While it’s a given that every company makes it a priority to grow their consumer base, it takes a savvy marketer to understand the importance of forming a genuine connection with audiences to reach this goal. Of course, the fundamental driver of building a wide audience is providing the public with compelling content. Aside from that, here are four ways marketers can strengthen the bond with their audiences.

Think Outside the Box

Marketers should make it a point to actively educate themselves on the various methods of engaging a diverse audience, keeping in mind that there are consumers out there who are likely outside their typical reach. “For instance, you might tap into communities which are already self-organized, like meet-up groups and membership organizations,” writes Huffington Post contributor Andre Bourque. “You must additionally bear in mind that lots of community interaction tends to occur on mobile – in a non-work environment and on the way home – so again, consider these times and attempt different things.” As always, statistics and proven facts are marketers’ friends when it comes to developing useful content.

Connect In-person (When Possible)

When customers put a face — and potentially a handshake — to the brand they’re dealing with, they’re likely to form a better connection. Additionally, if they see the advertised products in-person, they’re more likely to commit to a purchase. “In San Francisco, we recently hosted an LG event to launch the new LG OLED TV,” offers Bourque. “I can tell you all about it because I saw it in person. The in-person experience allows me to share levels of detail I remember because I have a collection of memories around it. Like how the blacks were truly black, the colors were truly vibrant and the 160 degree visibility was amazing. I even remember I liked the LG 65” OLED TV is 4,000 pixels better than the Samsung equivalent. Details I would only remember through experience.”

Provide Them With What They Want

Using a trick-or-treat analogy to help understand email audiences, Huffington Post contributor Christopher Lester writes: “There was always one house in my neighborhood that doled out full-size Snickers, year after year. Supplies were always limited, so my strategy was to go there first — skipping the houses that were handing out fun-size stuff — and then work my way back. Once that house started giving out the big Snickers, they were beholden to do it every year. And it paid off! Over the years, that house became the stuff of neighborhood legends. Consistently serving up relevant and valuable content to your audience is a great way to generate that positive buzz for your brand. Marketers should also pay attention to their brand ambassadors — they’re spreading the good word about you! And don’t forget to reward them handsomely every now and then in the form of exclusive content, early sneak peeks or full-size Snickers. Those never disappoint.”

Using the Newsletter Wisely

The newsletter remains a fundamental tool when it comes to connecting marketers with their audiences. “At the core, you must prove and show you understand the audience in the first place and customize the content to the audience’s interests,” says Bourque. “According to the Nielsen Norman Group’s Email Newsletter Usability report, it’s not uncommon for readers to develop an emotional attachment to their email newsletters.” That report states that 69% of users state that they anticipate and enjoy receiving at least one newsletter, with most users claiming that they had implemented a newsletter into their routine. This is a level of customer buy-in that few other promotional methods can state. Additionally, the timing of the newsletter is key; one hour too early or too late can be the difference between high and low open rates.

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