I often hear from entrepreneurs and founders of organizations who say they don’t want to begin marketing efforts until their product is finalized.
Later, when nearing the product’s launch, they realize they are severely lacking an audience—something they failed to build long before the product was
One of the biggest ways to avoid this is to solidify a social media strategy early on. A common misconception surrounding social media and perhaps what
prevents organizations from implementing one ahead of time, is the belief that social media success can be switched on by simply pushing a button. Social
media strategy is a long-term commitment that begins with identifying an audience.
One of your social media strategy’s goals should be to build trust with your audience. The sooner you start, the more time you will have to craft engaging
content, determine appropriate channels and perfect your voice.
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Here are a few ways to build your online customer base.
Growing a social audience has everything to do with compelling content. You want your organization’s social accounts to become valuable to people. To do
this, you should focus on participating in dialogue related to your product or industry. In addition to creating and sharing your own content, many social
media channels encourage you to share content from other sources. When you engage with others in your industry, and share their content, you’ll grow your
social media following.
In addition to sharing content that is of interest to your target audience, you should join conversations by being active and available to your target
audience. Work on building relationships with active social media users in your niche.
Develop an email list
Establishing an email list goes beyond setting up a landing page for your future product, or including a sign-up form page to draw people in. The number of
sign-ups a basic landing page generates is usually inconsequential if you do not actively hunt for more email addresses.
A common way to grow an email list is to offer free content. If your organization is able to publish a white paper on a topic relevant to your product,
offer it to subscribers in exchange for an email sign-up.
Use other audiences
As a means to brand yourself as a knowledgeable person in your niche, guest blogging for related websites or companies can help. Writing articles for
established blogs with a shared target audience will allow your organization to get in front of an existing audience. If you can, be sure to mention your
product in the author biography to generate interest among potential customers.
Start your own blog
Having a personal blog or a place to offer a perspective on your industry gives you value. Your expertise with regards to your product’s niche is of great
interest to your target audience. Keep this in mind as you create content. If you aim to offer expert insight and insider knowledge, people will begin rely
on your blog and use it as a resource.
Although curating content might help you grow an audience, your own content can establish your personal credibility. Finding a successful branding strategy
for yourself will in turn, help to market your product.
Connecting with influential people in your industry is best done face-to-face. Seeking out local networking events is a great place to begin. If you want
to introduce yourself to industry leaders that live outside of your city, try to set up an interview over the phone, then put some of the Q&A on your
blog. You can also put together a compilation of expert opinions.
Many industry experts will be glad to participate in an interview. When setting out to conduct one, it’s important to acknowledge your subject’s reputation
and establish a connection. At the same time, you’ll be able to provide your audience with valuable content.
Building an audience allows your potential customer to know who you are and learn to rely on you. If you do this correctly and ahead of schedule, there
will be a greater trust between you and the customer, allowing for more growth down the road.
is half of TheSocialMs, a content marketing
and social media marketing company focused on teaching entrepreneurs and small businesses how to generate traffic from social media. A version of this
post first appeared on The SocialMs.