How Small Businesses Can Build An Audience Online

 In Audience Building, Marketing Strategies

If 2013 is going to be the year you commit to growing your business using the Internet and inbound marketing techniques, one of the first questions you should ask is how to build an online audience. The topic of online audience building has been discussed at length by many bloggers as you’ll see below.

What Experts Have To Say about Building Your Online Audience

Audience Building Infographic | Fiore Communications

On Why You Need An Audience:

David Karel’s emphasis on audience building before worrying about acquiring new customers explains perfectly why I decided to pursue this topic. It’s pretty easy to get wrapped up in trying to meet quotas for how many posts done, scheduling social media updates and generating leads. These are all small things compared to what most business owners need to accomplish first – find people who want to hear from them. David’s post then goes on to show how sharing relevant content is the key to getting your audience to learn more about you and thus be one step closer to doing business with you.

On Leveraging Other Audiences:

Mars Dorian knows what he’s talking about when it comes to leveraging other audiences. He has used sites with built-in audiences such as Slideshare to accumulate more than 70,000 views to one of his presentations, which helped secure more clients and business opportunities. Mars points out that competition to build an audience is pretty steep, but you don’t have to start from scratch. What he’s really pointing out here is the importance of strategic partnerships when getting started in building your audience. Whether you are partnering with a major portfolio site to share your creative work or are providing guest blog posts to a popular blogger, mutually beneficial partnerships drive these techniques.

On Small Actions To Grow An Audience:

In her post on taking care of your people and growing your audience, Carrie Dils highlighted some important takeaways from the Smart Passive Income podcast. One “small thing” she mentioned that is vital is replying to people. If there is someone who is so engaged in your topic that they are willing to spend the time to write a comment or interact with you via social media, you should reply to them. When you treat people this way and build relationships, your audience will grow.

Now that you’ve read what the experts say about building an online audience, what next steps will you take to cultivate your own audience? Leave a comment below to let us know.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Paul Maplesden

    Jeff, this seems like a good starting point for a discussion. Of course, part of the trick is understanding exactly who your audience is, where they hang out and how they like to receive their messages. It’s a tricky balancing act, and there’s certainly a lot of experimentation and testing required, but I certainly agree with the sentiments expressed in your infographic and article.

    I’m interested to read more of yours, and other’s thoughts on this topic.

    • Jeff Machado

      @Paul – You’re absolutely right. Experimentation and testing plus tracking and analytics are essential for smart audience building. I hope this infographic sparks more discussion on this topic as inbound marketing focuses so much on SEO and Social Media (both good and important things) but audience building is the goal behind these tools. I love finding out “the thing behind the thing”. Thanks for your comment, Paul! I hope you’ll stick around for more of our posts on audience building this week.