Audience Engagement & Acquisition

Pundits have dubbed this epoch of the Internet age, the “Attention Economy.” Build a big enough following and brands will pay you to help get their products and messages in front of your followers. Two of the reasons they will pay are 1) the cost of gaining a particular audience’s attention is high, and 2) large audiences are fragmented and there isn’t one easy place to reach every fragment simultaneously. Given the difficulty and cost involved in getting attention, do you have a plan for once you catch your audience’s eye?

Can your audiences meet you on one outreach channel, IRL even, and then experience your content and other marketing channels without losing a beat or getting confused over disjointed messaging or brand identity? Most importantly, have you designed an Engagement Architecture, or are you forcing your audience to struggle to find the content they want or ways to engage with you?

Working with our clients, we ensure there are systems and processes in place to help audiences quickly, easily (dare we say painlessly) have a great first experience with your organization. This intentional onboarding is more than just dumping new contacts into a general list; rather, it provides tailored outreach from their first interaction and provides increased opportunity for engagement, utilizing your content strategy to deliver content at the right time, in the right channels, to audiences based on their unique interests.

If you are tired of the status quo, let’s talk about our practical strategy for your success.

In order to achieve Audience Engagement & Acquisition success, you’ll need:

Audience Definition & Targeting

“if you aim at nothing you will hit it every time ”… Zig Ziglar

It is hard to narrow your audiences. You want to make sure you are not missing any opportunities or leaving things to chance, but this leads to broad definitions that are nearly impossible to target. The general public, “everyone”–these are not audiences, they have no email address, we all can easily agree to that, right? By narrowing and refining your audience targets you will improve your messaging, sharpening and honing it into something that your target audience will respond to. Accurate targeting allows for better measurement of effectiveness, meaningful experimentation with messaging, and more appropriate calls to action for that target audience.

Our process focuses on defining your target audiences using meaningful content consumption and audience goals rather than the less actionable demographic “user personas.” We marry clear audience definitions with your organizational goals, using these to help identify the key areas of audience engagement to promote and the key indicators to assess the impact of those engagements.

We’ll help you design:
  • Actionable and useful audience definitions that can inform strategies and tactics
  • Engagement funnels for each target audience that clearly identify stages of affinity or engagement
  • Methods to identify key influencers in your target audience’s community
  • Key indicators of engagement and disengagement for each target audience that can be used to evaluate the quality of particular messages or campaigns
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Content Strategy

Audiences are discovering you, building affinity, and following you because of the content you produce. If you want to maximize your impact on audience engagement while minimizing the cost and effort required to generate quality content, you need a Content Strategy.

Content strategy maps the course for how you will achieve a steady state of quality, frequently generated content that builds engagement and affinity with your audiences. This is more than omnichannel planning or catchy SEO friendly headlines, although those are a part of it. The foundation of content strategy is laid upon the strong alignment of your organizational objectives and your outreach capabilities. Every piece of content, online or offline, needs to have a purpose that can be measured, and a process for using those measurements to improve content creation and delivery.

Successful content strategies don’t exist in a vacuum, they are steeped in your staffing models and expertise. We design content strategies that help you report on audience engagement, focus effort on producing the most valuable content, and promote organizational change around content design, distribution, and evaluation.

We’ll help you determine:
  • Content performance indicators & metrics
  • Content creation workflows & capacity planning
  • Content structures that facilitate audience consumption and sharing
  • Content types for each target audience
  • Taxonomy and content relationships that facilitate audience engagement
  • Audience-centric categorization and organization of content
  • Brand management guidelines for voice, style, and tone
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Experience Design

Why did Instagram get so popular, so quickly? People love sharing and participating in experiences, and Instagram let them do this easily, visually, and quickly. Experience design is about creating moments where audiences want to explore further, be a part of something, or share a moment with others. A good experience is more than just layout, copy, imagery, or animation, it is about connecting with audiences and leveraging your empathy with them to understand the tasks they’re trying to achieve when they reach your digital properties.

A large part of our practice is focused on ensuring our clients have clarity on organizational goals. With our experience design practice, we try to break you out of focusing on the internal goals and objectives and to put you in the shoes of your audience. If you are a think-tank, does your audience want to first understand your program structure and how you organize staff internally to produce research, or do they want to read your best work, in a compelling format, on the topics they care about and be able to quickly and easily find related or foundational work? If I want to donate to a cause or respond to a crisis on my phone at the moment I feel moved to act, can I do that easily or do I have to wade through an about section and all your featured news clippings?

We design experiences that drive audience engagement and impact, experiences that help you meet your organization’s goals by helping your audiences achieve their own.

Let us help you
  • Put the audience first
  • Design experiences that can be measured and evaluated for iterative improvement
  • Create joy through delightful and productive interactions
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Audience Acquisition

If you build it, will they come? Maybe in Iowa, but on the mean streets of the internet, you’ve got to get out there and hustle.

While you can gain a following organically, it can be slow going, limiting you to only reaching a portion of the audiences you know would be interested in your content, and making any audience members you lose hard to replace. This can lead to stagnation, risk aversion, and most importantly, can limit the value of all the hard work and effort you are putting into content creation.

Conversely, you could steer into action to recruit new audience members and nurture them into supporters. With dedicated audience acquisition, you also gain avenues to experiment with your outreach, fine-tune your messaging, and confidently predict what will motivate your audience to act.

We work with organizations to develop time-boxed and practical audience acquisition campaigns that can be run periodically. With tuning and refinement, these campaigns often pay for themselves when you weigh their cost against the lifetime financial or reputational value gains from new audience members.

Let us help you:
  • Reach more of your target audience, in areas you aren’t already well known in
  • Experiment and refine your target audience’s “first experience” with your organization to ensure it builds maximum affinity
  • Re-engage audience members who are idle or have drifted away from engaging with your organization
  • Change the heart and minds of individuals outside of your traditional target demographics who could advance your mission
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Email, CRM & Automation

One of the most powerful ways you can build loyalty and trust with your audience is through personalized communications. Email, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Marketing Automation are all vital and powerful tools that provide a centralized place for you to create a personalized experience and manage relationships and interactions with your target audiences. With the correct preparation, these tools also have the capability to save your team a tremendous amount of time and money while improving ROI and helping you reach a broad audience automatically.

We can work with your team to create the tools needed to better automate your engagement processes and provide a more meaningful connection with the individuals across your multiple channels. You can then use the analytics and feedback collected throughout the use of these tools over time to help guide and improve your marketing efforts and increase your goals of building audience engagement.

Let us help you
  • Design an approach that leverages tools and proven tactics to build audience relationships at scale
  • Segment audiences based on engagement score
  • Identify audience patterns in content consumption to increase engagement and affinity over the long run
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Audience Engagement & Acquisition Resourcess