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4 Strategies for Expanding Your Audience

Audience

It’s taken a long time, but you’ve finally gotten your target audience figured out. You can adequately predict response to your campaigns and you can make reliable projections about your ROI for a given strategy. But that’s not good enough anymore. You feel like your business is becoming stagnant. You’re getting by, but now that you’ve reached this point, you can see how much further you could go. You’re itching to grow, like the short kid who’s barely too short to join the basketball team. Fortunately, you can actually bring about your own growth, unlike our poor, short, basketball lover.

When you’ve reached this point of stability, it’s time to think about expanding your audience. With solid ground to work from, and with careful, focused effort, you can only expect to grow. Here are some strategies for expanding your reach and attracting a larger audience.

Analyze Your Overall Strategy

Image via Flickr by miss_rogue

Timing is everything in marketing. You know best if your business is ready for a broader audience. You know if you tend to jump the gun, if you get too excited and act before you have all the consequences accounted for. Before employing strategies to employ your audience, you’ll need to analyze your strategy and decide if you have the time and resources to devote to building your audience.

Once you’re sure the timing is right, you’ll need to rein in your focus. It can be easy, when you’ve reached confident stability in your business, to feel like the world is at your fingertips, like you could easily welcome anyone into your audience. You may want a younger demographic, but are your products and services suited for consumers in that age group? Would you need to change everything about your brand to accept members of another demographic? Be careful not to alienate your reliable audience while reaching for a new one.

After you’ve analyzed your strategy and decided where precisely you have room to grow, make a plan. Set a budget. Draft a schedule with measurable goals. Prepare thoroughly for your expansion and the process will only generate success.

Enhance Your Content

You can start widening your appeal by enhancing the content on your website. You likely already have some content that your audience regularly reads, but you need engaging, shareable content that spreads to more than your stable base. While not every piece you develop will have the influence you hope, you can enhance the average receptivity of your work with a few adjustments.

Be aware of what your competitors are writing and try to supply something different. Address a problem in a new light or in a completely unconventional way. If you can reliably produce something fresh, you’ll be able to attract the members of your target audience who are tired of reading the same old thing. It also never hurts to add photos and videos to your content to spice up user engagement. Don’t be afraid to invest in producing videos that feature your staff, so you can give your audience some faces and voices to your brand.

Maximize Social Media

Social media is a well of untapped potential. Marketers are constantly finding new ways to utilize these channels, and there’s a good chance you can bring something new to the table. If you haven’t invested much effort in enhancing your social media presence, now is the time. Each of your Facebook friends and Twitter followers has a list of potential future audience members, so you need to convince your current connections to share your content with their friends.

Consider what those friends would want from your social media page. Are they looking for a resource full of education? Or a lighthearted, fun source of enjoyment? Post often, but don’t limit yourself by setting a specific posting schedule, unless of course, your content demands a schedule that followers need be aware of. Make your posts open to interaction by asking questions and inviting conversation. Respond to comments and you’ll display that you care about your audience as more than just a number, which will impress and attract others.

Avoid constantly posting blatant advertisements on your feed, but instead use Facebook Ads and Twitter Ads, which will target users who like products and companies that are similar to your own. And instead of focusing solely on advertisements, use social media to make your brand more relatable.

Use Analytical Tools

If you want to expand your audience, you need to better understand your target demographic. You’ve likely learned a thing or two through your other marketing efforts, but there’s always more data to be gathered. There are plenty of analytical tools available that reveal consumer preferences and behavior by analyzing user interaction with you and your competitors. Using the data from analytics, you can craft content and campaigns that address those attitudes and preferences.

Use these tools to look at both competitor websites and your own. Analytical programs can break down how many users interacted with a given piece of content, and for how long. They can display the success of your campaign, or one of your competitor’s making. Analytical tools can also dig through social media data to show you what posts had the most success.

This technology is an excellent way to gather large sets of data into a meaningful picture so you can discern and act on patterns, but you shouldn’t only rely on the tools. Use your own analytical skills and your intuition to find what has made other brands to successful. You don’t have to replicate what they did, but others’ success teaches valuable lessons about what your audience wants.

When all is said and done, the most reliable strategy for expanding your audience is to build genuine relationships, through your content and campaigns, with both current and future consumers. And in the process of cultivating those relationships, you’ll also enhance your overall brand, which will only compound your expansion and retain your new audience members. It’s time to go out and make some new friends. There’s always room for more.

About the author

Michael Walton