Breaking down the jargons. The idea of audience ownership is often confused as being anti-google or anti-social. It is important to separate audience development from audience ownership.
When your Facebook page gets likes or when your article features on Google News and you get new users visiting your website, that’s audience development. Audience development means building a relationship with your readers and this relationship often starts with a click - From Facebook, Twitter, SEO, AMP, Google News, Pinterest, Linkedin Pulse Article, Youtube Video Feed - There are numerous platforms that can facilitate this click for you. There are numerous channels that can drive this audience to your site. Just like you don’t want people ever leaving your website, these platforms are also not a big fan of things that lead their visitors outside their environment. But that doesn’t stop you using these platforms to develop your audience.
Audience ownership, on the other hand, is about covering these readers who just discovered your content and nudging them to join your marketing list. What’s a marketing list? Your email subscriber list, list of people who have opted-in to your site’s push notifications, people who have subscribed to your alerts on Whatsapp, users who have installed your mobile app and signed in, you get the drift. Readers who have given you permission to communicate with them.
Benefits of owning your audience
When you own your audience, you can engage with this audience at your free will, as many times as you want to, without anyone throttling your reach or moderating your content as these communication channels are directly under your control. Where as when you post on Facebook, there is no assurance that 100% of your followers on Facebook will see your content on their newsfeed. But while sending out a notification to your audience, you can be assured that it will definitely reach 100% of your active subscribers on their devices. 0 Surprises there. That’s what ownership enables you to.
Now, audience ownership is the next obvious step after audience development. And that means you work in-line with these platforms - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google AMP, Google Discover, Youtube, Google News, to maximize your reach.