EB is your guide to eCommerce


Build an audience first, and then start selling


In this lesson, we’ll talk about the importance of building an audience before we start selling. Also, we’ll learn how to use content marketing to build an audience for your business.


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Customer engagement strategies lesson 1

This is the first lesson of our customer engagement strategies. In this lesson, we’ll focus on how to build an audience for your business.


The importance of building the audience first

Let us go through an example. We’ll assume that you got a great business idea to sell officewear. Now, what you should do?

  1. Buy a whole lot of officewear products for your inventory
  2. Start an officewear blog to test and build a suitable audience

If we buy an inventory first, there is a chance that our products might sell or not. If no one wants to buy our officewear, we are in trouble. So, buying an inventory first is a good idea at all.

Now, what if we create an officewear blog first? By doing this, we can attract potential customers for our business, and throw out some product ideas to see what we could sell better.

The audience first business model

Some people come up with a business idea, create the product, build an inventory, and finally try to find the audience. However, the safest approach to starting a business is to;

  1. Comeup with the business idea
  2. Build and test the audience
  3. Create the product
  4. Build the inventory

This model is called the audience first business model. It takes time, but it is much safer.

In this way, you can start by engaging with your potential audience on social media, a blog, or even on YouTube to research and learn which types of products that your audience really wants. Also, in the end, this will help you to build a loyal community around your business, where you can quickly sell your products.

Building an audience for our business

Now, let us learn how to build an audience for our business idea. Remember, we only want to sell to those who really want our product.

Additional reading: Why we should not try to sell to everyone

Building an audience for our business is not as hard as you may think. You can find your target audience by answering the below questions.

  1. Who would like to buy your products
  2. Where are they active? Is it on Facebook, LinkedIn, or YouTube?
  3. What are their likes and dislike?
  4. What type of content that they will enjoy?

Once you can answer these questions, you can start creating content (it can be social media posts, blog posts, or even videos) that your target audience would enjoy.


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Content marketing

Attracting and keeping your audience engaged in your business is called content marketing. To keep people coming back to read or view your posts, you will need to post constantly.

The easiest way to post constantly is by having a content schedule. So, you can plan “what” and “when” you are going to post next.

Once you start posting content, make sure to see which posts are getting popular. Those are the types of posts that your audience likes more. So, you can keep posting in that direction.

Start interacting with your audience

Don’t maintain just a one-way communication with your audience; Ask questions, create polls, and answer their questions to interact with your audience. This is the best way to find their likes and dislikes.

Start promoting your content

Usually, it is harder to reach more people organically. So, you will need to run a couple of paid ad campaigns to promote your content.

Social media is the most beginner-friendly way to run a paid ad campaign. It is cheaper and easier. You can select demographics for the audiences that you want to reach.

Additional reading: How to use social media for your business

Guest posting on similar blogs and cross-posting with other’s channels can also help you to promote your content. When you guest post, make sure to add links back to your site. These “backlinks” helps your website to rank up on Google too.

Additional reading: How to rank up your site on Google

Keep your audience in-touch with emails

Keeping your readers in touch with your content is a hard thing to do. While posting regular content can help it up to some extent, you will also need a good email marketing strategy to update your readers and keep them coming back to your content channel.

You can include call-to-action (CTAs) in your posts and encourage them to subscribe to your email lists. You can use special and exclusive offers as a value exchange when collecting email addresses.  

Additional reading: Email marketing for small business

When you start selling, you can have a jumpstart for the marketing campaign through your email lists.


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Continue the audience building process, even after you start selling

Do not stop posting content, even after you start selling. Keep posting fresh content that your audience can enjoy. This will allow you to continue building your audience and keep selling.

Content creation and audience building may seem like a daunting process. However, it is not that hard. As we have suggested earlier, maintain a content schedule and stick to it. This extra effort of building an audience first will come in handy when you start selling.

In the next lesson of customer engagement strategies, we will discuss how to gain your customer’s interest through storytelling.

Special thanks for SlidesGo on Freepik for the featured image

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