10 ways to build & engage your audience

Posted by Christopher Latter on 20 Aug, 2014
View comments Marketing
Christopher Latter from trendii.com lets you in on exactly what his company did to build their audience!

In today’s digital age, there are a huge number of ways to promote a service or product using the internet, but it’s hard to know which methods are most lucrative and which are just a general waste of time.

In this post I’m going to take you through a variety of digital marketing methods that we personally use to generate great results for trendii.  A creative collaboration platform that allows users to create, share and inspire their audience, by creating trends using images, videos, music, podcasts, articles and products. Be sure to sign up because we want to see what you will create.

Also included in this article are some useful links to tools that can save you time and money when carrying out the following activities. Finally, I’ve also created some cheat sheets that will help you get started with these essential marketing channels.

5 of the best digital marketing channels

Social Media Marketing

Most Important Networks

Social media has taken over the web in the past decade with a large number of networks to choose from. There are 3 main networks that you must be active on: Facebook, Twitter & Google+. These 3 stand out as they have the widest demographics and largest user bases, so taking advantage of these audiences is essential.

It is also important to provide your brand with a personality that customers can engage with. Pinterest and Linkedin are also extremely useful networks depending on your target demographics.

Task Lists

There's a ton of different tactics to gain traction on the above social networks. Linked to here is an excel workbook that includes Daily Content Tasks, Daily Social Media Tasks, Scheduled Posts & a Weekly Report. Feel free to use this to get yours started.

Once you are used to performing the attached activities on a daily basis you will get quicker at it and can start cranking up the activity to produce more results.

Social Media Management Tools

It’s no surprise that in order to manage all of this activity, there are some great tools out there to help you. No matter how far I look, I can never find a more suitable tool than Hootsuite. This great tool allows you to post out content to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin and more. It also allows you to perform most of the outreach activity for Twitter.

Other tools that we use to manage our audiences include JustUnfollow (Instagram & Twitter) as well as Viral Woot (Pinterest). These tools alert you when users unfollow you and also help you build a targeted audience. As such, they are definitely worth checking out.

1. Blogger Outreach

What is Blogger Outreach?

Blogger outreach is a method of negotiating content placements on relevant third party websites. This provides you with both referral traffic as well as improved natural search rankings. Blogger outreach is an essential off-page SEO technique that can also assist with various marketing channels such as Social Media & Blog Management through the distribution of content.

Blogger Outreach Tools

I’ve tried and tested quite a few blogger outreach tools but nothing comes close to Buzz Stream. This great tool allows you to easily search for long lists of blogs relevant to your business. It then automatically finds any contact details from the site and allows you to instantly make contact with them using a pre-determined template.

When I started blogger outreach 5 years ago, this process was extremely time consuming; however, Buzz Stream eliminates almost 80% of the time it takes to carry out this activity on a daily basis.

2. Email Marketing / Newsletter

Why Email Marketing?

Still one of the most important avenues for not only building your audience but keeping your audience engaged is Email Marketing. Distributing good quality content to an interested audience is the best way to get customers to keep coming back.

With anti-spamming laws in place, all subscribers must have opted-in to an email campaign before an email is sent. Therefore, the most common way to collect email addresses is via a newsletter web form placed on your website.

Email Marketing Tools

There are some great email marketing tools out there but we’d recommend Aweber. This awesome email marketing tool allows you to do the following:

  • Create responsive email templates

  • Edit your content in a variety of way

  • Distribute content via your own email address

  • Receive reports on open rates, bounce rates, un-subscription rate etc…

  • Automatically blacklist email addresses

Above everything, we’ve found this to be really easy to use as well as affordable. Other good tools include MailChimp etc…

3. Blog Management

Main Advantages of Blog Management

  • The more optimized content that is posted, the more organic traffic you will generate.

  • If the content posted is high quality, you will receive repeat visitors.

  • The content you produce for the blog can be re-purposed for social media and newsletters.

  • Content can interlink to other important pages to direct the flow of traffic to a call to action.

What content should I write?

It is important that you first know who your target audience is. The audience has to be able to relate to the content and gain some value from  it. The tonality that is used within the blog post is also important. For a younger audience you would use a more relaxed tone as opposed to a legal company for example where content must be precise and professional.

4. Affiliate Marketing

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the utilisation of your users as a marketing channel. If you allow your customers to sell to other customers in return for a commission, you can essentially multiply your sales force exponentially by slightly reducing your profit margin. This can be applied to all industries

For tech projects, this can be built into an automated process with promotional content being supplied to users to aid in the sales process.

 

5 Marketing strategies to engage your audience

You must keep your audience engaged otherwise your efforts will have been a waste of time. You want to excite and educate them with a variety of content in different formats so that you capture the attention of everybody in your reach and beyond.

Listed below are 5 of the best ways that we currently engage with our audience and will continue to do so in the near future. Each of these campaigns can be used as leverage in each of the above marketing channels.

1. Competitions

We would recommend launching a few competitions. This can be done on a weekly or monthly basis to give something back to your community. The competition could be run through all of the social networks. It can also be promoted to your subscribers using an attractive HTML email.

Example Competition Ideas

  • Cash Prize – Share to Win

  • Best Photo – Submit Your Photo to Win

  • Best Response – Comment to Win

Competitions can also be used as leverage with other companies to secure sponsorship deals, providing you with marketing spend or even free merchandise to give away as part of the competition.

2. Web Series

Creating a series of videos is both a fun and effective way of sending a message to your audience. The hardest part is coming up with a concept.

To keep costs to a minimum and to create a professional finish, a green screen is going to be a good investment. With a green screen you can easily add in any background scene and create the desired environment for you videos.

All of your videos can be distributed through your marketing channels but you should also use the main video networks too such as YouTube and Vimeo.

3. World Record Attempt

We have a world record attempt up our sleeves that we’re hoping will get an awesome reaction by our audience but we can’t give too much away right now.

A world record attempt is a great way of engaging with people as it is an attractive proposition to be faced with. Below are some tips to running a world record attempt campaign:

  • Try and select a world record that is achievable and suits your target audience.

  • Reach out to industry relevant bloggers to promote the attempt

  • Select a record attempt that involved the most amount of people (Remember, be achievable)

  • Reach out to local journalists to attend the attempt

  • Tell everyone you can through social media and your subscribers list

4. Thunderclap

There are an unlimited number of tools online now that use complex logic to reach huge audiences. One of our favourites is Thunderclap.

“Thunderclap is the first crowd-speaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together. If you reach your supporter goal, Thunderclap will blast out a timed Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr post from all your supporters, creating a wave of attention (Thunderclap.com).

Depending on how well you promote the campaign through your other marketing channels; this tool can assist you in reaching millions of people with a pre-defined message of your choice, usually a call to action.

This would be a great tool to also promote your world record attempt with.

5. YouTube Superstars

Finally we wanted to mention one of our favourite campaigns. Since YouTube opened its doors, it has created a new type of person that we call the YouTube superstars. These people are naturally gifted at engaging with people and are those channel owners that have hundreds of thousands, if not millions of subscribers.

We recommend targeting those superstars that are relevant to your business and thinking of a unique way to grab their attention. If you could get your product or service endorsed by one of these guys, then you instantly acquire access to their enormous following.

These campaigns can take a little bit of planning but are well worth it.

Summary

Although it may sound like a lot, the above 10 activities will ensure that your company continues to grow its audience and engage with them on a continuous basis. It also comes with a long list of additional benefits that include:

  • Improved Natural Search Rankings

  • Increased Traffic

  • Brand Recognition

  • Increased App Downloads

  • Increased Newsletter Sign-ups

  • Partnership Opportunities

  • Sales

  • And more…

I hope that you have found this post to be of use. I’d be happy to answer any questions that you may have so please leave a comment.

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