Marketing, especially content marketing, is hard enough, but it can be even more difficult if you don’t fully understand your target audience. Knowing their needs and wants is vital to converting them from prospect to customer. Some companies and agencies have a tendency to share and create content that is most interesting and meaningful to themselves rather than their target audience. It’s a lot easier to do this, but definitely not an effective long-term strategy.

There are definitely a couple exceptions to this rule. You very well may be exactly like your target audience and therefore your strategy is 100% effective. In addition if your peers are your target audience than the strategy of sharing content that is interesting to you and your organization is spot on. If either of these is your situation, feel free to skip this post and come back next week.

By creating and sharing content that is not interesting or even relevant to your target audience, you are wasting resources and risking alienating your target audience. If you are not relating to your target audience with your content, you are wasting time and money because it will not lead to the conversion to customer. We all know the constant creation and curation of content requires a lot of time, energy and money. If you are misusing these three very important resources, you are not going to achieve your overall goals. While wasting resources is bad, alienating your target audience can be worse. This can hurt your reputation and drive this audience right into the arms of your competitors. Readers will see through your efforts and react unfavorably if they feel you don’t “get them”.

How can you avoid this situation? Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes by understanding their concerns, likes, dislikes, wants and needs. The more you understand about them the better. Read other publications, both online and off, that share a target audience with you including those in a different industry. Read things written by those in your target market. Are you matching the vocabulary they use? Consider talking to your existing customers to get better insight into what helped convert them into a customer. How well do you know your target audience?