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By Michaela Simpson on 18 Aug 2017

When creating a digital marketing campaign these days, your targeting options might seem endless. While the wide variety of options available are great to have, there is still massive value in owning your audience. At the recent Wolfgang Essentials conference, I spoke about owned audience building through content and delivered a one-page case study showing the benefits.

Audience Building With Content: Video

Audience Building With Content: Transcript

Hi guys. Audience building with content. I think, at this stage, a message that you're definitely going to be taking away today is that your digital marketing is really only as strong as your focus on how you build, develop and serve your audiences. Gabriela's just given a great example of how you can use Google Analytics, which is cookie-based, to help you do that. I'm here now just to give a little word warning as well: you don't own these audiences.

You Need To Own An Audience

These audiences aren't your followers or your true fans. If we forget that we don't own all of these audiences, our long-term audience strategy could be in big trouble. What are we supposed to do? Are we supposed to abandon these tactics? Absolutely not! Use them. They're brilliant. What's really important is that while we are using these tactics we need to make sure that we're focusing on ways we can turn these from being a rented audience from Google or a rented audience from Facebook and doing something to turn them into our own owned audiences.

The key is email - that's how you do it. Start building your email list and start developing your email marketing. The cookie based way of building your audiences has its own strengths and weaknesses. Strengths include really granular targeting and the volume of people you can target. This lets us build really large volumes of audiences. However, if you can convince somebody to hand over their email address, you open up this whole other level of email-based remarketing options across all of your other channels. Or you could just skip all of that and go straight to their inbox whenever you want, for free.

Email Delivers

email marketing benefits

You might be thinking "there's Michaela. God bless her, she's there trying to talk up email and I'm here planning my next 360-video or how I'm going to dominate voice search". I don't look at it that way at all. If you remember last year's KPI benchmark study, email emerged as a star performer. Email drove just as much traffic as all of the social media channels combined. It was also the biggest driver of revenue after Search. When it comes to audience building, cookies have their benefits but email delivers real longevity for the audiences we're building. We also get much more control over what we're doing. With email, there are no twenty percent text rules, no 140 characters, no CPC's that we have to pay. We own this audience.

How The OSi Are Building An Audience

I've got a really quick, one slider, case study on how you can get started with building your audiences this way with content. We've got OSi up here again. OSI is building a really strong subscriber list at the moment by identifying really specific target audiences. In this case, families that are keen to get out and about. They create really high-quality content for those audiences and then they provide a really simple way to sign up for more. If you do these things, your most valuable audiences will invite you into their inboxes. By concentrating on this, the OSi has been really consistent and they've built their email lists from zero to a thousand in less than a year.

What's really interesting is that while you can sign up on any page of the website, 82% of newsletter subscriptions happen here immediately after reading a blog post. You can see the impact content has on this type of strategy. You might say 1000 subscribers isn't a very big audience, but I want you to think of the value of each of those individuals compared to a Twitter follower. These are people that have engaged with a piece of content from OSi. Maybe they've gone on this walk or maybe they told their friends what they were doing at the weekend. As a result, they've volunteered their name, their email address and their content preferences to OSi because they want to hear more. That's valuable subscriber.

1000 True Fans

Kevin Kelly, who Al mentioned earlier on, recognised the value of this type of subscriber when he said in his famous article: "you don't need millions of dollars or millions of customers, millions of clients or millions of fans. To make things happen you only need a thousand true fans".

I'll leave you with that. Create value through content, attract your true fans and build an audience strategy for the long term. Thanks.

Audience Building With Content: Slides

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