This week, Vice President of Marketing Strategy Rob Bean at Burns Marketing hosted a webinar called “Building Online Audiences.” The webinar addressed how to cultivate and maintain an audience that can discover information about products and services digitally without a brand’s help.
Since publics can research products and services at will, Bean says it’s important to focus on how the brand’s products and services are delivered. This is key because this is where the organization has an opportunity to form a positive, long-lasting relationship with that consumer.
Another key strategy is to expand a company’s audience by limiting it. Bean advises stop trying to attract everyone and start deliberately jettisoning audience segments because, as Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute has said, “If your content is for everybody, it’s for nobody.”
In order to narrow the audience, Bean suggests defining and characterizing what audience an organization doesn’t want first before determining what groups the organization does want. Once the audience has been determined, Bean advises gathering data about the audience and focus on the audience’s needs and goals — not their demographics — to define the audience’s persona. By understanding the values and opinions of the audience, the brand is able to better serve them.
Bean’s final piece advice is to win the Internet with a digital media strategy. Content marketing isn’t just about an organization’s content, it’s about getting that content seen. “Risk is the price of entry and change is the natural state,” Bean says.
To effectively execute this, Bean suggests picking a digital medium, learning about it, creating a plan to use it that best serves the organization and audience’s needs, then go for it.
When designing a marketing or communication plan for digital media, Bean also suggests partnering with another organization in a “piggyback” campaign, like Home Depot and Habitat For Humanity or Nike and Michael Jordan.