Audience Building in 2022
As a brand, your audience are the people who show up for you. Loyal followers, eager to learn and listen to what you have to say. However, with the ever-changing ways of the internet, we have to work even harder to effectively reach our audience. The existence of COVID-19 and third party cookie loss makes it even more hard to interact with people on a regular basis – on or offline. Building the right audience is the foundation of effective marketing and business strategies for 2022. And if there is one thing that every business wants and needs right now and that is an engaged audience.
According to the Content Marketing Institute “Creating content is not the difficult part of content marketing. Distribution of content, particularly with paid media, isn’t necessarily complicated, but the true challenge of becoming a successful marketer is sustaining an audience with the right content – providing so much ongoing value that they naturally seek out your content and become a loyal reader.
Audience development encompasses a broad spectrum of tasks that grow and nurture our audiences. Businesses who thrive during these challenging times will be the ones that turn to their audiences and ask them what they need. Instead of forcing their products and processes on the changing needs of the world, they learned and adapted to what their audience really want. This creates a number of positive benefits:
- Build relationships: Both existing and potential audiences can strengthen with the help of quality interactions. A brand can create a direct connection to the customer, endearing them and improving their perception of the business. Video is vital in creating human connection that online users crave.
- Gain more customers: Of course, growing an audience is a necessary element of any marketing effort. Customer acquisition occurs through several methods, but the easiest is referrals. Advocate for more friendbuys!
- Increase customer loyalty: When it comes to existing customers, you need to keep them coming back. Finding ways to make them repeat customers and improve brand loyalty can be extremely valuable to retaining and growing your audience base. Customer loyalty is only achieved by providing transparent and trustworthy customer experience.
Creating and promoting content is a necessary step in growing an audience and building your brand, but if no one is around to engage with it, it can fall flat. Not to mention we are all bombarded with cold sales emails, follow-ups on those emails, sponsored LinkedIn messages, invitations to events and webinars, and newsletters — tons of newsletters (especially on Thursdays). It’s relentless. Realistically, we aren’t reading all of the content we’re seeing either. And chances are, our prospective clients or customers are also missing out on relevant content we’re producing. In light of the tough competition over users’ attention, video content is a powerful tool you shouldn’t discredit.
Video is hands down the most important medium for marketers today. Video content contributes to 157% increase in organic traffic. And, 80% of people would rather watch a live video than read a blog. Touché. Whether you want to tell your audience a powerful story, make people laugh, or show the audience you understand what they’re facing and have the tools or solutions to help, brands can – with video.
87% prefer to watch videos online if it means more behind-the-scenes content
The Key Aspects of Using Video for Audience Development
Today, audience development is much more dependent on the humans involved. We need our audience to embrace our brand on an emotional level. In an ideal world, they talk about our brands from a personal level. We need to encourage referrals, sharing, making content viral, educated, etc. Four concepts (we call them the Five C’s c’s) that identify the main principles of audience development with video are…
- Community: Audience development is about creating and being involved in a community, either by location or by your audience. By getting involved locally, a brand can increase brand awareness and give your audience a more positive view of your company.
- Connection: If you build a relationship, you create a connection. These relationships are friends, family, members of your business network, even people on an online forum. Part of the benefit of building a community is that you create connections between people, meeting your audience on a more granular level.
- Collaboration: We’ve learned from day one how essential collaboration is, and it applies to everything from departmental cooperation to audience interaction. Social outreach is a great example. Working with organizations that resonate with your audience can increase their loyalty, and you may bring in customers from the other organization. Collaborate with your audience by having them submit reviews or user-generated content.
“Combined, user-generated videos and professional content increases brand engagement by an average of 28%.”
- Caring: Show your audience you care. Customers are becoming more and more skeptical of companies and advertisements. Case in point: 57% of consumers think that most brands create inauthentic content, but 86% find authenticity valuable when supporting a brand. Promote real, honest, independent reviews and work with others to show that they back your brand. Thank your customers who purchase from you and show your appreciation for their business.
- Creative: Lastly – and perhaps most importantly, find a creative way to communicate with your audience using your brand’s voice. Have fun with it. Or, demonstrate how professional you are. Whatever the vibe of your brand, be sure to find a unique way to connect your message with what your audience cares about.
However you want to use it, audience development is a vital component of every business. By increasing engagement levels, you can get people interacting with you and make them more involved with your brand. This interaction can improve customer loyalty and retention, making them more likely to remain customers and purchase your product.
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