How to Gain an Audience and Increase Retention

Every business, large or small, must figure out how to get return customers. Whether you’re a YouTube star, a magazine, or a Fortune 500 company, you’ll need at least 12 months before beginning to profit off your product or content. Joe Pulizzi, a content marketing speaker and strategist who wrote Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses, reviewed numerous case studies on marketing strategies and developed the Content Inc. Model. The model provides tips for how to gain an audience and increase retention.

1. Do you know what your audiences’ sweet spots are?

Only 30% of content marketing is successful. To help boost that number, Joe believes that companies or people need to find out “what keeps their audience up at night.” By paying attention to the interests of the client or customer, companies can extract information about the individuals and produce more content that reflect those interests. Second, a business must establish credibility. In short, if you’re a YouTuber that claims to be innovative and different, prove what sets you apart from other YouTubers. This analogy can apply to every company: what makes you different? Show your audience exactly why you’re product or content is special.

2. Content Tilt: create and post differentiated content

Imagine going to the mall and seeing the same exact product sold in every store—this is how many companies are operating—they are posting and creating products similar to others. Joe gave the example of a successful YouTuber who creates “impossible” food creations—yes, she’s a professional baker, but she chooses to bake exotic and innovative foods. Her ingenuity allowed her to gain thousands of subscribers shortly after launching. To Joe, this is the most overlooked step and the main reason companies’ marketing strategies fail.

3. Building the Base: optimize one platform before diversifying your brand

It takes at least 12 months to gain a targeted audience on at least one platform. Instead of producing content on one site, companies oftentimes post content on multiple platforms, thinking more people will see their content—this is another unsuccessful strategy. Instead, a brand should focus on gaining an audience on one site for a long period of time by consistently producing the same type of content (audio, text and images, or video). The key takeaway here is to optimize one platform.

4. Convert your audience by connecting with them on a personal level

Facebook may seem like the ideal platform to build an audience, but because of Facebook’s algorithms and advertisement restrictions to certain demographics, it prevents 99% of customers from seeing your content. Yup—99% of your followers may never see your latest video unless you pay Facebook’s advertisement fees. Joe claims that a more successful strategy would be to reach out to each subscriber via email instead. This way, your company will have more control over how many people you’re content reaches.


If you follow these few tips, your company is bound to see better results. You can purchase Joe’s book here.