If You Build it, Will They Come? Developing an Audience for Your Content « Goldberg Communications
For the last several years, marketers have been ramping up their content-marketing efforts and becoming media-production companies. Rather than having to rely on the goodwill of media companies, who function as gatekeepers, content marketing lets you get own messages out unfiltered by a third party. Using content marketing gives you the opportunity to speak directly to your potential customers.
The challenge is that just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come. How can marketers get people to read all this content they’re investing in so they get the biggest bang for their content-marketing buck?
The Need to Develop Your Audience
According to a new book “Audience: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans & Followers” by Jeffrey K. Rohrs, marketers need to not only create content, but also focus on developing their audience. Depending on the type of media you’re producing, Rohrs says you’re in the business of filling seats, developing listeners, or enticing subscribers.
After all, before your content can begin to fulfill its ultimate purpose of enticing people to become paying customers, you need to get people to read it. Not only should they read it, they should eagerly anticipate it, pay attention to it, and forward it along to other people.
Rohrs argues that today audience-building efforts are siloed and consequently haphazard. Vendors might have one group running email campaigns, another in charge of social media, another running various types of paid advertising, and another in charge of in-store merchandising. These efforts are rarely coordinated. And they frequently operate at cross purposes. For example, a VP looking to drum up leads in the short term might spam an email list, which will sabotage long-term drip campaigns.
A Comprehensive Process
To address these issues, you as a marketer need to focus on developing your proprietary audience through comprehensive, collaborative, and cross-channel efforts. The payoff is that your company will develop a proprietary audience that only your company can access—and which clearly gives you a competitive advantage.
To get there, Rohrs suggests using both paid and proprietary channels to reach individual customers with the messages that resonate with them. This allows you to communicate with customers and prospects at a lower cost, drive sales in a more on-demand fashion, treat consumers as individuals and optimize your budget across paid, owned, and earned media.
When you do content marketing, you need to not only emulate media companies in creating content, but also to follow their lead in building up an audience to consume it.