June 25, 2024

Audience Building 101: Crash Course in Connecting With Your ICP

Ryan Sargent
Ryan Sargent

Imagine spending months crafting the perfect blog post library, packed with resources and insights your target audience craves. You hit publish, confident that droves of potential customers will be lining up to devour your content. And then…


No engagement, no leads, nada. Why? Because building an audience is just as crucial as building great content. You need the right eyes on your content, and that's where strategic audience building comes in.

Here, we’ll give you a complete rundown of audience building: what it is, why it matters, and how a powerful content strategy can help you do it.

Who is your audience, anyway?

First things first. While it’s tempting to say that you want your audience to be “anyone with an internet connection,” it’s important to take a more granular approach in order to build any type of successful marketing strategy. 

Your audience is a dedicated group of individuals who are consistently drawn to and engaged with the content your brand or business creates. 

They're interested in what you have to say, the problems your product or service solves, and the value you offer. They're the ones who follow you on social media, download your ebooks, and leave thoughtful comments on your blog posts. 

Why is it so important to have an understanding of who these people are? Because this already engaged group is much more likely to convert into paying customers down the line (if they haven't already). Understanding your audience will also help you create more targeted content to draw in more engagement — but more on that later.

What’s audience building?

Audience building is the strategic process of attracting and nurturing that community of individuals we just discussed. It's about creating a space where they feel valued and informed, ultimately fostering long-term relationships.

This is distinct from simply "finding customers." While customer acquisition is definitely a marketing goal, it tends to be a more transactional approach. 

Audience building, on the other hand, focuses on fostering genuine connections and building trust. By providing valuable content and establishing yourself as a thought leader, you lay the groundwork for a loyal audience that's more receptive to your offerings when Buy-Time comes around.

How does content creation play a role?

Think of content creation and audience building as two sides of the same coin. They're dependent on each other for content marketing success. Here's why:

Establishes expertise and thought leadership

A strong audience is the foundation for establishing yourself or your brand as a subject matter expert. As you consistently create high-quality content that resonates with your target audience, you become a trusted resource. People start to see you as the go-to authority in your field, increasing brand awareness and credibility. This, in turn, attracts even more people to your content, further solidifying your expert status.

Creates a feedback loop for content strategy

Building an audience allows you to tap into a valuable source of insights. By analyzing audience engagement metrics, like website traffic, social media comments, and content downloads, you gain a clear understanding of what topics resonate and what questions your audience has. 

This data can fuel your content creation strategy, ensuring you're consistently producing content that directly addresses your audience's pain points and interests. For example, are you getting hundreds of clicks and dozens of comments on a blog giving a hot take about a recent industry update? Consider adding more of that to the mix!

Fuels audience growth

Without high-quality content, you don't have anything to attract or engage an audience with. Compelling content, whether it's blog posts, webinars, podcasts, or videos, is what gives people a reason to connect with your brand. It provides value, educates, and entertains, ultimately keeping your audience coming back for more.

How to build an engaged audience

Building an engaged audience is a process that takes your ideal customer from casual observer to loyal brand advocate through a few key stages:

  1. Awareness: This is where your target audience first discovers your brand and content. This could happen through organic search results, social media posts, industry publications, or even word-of-mouth recommendations.
  2. Engagement: Once they've found you, the goal is to keep them interested. This is where high-quality, informative content comes in. People who find your content valuable are more likely to engage: subscribing to your email list, following you on social media, or leaving comments on your blog.
  3. Subscription: Engagement is great, but subscriptions are gold. By subscribing to your email list or social media channels, your audience is actively opting in to receive more content from you. This allows you to nurture relationships and build trust over time.
  4. Regular reader/follower: Now you have a dedicated group actively consuming your content. This is where consistency is key. Regularly releasing valuable content keeps your audience engaged and coming back for more.
  5. Conversion: The ultimate goal is to convert your audience into paying customers. This could involve signing up for a paid subscription service, purchasing your product, or availing of premium features. Providing exceptional value throughout the audience journey builds trust and establishes you as a reliable solution. This makes your audience far more receptive to converting when the opportunity arises.

1. Identify your ideal customer profile

Before you can build an audience, you need to understand exactly who you're building it for. This is where your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) comes in.

An ICP is a detailed description of your perfect customer — the company or individual who would benefit most from your product or service. It goes beyond basic demographics and addresses specific needs, challenges, goals, and behaviors.

Your ICP is like a roadmap for your audience-building efforts. Clearly defining who your ideal customer is helps you tailor your content strategy, messaging, and distribution channels to resonate directly with them. Here's why this is crucial:

  • Targeted content creation: Knowing your ICP allows you to create content that directly addresses their pain points and interests. This ensures your content is relevant and valuable, maximizing engagement.
  • Effective distribution: With a clear understanding of your ideal customer's online behavior and preferred platforms, you can choose the most effective channels to reach them.
  • Attracting the right audience: By crafting content and messaging that speaks directly to your ICP, you'll attract a more qualified audience who's genuinely interested in what you offer. This translates to better lead generation and higher conversion rates down the line.

2. Define your niche

Imagine showing up to a party with a giant potluck dish containing everything from sushi to tacos to mac and cheese. Sure, there might be something for everyone, but it's not exactly a cohesive meal, is it? The same applies to content marketing. People crave focused expertise. That means you need a clear understanding of the topic, angle, and format you excel at. People are more likely to join your audience and consistently engage with your content if they know exactly what value you bring to the table.

Here's the pitfall of being a content generalist: You spread yourself too thin trying to cater to everyone. This creates confusion. Someone interested in learning about SEO best practices might stumble upon a blog post about social media advertising on your site. If that happens, they'll likely leave feeling lost and unfulfilled, and you've just lost a potential follower.

Take Ten Speed, for example. Our niche is SEO content marketing. We focus on creating content that helps B2B SaaS companies leverage the power of content to achieve organic growth through strategic SEO. This targeted approach allows us to:

  • Become an authority figure: By laser-focusing on a specific niche, we can delve deep into the complexities of SEO content marketing. Talking about our area of authentic expertise helps establish us as thought leaders in the field, attracting a dedicated audience who trusts us for reliable information and insights.
  • Craft highly relevant content: Understanding the specific needs and challenges of B2B SaaS companies in the content marketing space allows us to create content that directly addresses their pain points. This ensures our content resonates with our target audience, maximizing engagement and conversions.
  • Attract the right clients: By clearly defining our niche, we attract potential clients who are a perfect fit for our services. They know we specialize in SEO content marketing for B2B SaaS companies, and they come to us because they understand the value we can deliver.

3. Create and distribute high-quality content

Now that you have a laser focus on your ICP and niche, it's time to translate that knowledge into high-quality content that attracts and engages your ideal audience. Here's how:

Leverage your ICP and niche

  • Targeted topics: Remember your ICP's pain points and interests. Craft content that directly addresses their challenges and provides valuable solutions.
  • Niche expertise: Deep dive into the specific topics within your chosen niche. This showcases your in-depth knowledge and establishes you as a trusted authority.
  • Unique voice: Don't just rehash what's already out there. Offer fresh insights, present a unique perspective, and inject your brand voice to make your content stand out.

Remember, valuable content is key. People won't subscribe or keep coming back for generic information they can find anywhere. Strive to educate, inform, and entertain your audience in a way that leaves them wanting more.

Build distribution consistency and expectations

Once you have some strong content, it's time to get it in front of your ideal audience — consistently. Here’s how:

  • Choose your channels: Select the platforms your ICP frequents. This could be social media like LinkedIn or Twitter, industry publications, or even online communities.
  • Maintain a consistent medium: Find a content format that works for you and your audience. Maybe it's in-depth blog posts, informative infographics, or engaging video content. Stick with it! Consistency allows your audience to develop expectations and know what kind of valuable content to expect from you.
  • Promote regularly: Don't just publish and pray. Actively promote your content on your chosen channels and relevant online communities.

These steps will help you create a content distribution strategy that ensures your high-quality content reaches the right people at the right time. This sets the stage for building a loyal audience that's genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

4. Measure the impact of your content

Building an audience takes time and effort, and there's no magic formula for overnight success. But fear not! Data is your best friend in this journey. By tracking the performance of your content, you can see what's working, and what's not. Then you can make adjustments to optimize your audience building.

Here are some key metrics to pay attention to:

Reach and visibility

  • Views: This measures how many times your content has been displayed, regardless of whether someone interacted with it. A high number of views indicates strong content visibility.
  • Clicks: This metric goes a step further. It tells you how many times people clicked through to read your content in full, suggesting they found it interesting enough to dig deeper.


  • Social media shares: Shares are a great indicator of audience engagement. When people share your content with their network, it means they find it valuable and want to spread the word.
  • Comments: Comments provide valuable insights into audience reception. Do they ask questions? Offer feedback? This two-way communication is a goldmine for understanding your audience's needs and interests. It may even help you uncover the topic of your next piece of content!


  • Email signups: This metric directly measures your audience growth. Every new email signup indicates someone who wants to stay connected and receive more content from you.
  • Social media followers: A growing number of followers on your social media channels signifies successful audience building.

Remember: There's no one-size-fits-all approach to measuring content success. The specific metrics you focus on will depend on the type of content you create and share as well as your overall marketing goals. However, by tracking these key indicators, you gain valuable insights that allow you to refine your content strategy and build a thriving audience that's genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

Build your ideal audience with Ten Speed

Building an audience requires juggling multiple factors: crafting compelling content, understanding your audience's ever-evolving pain points, staying ahead of industry trends, and navigating the ever-changing content marketing landscape. It can feel overwhelming, especially for busy marketing teams who are already stretched thin.

Ten Speed was purpose-built to help these busy teams navigate the complexities of audience building and establish strong, lasting relationships with your ideal customers.

We understand the challenges B2B SaaS companies face in today's competitive landscape. With our expertise in SEO content marketing, we help businesses:

  • Develop a laser-focused content strategy: We'll work with you to define your ICP and niche, ensuring your content resonates with the right audience.
  • Create high-quality, engaging content: Our team of content creators will craft informative and valuable content that educates, entertains, and positions you as a thought leader.
  • Optimize your content for search engines: Leveraging proven SEO strategies, we'll ensure your content ranks high in search results, driving organic traffic and attracting your ideal customer.
  • Build a loyal audience: We'll help you implement effective distribution strategies to reach your target audience and foster long-term engagement.

Let's talk about your needs and develop a custom content marketing plan that gets results: Book a call with Ten Speed today.

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