Is good content good if it lands in the forest and there’s no one there to read it? This dilemma poses quite the content marketing conundrum. At what point are you wasting time by creating and releasing content to a meager following? On the flipside, shouldn’t you leverage the strategy of releasing valuable content in order to grow your audience? In truth, both sides are correct. If you are releasing content to a small following and not seeing a return or audience growth, then you are wasting time. However, it is hard, if not impossible, to grow your audience without providing them something of value, e.g. content. Don’t worry, everyone starting to dabble in content marketing is going through a similar dilemma. Luckily for you, there is always a happy medium and a good starting point! The key is, don’t get frustrated. You have to create content. You have to build an audience.
When you’re in this middle ground, it’s hard to know how to move forwards. Regardless of your audience size, if you keep on trucking and creating valuable content your audience will grow. However, there are some things you can do while creating and releasing your content that will organically help you grow your audience. Paying for “likes,” “followers,” and “connections” may be an option, but if you use organic growth to gain a REAL audience opposed to the fake accounts you can buy, you will not only receive much better engagement but you will also be able to use your money for authentic advertisements. So, as tempting as it may be to pay $15 for 10,000 twitter followers, remember that they’re disengaged robots and you can spend that $15 in a much more efficient manner. For now, try these quick ways to start growing your audience. Regardless of if your audience is exactly zero, or if you just reached 100,000, these are three powerful ways to increase your audience with people that matter while you start to create your content.
As corny as it may sound, follow the golden rule! Even on social media and the blogosphere, treat others like you would like to be treated. Before, and especially while you’re in the midst of releasing your value to the world, you should be engaging and connecting with others. Follow other people! Like other pages! Comment on that Facebook post you found interesting. Consider this, when someone engages with your content, even on the smallest level, it makes you happy! You can extend little time and effort and bring other people immense joy simply by interacting with their content. You can even take this a step further.
While liking and commenting on other company’s or personal content is incredibly rewarding, cross-promotion is one of the best free things you can do. It is so easy to share other’s content. While initially, you should do this without asking for anything in return, once you have an audience, even if a small one, you can start reaching out and offering cross promotions. It’s as easy as sending a message like:
Hey, I’m _______ with _______ and I am really connecting with your content! Your post on _________ really seems to resonate with my audience and I was wondering if you would mind me sharing it with a small shout out to your brand? I have attached two posts on similar subjects that I wrote that I really think your audience would appreciate because they supplement your content so well. Either way, I would love the chance to provide my audience with the value of your post!
Just like that, not only have you found a new connection AND some valuable content for your audience that you didn’t have to write, but you potentially found someone that will promote your content to their audience as well. Can you say win-win?
Know Your Audience!
Although this one seems like the easiest way to build your audience, for some reason it seems to be the most oft overlooked. You absolutely must know who you are trying to reach. You cannot provide your audience with value if you do not know who your audience is! The phrase “The riches are in the niches” is everywhere, and there is definitely a degree of truth to it. Write about what you know. Write about what your audience is coming to you for. If you own a blog about baking vegan pancakes in Alaska for the vegan polar bears, don’t publish content about cooking crepes in South America. If you know who your audience is, you can monitor their interests and leverage these interests, boost content to the places they spend the most time, and create content solely around the things they want to read. More simply put, if you know who your audience is and you connect with them, your audience will grow . . . And once your audience has grown, the sky’s the limit for your content.