Content strategists and content marketing leaders have dedicated their life’s work to content and the many facets of it—its structure, flow, adaptability, and usability across channels. While content expertise is arguably one of the most important skill sets for any marketing organization, the most valuable asset for a marketing organization to thrive goes beyond content—it’s who interacts with the content and how. In short, it’s the audience. According to Robert Rose and The Content Advisory, businesses that are succeeding with content as a strategic function of their marketing attribute their success to building audiences. Nearly 90% of those who consider themselves “successful” cited their main focus as building an audience (up 60% since 2018). Leveraging your audience as an asset means intimately understanding your audience and using those insights to deepen relationships with consumers and grow your brand. But in order to fully leverage your audience as an asset, you need to manage your audience as an asset (just like you manage content assets). To manage your audience as an asset, The Content Advisory recommends:
- Taking a strategic approach with a focus on developing the audience as a business asset
- Efficiently leveraging technology to make use of the audience asset
- Scaling the use of the audience asset throughout the business
- Prioritizing automation and personalization to build and nurture the audience at scale
Dive Deep to Build a Picture of Your AudienceTo deliver the most relevant customer experiences, you need a deep understanding of your customers. By leveraging the data your customers share with your brand, you can build a complete picture—or unique profile—of each customer. There are three types of customer data you can layer together to build a picture of your audience:
- Layer 1: Data about what customers say about your brand. This layer is primarily focused on data about personal preferences, like user-generated content and reviews.
- Layer 2: Data about what customers do. This layer is about the actions customers take as a signal for interests or preferences.
- Layer 3: Data about the customer’s current context. This layer is about the customer’s situation, meaning where they are both physically and virtually. These data points make it possible to detect the customer’s current context to narrow down the types of content you present to them at various stages in their journey.