The marketing world of today operates nearly on the same principles of day trading in stocks. You get a quick burst of attention and you try to make sure the cost of acquiring a customer (CAC) is less than how much the product costs (immediate LTV) and you try to flip your marketing dollars. How can you turn $500 into $750 by next Friday.
However, in the trading and investing world, you don’t see many day traders winning in the long term. The ones who win in the long term are the investors who put their money into the stock of a company that generated value to the world and solved problems.
Famous investors like Warren Buffett and Benjamin Graham call this value investing. They invest into companies that are undervalued in respect to their true value of today and hold them for the long run.
If the stock pays out dividends, then these investors are also enjoying residual income from the dividends on top of the long term capital gains.
So what does value investing look like in the marketing world and what are some examples of this?
In the marketing world, value investing is done by nurturing and building a loyal audience of leads and prospects by giving them value.
Note how I used the word ‘value’ in that sentence. Just how companies evaluations approach their true value over time, if your marketing department is creating a lot of high value material, then the size of your loyal audience will approach its true size with respect to how much value you are giving out.
So if you want to build a large audience, you have to create a lot of value. However, you might be thinking, what exactly is ‘value’ to my target audience?
‘Value’ can mean a large variety of things. It could mean blog posts teaching something, YouTube videos providing entertainment, or as simple as sending a meaningful gift to your customer on their birthday. However, when thinking about what might be ‘value’ to your audience, keep these questions in mind:
These questions will give you a solid initial hypothesis to begin with. Keep experimenting with new ways to give value and you’ll eventually figure it out with experience and real market data.
So let’s say that you’re convinced that you should invest for the long term. You’re done some research and you’re going to create valuable content for your target audience. What are you going to get out of this? What is the equivalent of dividends and large capital gains? Let’s dive in.
One of the more expensive aspects of a startup or business is research and development. Large budgets are set aside to research a target market. What are their problems and what products should then further be developed and tested.
However, by building a large loyal audience, you can start to collect data from them that will help your business learn more about the target audience. All of this without ever having to spend large amounts of money to collect this data.
Matter of fact, if your brand has an extremely strong emotional connection with your target audience, they will be more than happy to tell you what things can be improved.
Plus, as new technologies come out, the means of collecting data from your audience will only increase. Mouse tracking software, survey builders, A/B testing platforms, etc. can all help you collect this valuable data.
For example, let’s say that you’ve started a tennis brand. You’re selling tennis equipment, coaching, and other tennis-related services. You’ve invested the time and money into building a large following of 50,000 tennis players. How can you collect valuable data that will be guide your future business decisions?
Many ways. You can ask them directly about the issues they’re having with their tennis skills. You can create content and check to see what topics are getting the most attention. You can create different lead magnets and see which one gets the most sign-ups.
You can slice the data in many ways as well. From which part of the world are people watching certain topics? Are users accessing the content more through mobile or desktop?
This data and insight can give you many pointers to create products and services that the people want. Sometimes it can be extremely obvious what it is that the customer wants and other times you might have to really analyze the data and come up with some hypotheses.
Regardless, your business will become smarter by being receptive of feedback from your audience and your research costs will start to drop.
Remember, the bigger the audience, the more solid your data and feedback will be.
By learning more about your target audience, you will be able to create more effective marketing campaigns. You will understand their buying journey better, what jargon they use, what their major pain points are, and many other valuable pieces of information.
Your marketing costs will decrease because you’re able to cut through the noise. Your audience has told you what their pain points are and now you’re creating valuable content that addresses those exact pain points. Not only will you have brand equity and social proof from your existing audience but since you are leading with value, the cost to further build your audience will decrease.
You will know and understand your target audience’s buying journey. When they don’t have any awareness about their problem, what are they looking for? After awareness of the problem, what makes them further interested in solving this problem? After they have interest in solving their problem, what creates the desire to solve it? Finally, after having the desire to solve it, what makes them take action?
Having that large and loyal audience will help you answer all of these questions and then you can position your content accordingly.
For example, let’s take the example of someone wanting to become an online entrepreneur. You’ve slowly built a decently sized audience of people who want to become entrepreneurs, however, you want to expand and build up the audience even more. So you create a new podcast specifically for new entrepreneurs.
You create an episode that talks about 50 ways to make money online and another episode that talks about the pitfalls of running CAC/LTV funnels. The episode about 50 ways to make money online gets more listens, more shares, and has helped gain new followers for your brand, however, the episode of CAC/LTV funnels doesn’t do so well.
Now you know that when entrepreneurs are beginning online, they are not aware of what CAC/LTV funnels are. All they are aware of is that they want to make money online.
You can then start to create more content about the different ways of making money online to catch a potential lead in their awareness stage. As their awareness increases of what problems exist as an online entrepreneur, they will naturally start to seek out more information and if your brand has been the one raising their awareness, guess where they’re most likely to look for information on these slightly more advanced topics. That’s right, your brand.
You can then create content for each part of the buyer’s journey. Remember, you don’t want to try to “pull” a visitor on your content through the buying journey. Applying force on a visitor will backfire.
Rather be patient and have the mindset of creating content for each stop to educate them. When you fully educate, they will voluntarily move forward in the buying journey, all the while, you’re building massive respect, trust, and rapport with them.
When you know what the major pain points of the target audience are and what solutions already exist and how you can make those solutions better, you can start to achieve product-market fit.
Product-market fit basically means that the product or service you are selling directly solves a problem that the target market has.
Generally when you have achieved product-market fit, the market will buy your products and services so quick that you might have trouble keeping up with how much demand there is.
For example, look at Tesla and their Model 3. Within the first 24 hours of opening pre-orders for the electric vehicle, they were bombarded with over 200,000 pre-orders.
Sometimes the market just loves your brand and they will have an emotional connection with it. So they buy pretty much everything and anything that you put out. Apple, the first trillion dollar company, has many customers of this type. You know exactly who I’m talking about: the Apple fanboys and fangirls.
Apple’s products have been criticized as technologically outdated and as overpriced, however, they still have a massive loyal audience that will wait outside an Apple Store for hours just to buy the newest iPhone so they can brag about it to their friends the next day. Apple is making more money per customer because of the massive brand equity that they have.
By delivering more value to your audience, you can even start to increase how much a customer uses your product or service, indirectly driving more revenue and boosting customer retention.
For example, when a new customer signs up for TD Ameritrade, they also sign them up for valuable content on stock trading. It has been proven that by providing them this extra content, a TD Ameritrade customer is five times more likely to trade.
Finally, by having a large audience that loves your brand, you don’t have to engage in price wars and you can keep charging premium prices. Again, look at Apple. Their products are generally more expensive than the competition, however, they can still sell at these premium prices because of the loyalty to the brand.
What if I told you that your business can get paid to create content and launch marketing campaigns. It might sound a bit too good to be true, however, it’s a reality.
For example, Salesforce.com has one of the largest annual conferences to showcase their new features and new marketing content. They make money not only from the ticket sales but also from event sponsors who also want to reach that target audience. Not only is Salesforce.com promoting their product and building brand equity, they’re making money doing it.
Let’s say you started a podcast about engineering. You talk about new technologies, share tips about becoming a better engineer, and products and services to help them.
You can sell native advertising on this podcast. Native advertising is when you’re promoting something without disturbing the actual deliverable. For example, when you see ads that look like posts on Facebook, that’s native advertising.
A company might approach you with a product that they claim can really help engineers and they would like to promote it to your audience. You agree to create a podcast episode if you get to first evaluate if it is valuable and for a flat fee of $2,000.
Not only are you creating another episode for your podcast but you’re making money doing it. Additionally, since you tested the product for its effectiveness before promoting it, the people who will buy it and get the value from it will love your brand for recommending it, which will further build your brand equity and the emotional connection.
Imagine that you were having a major issue in your life and some podcast recommended a product that solved this issue. On the least you’re going to be thankful that this podcast exists and at the most you will start to promote the podcast to your friends.
An engaged and loyal audience is hard to find and companies are always looking to leverage someone else’s audience and if happen to have one, you can make money while doing marketing for your own brand.
However, be careful of promoting products that do not actually provide any value. Do not accept a deal from a company just for the money. As always, keep your audience in mind.
Giving tons of value can help to build your audience which can then provide insane benefits to your business. Let’s quickly go over them.
So there you go, there are the 4 ways building an audience can help your business generate more revenue.
Remember, this is about raising the value of your business so in the long run, you can increase the size of your loyal audience. This is not a short term strategy and you should be happy that it isn’t. Jeff Bezos didn’t create the behemoth called Amazon by thinking short term.
Now that you know that you need to start building an audience for your brand, you need some tools to help you do so. I got you covered.
Below is a video of 35 tools for digital marketing that you can use to build your audience. It has everything from productivity tools, content marketing tools, marketing automation tools, and much more. Check it out.
If you want to brainstorm some ways that you can provide more value to your audience, feel free to contact me. It’s @sunnychopper on pretty much every social media platform out there, even Xbox Live.
I’m always happy to talk strategy and how to properly use technology and software, it’s what I love doing.
Written by Sunny on Dec 15 2018