The Top 10 Ways to Creatively Build and Develop Your Online Audience

iStock-507094667.jpg

Building a successful online audience of loyal brand advocates takes time and insight into demographics. For brands and marketers to attract and maintain loyal followings online, leverage networks, platforms, and marketing strategies effectively.

Here are the 10 best approaches to identify and engage a qualified audience.

 

1. Leveraging Partnerships With Influencers Who Have Desirable Audiences

 

Looking to add another powerful layer of engagement? Want to be as relevant and credible as possible? Benefits abound when brands and marketers collaborate with established trendsetters with rock star quality and unique storytelling mastery. The key is knowing how to cash in on them.

 

Start with the right questions. It's important to have a deep understanding of the scope and future impact of an influencer's offering to ensure a favorable outcome of your brand's goals. From execution, data, and analytical tools to cost, disclosure questions help you identify and connect with the appropriate influencer talent. In the end, it's beneficial to you, consumers and the influencers, too.

 

2. A/B Split Testing Every Email Communication

 

Retaining customers is easier than prospecting for new ones. It's why A/B tests are critical to new email campaign experiments. To improve conversions, it's a cinch to run effective A/B tests when you:

●      Settle on what you'll test: For the best results, test one thing at a time. Some considerations might include subject lines, personalization, message layout, text, or images.

●      Test whole or partial lists:  To get an accurate account of email opt-in responses, start with your entire list. Go for partial list testing if your A/B test service charges per email address, you're trying something new, or offering time-limited promotions.

●      Know what to test for: Decide on what you'll test for before launching your emails. Review previous results from consistent campaigns or open rates for future improvements.

●      Use proper testing tools: If your email campaign software is devoid of support or built-in A/B testing, consider splitting your lists into two separate lists and send different campaigns to each.

●      Analyze your results: After running a campaign with two different email versions, examine the results of open rates, click-throughs, and conversion rates. This helps to lower the risk of losing sales.

 

3. Including Exclusive Information in High-quality Content for Expert Brand Positioning

 

To perfectly position your brand to stand out from competitors, you'll need to leave an enduring impact on your target audience. This is easily doable through a genuine mix of targeted content through different formats, mediums, and touch points.

 

Bottom line: Give the people what they want. Take the reader's perspective into account and ask yourself: Is it informative? Is it relevant? Does it offer value? High-level content is what attracts a large following, especially when it's entertaining, engaging, and useful.

 

4. Expanding Client Lists with Look-Alike Modeling

 

For marketers, the challenge to reach more of the right customers is real. The struggle oftentimes extends into tailoring new strategies to increase the reach to a larger audience — particularly with relevant advertising. Here's where look-alike modeling works to streamline the process.

 

This secret weapon defines customers most likely to engage with your marketing messages. Also, it extends your reach by analyzing the common behaviors or traits of current customers to capture new ones exhibiting similar characteristics. The strategy behind this ingenious method is to find new targets that look like your best customers.

 

Why use it? According to 30 percent of advertisers who reported using look-alike modeling, their results doubled or even tripled that of standard targeting. Given these benefits, two common approaches are sure bets to get started:

●      To build look-alike models from email or direct mail lists, work with third-party data providers to build offline model audiences.

●      When using online customer data (i.e, an active website audience) build look-alike models via data management platforms that house third-party data.

 

Even if you start with offline data for digital marketing, you can still reach your model audience within digital channels through mobile, video or display.

 

5. Determining and Choosing to Interact on Platforms Where the Targets Spend the Most Time

 

To grow your fan base is to know where your audience hangs out to absorb content and get social interaction. Once you begin to navigate platforms that are ideal consumer breeding grounds, you'll need three things:

●      To know where your audience engages with your chosen platform at all times, on any channel factually and in real time

●      Content management offering the ability to optimize, test, and scale content to identify critical components of the audience journey

●      Platform automation to distribute great content to build momentum, boost conversions, or page views

 

Take Facebook, for instance. It's the one platform known to drive an audience and site traffic. With its popularity, a brand can quickly make it a top priority, find a large audience, and define a content strategy and voice.

 

6. Providing Valuable Gated Content

 

To gain access to a name, phone number, or even an email address when looking to get contact information, you need to master the use of gated content, or information that a user must fill out a form to access. You'll find that it's not a matter of what you should gate, but more of the what and when gated content should be used. Whitepapers, ebooks, podcasts, videos, and product demos are a few optimal content sources to generate leads and build online viewership during the audience journey.

 

Time invested in gating helps to drive leads deep into a sales funnel, where they're primed and nurtured over time. Also, leads from gated content are much more likely to convert, which creates opportunities for high conversion rates.

 

7. Taking Advantage of Social Sharing

 

In an effort to extend your reach and gain more adoring fans, use social sharing to your advantage. If it's more tweets, likes, or pins you're after, make awesome content to compel people to share. Do this with enticing headlines, irresistible offers, humor, and visuals. Posting at the right times is an added bonus to capture more attention and drive up the ante in social shares.

 

8. Engaging With Your Audience

 

Once you've gained a solid footing in delivering interesting content, encourage comments and feedback. Engage with active followers and respond to inquiries, including positive and negative comments, in a timely fashion. When readers request more information on certain topics, publish articles or blog posts to address their questions or concerns.

 

9. Focusing on Organic Search

 

When consumers are interested in something they take to the web to connect with the information they need. Use targeted keywords in your niche and evergreen content to stay top of mind on a search engine results page when they're ready to buy. With this cost-effective approach to the "pay to play" method, you stay ahead of your competitors. Besides, consumers are more likely to click on the top organic results over paid ads.

 

10. Maintaining Interest With Retargeting

 

Sometimes customers reach your brand early in the purchase journey as a result of interacting with an ad, blog post, or some other means. In either case, they're often not ready to make a purchase on the first visit. Not to worry, they're just in the consideration phase.

 

Simply reconnect with them through retargeting. Target users based on specific actions taken on your site and offer value on commonly viewed products. Consider retargeting existing customers who've been unresponsive to emails. Get behind the power of lead-gen ads like the ones offered by Facebook.

 

Every aspect of building an online audience comes down to understanding customers and what motivates them. Armed with the proper knowledge, it's easier to use digital channels to reach well-defined targets, improve engagement, and drive sales.