Three ways to build your audience online

The market is crowded and the volume deafening. Customers are pelted with sales and slogans from every device and corner. To stand out from the crowd you need...

The market is crowded and the volume deafening. Customers are pelted with sales and slogans from every device and corner. To stand out from the crowd you need more than just an excellent business strategy and remarkable product offering. You need an online audience. However, catching the attention of this audience has become an art form – from hashtags to visual campaigns to viral videos to content development you need a dash of experience, a splash of technology and a whole lot of creativity.

These three campaigns took the tools of technology and marketing and content to really capture audience attention and marketshare.

 The experiential campaign:

Experiential marketing isn’t exactly hot news but few people realise exactly how well it works and how it can help a brand build its online presence. According to the 2015 Event & Experiential Marketing Industry Forecast, 65 percent of brands say it has a positive impact on sales. A direct, positive impact. It uses a physical event combined with video, hashtags, and social media, to create a digitally blended experience that gets people talking. After all, people want experiences and they want to share great experiences even more.

One campaign really stands out in this field – Red Bull’s Stratos event. This marketing experience broke records as Felix Baumgartner set the world record for the highest skydive. He jumped from a helium-filled balloon, Red Bull streamed the event online, and the result was the highest viewing traffic of any live stream in YouTube in history.

Key takeaways: Blend the traditional with the digital to create an experience that will pull customers into your brand. By inspiring customers to share your hashtags, your experience and your brand, you are not just connecting with your audience but building it.

The transparent social media campaign

The rules of social media exist for a reason. Many brands have broken them to their detriment. But some, like Wendy’s, have taken the rules, thrown them out the window, and won the day. The company took its social media campaign out of the traditional and into the utterly engaging.

Wendy’s chose to roast its customers. In a smart, sassy, right on brand and tone of voice kind of way. The campaign was a success. Not only did the company rack up significant social media traction as the posts trended, but it also received a ton of free publicity from leading media outlets. The campaign met with positive reviews from critics and customers and the company has just posted an increase in sales for the 17th year running.

Key takeaways: Social media rules can be broken or bent in favour of brand voice, intelligent communication and clear understanding of audience. Wendy’s paid attention to the people that frequented its stores and talked to them in their language.

Intelligent targeting across multiple channels

The audience you want to reach is online but the problem is that not all of your customers are on the same channels or platforms. While their voice and tone and needs may match, their preferences may not. What you need to do is build an online presence that offers multiple touchpoints with the same content. This will ensure your content and brand have reach. By developing a multi-channel, multi-media strategy you can share the same content across every platform to build a cohesive narrative that’s easily found by your prospective audience.

Gucci is an excellent example of a brand that has taken its messaging across various platforms to build its audience. The company has used social media campaigns, viral digital marketing campaigns, interactive instore displays and digital experiences to engage with its customers.

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