Your business need a quality audience
One of the most important things you can do to set your business up for success is to create and cultivate a quality audience. One that is connected to you, consuming your content, and engaging with you on a regular basis.
I’d even go as far as saying that your audience is your most important business asset.
But IMHO, an audience is not just the cumulative number of all of the people that follow you online. That’s just an overinflated vanity metric. An audience (or at least the quality audience you should be striving to build for your business) is actually much smaller (and way better) than that.
What is a quality audience?
Josh Spector has a great audience definition that I am going to borrow to demonstrate my point:
According to this definition, for someone to be considered part of your audience, you need two things…
- Connection – They need to be connected with you in a way that allows you to communicate with them over time. That may be via things like them following you on social media, subscribing to your business or via a direct message in a messaging app like Messenger or WhatsApp.
- Engagement – A passive audience doesn’t convert. What you want is audience participation. In other words, an engaged audience of people who are waiting for your content or creations. They’re eagerly awaiting your next blog post. They’re automatically downloading your next podcast episode every Sunday evening, so it’s ready for them to listen to on their Monday morning commute. They’re engaging with you on Facebook so much that you’re regularly showing up at the top of their newsfeed, because Facebook knows that they’re highly engaged and want to consume all your content. And they don’t take much convincing to buy your stuff.
You want your audience to be full of people like the guy orange (in the image below) that is on the edge or his seat, or the guy in blue that’s clapping, or even better still, that guy double fist pumping the air. That’s the kind of audience that you want to build – a highly engaged audience that loves your stuff.
There is also no value in creating an audience of randoms. It needs to be a quality audience, comprising your ideal customers.
To do this effectively, you need to clearly understand who your ideal customers are, where they hang out and what will attract them to join your audience and then engage with your content and ultimately purchase your offers.
The role of content in audience building
You can’t achieve connection and engagement without content. Content is the fuel that builds a highly engaged audience.
The content that you create is the stuff that draws an audience to you. It’s what engages your audience. It’s what keeps them coming back for more. And, it’s what compels them to purchase.
The content you create to attract and engage with your audience should therefore be created with your ideal customer specifically in mind.
Content marketing goes hand in hand with audience building.
Check out Your Content Creation Strategy if you need help in this area.
Why do you need to build a quality audience for your business?
A quality audience provides your business with the following benefits:
1. Your audience provides you with feedback and validation
Your audience builds a feedback loop between you and those people you ultimately want to buy from you. Your audience can help you with your research and product development. This is super important, especially when you are just starting out.
You can test things on your audience, and in the process, get to know what they like, what they don’t like, what they need, and most importantly, what they will buy. Your audience then becomes a validation tool, allowing you to then confidently refine your offers and achieve better results.
2. Your audience creates a pool of potential customers
Building a quality audience provides you with a direct line of communication with your current and potential customers, which is particularly important when your products and services are ready to take to market.
In particular, building a quality email subscriber audience provides you with a ‘push button’ proprietary audience that can result in income spikes that directly correlate to when your emails are sent.
3. Your audience is cheaper to convert
Your audience is cheaper to convert than some random strangers that know nothing about you.
You’ve heard the saying before… People buy from people, businesses and brands that they know, like and trust.
If someone is not in your audience, then firstly, you’re going to have to ‘pay’ to access them. This might be through paid ads, the resources you pour into building an opt-in or all the time it takes you to hustle in the Facebook group where you know your ideal customers are hanging out.
If you’re using paid advertising to sell your latest ‘thing’, you’re going to find that your return on ad spend is much cheaper if you’re advertising to your ‘warm’ (retargeting) audience than a ‘cold’ audience (i.e. not your audience). In fact, for most businesses, using tools like Facebook Ads to sell straight into cold audiences doesn’t work, as it’s not profitable when you take out the cost of your ads.
If you have a highly engaged audience, you may not even need to pay to convert them. This is because you’ll have a direct line of communication with them and they will already like and trust you, so it will require much less effort and expense to convert them.
4. Your audience buys more from you
If you’ve done a good job of building and nurturing your audience, then your audience will feel as though they’re in a relationship with your business. That leads to loyalty. Loyalty leads to behaviours such as paying more, repurchasing, forgiving you when you make mistakes, and referrals (more on that in a sec).
A loyal following increases the lifetime value of your customers, which can really pump up your bottom line.
5. Your audience provides social proof
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people follow the actions of others, whether that be a trusted friend, celebrity, stranger, certification or the masses, in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour for a given situation.
Your social media following and engagement are visible metrics that can demonstrate social proof (or lack thereof).
If your audience is actively liking, commenting and sharing your stuff, then this acts as a beacon of social proof to others, making them more likely to take notice and follow in the actions of others.
6. Your audience makes your business more attractive for collaborative partnerships
This relates back to the reason above in terms of social proof. If you build and nurture a highly engaged audience that consists of the ideal clients of other businesses (as well as your own), then you’re more likely to be approached regarding collaboration partnership opportunities.
On the flip side, if you’re looking to form a collaborative partnership with another business, then you’re much more likely to achieve success if you can demonstrate the quality of your audience.
7. Your audience can spread your messages and help you get discovered
Your audience can help put your business and offers in front of new audiences, layering in an element of social proof in the process. This further amplifies your digital marketing efforts and results.
This can be achieved through activities such as:
- Sharing your content
- User generated content
- Ratings and reviews
- Recommendations and referrals
- Collaborative partnerships
8. Makes your business more valuable for sale
I started by saying that ‘your audience is your most important business asset’. As such, it adds to the value of your business.
Should you plan to sell your business down the track, then one of the factors that will be considered in the valuation of your business is the size and quality of your audience. This is because of all of the points mentioned above.
Building a quality audience improves your bottom line AND increases the value of your business, making it a worthy investment.
What if I don’t have a quality audience?
If you don’t have a quality audience, then make it your priority to build one.
If you’re starting out in business, remember that every business starts with an audience of zero. So don’t be put off if your audience isn’t as big as your competitors or where you would expect it to be by now. The important thing is to focus on the quality audience you want to build, then make it a priority of your business to build it.
- If you’ve been around for a while, then there’s a good chance that you can relate to one or more of the following:
- You feel like you’ve built the wrong audience (i.e. not your ideal customers)
- Your audience isn’t big enough (maybe compared to your competitors or how big you think it should be by now)
- You don’t have a highly engaged quality audience, or at least not to the level you require in order to generate the level of results that we want (or need).
If this is the case, take some comfort in the fact that this is actually quite common for a lot of businesses that already have their products and services in the market. Particularly if their offerings have changed over time, meaning that the audience they have built is no longer the best audience for their new direction. This can also happen when you have neglected your audience and they have gone ‘cold’.
But all is not lost.
It’s just time to reset and refocus your efforts on building a highly engaged audience of your ideal customers, so that you can start tapping into all the benefits of building a quality audience for your business.
How can I learn more about how to build a quality audience?
We teach businesses how to build a quality audience as part of The Click Engage Convert Academy. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement. We do much more than that.
We hold your hand and support you through the process of using the best digital marketing strategies, tactics and tools to build your audience, generate leads from your audience and then convert them into customers that go on to be raving fans for your business. All this provides you with compounding interest on your audience building efforts over time.
Sound good? If you’d like to learn more about how you can build a quality audience that converts into quality customers, then we invite you to check out the Click Engage Convert Academy.