Lee Odden

Infographic: How to Grow Your Audience -10 Tips from Facebook, MarketingProfs, ExactTarget, Copyblogger

audience development

How many millions or even billions have been poured into creating content over the past 5 years? Do you think that number will be less in the next 5?

And what percentage of those budgets were spent on audience development?

Making great content is important, but analyzing target audiences for insights and growing communities to receive that content is essential.

Sometimes the world of content marketing can seem as confusing as a Mad Hatter’s tea party. We may never know why a raven is like a writing desk, but we can certainly shed some clarity on the importance of audience development for content marketing.

To do that, I reached out to 10 of the top marketing minds in the content marketing world to get their insights into the importance of considering your audience for content marketing strategy as well as tactics for growing your audience.

Without question, this is an A-Lister’s A-List of marketers including: Brian Clark, Ann Handley, Scott Stratten, Leigh Blaylock, Scott Monty, Scott Abel, Adele Revella, Jonathon Colman, Heidi Cohen and Jeffrey Rohrs – the guy who literally “wrote the book” on Audience.

The insights from this infographic are all taken from an Audience Development eBook we created in partnership with CMI and sponsored by Curata, for the upcoming Content Marketing World conference. You’ll find everything from persona development to specific audience attraction tactics – all of it wrapped nicely in an Alice in Wonderland storytelling theme.

Ann Handley, MarketingProfs
Does your content lead readers on a journey, or does it merely stuff them as leads into a pipeline? @annhandley Tweet this

Scott Stratten, UnMarketing
Not once have we shared a brand’s content because it was Tuesday at 1pm. People share emotions. @unmarketing Tweet this

Jeffrey Rohrs, ExactTarget
Publication is not distribution and a content marketing strategy without audience development is no strategy at all. @jkrohrs Tweet this

Jonathon Colman, Facebook
Develop empathy for the people using your content through context, curiosity & real-time feedback. @jcolman Tweet this

Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler
Creating compelling content is a requirement, but it’s not enough. Start thinking of prospects as audience. @scottabel Tweet this

Scott Monty, SHIFT
If you care about the kind of audience you attract, figure out your story & what action you want them to take. @scottmonty Tweet this

Brian Clark, Copyblogger
To please your audience, research their problems & desires, observe their content interactions & iterate. @brianclark Tweet this

Heidi Cohen, Riverside Marketing 
Attracting an audience that converts requires knowing your target, creating, curating & integrating content. @heidicohen Tweet this

Leigh Blaylock, Red Hat
Don’t waste your time or your prospect’s time by creating content without being thoughtful of your audience. @leighblaylock Tweet this

Adele Revella, Buyer Persona Institute
Over-emphasis on content marketing deliverables can ignore knowing an audience. Listen, engage peers & build personas. @buyerpersona Tweet this


Click on the graphic below for the full version of the Audience Development Infographic (opens jpg in new window)

audience development infographic

The #CMWorld conference is Sept 8-11 in Cleveland and includes over 100+ content marketing expert speakers. It’s literally the largest conference dedicated to content marketing in the world and a must-attend event.

At #CMWorld I’ll be giving a presentation on influencer and content marketing (Sept 9th at 3:30pm) as well as contributing to a content marketing workshop for Tech/Software companies (Sept 11 from 9:00am to 3:30pm) with co-speakers from LinkedIn (Jason Miller & Koka Sexton), Dell (Connie Bensen),  TopRank Marketing (Susan Misukanis) and a Pam Didner, a former Intel Global Content Marketing Manager and author of the new book: Global Content Marketing.

If you’re thinking of going, here’s a $100 discount code: TopRank

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Great information and i loved the way you included the Tweet options – which I will now do!

  2. Avatar MrEd Thorpe says

    Very tasty post & information about taking content marketing to another level.

    But, why is a raven like a writing desk?