A Scenario: A young business minded individual buy a large amount of products for sale to gain profit. This young entrepreneur does not do a survey of his business environment which includes the audience he will likely be selling to. After a long futile marketing campaign, the products were not sold, leading to a huge loss on the end of the business man. What happened and why is this a compelling lesson to learn?
Releasing a new product or service is always exciting! But no matter how exciting your new product is for you, it’s not going to go anywhere if you don’t have someone to release it to. It’s easy to focus on your new product — after all, it’s the whole reason for the release! But instead of making your big product release about the product, focus your efforts instead on what that product is going to do for the people who will be buying and using the products.
What are we trying to tell you? You need an audience! Building an audience before your big launch helps to build enthusiasm. It drives the energy of the release. Thus, ultimately that energy translates into sales and profit.
Why Build an Audience?
- Pre-Customer Fan Base: Provide value up front, cash in later. The audience knows, likes and trusts you more. Sure thing, they’ll actually tell you what to sell [to them]. That means when you do start to sell, it’s a faster, easier and more lucrative process… It’s basically a future list of your customers.Pretty straightforward!
- The opening scenario explains this. If the young business man had provided value up front by creating an audience, taking surveys, asking for feedback on a product he was getting ready to launch into the market, things would not have gone soar for him. By not building an audience, he misses out on who is potential customers are, the kind of product they need and how they need need it.
- Avoid Preference Risk: your audience will act as a market research lab and enable you to take the guesswork out of the equation by helping you define, build, test, iterate, validate, and sell a product that solves one of their problems.So, not only you have direct access to an audience that likes and trusts you, but these people almost have a vested interest seeing you succeed, since you’re helping them alleviate one of their pain points.
- Master the Market for Marketing: Rather than building a product and launching it “in front of an empty stadium” until you figure out how to drive prospects cheaply to your sales funnel.It makes much more sense to invest time up front, build your marketing muscle, and reap the benefits later.
- Let’s give you insight into our perspective. When we were developing our digital marketing bundle services, we reached out via twitter through a well known brand strategist (@apexzy) to ask the audience if they would love to use a digital marketing service that uses a subscription model. The results were vast and we got the right analytics that guided our business intelligence.
How do to Use Content Marketing to Build an Audience?
We’ve seen the Reasons to Build an Audience, its benefits, lets take a closer look at the essence of deploying Content Marketing to connect your audience.
The young business man in the opening scenario, did not have an audience. He did not deem it important to build an audience. If he had developed the urge to build an audience he would likely create contents that would appeal to his audience towards anticipating his incoming products. We understand that usually, a business creates a product, then markets it to their target audience.
But listen up, there’s also an “audience first” approach to making products! In the “audience first” model, you still need to identify and research a target audience. But then, instead of creating a product, you engage with that audience through content marketing like social media and blog posts. As you create unique content and work to build an online community around it, you can research and learn more about which products and services your audience really wants.
You can then create a new product based on these insights. Then, when you’re ready to launch your product, you have the big advantage of already having a loyal audience that’s familiar with your brand. Your first step is to think about who’s in your target audience. What type of people are they? Where are they active online? What are their main interests? Which of those interests is your brand looking to cater to?
Instead of developing products for the target audience you’ve found, create and curate online content that they’ll enjoy.To keep people coming back, you’ll need to post consistently. It often helps to create a schedule of what and when you’ll publish to keep you organized and on track. After you start making and sharing content, pay close attention to which posts are popular and unpopular so you can craft your future content to appeal to what your audience likes most.
Use Your Audience to Figure Out Which Products to Sell
Learn more about your audience by asking questions. The young business man could have ask readers about their product, and the responses could reveal something about their audience, like maybe people are really into what he is offering to bring to the market.
Once you’re making content, you can run social media ads to promote it and grow your audience. Social media channels provide tools that allow you to target specific demographics and those who show interest in subjects and types of content that are similar to yours.
You can also look into collaborating with other sites that serve your target audience. For example, the young businessman could write guest posts about his products on general sites that offer content on such and link back to his product blog.
Collect people’s emails by including calls to action (CTAs) in your posts. Encourage people to sign up for a newsletter or email alerts by selling the value of your special offers and exclusive information. Then, when you launch a product, you have a jump-start on your email marketing. When you have an audience, think of new product ideas that could meet their needs and wants. Then share these ideas and see how people respond!
If your audience expresses that they want a certain product, consider offering it via pre-order. This helps your potential customers become actual customers, and helps you get the revenue you might need to make your product. Tell your readers how many products you’re making and keep them informed about how many are left. This helps encourage them to buy while supplies last. Then repeat the process with other product ideas.
Just remember to keep producing content while working to sell products. This will allow you to continue building your audience and making more and more sales. Building an audience can seem like a long process at first, so let’s get started by making a list of to-do’s you can work on now.