Re-inventing business has become de rigeur. Often this means either building a digitally-enabled eco-system, or being integrated into one. With that step change comes engaging new audiences. For players in the B2B space, that can be easier said than done. Many B2B companies are set up around product portfolios, not target audiences. Here are some tips around audience engagement that can make connecting with new audiences easier – and more personal.

Five audience engagement techniques are shared here. Their real strength is when combined.

1. Launch an online B2B community (mobile app-based) that’s moderated daily, by an industry expert – preferably, someone on your team. Pose questions. Float ideas. Start and facilitate an online conversation. It’s a great way to engage an expert audience, as they can share and explore hot topics with like-minded people, including you, in near real-time. The online conversation doesn’t have to be literally in real-time. A session once a day, responding to conversation threads, can be enough to create engagement, empathy and a sense of belonging.

2. Produce a weekly TED-style podcast; ie film short interviews in ‘hip’ locations with experts. These podcasts can demonstrate your thought-leadership in an accessible format. This content can also be shared by email, or through the online community, if you have one. Example: Facebook’s new collaboration platform – Workplace – is acost effective channel.

3. Host micro-sites specific to the target audience’s needs, and deliver smart content: blogs, discussion papers, slide decks, infographics and podcasts on trends, insights and innovations.

4. Host virtual conferences (not webinars) that involve all the players in the wider eco-system. These can engage across geographies. Do these in real-time windows, at different, trendy locations, with similar experiences and facilitated exercises.

5.Get to know your audience. Today there are services like Nudge and Kompass that passively track an individual’s interactions and conversations on Twitter or LinkedIn. This can allow you to personalise the content or engagement strategy.

New audiences present challenges but clearly, also a huge opportunity. So, it’s worth spending time with them.

The 5 techniques shared above, allow you to get up close and personal. You’ll see life from their perspective. And once the conversation is started online, consider a leader’s forum, in the shape of a live event, to nurture collaboration, offline.