One of the most beloved artists of the past decade, Taylor Swift, said, “Today, artists get record deals because they have fans – not the other way around.”
So what does a pop superstar’s quote have to do with marketing for people like you and me? Well, very much like the music industry, the content marketing world as we know it has also changed forever. Creating enriching and enlightening content alone is no longer enough. Before reaching new heights of success in your business, you need to first develop a plan to draw an audience in. You need die-hard, scream-until-they-cry, spend-thousands-on-tickets, loyal-to-the-end fans. You need an alpha audience.
Because Taylor’s fans are obviously already taken, you’ll have to find some of your own. So what is an alpha audience and why are they so important to have? In the words of Mark Schaefer, author of "the Content Code", they are "an elite and engaged tribe at the top of the social sharing food chain...and are 250 percent more likely to transmit your content (than other audience members)." They are the ultimate readers, sharers, and influencers. With a little bit of hard work and the implementation of the following tips, your organization will be able to create the content that will help you build your own alpha audience.
Put them first.You know that creating interesting, compelling content is key when it comes to building an alpha audience, but what’s interesting for you is probably different from what’s interesting for your readers. Your product or service is plenty fascinating, but what will truly captivate your audience is the ability to solve their problems. Provide them with solutions (without constantly "selling") and you will build their trust along the way.
Don’t force it.Throughout your content journey you’ll hear from many people who talk about the frequency of publishing content. 2 blogs a week, 20 Facebook posts a month, etc. But what if you run out of time or just aren’t feeling inspired about a certain topic that week? It’s fine to set goal deadlines but don’t set anything in stone. You readers will sense that the content was forced and the last thing you want is to seem inauthentic.
Stop trying so hard.Many times people think that being a thought leader in their content niche means being smarter than everyone and that simply isn’t the case. Using those big words and niche jargon will only increase the gap between you and your consumer. You want to talk with them—not at them—as equals.
Listen.Because inbound marketing is so easy to measure through analytics, heat maps, and various other data, it can be easy to get caught up in the numbers. Although taking all of these things into account is important, sometimes it’s good to take a step back and just listen to your audience. What do they like? What do they not like? Listen to them and they will undoubtedly let you know.
Be honest.When mass advertising was introduced in the 1920’s it had a severe impact on the relationship between businesses and their consumers. There was no longer an intimate relationship and trust anymore, just big-box sales and coupon gimmicks. When creating your content, focus on building trust with your readers, not sales.
Yes, there’s quite a bit to keep in mind when creating content that will build your alpha audience, but once they’re hooked, they will be some of the most loyal and steadfast content sharers you’ll ever have. Need a little help finding the spotlight? We’ve been helping clients create a devoted fan base for over 20 years. Let’s get this show on the road!