We all know the importance of a high-quality website. When you establish a robust website, it becomes your landing page, home base if you will, and THEN you are in a great position to own YOUR audience! A well-designed website not only gives credibility to your business but also provides your company with a solid online presence, branding, traffic, and leads.
What does it mean to own your audience?
In a nutshell, owning your audience means direct communication with your clients and customers. You won’t have to rely on third-party software to interact with them.
How are audiences generated?
There are three ways audiences are typically generated:
- Rented Audience: Think of this audience the way you’d think of renting a place to live. You pay the rent, and the owner of the property takes care of everything else, such as maintenance, and pretty much dictates what goes on in your living space. The same is true when you find your audience on any social media site. The social platform owns the audience, and they allow you to rent them. Any changes the social media company makes to THEIR platform will have an impact on your relationship with your “rented” audience.
- Owned Audience: You directly connect with these audiences through data, including info like email address, name, company, title, etc.
- Short-term: These audiences are collected via a cookie on your website. Your goal is to convert these audiences into one of the lists above, preferably your owned audience.
Five steps to own your audience
There are several ways of accomplishing this and many strategies based on your organization’s purpose, whether it be lead generation, customer service, or e-commerce. Here are some strategic steps that work:
- Provide value: Provide value to your audience. For a moment, let’s think of our social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) as if they are the entrance to a mall. The potential customer steps into the mall and has plenty of stores to browse through. Let’s ask ourselves, how can we stand out? How do we get them to walk into our store (click into our social platform)? And when they step into our store (enter our social platform), do we have enough to make them want to stay, browse and engage? If you can answer those questions, and you believe you’re providing value to your audience, move on to the next step.
- Develop a relationship with your audience: Developing a relationship with your audience isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the work. Be available to answer questions, interact with comments and reciprocate the social part of social media. Address your customers by name, if it’s on their profile, and take a moment to make a connection. Develop a relationship before you move your audience from your rental space to an area that you own.
- Direct your audience to the location you own: On each of your (rental) social platforms, you should have a strategy to move your followers from audience to customer. For instance, let’s say we follow the diagram below and lead people to our website. In our strategy, we know we want to connect with them digitally. We want to have access to our audience. Therefore, we may ask them to sign up for our newsletter or our text messaging campaign, so we can now bypass Facebook or Instagram and reach our audience directly. It’s great to build a massive following on social media, but the moment that platform decides to shift its algorithm, and they do, it can easily affect your following. Stop renting your customers!
- Give more value than they are paying for: It is crucial to create valuable content, and often! While this may seem intuitive, many businesses are working hard to service their clients. Therefore, developing appealing content for customers on their website may not be at the top of the list. For this reason, Jurupa Valley Chamber of Commerce partners with Wow Your Brand Marketing to ensure that our website is relevant, current, and professional. When you create content, such as an eBook, it will need to be of quality value and of use to your audience, so they see the value they are receiving in exchange for their email address.
On the Jurupa Valley Chamber of Commerce home page, you will see that we offer professional marketing advice to our community through a free eBook. When an individual enters their email address, we can add this data as a direct link to that customer and then provide even MORE valuable information to them in the future!
- Set up your website homepage like you would stage merchandise in your store: Make sure your home page isn’t too busy! A cluttered landing page is a mistake that many businesses make. You want to direct your reader straight to your eBook or other valued offers to collect their data without needless distractions and too many graphics getting in the way between you and them. Another idea is to offer a weekly or monthly electronic newsletter and provide a pop-up on your home page that invites community members, future customers or clients to join.
It is vital to choose an email client that can house these additional email addresses that are easy to export to your home database, such as Mailchimp, for example, but several email clients are out there to choose from.
In addition to social media, it’s imperative to provide links to your website through various means, such as event invitations, business cards, email signatures, and blog posts. The goal with these links is to direct your audience to your website and then straight to your valuable offering so that you can collect and own your data!
Hosting your Brand Content
Let’s face it, everyone loves YouTube, but the problem with this is that YouTube gets the subscriber data and comments, not YOU!
If you create and house your videos on your website, you will not be competing with other business owners for audience attention. Pop-ups are great here, too. Readers can enter their email or phone number to watch the video you created just for them. Some websites offer plenty of room to upload videos. Just shop around.
The Rule of Seven
Finally, what is the rule of seven? It is one of the oldest rules in marketing but still relevant today. The rule states that buyers should see or hear your marketing message at least seven times before buying from you.
While this adage isn’t new, the Internet and social media have made this rule a lot easier to follow. With all the platforms available to get your brand message across, these messages can and will reach your next audience member.
Now that you understand the value of data and how to own it, you can not only reach your audience; you can invite them to your website where you can interact with them directly.
We’re here for you and your business.
“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” — Michael John Bobak
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