No business can survive long without an audience, without people interested in the company’s products.

At the risk of stating the obvious a business needs to make sales, to make sales it needs to have customers, and to become a customer a person must first know of your business and your products. At this stage they are part of your audience.

For every company, building a stable audience base is one of the most crucial aspects of business operations.

It is also one of the most challenging. Therefore, it needs to be approached very carefully.

1. Know your Market

Before building your audience you need some idea of who that audience could be. This is where market research comes in.

Market research helps in ascertaining whether there is a market for your products, and if so, how big or small it is likely to be.

Begin by testing the market. The initial response to your product will determine your starting audience. Base your market planning on that response.

For instance, when you begin marketing, you may feel confident and think that everyone will like your product. Unfortunately, consumer markets don’t work that way.

Even Apple – the most profitable company in the world – does not have 100% uptake amongst all people. You will most likely discover that your main buyers are mostly of a particular demographic, for example women of a specific age group, say 35-45.

First, create a customer profile of your current audience, the people who are already interested. Solidify that base first, and then gradually you can start targeting other customer groups.

Once you have established yourself in your industry, you can test different potential audiences using different messages for each group.

2. Engage your Audience with Great Content

You need to spend time and effort in building your audience. Your audience is the lifeblood of your business, so don’t skimp on keeping it engaged and growing if you want to stay afloat.

There is ruthless competition in every industry and you have to make sure you stand out and attract people’s attention. You must be credible. Your product and message must be worth people’s time.

Once you know the type of audience you are catering to, the next step is to increase their knowledge about your company. You have to give them something to read, use or watch—something to assure them that you are a reliable and efficient company that will meet their consumer needs.

You should start by creating interesting and innovative content for your audience. This could be blog articles, videos or podcasts. Once you have some great content, you need some way of getting it across to your audience.

3. Use Different Distribution Channels

Effective distribution is just as important as great content – they are two sides of the same coin. Distribution options include:

  • Your company website
  • Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Emails / email marketing

4. Monitor your Marketing Efforts

The advantage of digital marketing over traditional marketing is that it is easier to keep track of your audience. The internet allows you to monitor how much of a positive response your message gets.

Choose a few metrics to see if your audience is growing. Useful metrics take various forms: on top of the built-in metrics offered by social media channels themselves, you can also track the size of your email list, the number of likes on your Facebook page, or increasing page visits on your website.

5. Consistency Creates Loyalty

If people are following you, this means they like what you are producing. They are interested in finding out more. You are basically on the right track. Sustained effort can make them loyal to your brand.

A loyal audience means they will be more likely to buy from you. You must stay on top of your game; consistently give your audience interesting and good-quality content which will motivate them to buy your products.

Ultimately, your audience is your potential customer base. They are your prospects. If you treat them right – with content that they want to engage with – you will convert them to paying customers.