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Why we care about audience development

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How will you reach your audiences?

Despite the sea of information available to the 4.95 billion internet users today, fresh content is being generated by the second. Producing engaging content that can distinguish itself within this volume takes a considerable amount of time and effort. In this context, it is critical to develop strategies to keep your audience engaged and further develop your customer base.

It is ironic that social media, one of the most potent conduits of content, is also the force behind the attrition of our attention. With a profusion of content competing for short attention spans, keeping your audience engaged is an increasingly challenging endeavor. However, having a robust audience development plan can help combat this problem.

Audience development is not about volume alone. Of course, marketers like reach, but in an environment where competitors are only a click away, deeper engagement based on trust and an authentic value exchange is of premium value. The value exchange involves delivering valuable content that meets the audience’s needs — not just promotional messaging. It involves performance metrics and optimization to grow the audience and keep it coming back for more.

The key points this article will cover include:

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

What is audience development?

Broadly defined, audience development is the process of keeping your audience engaged with your business. It starts with getting new consumers to pay attention to your brand, converting them to customers, and finally, building a long-term relationship to foster loyalty amongst those customers. Think of audience development as a timeline that involves attracting customers to your brand and keeping them loyal to your business over time.

Regardless of your industry or business model, customers are essential to running a successful business and the ultimate goal of audience development is to eventually convert the audience for your content into paying customers. How you employ audience development strategies to eventually achieve that goal depends on the context of your business.

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With content being produced to cater to every possible niche, it’s difficult to stand out from the competition and keep your audience engaged. You need to have a detailed understanding of your current customer base, and segments within it, to develop strategies that work. This involves putting your audience first and thinking from their perspective.

High-impact audience development strategies

While the best strategies are always context-specific, there are general guidelines that can help with most audience development initiatives. However, marketers need to be mindful of changing customer characteristics and the external environment in which their company operates. The strategies you use should be dynamic and adaptable for maximal impact on consumers.

Here are the factors to consider while developing high-impact audience development strategies:

Get to know your demographic. The first step is to figure out who your audience is. What kind of customers do you want to attract to your brand? Next, divide your customers into segments that include age, gender, and geography. Understand which segment shows the highest engagement with your brand. Do you want to develop this segment further? Perhaps it’s already too saturated, and it makes more sense to chase a new target segment.

Competitor benchmarking can help with this process. For example, what kind of content and campaigns are your competitors running? Who are they targeting? By keeping a close watch over your competitors’ audience development strategies, you can identify which segments are the most reactive and use that data to inform your strategy.

Develop a content strategy. When you know your demographic and have gained familiarity with the marketing practices in your industry, it becomes much easier to develop content that resonates with your audience. You can use a multi-channel strategy that includes producing content for your website, emailing your audience, or leveraging social media platforms to connect with them. Using emerging platforms such as Twitch or Tik-Tok can be effective if you target young consumers.

Define your content team. Figure out who is going to produce your content. The value your content delivers to your customers is crucial. Do you have a team of in-house marketers proficient in developing the kind of content you seek, or would you need to hire external resources? Are you creating a multi-part or a one-time campaign? Further, using the right content management tools to produce effective content is key.

Track metrics and optimize. You need to track the metrics of your content or campaign using content management tools. How many views, clicks, reads, or likes do you get per post? This data will help you fine-tune your future content and improve with each iteration. While your content might be good, it’s futile to use it if it doesn’t reach or engage your target audience.

Optimizing your content for search engines is vital to producing engagement. Make sure your articles have keywords and phrases that are likely to appear in a Google search for the kind of product or service your company sells. Each platform has its unique way of optimizing content for maximum traffic, so it would be worth your while to become familiar with these differences. For example, if you plan to use Twitter or Instagram, ensure you use the right hashtags and captions to reach the most people.

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Use tech to optimize audience development

Data and technology can help you understand your audience and optimize your audience development strategies. Businesses that leverage data early to understand their customers are a step ahead of their competition.

Marketing analytics has considerably improved businesses’ ability to track their metrics and develop high-impact strategies. For example, marketing analytics tools measure the performance of your campaign across an array of metrics and use those insights to inform you of the best ways to optimize your content. These tools also give you the bigger picture by linking your campaigns to your website traffic. This enables you to track your multi-channel approach and understand which tactics and campaigns are creating the deepest impact on customer behavior.

Topic analysis tools show you how your target audience behaves online. These tools help you create online personas for your customers to develop the best strategies to attract their attention. Additionally, analytics software let you track the success of each campaign and identify areas for improvement. For example, Google Analytics is an effective tool that offers you data-driven insights on how visitors engage with your site. Common metrics include when customers visit your site, which page they first clicked on, and how long they spent consuming your content. It also helps you track basic demographic data such as your customers’ age, gender, and location.

Leveraging data obtained through such tools is the backbone of an effective audience development strategy. Data and analytics tools play a critical role throughout the process, from getting to know your audience to producing and tracking your content.

How does audience development add value to your business?

Engaged audiences are more likely to seek out your content actively. They are also more likely to buy your products and refer them to other potential customers through word-of-mouth marketing. This makes an engaged audience highly valuable for your business because it contributes to your sales revenue.

The most significant advantages of audience development are:

  • Customer acquisition: Since expanding your customer base is a key factor determining the growth of your business, your marketing efforts should consider customer acquisition as one of the primary goals. This can be achieved through referrals and targeted advertising.
  • Building relationships: Audience development is also a qualitative process centered on relationship-building. Marketers should focus on developing quality relationships with existing and new customers.
  • Improving customer loyalty: Nudging your current customers to keep coming back and selecting your business over the competition is one of the most efficient ways to increase sales. Since new customer acquisition costs can be high, getting repeat business from current customers is a relatively cheaper alternative.

It’s worthwhile to invest in developing your audience and engaging it effectively through interesting, value-adding content. Engaged audiences tend to make more frequent and higher-value transactions.

Resources for learning about audience development

Here are some helpful resources to help your brand’s audience development efforts:


About The Author

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Akshat Biyani is a Contributing Editor to MarTech, a former analyst who has a strong interest in writing about technology and its effect on marketing.

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MARKETING

8 Effective Ways to Ensure Ecommerce Business Success

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8 Effective Ways to Ensure Ecommerce Business Success

It is a known fact that the global consumers are favoring ecommerce, and the reasons for ecommerce business success are many. 

According to a Statista forecast, the retail ecommerce revenue in the US is expected to cross 1.3 trillion dollars by the end of 2025.

Image via Statista

While brick-and-mortar stores are gradually losing their dominance, the digital marketplace is blazing. More and more ecommerce brands, big and small, are coming up and gaining a foothold in this ever-expanding landscape.

If you are one such ecommerce business striving to taste success, you know how demanding and competitive things can be. And you only beat the fierce competition with aggressive ecommerce marketing strategies like digital advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, etc.

In this post, I will be sharing 8 key factors you need to focus on to ensure your ecommerce business success and sustainable business growth. 

Let’s get started.

8 Key Factors for Ecommerce Business Success in 2022

The future of ecommerce is bright and the small businesses that jump on the bandwagon early will reap great benefits. But what does it take to taste this success? 

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Here are the 8 key success factors for ecommerce businesses.

1. Target a Niche Audience 

The secret to ecommerce business success lies in understanding your target audience and focusing all your efforts on engaging them. Instead of trying to attract a broad audience on the search engines, select a niche audience specific to your small business, understand their pain points and interests, and position your brand to meet their needs. An SEO tool like Semrush or Ahrefs can help you with your research to build a strong marketing strategy based on real insights.

The goal is to make your product unique and market it to a relevant audience that is more likely to make a purchase. This strategy can increase customer loyalty and win repeat customers for your small business. Therein lies the secret to your ecommerce business success. 

2. Go Mobile-First 

The pandemic has accelerated our shift to ecommerce and given rise to m-commerce. Insider Intelligence estimates that by 2025, m-commerce sales will account for 44.2% of total ecommerce sales in the US.

So it’s clear that the success of your ecommerce business relies on the mobile-friendliness of your site. Having a mobile-friendly online store can help you deliver a seamless online shopping experience to customers on the go.

You can begin by running Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and building a progressive web application (PWA) for your online store. A responsive design for your website will help boost sales and pave the way for your ecommerce business success.

3. Choose the Right Distribution Channels 

Your audiences are active on different channels and if want your products to be visible to them, you need to choose the right distribution channels. 

If your business model focuses solely on your ecommerce website, you should broaden your perspective and consider other sales channels. There are several other options to sell your products like Amazon, eBay, social media, affiliate marketing, and so on. You can manage your sales process effectively with the help of sales CRM tools. These tools integrate your different sales channels and makes your sales process more efficient.

Conduct extensive research to figure out which of these channels are preferred by your target customers. Showcase your products in an attractive way to boost your ecommerce sales. This digital marketing strategy can contribute to your ecommerce business success.

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4. Create Unique Content

You heard that right. To ensure that your ecommerce brand stands out in the crowd, you should invest in high-quality and diverse content. 

Today internet users are flooded with content and to grab their attention you need to think out of the box and create content marketing strategies that truly grab their attention. Remember, video content is ruling the landscape delivering great results. You can use Premiere Pro Presets to create unique and impressive videos and stay ahead of the competition.

Gather insights from customer data analysis, see what your competitors are doing, and learn from your previous digital marketing campaigns to create a more targeted content marketing strategy for your small business. 

5. Continually Update Your Email Marketing List 

Marketers rely on email marketing to achieve diverse marketing goals. Emails can be used to generate leads, nurture them, build relationships with customers, ensure customer satisfaction and boost ecommerce sales.

But to leverage the power of email marketing, you need to be smart about your email lists and use the right email tools to manage them. There’s no point in sending a thousand emails when only a couple of hundreds of recipients are your target audience. 

That’s why segmenting your email lists and keeping them updated is crucial to your ecommerce business success. An effective way to manage your email lists is to ask for the recipients’ feedback on your emails and the information they prefer to receive.

By analyzing the responses, you can make more strategic decisions and ensure the success of your ecommerce business.

6. Deliver a Great Shopping Experience 

The expectation of customers in terms of customer experience has skyrocketed and that’s why you need to work towards improving customer satisfaction.

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Personalized communication could be one of the biggest game-changers, be it in recommending products, reminding them of abandoned carts, or introducing them to your latest offerings. Creating user story maps can go a long way in making your personalization efforts more effective.

Right from the moment customers land on your page to when they make a purchase, you should strive to create a smooth customer experience. You can also consider incorporating an AI-powered chatbot into your website to take your customer service to the next level.

To make your customers happy, offer them special deals and discounts. Such moves will surely boost your ecommerce business success.

7. Invest in Social Media Marketing

Social media, can be immensely effective in creating brand awareness, extending customer service, and generating leads for your ecommerce business. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube are all marketers’ favorites to reach out to niche audiences and drive traffic for their sites.

Having said that, it is a crowded market, and winning big on social media isn’t easy. As an ecommerce brand, you need to use social media analytics to create digital marketing campaigns that not only generate engagement but also fill your sales funnel with quality leads.

Ecommerce brands should also leverage social selling as it is growing into a prominent trend. This shoppable post by Macy’s allows its Facebook followers to buy what they like instantly. 

Image via Facebook

If invested strategically, selling on social media can act as a profitable sales channel for your business. 

8. Leverage Ecommerce Tools

Your team need not struggle to ensure the success of your ecommerce business. A variety of advanced ecommerce tools are at your disposal to optimize your efforts. 

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Some of the must-use tools for you are: 

  • Website tools – to design, set up, and manage your ecommerce site
  • Ecommerce marketing tools – to help strategize and execute your campaigns with ease 
  • Competitor analysis tools – to understand the gaps in your planning and improve it
  • Analytics tools – to help you gauge the performance of your digital marketing campaigns
  • Business tools – to help you manage daily operations, finances, logistics, inventory, and customer service 

Choose the ones that can boost the success of your ecommerce business. 

Final Thoughts

There you have it, a list of 8 key factors you need to work on to ensure the success of your ecommerce business. Gaining this success is hard work but it is worth it. 

If you want to fuel your business growth, I strongly recommend building your ecommerce marketing strategy to enhance customer experience and build your brand identity. Go ahead and give them a try to beat the competition and establish a successful ecommerce business.


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