Trying to Grow Your Target Audience? Here’s How.
When it comes to running a membership-based business or a non-profit organisation, the size of your audience is everything. A larger audience gets you more potential paying subscribers or donors.
And for the average business owner, we know how sometimes growing your audience feels like your industry and media algorithms are a grim reaper that hand-picks which business gets more, and which ones are deprived of traffic needed to form a pool of loyal audience. Luckily, it’s never that out of control.
In this article, we give you the antidote strategy to shove the grim reaper to the side while snapping up your fair share of an ever-increasing audience base.
But first—how do you even make sure this heavily-contested audience is worth the fuss?
How do you define your target audience?
Defining your target audience is standard practice for anyone who hopes to run a non-profit or subscription-based business successfully.
You want to get your message out to as many people as possible, so doesn’t it make sense to simply cast a wide net? No. You see, your brand can’t appeal to everyone the same way. The old cliché goes: if you try selling to everyone, you’ll end up selling to no one. So, before you set about growing your audience, you must first define the profile of your audience.
Your target audience is a specific demographic with whom you have the highest chances of generating positive responses. If you’re running a charity for cats, for example, you’re more likely to get donations from an audience made up of people who actually care about animals, compared to an audience of just the general public. That’s your target audience.
So, how do you identify your target audience?
Straighten out your USP
Of course, the first step towards figuring out your ideal target audience is laying out what exactly your unique selling proposition is. What ideals are you looking to fit in? What needs are you looking to solve? Continuing with our cat charity example, are you setting up a shelter? Or is it a pet rescue organisation? There might not seem to be a lot of difference between both, but straightening it out in that manner makes it easier for you to understand just what potential donors to approach.
Find commonalities between your existing subscribers
The next step is to go through the data you have on the existing members of your audience, to find what they have in common.
Whatever the answer is, it will not only help you to profile your ideal audience correctly, it just might help to explain how you appealed to them in the first place, which would be also quite helpful in future marketing campaigns.
Research your competition
Finally, it’s never a bad idea to get insights into the operations of your competitors. Listen really close to their ads, social media and messaging, and you’ll find out what demographic they are targeting. That'll help you understand what audience best benefits from your brand’s USP.
How can I grow my audience online?
Now that you have created your ideal customer profile, how do you finetune your brand’s messaging to grow your online audience composed majorly of people who fit this profile?
Your best tool towards building a target audience that’s as responsive as it is extensive is to explore personalisation strategies. According to research conducted by Adlucent, 71% of people respond more positively to personalised outreaches than they would to random ads.
With CRM tools like our consent lists and topics functions, you can empower your existing subscribers to define their content preferences and then, analyse their interactions with your brand. This doesn’t only help increase your subscriber retention figures, but also furnishes you with insights. These insights inform your strategy to help you further finetune campaigns that appeal more to your targeted demographic.
Synergise for brand awareness
Businesses hardly run in all-sufficient bubbles. Regardless of what your niche is, there’s almost certain to be a few other establishments whose target audiences intersect with yours, even though they aren’t direct competitors.
Finding existing synergies with such brands and partnering up to create marketing content will tremendously help grow your online audience. Take Netflix for example; from being just another DVD rental company when they started, they’ve grown to become a huge service with well over 200 million subscribers.
How did they do this? In truth, many factors are responsible for Netflix’s success, but their decision to partner up with LG, Samsung and Sony in 2015 stands out.
In conjunction with these brands, they created the “Netflix Recommended TV” feature – an algorithm that they then co-advertised as able to help their subscribers identify which TV brands best suit their movie preferences. This strategy immediately increased Netflix’s online visibility, thrusting them before new audiences.
Explore multiple channels, but harmonise
You can’t hope to grow your audience as you’d like to if all you do is stick to Facebook as your sole advertising medium. The advertising landscape is constantly changing and there’s a constant stream of new communications channels opening.
Businesses and nonprofits seeking to grow their audiences must be savvy enough to maintain a presence across multiple channels. However, that is not just enough; omnichannel marketing entails integrating your presence across all these communication channels to present a unified message to your target audience.
Simply put, Omni-channel marketing involves coordinating consistent and unified messaging across all online and offline advertising platforms, including social media, telephone and SMS messaging, among many others. This greatly expands audiences beyond small subsets of internet-savvy folk.
In this 2017 report evaluating the success of the outreach efforts of nonprofits in America, statistics revealed that direct mail outreach efforts paired with digital ads yielded a 28% higher conversion rate. It also hinted that advertising efforts that employed 2 or more channels (direct mail and any other one) recorded on average, a 118% higher response rate, compared to non-profits that engaged only in direct mail.
Build your audience, then build trust with them
While building an audience is key, building your crop of loyal followers is the absolute game-changer as they have given up their data willingly. So, you’re able to contact them about new offerings and updates about your business and nurture them—without any third-party platform.
With ad blockers on the rise and the intense competition for leads in digital spaces ever stern, it’s hard to build your audience without the right strategy. However, by constantly applying new strategies, you can ensure that your brand continues to build a robust, responsive audience.
Also, you can read our handbook here, to further understand the role that data plays in modern marketing; and how you can explore using intelligent insights obtained from subscriber data to build even better marketing models.