Build an audience of brand advocates

When each person is shown hundreds of brand messages a day, brand visibility is no longer enough. Attention is the bigger commodity.

Building an audience of people who already talk to each other and care about the same things helps to:

  • Boost social sharing.
  • Increase initial engagement and social proof.
  • Encourage great feedback on new ideas and audience research.
  • Differentiate your brand.

Brand audience and product audience

Your brand audience is people who love your brand, while your product audience is people who would buy from your brand. For example, there’s a lot of people who tweet at Elon Musk, watch YouTube videos about Teslas, and tell their friends about Teslas, but not all those people can or would buy a Tesla.

The brand audience for Tesla is larger than the actual customer base. However, when someone can afford an electric car, the loyal Tesla brand advocates will happily recommend a Tesla, even if they’ve never seen one in person.

Your motivation behind interacting with the audience differs, too. For your funnel and product audience, your goal is to sell to them. For your brand audience, your goal should be to spark conversation, nurture a community, and inspire community members through valuable insights.

How to measure brand audience building success

The most effective way to build an audience is to not try to sell them things. Likewise, measuring success needs to be tied to something other than revenue generation. Instead, use engagement metrics, like shares, likes on social media, content consumption, or driving people through your permission-asset system, as a reasonable proxy for measuring brand affinity.

Steps

Identify a real, existing community that you will target.

This is not the same as buyer persona creation, where it is a semi-fictional persona.

Focus your strategy with a brand audience positioning statement that clearly states why people would want to interact with your brand and participate in your community.

Develop a powerful content creation machine for audience building.

Your content strategy for brand marketing should be distinct from your content strategy for product marketing.

Leverage technology to grow your content strategy, and keep your brand audience engaged, even with minimal resources.

Use CRM techniques and content advertising to retain your brand audience’s attention.

Instead of lead nurturing where the goal is to turn your leads into customers, your goal here is to turn community members into brand advocates.

@lsmous
The intro is too long, and we need to condense it into key thoughts. I really like these points:

I like the comparison between brand marketing and funnel marketing, but too much of the explanation is buried in this section - the comparison should be 1-2 sentences long.

Remember that the point of these intros is to convince busy people that it’s worth their time to stop and click through to each playbook in the hub. To do that, we need to offer a quick, easily-digestible explanation of the topic and why it matters, not a reading experience.

This explanation is a little too market-y (but punchy! In another context, I’d love it). Just explain that product marketing strategy won’t work for brand marketing; you need a separate content strategy with different goals.

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Made a number of edits to trim and avoid repetition