You’re on your content marketing journey because you’ve seen how it’s helped marketing teams deliver more sales-qualified leads to the team and increase their return on investment (ROI). A few strategies are working for you, and you’ve found you can count on them. But some just aren’t bringing in the results you want.
What are you missing here?
Often it comes down to one culprit: You’re confusing your audience with your marketing database. In this blog, we’ll detail how these two groups are different and why they each need to be approached with other strategies.
What’s the Big Difference?
Your marketing database includes people you’ve collected contact information from, but they may not have actively opted in. You can often nurture these leads, but they might not buy into what your brand is all about.
Your audience is the people who will be viewing, listening, and interacting with your content. They trust and admire your brand, so they enthusiastically consume. These people subscribe to your email because you’ve intrigued them, and they’re looking for more of the same content going forward.
So in comparison to a marketing database, your audience:
- Opts into something. They intentionally sign up for your email list, get alerts when you publish a new video or post, follow you on social media, and look forward to upcoming events like webinars.
- Engages with your business. Your audience looks forward to your latest releases and shares, likes, and comments on your posts.
- Needs to be grown and nurtured. You’re building a relationship. They trust you as their source of information in your industry. This means you need to pay attention to how your audience responds to your marketing messages and adjust.
But something different happens when you build an audience. Because you’re adding real value to your target customer and building trust at the same time, you’re now on their shortlist when they do buy, and trust us — it’s a very short list!
As you grow your audience, they are willing to pay more, and when you continue to measure your content marketing’s effectiveness, your audience not only grows but fills up with potential buyers.
How to Build Your Audience
So your focus in content marketing isn’t just to build a marketing database. Don’t get us wrong; a marketing database has its place. You can and should use it to directly communicate with people who’ve shown some interest as you work to turn them into an audience. But if you stop with the database, as if capturing someone’s email equals a new customer, you won’t achieve the content marketing ROI you expect.
Let’s take a closer look at how to build your audience:
See an Audience As an Investment
Think of audience building as an investment. You can measure the value of this investment through more than conversion rates. Look at your audience holistically: an engaged audience propels your brand messaging across the internet and your community. An enthusiastic audience becomes a magnet that attracts more people like them to your brand.
View Your Buyer as a Whole Person
We’re all accustomed to creating buyer personas by now. But as you use them, it’s critical to see your audience beyond their need for what you sell. Sure, that’s why you’re doing this, and your audience should align with business goals. If you sell a widget, you can only write so many articles about that widget before content becomes redundant. Now, think from an audience perspective. This brand is pumping out redundant content. What do they have to get excited about? Why would they stay tuned in?
Think broader about this audience’s needs and build out your content assets.
At the same time, you want to think small. If you try to target a large audience, you’ll be unable to compete with big media. So find a niche audience to who you can say, “I created this content especially for you.”
Have a Unique Story
Give people some context. Why should they be interested in your brand and what you have to say? There are millions of brands trying to produce helpful content for similar audiences. But ultimately, it’s the story that will draw them in and help them connect.
Keep Your Audience
Continue to nurture your audience so that it can grow. To do this, you must keep adding value through content even after becoming a customer. Someone who’s already a customer may consume a different type of content than someone in the awareness or consideration stage. So once again, think about the whole audience and the entire buyer’s journey to ensure they stay enthusiastic about what your brand has to offer.
To learn more about how to build an audience that is excited and ready to propel your brand, reach out to Zero Gravity Marketing (ZGM) today!