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What is a Target Audience, and why is it so Important for Your Small Business?

One of the first steps in building a digital marketing plan is thinking about how to reach reaching potential customers. To do this, it helps to understand who they are, their pain points, and what they need. This is what defining your target audience is all about.

A target audience is your ideal customer - and who you will aim for in your content and marketing efforts.

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What is a Target Audience, and why is it so Important for Your Small Business?

Why should you define your intended audience?

The benefits of identifying your intended audience include the following:

  • understanding who your customers are

  • knowing what they want

  • learning how to reach them

  • building trust with them

  • gaining insight into their needs

When you know your customer's wants and needs, you can create better content for them that is more personalized and in tune with where they are on their customer journey.

What Are the the Parts of a Target Audience?

There are many different types of target audiences. You can break your audience into several categories based on their needs or behaviors.


Demographics enable you to segment your audience into different groups based on specific criteria. Typical demographics include:

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Socioeconomic Status

  • Income Level

  • Education Level

  • Marital Status

  • Profession


Interests help you understand who your audience is and what they like.

Purchase intentions

Purchase Intentions are essential for marketing campaigns since they help you understand what people want and where they are in the purchasing/closing process.

What are buyer personas?

A buyer persona, or customer persona, represents your intended audience, where you create a persona featuring the traits you identified when working to define your target audience. This helps when creating content specific to segments of target customers.

Buyer Persona Examples:

Audience Member - Restaurant Rita


Age: 34-49

Income: $175,000 / year

Education: Culinary Degree, Undergraduate degree in Business Administration

Marital Status: Single

Profession: Chef / Business Owner

Social Channels: Instagram, TikTok


Hiking, Spas, Yoga, Food/Restaurant Industry News, Cooking Channel

Purchase Intentions:

She's looking for innovative equipment to help her business grow; she's in the consideration stage of the buying process and ready to talk to business owners of affordable restaurant equipment.

Target Audience Member - Retail Rick


Age: 55+

Income: $199,000 / year

Education: Business Management Degree

Marital Status: Married

Profession: Owns a chain of retail stores

Social Channels: Facebook


Golf, Cycling, Historical non-fiction

Purchase Intentions:

He's looking for ways to reach an increase in sales for a particular product line in his running/cycling stores. He'd like a broad audience and age range of household decision makers. He is willing to explore adjusting his advertising efforts, paid advertising on social networks, and expanding his content on social media platforms.

How to Use Social Media to Reach Your Ideal Customer

  1. Consider where your audience is online and how they use those social media channels. Try different content elements, formats, and timings to create content that will resonate with your target audience.

  2. Think about who your target audience is and what they want before creating content. Is it current customers? Potential customers? Likely both.

  3. What type of content are they looking for and why? Where do they find this information? Which social platforms do they use most? How often?

  4. What kind of content can you provide to reach them?

Resources for Finding Your Target Audience

  • Check out your google analytics and social media insights information. Depending on the source, you can learn a lot about who consumes your content, where they live, what they do, and more. For example, LinkedIn company pages give users in-depth insights about their followers and visitors.

  • Look at your own sales data and CRM for clues. These are customers already engaged with your business - this information might point the way to landing more like them.

Key Takeaways

  • Knowing who your audience is is half the battle.

  • Know your audience demographics and interests to reach them effectively

  • Define your target audience and understand their purchase intentions

  • Create content that resonates with your target audience

Get more insight into how digital marketing can help your business - Follow Dash + James now on Instagram & Facebook.

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