You can post informative blogs, release killer ebooks or design awesome infographics, but if no one’s looking at them, what’s the point?

They’re not getting seen by potential customers, and they’re not doing anything to improve your bottom line or your sales.

You know what’s even worse than that, though? You’re wasting your precious time, money and energy, too. And those are resources that could be put to other, more productive tasks – tasks that bring in new leads, sales and revenues.

The moral of the story is simple. Before you go pouring all your efforts into content creation, digital marketing or social media (which you should, by the way), make sure you know what it takes to build a following.

Not sure where to start? We’ve got some tips for you:

Use data to your advantage (and choose the right metrics) – The only way to tell which efforts are working and which aren’t is to use metrics and analytics data. Unfortunately, this data can often be overwhelming. Do you look at page views? Click-throughs? Bounce rate? Or just time spent on the site? The truth is, you want to focus on metrics that speak to your quality. Some good ones are: how long users spend on your site (if it’s not long, they’re probably not reading much, and your content didn’t convert), how many form submissions or comments you have (this means they’re engaged and interested), and how many social shares you have. The content that’s high in these metrics is the direction you want to go in, so keep changing up your strategy to build more followers.

Start an email list – While social media can certainly garner attention for your site and content, few methods are as effective as email marketing. Email marketing allows you to get in touch with users directly, and you can even customize messages to include their name and other personal details. The best part? It’s easy to segment, so you can tailor your efforts exactly to who you’re contacting. This makes satisfying your audience infinitely easier. It also encourage readers to share your content more, and it turns casual customers into real, loyal followers – as long as you continue to deliver value with each message you send.

Find out who has your audience’s attention – Do some research, and find out what sites, blogs and pros have the attention of the audience you want to capture. Consider partnering with them in providing some content – an ebook, a downloadable PDF, etc – or just get in contact and let them know you’re out there. If possible, you can even tag them in social media conversations or in your Tweets and Facebook posts. This will make them more likely to share your content, and expose it to their entire audience.

Know your customers – The real key to getting a bigger audience for your digital marketing efforts is to truly get to know your customers. Find out what they’re about, what they want, and what their challenges are. If you’re stumped, schedule a sit-down with a few past clients, and try to get in their heads. With this information, you can better target your content, and deliver blogs, emails, posts and other items that your customers won’t just like; they can actually use.

Find your niche – It’s much easier to become a big fish in a small pond, than a big fish in a big pond. It’s sounds clichéd, but you really have to find your niche in order to be successful in online marketing. Don’t try to do too much at once. Focus on one industry or sector, and really speak to the people involved or interested in that arena. If you go outside of that realm, you’re likely to lose followers, and then you’re back to square one.

Make it shareable – If you’re really looking to increase your audience, you need to make your website and content as shareable as possible. Put social share and email buttons on every blog you post, and make your Tweets and Facebook posts each to re-post and retweet. You should also choose content with the utmost shareability in mind. Will people find this useful? Will they want to pass it on to their colleagues or friends? You should be able to answer “yes” to each of these questions with everything you post.

Remember, you want to speak to a sold-out crowd, not an empty auditorium. Follow these tips, and start building a loyal following for your brand today. You’ll get more results, and your resources will be better utilized on the whole.

Want more help building up your brand’s audience or reaching your target customer? Then contact our digital marketing experts today for a free consultation.

Author Info

Brad Parnell
Founder & CEO

Brad is the Founder & CEO of Steadfast Creative, leading the team in exploring new ways to solve creative problems and bringing direction and vision for the company. His passion is building relationships, providing solutions and empowering his team to send new ideas out into the world. With over 10 years of agency experience serving local and national brands, he is focused on results for his clients and team. Outside of  work, Brad serves on the board of directors at his local Chamber of Commerce and loves giving back to the community and spending time with his wife and kids.