How to really develop your audience

You may be tempted to believe that the best way to attract an audience would be to attract more eyeballs to your content, but it seems this may be a mistake.

The head of publishing at Intel iQ, Luke Kintigh, recently shared how the iQ team enjoyed success with an approach that focused more on satisfying

loyal readers rather than attracting raw volume. He said:

“Creating content is not the difficult part of content marketing. Distribution of your content, particularly with paid media, is also not that hard to do initially. The true challenge of becoming a successful publisher is sustaining an audience—providing so much ongoing value that they naturally seek out your content and become a loyal reader.”

He then went on to explain it as a process of moving away from essentially hiring temporary audiences through individual campaigns to one where you retain a long-term audience. A persistent audience, he claims, can add real value to a brand, value that continues long after the initial expectations. This may seem obvious, yet many content marketing services forget it.

So, how do you measure loyalty in your readers? One key performance indicator (KPI) you can use is the number of people who subscribe to your newsletter. When someone voluntarily signs up to your email list, it’s a good sign that he or she finds your content valuable and engaging.

Quality is of course important in your content, but in itself it’s not enough to transform new visitors into loyal cheerleaders. Kintigh talks about a “customer ladder”, whereby new visitors are taken through a series of steps to guide them towards being interested subscribers. The iQ team applies technology to drive their content strategy, but a more basic tactic can be seen in their serialisation of content, which tends to attack repeat visitors as they consume subsequent episodes.

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