Building an audience these days is a big challenge.
Whether you want to build it on Youtube, on Linkedin, on your podcast or even on your newsletter. It’s a long marathon. You have to be willing to increase your online followers and work hard for it.
The days that you publish content and people will come are over.
The competition is increasing. Content creation is now a commodity.
Let’s dive deep into the journey of dedicated audience building and how B2B creators can seamlessly link their personal brand with a larger company image.
1. Beyond Content Creation: The Importance of Targeted Engagement
Any audience is no audience.
When you know who your targeted audience is, your job becomes easier. Why? Because it helps you focus only on the ones that really matter.
For example, if you are just starting to build your own audience on social media, you can’t just publish content and engage in every discussion that appears in front of you. You have to engage only with a target audience.
Let’s say you are a B2B creator in the architecture industry. This means that if you want to build your own audience, you have to connect with other creators from industries that are connected to yours. In this case, we’re talking about the architecture industry, which is connected to industries like construction, real estate, interior design, manufacturing and materials, or engineering.
To make it easier, find two or three creators in this industry, set up notifications when they publish content, and whenever you get notified about their new content, join the conversation with valuable information and make sure you stay top of mind.
However, those who truly stand out are the ones who actively engage in the comments, participate in meaningful conversations, and offer valuable feedback.
2. Blending Personal Brand with Company Image
The equilibrium between a creator’s individuality and the brand they represent is delicate. Showcasing too much of the brand can come off as inauthentic. However, leaning too heavily into personal branding might overshadow the company’s message.
When representing a brand, the key is to intertwine personal experiences and stories with the brand’s mission and goals. It’s a symbiotic relationship: the brand benefits from authenticity and a human touch, while the creator gains authority and credibility from the brand’s reputation.
At Creatopy, there was a season when we launched several marketing case studies. These were experiments and studies we conducted to understand the market, educate the industry, and position our brand. One such study revolved around the topic of vertical video ads.
This topic melded seamlessly with my personal brand, allowing me to pitch it at the Ad World conference. Subsequently, I was accepted and had the opportunity to present to the entire advertising world.
The synergy between the company’s brand and my personal brand was facilitated by the topics I regularly discuss on my social media platforms.
Linking your personal narrative with your brand’s overarching message is more art than science.
The secret? Intertwine your personal experiences with the company’s objectives, crafting a harmonious blend of authenticity and authority.
3. Building a Rented Audience vs. Owning Your Audience
Joe Pulizzi once said, “Don’t build your house on rented land.”
Now, consider this: would you work tirelessly day and night to construct your dream house on rented land? How precarious is it to think that one day the landlord might come and claim your house because you built it on their property?
This scenario mirrors what’s happening on social media today. You’re building your personal brand on platforms that own your audience, your content, and your channels/profiles. While you utilize these platforms to grow your audience, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the audience truly belongs to you. Indeed, social media is crucial for visibility and expanding your audience, but it’s essential to remember that the audience on these platforms is essentially “rented.”
You’re on borrowed ground, and changes in platform algorithms can drastically affect your reach.
However, you can leverage these platforms to draw attention to your content and then strive to transform that audience into an “owned” one, like community members or email subscribers. This way, you can directly access your followers without any intermediary platform.
Building an audience on social media platforms is merely the initial step. If you want to ensure that you’re not at the mercy of these unpredictable algorithms, you must convert that attention.
Here’s a strategic roadmap on how to transition from a rented audience to an owned one:
Use the Scarcity Method
The scarcity marketing strategy capitalizes on limited availability or time constraints to instill a sense of urgency among consumers, prompting quicker purchasing decisions. By portraying products or services as rare or in limited supply, businesses can stimulate demand and boost sales.
Chennell frequently employs this strategy by tweeting before sending out her newsletter, inviting people to join her list so they can receive it directly in their inbox.
4. Ease of Conversion
Ensure that the process of subscribing or joining your community is seamless. The fewer the steps, the better.
Let’s take, for example, Katelyn Bourgoing. Her strategy is simple, and this has helped her newsletter email list grow to over 57K subscribers.
In fact, she uses two types of strategies:
1. Hit the link from the profile.
She is publishing content and inviting people from her audience to use the link in her bio. In fact, if the social media platform allows us to insert a link in our bio, it suggests that if the audience clicks the link from the bio, it won’t risk damaging the reach and impressions. However, that’s just a personal point of view.
Link in comment or reply
Sometimes it’s okay to publish content on a social media platform and use the link in the posts. It’s not that it will harm your total reach or impressions, but your audience needs an easy way to connect with you. So, why not, right?
She can use this strategy because the value in every piece of content she publishes is consistent. The primary reason people follow Katelyn is that she provides value in her content. This keeps their attention and wins the battle of conversion.
Also, see how simple her strategy can be:
- Provide value in your content.
- Use the link to your newsletter in replies or comments (use a simple URL like mywebsite.com/newsletter).
- On the landing page of your newsletter, the primary CTA should be the subscribe form. (as other professionals are doing).
While owned audiences provide stability and direct access, rented audiences offer broader reach and brand visibility.
Building an audience in the B2B sector is an intricate dance of content creation, engagement, and strategic planning.
By understanding the nuances of rented vs. owned audiences and intertwining personal experiences with brand messages, B2B creators can build a loyal, engaged, and ever-growing audience.