To build your business, you need to establish a loyal audience through meaningful and deep connections. This means that a lot of focus should be placed on how and where businesses are engaging with their audience. And no, the answer is not only social media.
As people have recognized the abilities of social media to communicate and connect with their audience, many have placed a lot of trust and money into these networks to serve as the main space to connect with their audience.
Yet, these platforms are continuously altering the way they deliver content, with new updates and algorithms, which aren’t necessarily beneficial for your business. These third-party platforms decide what your audience wants to see more of, regardless of whether it’s you or your competitor. Remember that these platforms are their own business who care about keeping people active on their platform, not pushing your content to your desired audience.
So why are businesses continuing to trust these platforms to connect with their audience? How can you be in control of your audience?
Own your audience!
Owning your audience means you have a direct line of communication with them.
Note that social media platforms such as Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook are all third-party platforms, meaning that your audience on these platforms is not owned. While you may have access to behavioral data about your audience, you are not able to own it. You do not have a say in how the data collected is used in reaching your audience, and the way these platforms deliver your content is largely dependent on these unpredictable factors.
Ultimately, this unpredictability and lack of control and ownership will limit you in how effectively you communicate with your audience.
For example, organic (unpaid) content does not fare very well on Facebook anymore because they switched to a monetized business model. In order for your content to be seen on Facebook, you now have to put some money into it or Facebook will not push it to your audience. Essentially, your ability to reach, connect, and communicate with your audience is at the mercy of these social media platforms.
It is important to mention that this does not mean you should ditch these social media platforms altogether. These platforms are still super powerful and necessary tools for reaching an audience. Social media can be an extension of your communication and serve as another touch-point with your audience. However, you should redirect your audiences on these platforms to a platform that you own. With a platform that you own, you can be sure that they will receive your content and you can own the data to determine which content is of value to them.
Building an Audience You Own
Creating a platform for engaging with your own audience, such as a website or email database, with all of your content in one place is best for your businesses longevity.
Your website is an incredibly important platform for direct communication with your audience. Your business website is full of great information and content that is focused on your business, and on this platform your audience will be engaging with only your business.
Third-party platforms come in handy for attracting an audience to your website. By sharing short-form content on social media platforms, you can attract people to your website where more information is available and they can interact with you directly. Once someone gets to your website, you should have a call-to-action that allows you to capture the user’s information (name, email, and phone number at minimum).
Another way to build an audience you own is through an email database. This provides you with direct communication with your customer that you can be sure that they will receive.
Also known as email marketing, mailing lists allow you to offer personalized content that keeps your targeted audience engaged. Using your own data that you collected on your website, you can determine what this content should consist of that will be of the most value to your audience.
Ultimately, moving your audience from third party platforms to your own business website can be highly involved and requires patience and time. Yet, building an audience that you own is very important for the longevity of your business and can be largely beneficial to achieve a greater connection with your audience. If you need help strategizing ways to grow your own audience, reach out to the Summit Creative Marketing team today and schedule a discovery call.
Written by: Kryslin Kane, Digital Marketing Specialist, Summit Creative Marketing