We can all agree that content marketing is super important, but did you know, developing an audience for that content is just as crucial? The creation and distribution of the content is easy, it’s the audience development, particularly the long-term audience development, that is the true challenge.

What is a long-term audience?

To put it simple, long-term audiences are the people that support your company by continuous engagement. They are the ones that see your ads, read your newsletters and sign up for your emails. This is especially important because by developing this kind of audience, you begin to own a loyal audience who sticks around and supports your business/brand/product well beyond the launch.

Ok so long-term audiences are key. But how exactly do I identify and develop my long-term audience?

Not to worry, we’ve got you covered.

After reading a very interesting article by Intel iQ on audience development, we’ve put together a list of “steps” that a person takes before reaching the “long-term” audience stage. Whether you are sending out newsletters, posting ads on social media, or using an email “sign-up” pop up, we’ve got a guide that will help you and your audience struggles out!

Step One | Ad exposure

A person in this stage is someone who happens upon your business/product ad but doesn’t slow down to consume that content. This is typically seen on social media platforms where the audience stumbles upon your ad but does nothing to engage with it.

Step Two | First-time engager

First-time engagers may find you through a native ad, social media ad or a shared social media post. Regardless, they have stopped and engaged with your business/product because they’re interested in the content.

Step Three | Repeat engager

A person in this stage is considered a “repeat engagers” because they visit your business/product more than once and demonstrate an affinity with your content. This means that the audience likes or resonates with your business/product enough to do more exploring on you and your website.

Step Four | Email sign-up

This is probably the most important step for any marketer. The email sign-up refers to readers being converted into subscribers. In other words, the audience gets hooked by your business/product enough to willingly sign-up for more information. This not only gives you assurance of their interest, but it also brings in more of an impact for future newsletters or ads.

Step Five | Recirculation

Last but certainly not least, recirculation: the most valuable group of your audience. These are the people that are loyal to your business/product and care deeply about the content that you are putting out. Recirculation refers to the engagement of your audience in all of the content marketing that you put out. This is the long-term audience.

Being able to initially get your audience’s attention and then actually keep them engaged with your content, thus turning them into a loyal reader, is the real test. Like mentioned, this is super important because by developing a long-term audience, you also develop a sense of security among your audience. These are the people who will stay loyal to your business/product time and time again.