Cultivating an engaged audience is key to the success of any brand. Once your brand’s mission and values are well-established, the next step is finding the right audience and integrating your brand into their lives.
- Identify Your Audience
When building your brand, it’s easy to think, “I want everyone to be my audience.” However, narrowing your focus to people in a certain age group, geographic area or niche can benefit your brand in the long run. Large, national companies (like McDonald’s) might benefit from trying to reach every demographic possible, but small businesses and personal brands should have a more narrow focus to best achieve their goals. Your ideal audience will share your brand’s values, leading to more engagement.
- Know What Your Audience Wants
One strategy for knowing your audience is to create “customer personas.” These are fake people who represent the real audience members you’re trying to engage. For example, your audience could be: Millennial Megan, a 26-year-old administrative assistant with a dog and no children. She is a newlywed from Brooklyn, New York, who values healthy lifestyles and eco-friendly companies.
By putting a name and face to your audience, it is easier to create relevant content. Knowing your audience can be a complicated process, but understanding their motivations is crucial for successful branding. Conducting market research, or even surveys, is the best way to analyze the effectiveness of your strategies in relation to the audience you’re trying to reach.
- Make Your Brand Accessible
If your brand’s target audience is 18-year-olds, you probably won’t want to use local newspaper ads to reach the largest number of relevant people. Similarly, Twitter isn’t your best option for reaching an audience of Baby Boomers. The platforms you use to market your brand will vary based on audience, but there are a few initiatives that are proven to attract an audience.
Research shows that businesses who constantly create content have a better relationship with both old and new customers. This can apply to personal brands, as well. Good content is very shareable. Even the best content will go to waste if your audience doesn’t know the content exists. One strategy for attracting a loyal audience might be optimizing your content for search engines. Another is establishing yourself as an expert in your field, which will increase engagement.
- Keep Your Audience Engaged
Once you have a loyal following, you will want to nurture that community. Two-way communication is the best way for an audience to feel engaged with a brand. This means you are actively connecting with your audience on a human level. Social media is great for this kind of communication. It is okay for 20% of your content to be self-serving for your brand, but the remaining 80% of your content should add value to your audience’s lives through education, entertainment, etc.
Building and sustaining the right audience can enhance all aspects of your brand’s overall performance. By knowing who your audience is, what they want, and how to reach them, you’re giving your brand the best chance for success.