Rather than targeting everyone, you should focus on the ideal customer for your business. Many small business owners make the mistake of thinking that their product or service is right for everyone. For example, targeting Facebook Ads to “all” (genders, ages, etc.) when your product is clearly for women over forty doesn’t make much sense. Not only is advertising to everyone rarely valid, but it can actually hurt your marketing efforts by annoying people and wasting your advertising budget unnecessarily.

Follow these steps when identifying your target audience:

1) Determine your customer’s demographics

Unless you’re selling oxygen, not everyone needs your product or service. So who does? Men or women? Old or young? Conservative or liberal? What is their economic bracket, education level, and interests? Once you’ve narrowed the criteria down, it’s a lot easier to focus your marketing strategy on those who are most likely to need what you are offering.

2) Determine your customer’s needs

Now that you have a clear idea about the type of person you’ll be targeting to, you’ll have to identify their specific needs in the context of what your business is offering. In other words, what is the problem they are having that your product or service is the solution to? By putting yourself in their shoes and asking the questions they will have, you’ll be able to address their concerns in your answer your marketing message before they occur.

3) Determine how your customer will learn about you

We all have friends who prefer texting to calling, so we know that not everyone is receptive to the same modes of communication. Is your ideal customer older? Then you may want to run print ads. If they’re Millennials who have never even read a newspaper, then you may want to run Twitter ads. Is your audience local or global? Are they a trendy bunch or a niche crowd? The best way to reach your target audience is via the channels from which they get their information already.

4) Assume your customers are mobile

These days more and more people are connecting with the world through their mobile devices, whether it’s to read news, shop or communicate. In fact, tech analyst Mary Meeker found that smartphones are outdistancing all other devices, especially the desktop or laptop computer, for Internet use. Of the 2.8 billion Internet users worldwide, 2.1 billion are mobile, a 23 percent increase from last year. So however you reach your target audience, make sure you include mobile advertising.