The audience of every brand has a few characteristics in common. They chose that particular brand for a reason. When you can learn what brings an audience to a company, you can learn how to market more effectively. When your marketing efforts are more effective, you are more likely to bring in new audience members. This is a concept known as audience development.
All businesses must work on audience development and, chances are, you have already done some of it without realizing it. It’s a lot like many of the elements of marketing, but there are a few differences.
This article will explain more about audience development, marketing related, and critical elements and goals. This will help you understand how you can use audience development to grow your site. We also highly recommend you check out Viafoura, as they offer a great suite of tools that make audience development easy.
What is Audience Development?
Audience development is not one specific thing, but an umbrella of several tasks that help you grow/nurture your audience. There are several steps involved, which we will go over below:
- Build relationships: your current and potential audience can improve with quality interactions. When you build relationships, you connect with the customer, which improves how they see your business.
- Gain customers: there are several ways that new customer acquisition happens: referrals, targeted advertising, and through value added.
- Increasing loyalty: finding ways to improve current customers’ brand loyalty and keep them coming back is extremely important to retaining and growing your audience base.
What is the Difference Between Audience Development and Marketing?
Businesses in every industry are aware that audience engagement is critical to the growth of a business. It has an impact on sales, acquisition rates, and more. But, while they seem to be similar, they actually do have a few differences.
Marketing focuses on the product. With marketing, you are showing your product to your customers in a way that highlights the benefits. Therefore, your marketing materials can be highly targeted or indiscriminate.
Audience development, on the other hand, focuses more on the human aspect of your audience. Your focus is on what they like about you, what they want/need to see, and how your products are used.
When it comes to pricing, there is a remarkable difference between the two. Marketing requires that you pay for your advertising space, and unless you do it yourself, the creation of the ad. The costs of marketing add up quickly.
Audience development is about building relationships. When you build relationships with your customers, you will find that they are more likely to share information about your brand with others through word of mouth and social media interactions. This method of marketing costs barely anything, and in some cases, is completely free.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should focus more on one than the other. On the contrary, they often overlap each other and work hand-in-hand. Some of the areas where they overlap are:
- Outreach on social media
- Targeted advertising
- User-generated content
- Referral programs
- Loyalty programs
The point of audience development is to interact with your audience and get them talking about your product.
Key Aspects of Audience Development
When you talk about audience development, the 4 C’s almost always come up. Four concepts explain the main principles of audience development.
As we said, audience development focuses on the human aspect, which means creating a community. When you become involved with your local community, you increase awareness of your brand while also providing a positive image of your company.
Additionally, building an online community such as those on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more, is powerful. These are places that people go to talk about the brands they love. Most users are more than happy to tag a company that they like. By supporting and encouraging this community, you help connect with your audience, and they feel more in tune with your brand and others that feel the same way.
One of the benefits of creating a community is that you also create connections with others and facilitate creating those connections between others. When you connect with them, you are meeting your audience right where they are.
Collaboration is essential for any organization, from cooperation within a department and others to interact with your audience. Here are a few ways that you can encourage collaboration within your organization:
- Marketing: departments are more effective when they work together. You reach the right people when data is shared, and everyone is cooperative.
- Corporate/Social Outreach: If your audience supports certain organizations, look into creating a partnership with them. Some of the best ways to reach the public are through community events and outreach programs.
- Featured Content: reach out to your audience and have them submit reviews and photos of them using your product. This is free for you, and most of them would be more than happy to be featured in your marketing efforts.
Finally, prove to your audience that you care about them. Help them see that you do understand their desires and you’re working to fulfill them. Always say thank you when they make a purchase and show that you appreciate them. Of course, you must be authentic, so be careful how you phrase them.
The goal of Audience Development
You may be thinking that audience development is an ambiguous concept, there’s no one way to measure how your audience has developed, and it encompasses many ideas. So, what exactly is accomplished through audience development?
- Understand your audience better: this process provides you insight into the thought processes of your audience. You learn what they like and what they don’t like about your product, how they reach you, and so much more. When you do this, they will love you even more.
- Increase Engagement: interacting with your audience will increase their engagement. Those who comment/respond to your posts and those who share your Content will increase when you interact with them.
- Activate/Optimize omnichannel marketing: when you know your audience, it’s much easier to reach them. Through omnichannel marketing, you use all communication platforms in one unified experience.
Since you now understand audience development better, it’s time to start building your audience to grow your site. Having a community will help, so pay attention and remain connected to them. When you increase your customer base, you increase your profits and create return customers who will stay loyal and refer others to you. The only way your audience will know and remember you is if you reach out to them.