The Dangers of Renting Your Audience

Why taking a short-term approach to audience engagement might not pay off.

Every business needs an audience to communicate the value of its products and services to, but building an organic following of prospective customers is a challenge for many businesses.

This means that when the need for marketing arises, many businesses elect to throw money at the issue in the form of outbound marketing methods; think posters, TV, and radio adverts – anything intended to reach an audience beyond your sphere of influence.

But is this really the best way to generate leads?

At Prize Content, we recognise that there are two ways to generate leads through content marketing: by renting an audience and by earning one.

What is Renting an Audience?

Outbound marketing methods work by paying an established platform for temporary access to its audience. Whether it’s an ad spot for radio and TV or a promoted post on social media, these avenues rely on borrowing someone else’s audience for a limited period of time.

Because of the short-lived and unreliable nature of this audience, we like to call this renting an audience.

When you rent an audience, your advert may be seen by many people. But the fact remains: they aren’t your audience. They are, in fact, the audience of the platform holder.

Renting an audience means your company is paying to momentarily capture the attention of someone else’s audience. A short while later, when you stop paying for advertising, you have to give that audience back to its owner.

Why Relying on a Rented Audience is Dangerous

Relying solely on renting an audience is a risky approach for your business. When you rent an audience, you’ll get what you paid for: eyes on your ads. But, as with all rentals, you eventually have to give that audience back. When your campaign is over, any missed leads will disappear with it, leaving you back at square one.

Renting is Expensive

The longevity of the audience isn’t renting’s only weakness. To maintain the audience through traditional marketing methods, your company must continue to fund these activities. That means pausing your paid marketing won’t just slow the momentum of your brand – it will stop it dead in its tracks.

The need to maintain this rented audience can result in your business spending eye-watering amounts to continue these marketing activities.

High-pressure, High-stress

Another fault in the rented audience model is the efficacy of the adverts. Renting an audience does not guarantee improved sales figures or increased income yet, due to the heavy financial burden of funding your marketing, there is increased pressure to convert that audience into paying customers.

There is a time and a place when renting an audience makes sense, which we’ll talk about in a later post. But in most scenarios, your business needs another option.

Earning Your Audience

The alternative to renting your audience is organically building an invested audience that follows your channels directly. How? Through consistent, quality content marketing.

Engage Your Audience Authentically

Audiences have grown tired of paid-for advertising. Every day, consumers are exposed to an untold number of adverts. Whether they use an ad blocker on digital devices or have developed a subconscious ad blocker in their minds, consumers have simply become accustomed to tuning out all but the most compelling of adverts.

Quality content marketing is not presented in the style of an advert. It is authentic, valuable content that your target audience sincerely wants to engage with. When your audience has something to gain from your content, you don’t need to trick them into reading it; they’ll do it because they want to.

That’s what we call earning your audience.

The Benefits of Earning Your Audience

An earned audience is with you for the long haul. Unlike a rented audience, they won’t drop off after the latest campaign ends. Instead, they’ll hang around, giving you the opportunity to convert them over time.

As you work to build your audience, your business will benefit in a number of ways.

Build Your Brand’s Authority

As your library of content grows, it becomes a source of credibility for your company. The content exhibits your industry knowledge and expertise, which can be enough to convert a lead into a customer.

Additionally, the value of your content marketing encourages existing customers to remain loyal to your brand, rather than looking elsewhere.

Get Started Today

At Prize Content, we help you earn an audience and retain a following with unique content that nurtures prospects that would otherwise be lost.

Can your business really afford to continue funnelling funds into marketing activities that only grant you a temporary audience?

To learn more about how your business can use content marketing to earn an audience, contact the Prize Content team today.

Published by Dan Grey

Content Writer

Producing quality content and effective communications that help SMEs thrive.