Did you know that you are sitting on a new and very valuable asset right now?
Don’t laugh. I’m serious
Most organizations haven’t realized that they too are sitting on this valuable asset. Matter of fact, some organizations when told they either are, or should be, sitting on this very valuable asset, scoff at the idea.
What is this asset, you ask?
Your exclusive, or proprietary, online audience.
Not sure what I mean? Think of it this way:
Back in the day, media companies were the ones with an audience. Newspapers, radio stations, cable companies, and their ilk, had audiences. Everybody else was an advertiser.
If an organization wanted to reach a certain audience, they had to pay media companies for access.
Today, organizations have an opportunity to build and nurture their own unique online audience.
This online audience is a very valuable asset, one you can tap into at will to increase your membership, bring in sponsorship dollars, increase event registrations, and just about any other conversion event you have a mind to create.
The most beautiful thing about this new opportunity is that instead of conversion events entailing an expense (advertising), almost everything about creating and nurturing your audience increases the value of the asset with very little, if any, cash outlay.
Has your organization given much thought to your exclusive, proprietary, online audience? Have you put a dollar amount to what it is worth?
Perhaps your organization is still thinking in an old school way, borrowing the audience of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and all the rest. Maybe your organization isn’t focused on creating your unique audience but instead is focused on conversions first. If that is the case, chances are you don’t have much of an online audience to tap into.
I am not talking here about creating your own social media platform.
I’m talking about building and nurturing your online audience by providing valuable content (rather than self-promoting and advertising) and then building relationships with your fans, followers, and friends. I’m also talking about strategically using conversion events that allow you to grow your audience while monetizing it.
Here are the simple steps to creating and growing your unique, proprietary, audience:
- Consistently provide valuable online content that informs, entertains, and inspires your target market. Be nearly everywhere your members/target market is online and provide them value.
- Proactively build relationships with your target market through online engagement. To have a friend, be a friend. Remember, engagement isn’t a hassle, it is an opportunity to build and nurture your audience. As an added benefit, this engagement leads to higher retention rates.
- Obtain permission and consistently communicate with your audience through email. You will need this channel, and your website, when it comes time to convert.
- Create opportunities for face-to-face relationship building with your budding audience. Do meetups. Don’t eat lunch alone. Keep in mind that your online audience includes not-yet-members.
- Give, give, give. Have patience as you are building your audience through content marketing and relationship building. The old model of ABC (always be closing) is dead.
- Once you have grown and nurtured your unique, proprietary audience, you can flip the switch from giving to asking. After all, you’re friends (know, like, and trust) and what you are offering benefits them. You did the smart thing early and built real relationships with your market. When you ask, if you ask correctly (think digital marketing) they will respond very favorably.
- Don’t forget the final step. Thank your audience and go back into your giving and relationship building mode.
If this doesn’t make sense or seems impractical, perhaps you are still thinking with an old school, mass marketing mindset. Converting strangers has always been a struggle. Now it is nearly impossible.
If you have found that your social media marketing isn’t leading to new members, higher retention rates, and new non-dues revenue, then what do you have to lose?
I call this strategy “Give Gifts. Be Generous.”
You will find that it leads to massive awareness of your organization (the top of the social media marketing funnel). It will also lead to growing the middle of the funnel (people in your target market who are favorably deposed towards your organization). When the time is right for conversion, you simply have to ask in the right way.
Give it a try. Give Gifts. Be Generous. What do you have to lose?