can’t play to everybody, so you need to choose. If you have a mommy blog, then writing pieces related to car repairs may not get you much traffic. Likewise, if you promote your site to 50+-year-old men, you also won’t get very far.

How do I find my target audience? 

Envision your ideal audience, your perfect customer or client. Be detailed. With our mommy blog example, we could say that our target audience is young middle-class women in their 20’s and 30’s, who have elementary age kids, want to be eco-friendly and food conscious, and live in North America. See how specific that was? Narrow down your perfect client, as specific as you can.

Once I have my target audience….what do I do with that information? 

Once you have it narrowed down, let it be your measuring stick. Would my target audience of contractor chefs see an ad on a wedding website? The likelihood for that is pretty slim. Would they see it on a website that does construction tool reviews? They just might. Know where your audience hangs out, and why. What social media do that use? Where do they go when they have a question, or need help? More importantly, where do they go when they are ready to buy? If you can identify this, and gear your digital marketing efforts around these key strategies, you open the door for your own success, whereas ignoring this strategy can be tantamount to clipping your own wings.

Written by Emily Dominguez