How to Effectively Reach Your Audience

reach your audience

Life was tough growing up.

When I wasn’t walking barefoot uphill both ways to school, my entertainment choices were limited to about five television stations and a handful of radio stations. Depending on how far we lived from the city, rabbit ears on TVs and antennas on roofs were commonplace — even aluminum foil came out of the kitchen and into our living rooms.

Like it or lump it, our entertainment choices were in short supply and scheduled by the TV Guide.

Pandora and Hulu

When Replay TV came out, I jumped at the chance to fulfill my dream of watching TV on my own terms. After Replay TV, cable services stepped in with DVRs and on-demand services. By now the damage was done—I was obsessed with on-demand TV.

Today there are create-your-own-radio-stations like Pandora and other services like Hulu, Amazon Fire and Apple TV.  You have control over your choice of entertainment and the schedule too!

However this new found on-demand control has also changed how advertising is viewed.

Not only can I control my entertainment; I can control what ads I see… or don’t see.

What does this mean for small and medium sized businesses?

Well, for one, they can’t count on people seeing their ads as their target market can skip or avoid them completely.

So what do you do to get your marketing message out and overcome this advertising avoidance?

Radio Station WIIAM vs WIIFM

I had the opportunity to watch a friend try and work her magic on Facebook to increase her influence. She spent time talking about her story from making her decision to how it helped and what it meant for her.

I understood what she was trying to do—but the real question is: did everyone else?

Here she is trying to include her story because all “great content” has a personal story when in reality that is a little twisted. Celebrities have the world’s ear. We commoners have to earn the privilege of being listened to.

I suspect she was on a different frequency than her audience. While she was transmitting on WIIAM aka “Worthy Interesting Information About Me,” her listeners were tuned into WIIFM aka “What’s In It For Me?”

Ours is the journey of the commoner who has to overcome an insurmountable obstacle and, all too often, hit rock bottom. Then through a guru or Yoda, or some other impetus, the secret is revealed that we too can scale the mountain of despair to come out whole on the other side—and start again.

This isn’t about winning the lottery where we get a windfall and blow it all. This is about Mr. Miyagi stepping into and teaching us to “Wax On, Wax off!” It’s the common man’s hero journey.

Those transmitting from station WIIAM are selling a pipe dream that very, very few will ever reach! They are magicians of sorts—they are getting rich from “solving” problems.

But those that transmit from station WIIFM freely share knowledge they’ve learned the hard way —no strings attached.

Promotions and Advertising

The reality is this—we’ve been bombarded for years with promotions and advertising so the media can grow. Think about it for a minute:

  • Radio stations want you to “Be caller #10 to win tickets to…”
  • TV shows encourage you  to “Vote for  Susie Singalong, text YES to 800-555-1234”
  • And print media use their own versions of contests and surveys

The more they engage us, the more we participate, the higher the advertising rates for those wanting to use that medium to reach the masses.

So how can you transmit on WIIFM instead of WIIAM?

The Winning Formula from Radio Station WIIFM

They have to know you exist – Head out to your choice of social media platform and let them know you’re here! Then, without being a pest… promote, promote, promote. Offer a freemium or free eBook in exchange for following you on social media or joining your email list.

Give them 100% of your best content – Instead of only giving 10-20% of your best stuff with the anticipation the world will gladly hand over their credit cards for the rest, give it all to them. Once they learn your concepts (and get to know, like and trust you) they will jump at the chance to get you and your knowledge and pay you for it. It’s OK to be different from the pack.

Ask Questions – People freely tell you what their needs and problems are all you have to do is ask—especially if you make it simple for them to do so and you don’t expect anything in return. It’s easy to set up a quick survey and offer them something in return (e.g. freemium) for participating.

Engage with Them – HootSuite should not be your “go-to” for posting and then escaping engagement. When people reach out, reach back. If they ask questions, answer them. Show them you are invested in them. After all, they invested their time in you. Yes, it will take some of your time, but the return in sales is worth it!

Continue the Cycle – This is a cycle that can be repeated over and over again. People and circumstances change. One day you’ll add six people to your list and the next you’ll lose four. The point is to not take it personally. Keep promoting, giving, asking and engaging.

Ready to Change the Channel?

None of this will be quick and easy. You’ll probably have to utilize new tactics and channels to get the attention you’re seeking.

Don’t give up!

Take the time to build your tribe. You’ll discover that transmitting on the WIIFM frequency will be worth it as your audience keeps tuning in for your greatest hits!

I would love to hear your thoughts, feedback and comments. Post away!

About Brian Basilico

Brian Basilico is an award winning and internationally recognized author, speaker and online strategist. He’s the founder and president of B2b Interactive Marketing Inc., an award winning marketing consulting and production company in Aurora Illinois. B2b helps companies and non-profits, market their products and services through the effective use of on-line tools including; websites, blogs, eMail, social networking, Google, S.E.O., YouTube, and more.

Brian’s career spans over 35 years. Since starting his first production company in 1979, he’s produced thousands of projects for companies ranging from solopreneurs to Fortune 100. Brian combines years of marketing experience, with technical expertise, to build on-line campaigns that produce measurable results. As a musician, technician, programmer, producer and consultant, he has built a reputation for creativity, innovation, and translating “geek” into English. Brian is also an adjunct professor, trainer, author of many social networking and marketing blogs, and an avid podcaster. He has been featured in articles at Inc. and Entrepreneur magazines.

Visit My Website
View All Posts

To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit Brian's podcast website

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Comment: