An audience can make or break a brand. With a core audience of people who love the work you do, you have resource for ongoing revenue and a fanbase who will tell other people about what you. A solid audience is not built overnight or in a one-shot deal. They must be found, communicated with (not to), and nurtured over time. There is no one source for an audience. They are obtained through the hard work of marketers using some of the following channels.
Content marketing stretches beyond the blog on your website. With the low costs involved in producing content, you can reach audiences with webinars, white papers, videos, and podcasts. People want to learn through different mediums which is why visual, audio, and written mediums are all important to consider in a comprehensive marketing strategy. Whichever medium you choose for content distribution, remember that quality is important.
Email is not dead so wise marketers continue to spend time building up their email list. The key lies not only in simple forms to encourage sign-ups, but also making it clear what users will receive in return for their email. Being clear about an offer decreases the amount of opt-in form abandonment. There are also a number of creative ways to encourage email subscribers beyond the pop-up form. For example, consider including an email subscribe option as a sitelink extension in your AdWords campaign.
Not another account! Regardless of how awesome you believe your free content is, many people cannot stand the idea of creating yet one more username and secure password. However, you can skip this hurdle by allowing people to register on your site with Facebook Social Login. Not only are you receiving the name and email address, but you could also have access to gender, marital status, birthday, and location through Facebook. This can be a win-win for you as well as the visitor. You mine valuable data and they do not have the hassle of one more account.
Make it easy for people to connect with you on their preferred channel by displaying your social networks in places where people are inclined to engage, such as the end of a blog post. If you find that people are not using them, consider moving the location of these logos or removing them from some of your marketing materials to free up valuable space for other messaging.
Social media use continues to grow which means there are also more opportunities to advertise to more social media users. Social media channels can even be used to grow an audience on some of your other channels, like email.
With social ads, a simple text ad is probably not enough to stand out among all the other social media noise. Advertisers should use their creativity and include images so their ad is set apart from all the others.
Most mobile phones have text capabilities with users checking these messages multiple times a day. As a result, this can be a real gold mine for advertisers who do it right. It is a very cost effective, permission based channel. It can be used as an alert for public messages or an update about an upcoming event. Here too an option can be made for people to subscribe to that email list. Since text messages are short, it is helpful to include a link for more information about whatever is presented in the short SMS.
The pound sign (#) is well known to Twitter users as a hashtag, which is indicative of a keyword or theme. When they are used for events, they are an opportunity to gain new followers who know about the event but not your specific brand – yet. It can also be used to encourage conversations about your brand.
Postal mail is not dead either. They pieces are something we can hold in our hands and are obviously very visual. You come in contact with these most days in the form of coupons and pamphlets. Direct mail can be used creatively to direct people to online channels, potentially building an audience for future online marketing which is less costly than the postage and print costs with offline promotions. Content available online, such as Facebook posts can be leveraged into offline pieces as well.
There is no one right way to build an audience. Success comes when various methods are used and evaluated for response rates. Eventually, a determination may be made that some are not worth the investment while other result in pleasant surprises.