Written by Courtney from Bolt Digital Agency
As marketers, we yearn for people to consume our messages, share our creatives, and become ambassadors for the brands we manage. The challenge is finding an audience that can be captured. To gain the attention needed to grow a brand, we must go to the masses on aggregated websites such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. The problem: you do not own those websites, therefore, you do not own the audiences that are not directly following you. Why should you be concerned with owning an audience for your brand? Simply put, control and money. If you do not own an audience, you must rely on and pay someone else to reach theirs.
Renting attention is capitalizing on the audience that another organization has built. Example: You purchase a sponsored post on Facebook. Someone sees your post (perhaps even likes it) but ultimately moves on to the next thing in their newsfeed without following you or visiting your website. The chokehold on organic brand content has forced more and more brands to turn to rented actions in order to get in front of new customers. Organic reach on Facebook went from 16% in 2012 down to a mere 1% in 2014. If you want your content to reach further on aggregated websites, you’re more than likely going to pay for it.
You rent temporarily in order to convert a leased audience to one that is owned. Buying promotional space on targeted websites and publications is a means of generating attention. Storytelling and compelling content is a means of retaining attention. Sharing your brand story is the ultimate way to gather and nurture relationships with an audience. Digitizing the essence of your brand and sharing messages through social media that are further developed on your domain will draw the brand ambassadors that you need. You will no longer have to rent from a middleman once you have converted an audience; you can deliver communications with them through channels created and controlled by your brand.