I get it. It's a battle out there for audience, and the competition has never been more fierce. Traditional media companies are trying to hang on and re-tool, the up and comers are trying to make their mark and somewhere in all of this, brands are re-deploying their resources to find their voice in the carnage. But more to the point: all of us want more connected and larger audiences. It's an exciting time and just when you think you have it all figured out, the game on a dime changes.
We hear news that one day Facebook is no longer the go to platform for a certain audience or that Twitter is ailing. It's bedlam, almost chaotic, and all any of us can do is make sure we're being strategic and hope that, through the noise of what is an undeniable time of instant gratification, we figure it out.
There are likely a few things you should do to ensure that you are reaching that audience through all the tumult. Believe me, none of this is monumental insight, I'm not that bright. It's just stuff I believe in and adhere to. Yeah, we're all starved for resources, time and money, but here are 6 ways to get smarter and more resourceful.
Audience Centric Content
The great equalizer in the race to garner audience remains content. In my head there is an ongoing debate whether it's content or audience that needs to fuel the strategy and where I've landed is on this notion of creating audience centric content. The audience MUST be the reason you create content. It's about perfecting your themes, language, and sophistication to meet the audience you have or the audience you want. It's about giving them a reason to care, providing them with some kind of utility for your message and indeed your content. Those are fairly consistent ideas whether you're a content marketer (brand), media company or blogger.
More Isn't Better, Better is Better
Focus on quality over quantity. Being prolific isn't necessarily about writing a lot, it's about writing awesome content. Just because you want to feed the funnel, doesn't mean being obnoxious about it. Create great pieces that will resonate with your audience's sophistication and match the effort with strong emotional language. I'm no statistician, but I suspect quality content will outperform schlocky stuff you create just to fill a quota. Focus on extra base hits, not singles.
Find a Friend
Don't go at it alone. More and more the quest for audience requires partners. I don't mean ghost writers, or a band of interns that can add content for content's sake, but consider curating content from sources that match your agenda. There isn't harm, I don't think, in reaching out for and supplementing what you do with more quality insight. Your reward as a curator is that you are providing an excellent service to your audience.
Don't Sulk, Get Creative
Get creative even if you think you can't. Take a step back, a deep breath and figure out another approach. You own this. If you consistently know you are able to reach your audience you will. Sometimes you just need to think of a different way to reach them. Remember, you are an incredible story teller and you have a great or unique story to tell so you can always think of new ways to do it. Don't get hung up on the medium, instead think about all the elements of great content and how you can use them to your advantage.
Do it. Know what platforms are right for your audience and drive engagement wherever they are. Then consider using a platform like Uberflip to lasso all of that great content into one place so that you can monitor how it's doing, and to offer another avenue for your audience to connect with you. You have awesome tools at your fingertips to help spread the word about your content and reach your audience.
Stick To It
I know its very tempting to change direction, to figure out other ways of doing things. If you've invested time, money and resources to figure out your audience, and how you are going to deliver content to them, to grow your community, try to stick to your plan. I realize its tempting to switch things up but the more you pivot the chances of you confusing your audience increase. You have to give your plan a chance to breath, and I'd argue that you owe it to your audience.
The truth is, the struggle for an audience isn't as difficult or daunting as it seems. What is difficult is figuring out the strategy and not getting sucked into the hole of doubt, the lure of shiny toys or quick answers. Believe me, I am quite aware that there are all kinds of experts out there offering advice on what you should do to maximize engagement. If you put in the some basic building blocks, maybe even the ones I've outlined here, you have a great chance of succeeding. Stick up for your plan, create great content over a ton of content, get help, share your story and always fight for your audience. It's always tempting to switch course or and there will be lots of voices telling you how you may want to reach your audience, but be smart and trust your instincts.