If you’ve been spending money but aren't seeing much return on your marketing efforts, there’s probably a pretty simple explanation: you don’t fully understand your target audience.

I see it all the time -- companies create ads or post to social media in an effort to grow their business but the content that they’re producing doesn’t actually align with what their ideal clients want and need to see. Consumers are advertised to pretty much every second of every day. If your ads aren’t placed in the proper locations and don’t resonate with the people they’re intended to reach, you are literally throwing your money away.

So, what can you do to improve your marketing and make sure that your advertising dollars are being put to good use? Anytime that you’re going to create an ad or marketing campaign, answer the following three questions:

1. Who is my ideal client?

If you don’t know who you want to be working with, how will you know who your ads are supposed to be targeting? To figure out who your ideal client is, start by thinking about the demographics of your ideal client. What is their sex? How old are they? Do your ideal clients live in a certain area? Do they have a certain income or work in a specific industry?

2. Where is my ideal client hanging out?

Once you begin to understand who you’re targeting, think about where those people are hanging out. Do they visit certain blogs or websites? What social media sites are they on? Do they attend any conferences or classes?

3. What is my ideal client thinking?

If you want to reach your ideal client, you have to understand what drives them and what they’re thinking. Make a list of the types of topics that your ideal client would Google pertaining to your business. What are their fears? What motivates them? Who do they discuss their purchasing decisions with?

Once you have a better idea of who you should be targeting, go through and take a look at all of the marketing you’re doing. When you look at each advertisement or piece of content, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Will my ideal client identify with and relate to the visual elements in my ad or content?

  2. Does the copy address the fears, desires, or needs of my ideal client?

  3. Is there a call to action that will resonate with my ideal client and convince them to click through to my website?

  4. Is the placement of my ad or content somewhere that my ideal client would be hanging out?

If you need additional help identifying your target audience, check out our Ideal Client Workbook!