Growing your audience is always top of mind for brand and marketing professionals. Whether growth is driven by adding new names to your database or asking current members to update their information – both are extremely valuable.  

Another important goal for the audience development team – which relates to growing your audience – is making sure your database has the longevity it needs for years to come. If longevity of your database is not on your list of priorities, it should be! 

What do we mean when we say “longevity”? We are referencing the lifespan of your database and more specifically, the span in which your audience members will be active and engaged. It is important to consider cultivating and making sure your efforts are engaging for both your current audience members and those that you are trying to attract.  

Longevity analysis can be broken down into two parts:  

  1. Audience Evaluation – Understanding where your audience is now and where you want them to go 
  1. Forward Framework – Looking into the next audience you want to acquire 

Audience evaluations are important to ensure you have a strong understanding of your current audience. Whether you choose to create audience personas, implement SWOT analysis, execute a market research initiative, review past audience data, or any other sort of analysis, consistently reviewing your audience is essential to know where it is currently at and opportunities you can expand into. This will also help to fill gaps and to develop your audience for long term retention. 

Gather together your internal marketing and editorial teams, and even your sales team if you want to include them as well, to discuss and analyze who your audience is. The point of audience evaluation is to understand who the true “stakeholders” are for your brand – factoring in sponsors, internal management, readers, writers, and businesses. This helps with laying the blueprint of success to growing and understanding what is next in your audience development. 

The second component, attracting a new audience, is another step in ensuring audience longevity. Some ways to attract new audiences that brands should capitalize on include social media and partnerships.  

Social Media 

There’s no secret that social media outlets hold a lot of opportunity for B2C publishers, though it is up for debate whether these are the right people for the B2B world. However, most people are on social media in one way or another so there lies opportunity to connect with your audience there. The goal should be to lead the audience from social media directly to your website to capture them as a first-party sign up. From there, you have more control than trying to market to a target audience on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or other social media sites that would work for your markets. 

Contests, giveaways, and exclusive offers are all ways that may work to attract people to your website and to become new audience member for your brand. The type of audience you want to attract for the goal of longevity will influence your strategic plan. 

Partners 

When it comes to partners, a great place to start is by identifying organizations with whom you have strong relationships. Do they have an audience that you want to attract? If you see potential there, consider doing some kind of content campaign or virtual event that you can work together on collectively. Co-branding a program or offering will help with brand identity, and could be an easier way to attract new audience members for growing you audience with new members. Associations, favorite clients, and regular companies that contribute to your brands all are great options in reaching a new audience for longevity.