When it comes to marketing, there’s a lot of clutter.

The online con­tent track­ing tool Worl­dome­ters shows how many blog posts have been pub­lished in a giv­en day. By noon, the num­ber is in the mil­lions, and you can watch in real time as it climbs even high­er.

In addi­tion to blog posts, your cus­tomers see a flood of mar­ket­ing every day: logos, com­mer­cials, ban­ner ads, web­sites and emails. Because there is so much to notice, most of it ulti­mate­ly gets ignored.

Joe Pulizzi, the expert behind the Con­tent Mar­ket­ing Insti­tute and author of “Epic Con­tent Mar­ket­ing” (McGraw-Hill Edu­ca­tion, 2013), warns busi­ness­es against becom­ing part of the clut­ter. “If you are cre­at­ing con­tent for… a broad audi­ence, you’ll nev­er be rel­e­vant enough to be of val­ue to them,” he said to Busi­ness News Dai­ly. “In oth­er words, it will be a big waste of time.”

If, how­ev­er, your mar­ket­ing is writ­ten to address the con­cerns of a sin­gle tar­get cus­tomer, it cuts through the clut­ter, becom­ing inter­est­ing and rel­e­vant to the peo­ple who need your prod­uct.

The more niche the bet­ter, always,” Pulizzi said.

Developing an ideal customer profile

To write for your tar­get cus­tomer, you need to under­stand who that per­son is by devel­op­ing an ide­al cus­tomer pro­file. This pro­file is a detailed descrip­tion of the sin­gle per­son you are speak­ing to. This keeps your writ­ing focused and your mar­ket­ing as rel­e­vant as pos­si­ble.

To cre­ate your cus­tomer pro­file, start with broad demo­graph­ic infor­ma­tion, such as age, gen­der and mar­i­tal sta­tus. You may already know this infor­ma­tion from your busi­ness plan, or you can dis­cov­er it from your web­site, social media ana­lyt­ics and pur­chas­ing data.

Write down specifics … such as, ‘Women [who] enjoy hik­ing, ages 24 to 35,’ then think about oth­er vari­ables,” said Emi­ly Sid­ley, senior direc­tor of pub­lic­i­ty at Three Girls Media Inc., of craft­ing an ide­al cus­tomer pro­file. “Does she live in a spe­cif­ic region? What is her income like? In addi­tion to hik­ing, does she like relat­ed activ­i­ties like camp­ing? Where does she get her news? What does she read for fun? By ask­ing ques­tions like these, you can cre­ate a detailed pro­file.”

This pro­file will help you under­stand your tar­get’s needs, which will shape how and what you write. In its final ver­sion, a tar­get cus­tomer pro­file is a detailed sto­ry in which your tar­get is the main char­ac­ter fac­ing a prob­lem and your com­pa­ny is the solu­tion.

For exam­ple, a pro­file of the tar­get cus­tomer that Sid­ley described could read like this:

Diana Young is a 31-year-old African-Amer­i­can woman who lives in the U Street neigh­bor­hood of Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and bikes to work at an envi­ron­men­tal non­prof­it. Her job often requires overnight trips to oth­er major cities in the U.S. to speak with part­ners and donors. She is unmar­ried and does­n’t have kids, and the area where she lives and works is expen­sive. Diana likes spend­ing time out­doors and often goes hik­ing with friends on the week­ends when she isn’t trav­el­ing. She also takes short trips to see fam­i­ly when she can. She likes cloth­ing brands like Ever­lane and reads both fash­ion and design blogs.

Since work­ing for a non­prof­it means a low­er income than she could make in the pri­vate sec­tor, Diana does­n’t have a lot of wig­gle room in her bud­get. She needs a sin­gle trav­el back­pack that can hold the essen­tials for a short trip and feel com­fort­able for a day of hik­ing. Because she lives in a small city apart­ment and does­n’t want lots of bags tak­ing up space in her home, she needs one back­pack that looks sleek enough for pro­fes­sion­al trav­el and is tough enough for a day out­doors. She can’t afford pre­mi­um prices, but envi­ron­men­tal is impor­tant to her, so she’s will­ing to pay a lit­tle extra for a bag that’s sus­tain­ably made.

Using your ideal customer profile

Once you know who your busi­ness’ tar­get cus­tomer is, you can write in a way that speaks direct­ly to that per­son.

If Diana is your tar­get, her pro­file tells you what ele­ments of your prod­uct to empha­size on your web­site. Words like sleek, ver­sa­tile, com­pact, com­fort­able, afford­able, qual­i­ty, durable, eth­i­cal and sus­tain­able will all show that your busi­ness under­stands her prob­lem and can help solve it. You can use these to write prod­uct descrip­tions, video scripts, email head­lines and ads.

Your tar­get cus­tomer’s pro­file can also help you with con­tent mar­ket­ing, such as a blog or social media posts.

Before you cre­ate any con­tent, ask your­self, ‘What is my main mes­sage? How will this appeal to my tar­get cus­tomer?’ ” Sid­ley said. “The main focus in all mar­ket­ing needs to remain the tar­get cus­tomer. How will you con­nect with them in a mean­ing­ful way that will make them choose your busi­ness over anoth­er?”

For exam­ple, Diana’s inter­ests include trav­el, hik­ing, fash­ion, design and sus­tain­abil­i­ty. Know­ing this can help you write posts for her, rather than for a gener­ic audi­ence. Post top­ics based on Diana’s pro­file could include the fol­low­ing:

  • Top Hik­ing Des­ti­na­tions Around Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and What to Pack for Each One.
  • The 10 Pieces You Need to Cre­ate an Eth­i­cal Trav­el Wardrobe
  • Stuck at the Air­port? Check Out These Sus­tain­able Design Blogs

By writ­ing in a way that appeals direct­ly to Diana’s inter­ests, you cre­ate posts that will show up when she search­es for those top­ics online. This will lead her direct­ly to your web­site and intro­duce her to the new solu­tion to her prob­lem: your prod­ucts.

It is pos­si­ble to have mul­ti­ple cus­tomer pro­files that your dif­fer­ent prod­ucts or ser­vices address. But each one should be equal­ly spe­cif­ic, and the mar­ket­ing lan­guage you use should be dif­fer­ent for each tar­get cus­tomer.

Focus on one audi­ence at a time,” Pulizzi said. “If you have three types of cus­tomers, you should be talk­ing with only one at a time.”

This takes more work than many busi­ness­es expect, Pulizzi warned: “Too many small busi­ness­es dab­ble… Try to build your audi­ence doing that one thing bet­ter than any­one else and don’t get seduced into pro­duc­ing more con­tent just because you feel you should.”

Sid­ley agreed. “Too many busi­ness­es under­es­ti­mate the invest­ment,” she said. “It takes a lot of time and ener­gy to under­stand your tar­get cus­tomer (and) reg­u­lar­ly craft qual­i­ty con­tent.”

But the invest­ment pays off when your tar­get­ed writ­ing helps you stand out from the adver­tis­ing clut­ter and con­nect direct­ly with the cus­tomers most in need of your prod­uct.