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Amy Post
by Amy Post
on May 2, 2016

When it comes to marketing of any kind, be it traditional mailers and cold calls or inbound marketing, you must know your target audience to be effective. The steps to understanding your target market audience are typically taken during the planning phase of your business. When you are designing your product of service, one of the many questions you ask yourself is, “Who is this going to appeal to?” or “Who do I want to appeal to the most?”

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These questions are imperative to building your marketing strategy. If you have invented a new system for eliminating wrinkles from clothing, you can have a potentially broad spectrum of clients. Homemakers could benefit from the product due to it saving them time and money. Travelers, especially business professionals, could use it to help keep their outfits looking crisp after being packed away. The product has the potential to be used by anyone who finds themselves with wrinkled clothing or material that they need to be straightened. You could try to target all of these groups, or focus on what you feel may be a better starting audience, and then broaden it later. 

Knowing your target market is great, but you need buyer personas to market effectively in today's digital landscape, find out how to do that right here.

Knowing the target audience tells you which marketing tools you should be using.

There are a number of blogs out there that are providing information to help businesses engage their target audience. In the scenario from above, if the company decided to try and focus on the homemakers, using a content strategy and blogging would be a great place to start. Offerings tips for how to clean around the home efficiently and highlighting on the keyword phrases of, “cleaning tips” and “saving money” can help bring up the blog in pretty common search inquiries among their demographic. Adding in articles about their product that include the previous keywords and add in more focused ones such as “how to fix wrinkled clothes” or “how I can remove wrinkles without an iron” could further draw in not just traffic, but business as well. Having a clear idea of the demographic you want to reach, and to which your product or service could be most useful are the basic aspects needed to form a successful marketing campaign. Identify the phrases that your customers might think of when they encounter the problem your product or service fixes, and go after those phrases aggresively through your own content on your website. 

Being adaptable is also important to successful inbound marketing.

Aside from keeping a well-designed and engaging website, and your content and social media ads start working, it's still important to be adaptable.  Content strategy and keyword campaigns need to shift and focus the attention on the value and benefit of the product or service at that time above anything else. The same is true for instances when new fads sweep through that threaten to make your goods obsolete or unwanted. No company can just put up an inbound marketing campaign and be done with it. It requires a lot of fine-tuning and adjusting, as well keeping in touch with consumer trends, all in order to keep your content adapted to changes. Quality inbound marketing strategies begin and end with a clear understanding of your target market and buyers. 

This post was originally published in 2014, but has been updated and edited for accuracy in late 2017. 
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