4 Ways Your Brand Can Build An Audience In A Crowded Marketplace

You’ve had a truly great idea. And thanks to your persistence, you’ve grown that spark of the imagination into a full-fledged business. You’ve gained a certain amount of traction and some loyal customers, but now it’s time for more. You want to grow your following and start really scaling your business. Maybe you want to hit an ambitious set of sales targets or even expand internationally.

Deep down, you know what you have to offer is truly special. Sure, you have competitors, but you’re solving a different pain point for an audience that truly needs you. Here are some tips to help you scale by reaching new prospects with the right message.

1. Produce Content That Resonates

First things first: You need to develop a content strategy that makes your audience feel truly connected with your brand. This starts with offering them useful, timely, topical information that establishes you as an authoritative voice in your area. But content doesn’t just mean updating your website and sending out emails. There are other, more impactful ways to produce winning content.

One of the most immediate ways to share brand-building content is with a strong podcast marketing strategy. For example, you can start a podcast highlighting and analyzing newsworthy subjects in your area. Sharing smartly sourced and well-researched content in your area of expertise can build strong brand credibility.

If you sell a software solution, you could give weekly updates on new innovations in predictive analytics or generative AI. If you work in fintech, you could talk about cybersecurity, blockchain technology, or the latest in crypto. Select topics that appeal to your target audience and tailor your brand voice and tone to match.

Another advantage to using podcasts as part of your content strategy is that you can use them to create other content. It’s quick and easy to electronically transcribe your recordings and piece them into blog content, newsletters, and more. That said, you’ll still want writers and editors on hand to make sure everything comes together perfectly.

2. Make Your Values Known

Regardless of how you broadcast your content — in written, audio, or video form — it needs to get one thing right. To attract customers, your brand voice should speak loud and proud to the values you uphold as a company. A sizable majority of American consumers — about 72% — say it’s “more important than ever” to support brands that share their values.

Before you speak your values, though, you’ll want to get acquainted with the values of your target audience. Find out what’s most important to them and look for areas where common ground already exists. Any kind of qualitative research your marketing department has done can come in handy here. But you can also turn to customer reviews or social media for information.

Once you know what’s most important to your customers, it’s time to start flaunting what you’re doing right. If your customers care about the environment, you can share content about how you’re upholding certain sustainability standards. If they’re more concerned with low prices, you can talk about what you’re doing to keep their costs down.

A word of caution, though: There’s a difference between finding common ground and trying to people-please. The voice of your brand should always be true to your real beliefs and — more importantly — actions. Practices like “greenwashing” and making false health claims harm your reputation more than they help.

3. Build Real Relationships With Your Audience

To really stand out from your competitors, you need to make communication a two-way street. The best-loved brands make their audiences feel heard and give them ways to participate in back-and-forth conversation. The brands that shine in a crowded marketplace are those that are most responsive to what their customers have to say.

One obvious way to do this is to engage directly with customers on social media. Start by responding promptly — and helpfully — to comments or questions on your brand’s Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter pages. If a customer asks a great question, sharing their comment in a new post or video can really make them feel seen.

Online reviews — on Google and wherever you sell —  are a particularly important place to be as responsive as possible. Customers love to know their opinions are being taken seriously by a brand. And prospects considering your brand will almost certainly scope out what others have to say about you. Whether the reviews are positive or negative, informative responses — and apologies where necessary — will give your brand a real edge.

Once you’ve established two-way engagement with your customers, you can use it to scale your business further. Personal connections are everything, so ask your loyal customers to help grow your audience. Encourage —or  even incentivize — them to make direct referrals to anyone else they think might be interested.

4. Sport the Right Look

This point seems obvious, but it’s one that unfortunately way too many brands forget. Your visuals matter, and the wrong choices will cause you to sink right into the sea of competition. Software offerings, in particular, are guilty of all having the same indistinct website look. Pick any tech company, and chances are its logo and website are some shade of blue.

To make your brand stand out, your customers need to be able to distinguish it visually from your competitors. Unexpected color choices, fonts, and images help the customer realize they’ve stumbled upon something truly new. Consider ways to differentiate your brand that speak to the uniqueness of what you do.

Of course, don’t sacrifice user experience in the interest of creating something novel. A beautifully designed website is meaningless if your customer can’t figure out where to click the buy button. Try to strike a balance between being visually interesting and still following accessibility-friendly design principles.

While you should strive to be distinctive, it’s more important that your visuals be cohesive with your brand’s voice and values. If you’re selling medical supplies, neon fonts and silly graphics will definitely get customers’ attention. But their lack of professionalism probably isn’t what you want your audience to remember about your brand.

Always Keep Your Eye on the Competition

In a marketplace with infinite options, it can be really tough to trust that your brand has that special something. It can kill your confidence to contemplate all the others out there doing some version of what you do. But as hard as it might be for morale, keep a close eye on all the similar companies operating in your space. To grow your audience effectively, they’re the rivals you need to stay a step ahead of.