Audience building is no easy task. You may have a great product and a highly competent team, but without an audience, you can’t generate revenue. Audience building is extremely important for the success of any business, be it online or offline.
Brands need to gain exposure and get noticed by their target consumers. Only then will you be able to sell your products and services. Marketing acts as the bridge between your brand and consumers. It helps your brand attract the audience that you need to sell your products and services.
Building a small audience can be a fairly easy task. But it gets trickier when you need to build a massive audience. Digital marketing has opened up new avenues for brands to reach out to people.
To get a huge audience, you need to build your brand’s image. Let’s look at some of the best audience building techniques.
1. Determine Your Target Audience
Before you can start audience building, you need to figure out your target audience. This is essential because without a target audience, you cannot market your brand. You need to build a customer persona and then target the audience that fits that persona.
To define your target audience, you consider their locations, their demographics, and even their interests. All of these factors can help you narrow down your audience and get you the perfect customer persona.
You need to try to be as specific as possible. The more specific you are, the better your results will be. For example, a brand that sells clothes for pregnant women needs to target them specifically. The target audience may be married females aged 20-35. Their interests should include kids and pregnancy.
Once you’ve defined your ideal audience, you can use your marketing efforts to reach them.
2. Research Your Competitors
While you shouldn’t be copying your competitors, you should definitely study what they are doing. Researching your competitors can give you tremendous insights that can help you frame your own strategy.
You can observe where they are failing, and what they are doing well. You should then analyze why they are succeeding or failing. Based on these observations, you can then adopt some of the methods that are succeeding.
Similarly, you can avoid those which aren’t working for them. And if you can find the fix for those, you can incorporate it in your strategy. Studying your competitors can help you avoid their audience building mistakes.
Studying multiple competitors will enable you to find many holes in their strategies. Not only does your strategy becomes easier to build, but you can also perfect it using these insights. And then you will be able to strengthen your audience building strategy.
3. Identify Your Key Selling Points
To get your brand a massive audience, you need to figure out your unique selling point. Something that differentiates you from all of the other brands in your industry. This will help you stand out from your competitors and gain a huge audience.
If you have something unique to give to your audience and customers, people’s interest levels get piqued. To do this, try to focus on what unique qualities or benefits you can offer to consumers.
You have your target audience and you have identified your unique strengths. Now, you can give your audience a reason to choose you instead of your competitors. That reason doesn’t have to be limited to your products or services.
It could be anything that provides value and improves the lives of your consumers. It could be a more transparent customer service, cost reduction and time-saving features, etc. You could use these features to your advantage to get the attention of your audience.
4. Utilize Social Media
Social media is a great tool to market your brand. It can also help with audience building. It started as a platform to stay in touch with friends, but today it is much more than that.
This has opened up tremendous opportunities for businesses on social media. Every major brand has a social media presence today and uses it for marketing.
You have the options of audience building, engaging with them, getting leads, and even selling your products. The opportunities are truly endless.
You too can tap into this power of social media and use it for building a massive audience for your brand. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to attract an audience on social media and grow your following.
a. Build Solid Social Media Profiles
The first step that you should take before audience building is to create solid social media profiles. Whenever you join a social media platform, you should make sure that you fill out every relevant field in your profile.
Write a short bio about your brand in your profile. One that tells a story about you. Include relevant keywords that can help drive traffic to your profile.
Your profile photo and the cover photo should both be attractive. Try incorporating your brand’s logo into them.
The profile picture is the first thing anyone will see when they visit your profile. It may be what determines whether a visitor stays on your page or leaves.
When the profile of your brand is complete, people can find relevant information about you. This makes people believe more in the authenticity of your brand. And there will be a better chance of them becoming a part of your audience if they feel your brand is authentic.
Once your profile is set up, you can start following relevant accounts in your industry. This will also help build the authenticity of your brand. The best part about following others in your industry is that they may become your followers too. Having other members of the industry follow you helps with audience building as well.
b. Study Your Audience
From the way your audience responds to your content, you can learn a lot about them, and their interests. Once you’ve figured out which type(s) of content they prefer, you can tailor your content to their preferences. This fine-tuned content can get more engagement due to its relevance to your audience.
Relevant content can keep your audience coming back to you. It can even get people who are interested in such content to come to your page. Which is how posting relevant content can help you with audience building.
c. Engage Your Audience
Audience building doesn’t just involve attracting a large audience. You need to continuously engage your audience to grow it further. Posting helpful and relevant content on your profile is a great start.
Image via Facebook Messenger
When people engage with your brand’s profile on social media, you should engage back. If people see a brand engaging with them and replying to their comments, they are more likely to want to engage further.
Whenever your followers message you or comment on your posts, try and interact with them. This interaction should be as personalized as possible. If you post canned or robotic replies, people might end up losing interest in your brand. Personalized replies can help grab their attention and make them feel more connected to your brand.
People like brands that engage with them it feels like a more personal connection. If you are consistently engaging with your audience, it will help you attract more followers and customers.
d. Link Your Website to Social Media
When you link your website to social media, you can take advantage of the traffic on both. First, make sure that you put your website’s link on your social media profiles. This can direct interested people to your website, which can further increase their interest.
Similarly, you can put follow buttons on your website for your social media handles. This allows you to tap into the traffic that is coming to your website. If they find the content on your website interesting, they may connect with your social media profiles. This interlinking of your website and social media accounts will help you discover your traffic’s full potential.
e. Use Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags are primarily used on major social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. These hashtags help users to find relevant content. When you post on social media with relevant hashtags, it helps increase your content’s visibility.
People who find and like your content may visit your profile and connect with you. Consistently using relevant hashtags can help you build a massive audience without much effort. The best part about this audience is that the majority of the people are genuinely interested in the topic.
f. Leverage Social Media Advertisements
Almost every social media network offers advertising opportunities. You can run paid promotions on social media platforms to increase your reach and build your audience.
Before you move on to paid promotions, you should try to gain more followers organically. However, advertisements can help boost your quest for getting a massive audience. Most social networks offer a wide variety of parameters that you can set to target your audience.
You can target people using advertisements based on your customer persona. Social networks allow you to target people on the basis of their interests, geographical locations, and demographics.
The best part about paid ads is that you can create them based on your requirements. You can create ads for audience building, to increase engagement, sell your products, or based on other goals.
Social media platforms offer in-depth analytics and insights into the performance of your ads. These insights can help you see which segments of your target audience are responding best to. They also shows you which of your ads are working best.
Using these insights, you can then optimize your ads to drive better results and generate a higher return on your investment.
5. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing can help you in rapid audience building. With influencer marketing, you can collaborate with several influencers who will help you achieve your goal.
Influencers are people on social media or bloggers who have a dedicated fan following in a specific industry or niche. This loyal fan-base usually has high engagement, which you can tap into by collaborating with them.
Influencer marketing is an extremely effective method of audience building if done correctly. In fact, according to Google, 70% of teens are more influenced by YouTube influencers than celebrities. 40% of millennials also claimed that their favorite creators understood them more than their friends.
The first step to employ influencer marketing is to find the right influencer or influencers. You should check out influencers to see if they are consistently posting content related to your industry. This increases the chances that their followers will be open to and interested in content about your brand.
You should also check their reach across all of their social media profiles and other platforms. This will give you an idea how many people you will potentially be able to reach if you partner with them.
You should also thoroughly check the background of the influencer. You should see how far their content travels. Many times, the influencer may have a huge fan following, but the engagement may be low. Some fake influencers may have even purchased followers who may not be active at all.
Once you’ve found your influencers, you can start your campaign. When their audiences see them endorse your brand or your products, they may be prompted to check you out. Some of the people who check out your brand may even connect with you. This way, you will be able to develop your audience through influencer marketing.
However, finding influencers and contacting them is no always easy. This is where Grin can help. We have a database of influencers across various niches, platforms, and locations. You can also find their verified contact information.
Grin helps you brief your influencers, and manage your campaign. You can even track how well their content is performing, and determine the your influencer marketing ROI.
There are various ways in which you can take advantage of influencer marketing. You can ask the influencer to write about your brand or products on their blog. They can then share the posts on their social media profiles. This way, you will be able to reach a new and relevant audience.
You could share the content generated by influencers on your profile too. This will help you reach both your audience and the influencer’s audience with the content.
You could also ask your influencers for testimonials. You can then display those on your website and social media channels. When people see influencers writing positive things about your brand, they might start following you.
Alternatively, you can ask the influencers to take over your social media channels for a short duration. This takes brand endorsements to a new level and instills a sense of trust among the influencer’s audience and yours.
Or you can ask your influencers to write a guest post for your website. Similarly, you can submit a guest post to their site, if they have one. This can further enhance your audience building efforts with influencer marketing.
Lastly, don’t restrict yourself to influencers with huge audiences. Engaging multiple micro-influencers can also help your cause. Micro-influencers often have much high engagement rates, which can help you increase your followers.
6. Content Marketing
Content marketing is a great way to get people to notice your brand online. It doesn’t matter how good your brand or product is. You need content marketing to sell it and catch the attention of people online.
Content comes in handy everywhere. Be it online or in the traditional forms of marketing. To get quality content, you need to have a good team of content writers at your disposal.
If your content is good, you are more likely to get more readers and followers. Content is not just restricted to your website and blog content. Your videos, advertisements, social media posts, and infographics can all help you attract a larger audience.
Even the replies that you give to your audience are a form of content. Content marketing can be time-consuming. However, it is equally rewarding.
You should not only focus on getting a new audience but also convert your current audience into subscribers. This will help ensure that they keep coming back to your brand for more content.
You should also try to diversify your content as much as possible. This will help you get the attention of more people. Try to incorporate images and videos into your content marketing strategy. They will help you get the attention of people who aren’t keen on reading articles.
7. Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is comprised of a set of procedures that need to be followed to rank higher in search engines. According to data from Parse.ly, Google sends 49% of traffic to websites on the internet. Facebook, on the other hand, sends 28% of the traffic.
This is why SEO is extremely important for audience building. It can help you get the most traffic compared to other techniques. This can give you a chance of building a massive audience.
To rank higher in search engines, you need to target specific keywords for which you want to rank. You can use KWFinder to search for keywords and then choose the ones you want to rank for. Then you can start creating your content based on these keywords.
You should also start reaching out to high authority websites to generate backlinks. Backlinks are links that link back to your website.
Backlinks combined with quality SEO-friendly content can help you rank higher in Google search results. When you rank higher in Google, you can get more traffic to your website. This can give you the opportunity to convert that traffic into followers, subscribers, and even customers.
Remarketing is a method used to close a sale. Using remarketing, you can show targeted advertisements to people who have previously visited your website. You can also target people who have previously shown interest in your brand on social media.
Image via Facebook
Remarketing tools like Google Display Network and Facebook help you reach these people. When they see your brand’s name over and over again, they may decide to follow you, and may even make a purchase.
Audience building is no easy task. You need to be proactive and consistent. With a proper strategy in place, you can build a massive audience for your brand.
When you have a huge audience, you can leverage it to generate leads and drive sales. This, in turn, can help you increase your revenue.
If you have any doubts regarding the above methods of audience building, let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.
Brian Mechem is COO and Co-Founder of Grin, a software solution for companies who run influencer marketing programs. Grin's software powers some of the best influencer programs in the world, providing insights on ROI and adding efficiency to the influencer marketing process.