Why the Audience First Mentality Will Virtually Guarantee Sales, Revenue and Profits
This is the step where most business owners fail.
If you remember in the introduction of this guide, we talked about the critical mistakes that John made. John spent all of his money developing his product, “The Breakfast Pal.”Once he finally brought his product to market, he quickly discovered that he had to start all over in regard to building an audience and actually selling his product.
The idea behind building an audience is that it is infinitely easier to sell a service or a product to people who have already given you their attention.
That is the key point behind this entire chapter.
In this chapter we will discuss:
- The best ways to build an audience
- Understanding the real power of social media
- The importance of engagement
- Why email is your new best friend
- How to attract audience members through addictive content.
- What is the Best Way to Build an Audience?
Content. Content. Content.
Anyone who has done even a little bit of research about online marketing is bound to come across the concept of content marketing.”
Everything is content. However, for clarity let’s break it down into the three subsections of content.
Written Word – What you are reading right now is written word content. It can be short, it can be long, it can be informative or funny. Written content is always valuable because of its potential to rank in search engines. For me, the written word is always my go-to. However, video is becoming more and more important every day.
Video – The statistics behind video content are astounding. People are watching more and more video content every day. More so, we are watching video on our mobile devices. YouTube continues to be the major player, but video is crucial in other areas such as Instagram, Snapchat, Vimeo and Facebook. Anyone trying to build an audience should immediately begin getting comfortable in front of the camera. It is crucial.
Audio – The rise of the mobile device has brought audio into a new stratosphere of relevance. Podcasts are a great way to build an audience. The great thing about audio is that it can follow your user while they travel or do other things. It doesn’t require our full attention. For instance, we can consume audio content while driving, while cleaning or while working out. It is a form of content that doesn’t require you to stop what you are doing and look at a screen.
Image – Pictures, drawings, doodles, photography, artwork or visual content of any kind can have a huge impact. Good photography is an extremely valuable asset for any business or brand.
The Most Important Step
We are not creating content for the sake of it. The entire purpose of creating content is to create something of value. You have to use your content to improve someone’s life. There is a big difference between content and advertising.
There is a time and place for advertising and we will talk about that in the next chapter. For right now, we want to stay focused on audience building.
If you are asking for someone to give you their attention you must provide them with something that will improve their lives. Or else why on earth would anyone pay attention to you? Always remember, when creating content, your user should come first. What are their needs? What can you do to solve someone’s problem?
Keep the audience first and your business will grow.
Understanding the Value of Social Media
I like to look at social media in two ways. First, know that every social media platform is really an advertising platform. It is important to understand the reason why social media platforms exist.
Again, we will get into the advertising aspect soon. For now, let’s look at the other side of social media and what I believe is the true value.
The real power behind social media is community. After all, it is “social” media.
Most people and brands make the mistake of using social media as a promotion tool. Yes, social media is a great way to promote your content, but your main objective behind social media should be to engage with people. We engage with people because that is the best way to build an audience.
Do you think that people are more inclined to give their attention towards a brand that pushes content in front of them or a brand that asks questions, interacts, provides value and engages with their followers?
Obviously, the correct answer is the latter.
The Importance of Engagement
If you do not engage with your audience, you will slowly lose your audience.
You can’t expect people to follow you for no reason. You have to keep them engaged. How do you do this?
- Reply to their comments.
- Invite your audience to email you and reply to their emails personally.
- Reply to their snaps.
- Stay and shake their hands after an event.
One more time. the power of social media is community. You are trying to build a tribe. You are creating a community of people with like-minded interests that are willing to trade their attention for valuable content. Don’t over-complicate this. It’s that simple.
Why Email is Your Best Friend
I love social media. For branding and community purposes, social media has tremendous power.
With that being said, I would trade a high performing email list for a large social media following any day. Here is why.
You Don’t Own Your Social Audience
A few years ago, Facebook changed its algorithm that controls how they display content. It drastically reduced the rate at which business pages were able to be seen by the people who follow their pages. What this did is force businesses into advertising with Facebook if they wanted people to see their content, products or brand.
For those of us who spend years building our audiences on Facebook felt this the hardest. Suddenly, and without warning, Facebook said: “you want to reach your followers, you have to pay for that now.”
And what could we do about it? None of us actually have any control over Facebook.
You have to understand that your Facebook audience is still owned by Facebook. At any time, they can completely change what happens on their site or how people are allowed to interact.
This is never the case with email.
With a solid email list, you own your data. You own your audience. It is yours and no one can ever take it from you.
Email is Still the Highest Performer for Selling
If someone opts into your email list, it means that they are choosing to let you market to them. They are interested in your product or service, in fact, they are looking forward to your content!
If you can build an email list full of people who are interested in receiving your content, then you are building an army of loyal followers. These people will love to receive updates, coupons, discounts and new releases from you.
How to Create Addicting Content
People love a good story.
There are some fascinating studies that explain why people are storytelling machines. It has a lot to do with our evolution as a species. Throughout our history, it was evolutionarily advantageous for us to tell stories because it gave it context.
Stories taught us to be afraid of the rustling in the bushes because it might be a saber-tooth tiger!
You can leverage good storytelling to build a following that will hang on your every word.
There is a lot to know about good storytelling. You can tell stories through the written word, through video, through audio and even through pictures.