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Building an Audience Development Strategy

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Discover tips on how to build an audience development strategy. We love these tips from top content marketing experts so much that we are rereleasing this eBook.

Published in: Marketing

Building an Audience Development Strategy

  1. 1. #CMWorld
  2. 2. ! ometimes 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 help you make sense of the content marketing world. From creating a strategy to audience development to visual content to finding the “real” ROI of a content marketing program, TopRank Online Marketing and Content Marketing Institute present a new series of Alice in Wonderland themed eBooks: Content Marketing in Wonderland. Over 40 major brands and thought leaders presenting at the upcoming #CMWorld conference have contributed their strategies and practical advice in this series. Their stories will help make your journey in the content marketing world a successful one – all the way to Cleveland September 8-11, 2014 We look forward to seeing you there! Welcome to the Tea Party S Lee Odden, CEO TopRank Online Marketing! Joe Pulizzi, CEO Content Marketing Institute!
  3. 3. Who doesn’t like an adventure? Let us take you on a Content Marketing adventure with 4 new #CMWorld speaker eBooks: •! Content Marketing Strategy •! Audience Development •! Visual Content Marketing •! Real Content ROI A new eBook will publish weekly as we approach the ultimate content marketing adventure: The Content Marketing World conference Sept 8-11, 2014. Content Marketing in Wonderland ?:+'@-A' ?:+'!!-A' ?:+'!#-A' ?:+'%B-A'
  4. 4. Brand Contributors
  5. 5. Adele Revella Alan Porter Andrew Davis Ann Handley Ardath Albee  Brant McLean Brian Clark Brian Kardon Bruce McDuffee  Carla Johnson David Jones Gurdeep Dhillon Heidi Cohen Jascha Kaykas-Wolff Jason Miller Jay Acunzo Jeff Charney Jeff Rohrs Jen Dennis Jesse Noyes Jim Kukral 40+ Content Marketing Experts JoAnn Sciarrino Joe Pulizzi Jonathon Colman  Julie Fleischer Lee Odden Leigh Blaylock Maggie Burke Mark Schaefer Michael Brenner Nicole Smith Pam Didner  Paull Young Pawan Deshpande Rebecca Lieb Rick Short Robert Rose Scott Abel Scott Monty Scott Stratten Steve Clayton Tim Washer “Why is a raven like content marketing?”
  6. 6. “Does your content lead readers on a journey, or does it merely stuff them as leads into a pipeline?” Ann Handley @annhandley #CMWorld
  7. 7. #CMWorld Tweedledee tells Alice a story about The Walrus and The Carpenter, who happen upon a bed of oysters and invite them on a journey. The eldest oyster declines the invitation: But four young Oysters hurried up, All eager for the treat: Their coats were brushed, their faces washed, Their shoes were clean and neat— And this was odd, because, you know, They hadn’t any feet. When Lewis Carroll wrote that 143 years ago in Through the Looking-Glass, he couldn’t have fathomed that we’d be talking about his little oysters in a content marketing context. But Carroll’s tale is a handy metaphor for the power of story in growing oysters… err, audience. How so? Audience and Oysters Ann Handley @annhandley Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs #CMWorld Presentation: Moving from Journalist to Content Marketer
  8. 8. #CMWorld Trust builds connection. The little oysters followed because they trust their leaders and they are eager to share in what appeared to be an epic journey. Content marketing takeaway: Are you merely stuffing a pipeline full of leads? Or are you building an audience who will rely on you for information, advice, and help, and will seek out your expertise? Great narrative reaches your audience’s audience. The Walrus and The Carpenter lead the young oysters, collecting other oysters along the way. The word spreads because it’s impossible to resist a good story. The journey itself also feels part of something bigger. Content marketing takeaway: Are you creating content worth sharing and inspiring your audience to share your story for you? Are you leading them on a journey and into a relationship? Or are you talking too much about what you do or what you sell and not enough about what it does for them? Audience and Oysters Ann Handley @annhandley Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs #CMWorld Presentation: Moving from Journalist to Content Marketer
  9. 9. #CMWorld Audience and Oysters Your words are your emissaries. It’s poetry, the way the Walrus and The Carpenter communicate with their audience. The time has come, the Walrus says at one point: “To talk of many things: Of cabbages—and kings—And why the sea is boiling hot—And whether pigs have wings.” The language is sparse, but still it paints a vivid and evocative picture, doesn’t it? It captures the attention of the little oysters. Content marketing takeaway: In Looking-Glass, the words are literally poetry. But the larger takeaway for marketers is to step up your writing. Words are our emissaries and ambassadors, carrying important messages for us. Think of it this way: If a visitor came to your website without its branding in place, would he or she recognize it as yours? If you stripped your branding from all your properties and lined up your words alongside a competitor’s, would you stand out? So the question becomes: Are you telling your story from your unique perspective, with a voice and style that’s clearly all you? Ann Handley @annhandley Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs #CMWorld Presentation: Moving from Journalist to Content Marketer
  10. 10. #CMWorld Tell the Best Story for Your Audience “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to." "I don't much care where –" "Then it doesn't matter which way you go.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland That exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat is as good a reminder as any about the need for a strategy before one starts slinging content at the metaphorical wall. For all of the hype we hear about content - the need for it, it’s primacy, the fuel behind social, the debate of quantity (I’ve heard the term “content bombing”) versus quality (scarcity will drive demand, right?), content this, content that - it can be too tempting to simply jump in and produce without a well thought-out strategy. If, like Alice, you don’t much care what kind of audience you attract, then the Cheshire Cat is quite right: it doesn’t matter which kind of content you create. If, however, you have some goals in mind and know what outcomes you’d like to see, you’ll have a foothold. Scott Monty @ScottMonty Executive VP of Strategy at SHIFT Communications #CMWorld Presentation: What You Need to Do Now to Find and Nurture Your Company Spokesperson
  11. 11. #CMWorld Tell the Best Story for Your Audience Here are some essential questions to ask yourself: - What’s your story? - How do you want people to perceive your brand/product/service? - What formats will you select (text, audio, video) and on what platforms? - Who is best to tell your story; who will your audience trust most? - What action do you want them to take based on the interaction? - What’s next? One of the most critical points is to map out the audience journey based on where they are in the sales cycle. If they’re researching, they’ll need a completely different kind of content than those who are purchasing. But the key is how you move them from one phase to the next by building a relationship with them around the relevant content. They should return like readers to a long book, enjoying chapter after chapter of the story you tell. And then, like Alice, they’ll be saying, “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” Scott Monty @ScottMonty Executive VP of Strategy at SHIFT Communications #CMWorld Presentation: What You Need to Do Now to Find and Nurture Your Company Spokesperson
  12. 12. “Not once have we shared a brand’s content because it was Tuesday at 1pm. People share emotions.” Scott Stratten @unmarketing #CMWorld
  13. 13. #CMWorld “I don't think..." then you shouldn't talk, said the Hatter.” Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland Monthly, weekly, daily. In the afternoon. In the morning. When you ask people how often they should produce content, the answer always ends up being about a spot on the calendar. It used to be biweekly in the old days. Then became weekly and now it seems multiple times a day. 3 blog posts a week, 10 tweets a day, 5 Instagram pics and 1 Facebook post an hour. With a picture. And a motivational quote. But not even once have I, or you, shared a piece of another brand’s content because it was “Tuesday at 2pm” or because it was a picture with 10% text on Facebook. People share emotions. When you evoke that, people react. The surest way to create the one emotion that doesn’t lead to sharing content, apathy, is to send out content because you “should”. Blog when you have something to say that is worth saying. Share a picture on Facebook when it’s something worth seeing. Creating content for the sake of content is killing our audience slowly. The best thing we can do when someone comes into our content funnel is to make them feel glad they did. Respect Your Audience Scott Stratten @unmarketing President at Unmarketing #CMWorld Keynote: Data, Digits & Dummies - What You Know about Content Marketing May Be Wrong
  14. 14. #CMWorld Compelling Content Methodology We’re ignoring the basics. So many of us start contributing to content without thought. Marking off content checklists that were created long before our time. Introducing bad habits from previous employers. Stop. Don't waste your time creating content without thought. Because it's wasting our prospect's time opening it and hitting that dreaded "unsubscribe" button. We're losing prospects with content written for the wrong audience. Bad content. Bad content wastes our company’s money too. Consider this: for every 10 hours you spend writing a piece, 3 hours are spent getting approvals from stakeholders and merging edits, 2 hours are spent by content reviewers, 2 hours are spent in design, and 50 hours are spent for translation and regional review. And those 67 hours don’t include the time it takes to share, repurpose, and update the piece. If understanding audience isn't top on your priority list, stop creating or asking others to create content. Convince leadership with numbers. Focus on understanding your audience by developing personas. Need to convince your boss? Multiply an average marketing salary by the average time spent creating and sharing a piece (content cost). Determine download and share rates of existing pieces (content success). Leigh Blaylock @leighblaylock Manager of Content Marketing at Red Hat #CMWorld Presentation: Avoiding Content Chaos: A Phased, Repeatable Approach
  15. 15. #CMWorld Compelling Content Methodology Build personas simply. Start simple with personas. Interview co-workers who are potential buyers within your company’s industry. For example, a technology company selling IT solutions with an IT team facing the same challenges. Use those interviews as a persona foundation that you can grow as time and resources become available. And don’t go at it alone. Ask around to see if others are interested in joining your persona development team. Don’t stop with persona development. Personas are only effective if they’re used. To help: •! Create an interactive “Understanding buyer personas” training. How do you convince content contributors to attend? Feed them. •! Create short, scannable persona resources so contributors can quickly get what they need. •! Put processes in place so that content contributors have to identify the persona before they create content (e.g., build a persona question into a content template). Create compelling content. You’re ready! Leigh Blaylock @leighblaylock Manager of Content Marketing at Red Hat #CMWorld Presentation: Avoiding Content Chaos: A Phased, Repeatable Approach
  16. 16. “Publication is not distribution and a content marketing strategy without audience development is no strategy at all.” Jeff Rohrs @jkrohrs #CMWorld
  17. 17. #CMWorld All content marketers are a bit mad. There is more content being produced every day than any person could consume in a lifetime; and yet, we venture forth to do what? Produce more content. We do so because we’re betting on ourselves. We’re betting that we can rise above all that other content and reach clients, prospects, and influencers that matter to our company. And so 99 percent of our effort goes into creating amazing content thinking best content wins. And then we hit “publish” and wait. And wait. And wait. We collectively suffer from Audience Assumption Disorder, the magical belief that great content magnetically draws the audiences we need to succeed. However, publication is not distribution, and a content marketing strategy without an audience development plan is no strategy at all. There is no magic potion you can drink to make your audience magically double or triple in size; rather, there is the hard work of growing your audience with each new piece of content you produce. You must always be building audiences (ABBA). Audience development is part and parcel of content marketing, and it’s simply not enough to put 1 percent of your effort there. You must create content with your audience and action in mind. (ABBA) Always Be Building Audiences Jeff Rohrs @jkrohrs President at ExactTarget #CMWorld Presentation: The Legal Ramifications of Content Marketing
  18. 18. #CMWorld To do these things, we’re going to have to build allegiances with some odd characters: •! The White Rabbits who handle email marketing—obsessed with time and protective of their subscribers’ permission. •! The Cheshire Cats of social media—with their ever-smiling faces and audiences that can be as helpful as they are disruptive to traditional media. •! The Mad Hatter of measurement—with his focus on performance metrics to gauge whether and how you succeed. Through these allegiances, we can achieve more than we ever could on our own. Instead of a “publish and pray” mentality, we “build and serve” audiences across email, mobile, and social channels—optimizing for the ones that produce the greatest outcomes for our business. Our challenge as content marketers today is to build upon our success just like Lewis Carroll. Don’t fall prey to Audience Assumption Disorder. No matter how great your content is, it could always benefit from more thought and collaboration with peers to ensure that it resonates with a meaningful, target audience and helps you grow your subscribers, fans, and followers for future content. Jeff Rohrs @jkrohrs President at ExactTarget #CMWorld Presentation: The Legal Ramifications of Content Marketing (ABBA) Always Be Building Audiences
  19. 19. #CMWorld Attracting an Audience 7 Ways To attract an audience that converts to high quality leads and sales, follow these 7 key content marketing tactics. 1. Know your target market. Expand your focus beyond prospects to include influencers, end-users, buyers and fans. Create a tailored marketing persona to ground your content creation. 2. Provide the 5 basic content types. Since prospects are at least 58% of the way through the purchase process before they contact you, give them the information they need to make a purchase decision. To this end, supply detailed product information, answer prospect and customer questions, teach customers to use your products, show customers how to style your products, and supply customer ratings and reviews. 3. Extend your content offering with content curation. Content curation success depends on discovering, selecting and packaging high value, sharable information your prospects seek. To build thought leadership and extend reach, content curation should account for 25% of your content. Heidi Cohen @heidicohen President at Riverside Marketing Strategies #CMWorld Presentation: How to Develop a Content Curation Strategy for Your Organization
  20. 20. #CMWorld Attracting an Audience 7 Ways 4. Integrate your brand 360° into every piece of content. Ensure every piece of content contributes to building your brand and keeping your name top of mind. 5. Maximize content marketing effectiveness to attract the largest audience possible. Make your content irresistible with alluring headline, attractive image, easy-to-scan text, appropriate social proof, and optimized for findability. 6. Distribute your content broadly. Spend at least as much time promoting your content as you do creating it. Leverage every distribution outlet at your disposal including advertising where appropriate. 7. Incorporate a contextually relevant call-to-action in every piece of content. Focus on getting interested readers into in your purchase funnel rather than straight for the sale. Where appropriate link to product pages. Use these 7 tactics while testing new ways to improve the contribution each makes to building your audience. Heidi Cohen @heidicohen President at Riverside Marketing Strategies #CMWorld Presentation: How to Develop a Content Curation Strategy for Your Organization
  21. 21. #CMWorld Welcome to Wonderland (otherwise known as the Internet). In this magical land, brands can be built and startups launched – if they please a certain colorful and vocal group of characters known as the audience. Why audience? Because in Wonderland, media producers are the most effective marketers, and prospects will seek engaging and instructive content before they’ll entertain your pitch. 1. Research (Down the Rabbit Hole) – For Alice, it all starts when she ventures down the Rabbit Hole. Same for you, as you dive head first into the world (and worldviews) of your prospects. Research reveals their problems and desires, which become your topics. Search and social media show you the language and attitudes defining those topics. 2. Observe (Find the Cheshire Cat’s Grin) - Alice encounters a curious cat, who disappears all except for his gigantic grin. In our Wonderland, the grin is all that matters. The audience determines what it likes, and they’ll tell you – by sharing, linking, commenting, and buying. Building an Audience in Wonderland Brian Clark @brianclark CEO at Copyblogger #CMWorld Presentation: Writer, Producer, Director: How to Marry Content Marketing to Your Business Model
  22. 22. #CMWorld Research helps you develop a strategy. But actually putting the content out there is the only way to know what works. And you need an initial promotional catalyst, either via the right influencers or paid distribution channels. 3. Iterate (Embrace the Mad Tea Party) - Wonderland is real-time, where strategy constantly evolves. Like the riddles posed to Alice at the Mad Tea Party, the real-time Internet presents a constant stream of answers to the question of what your prospects need to know to do business with you – if you’re looking. Ride your winners, shed your losers, and know that the prospect has way more control of the buying process than you do. The companies that win embrace the madness in the ordinary course of business, not as “marketing campaigns.” Just remember, most of Wonderland doesn’t matter. Delight your perfect prospect with a unique voice and content that takes a stand, and let the cards fall where they may with those who are not your intended audience. Building an Audience in Wonderland Brian Clark @brianclark CEO at Copyblogger #CMWorld Presentation: Writer, Producer, Director: How to Marry Content Marketing to Your Business Model
  23. 23. “Develop empathy for the people using your content through context, curiosity & real-time feedback.” Jonathon Colman @jcolman #CMWorld
  24. 24. #CMWorld “You would have to be half mad to dream me up.” — Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland Listen: empathy is hard. Really hard. You may think diamonds are hard, but that’s nothing compared to empathy, my friend. It’s hard to have real empathy for real people’s experiences if we don’t get to really know the people themselves. Not just in aggregate analytics or search queries… I mean the real deal: actually talking with people. Or, better still, listening to them. Developing empathy for the people using your content, services, or products can help you learn how to serve them better. Here are three ways to jump- start your empathy: 1. Context 2. Curiosity 3. Real-time feedback Serve Your Audience Better: Empathy Jonathon Colman @jcolman Content Strategist at Facebook #CMWorld Presentation: Building Better Products with Content Strategy
  25. 25. #CMWorld 1. You can’t develop empathy without context Talk and build a relationship with some of the real people who use your content, services, or products. Even a handful will do. Arrange to talk with them in person. Watch them as they browse your site or use your app on mobile while waiting in line at the coffee shop. This gives you a new understanding of what people need from you and your content. 2. Embody the notion of “Curiouser and curiouser!” One of the most powerful questions that you can ask a person is “Why?” Sure, you may be great at using analytics to measure every nuance of people’s behavior on your site or in your app. But analytics only tell us what people did, not why they did it. So don’t presume that you know—just ask. 3. Real-time feedback Many companies put up displays all over the office that are filled with analytics data and milestone metrics. But what about feedback from the people using your content? You can display that, too. And while you can build metrics around this feedback (sentiment, influence, comments/hour, etc.), it’s even more powerful to display people’s actual comments directly on screen. Follow that up by building rapid workflows to solve problems and you’re putting empathy into action! Serve Your Audience Better: Empathy Jonathon Colman @jcolman Content Strategist at Facebook #CMWorld Presentation: Building Better Products with Content Strategy
  26. 26. #CMWorld Content Performances "The audience is the most revered member of the theater. Without an audience, there is no theater. Everything done is ultimately for the enjoyment of the audience. They are our guests, fellow players, and the last spoke in the wheel which can then begin to roll. They make the performance meaningful." - Viola Spolin Creating clear, concise, compelling content is a requirement. But, it’s not enough. In order to create successful content marketing programs, we must start thinking of our prospects and customers as our audience. And, we need to learn how to treat them that way. Audiences exist to be entertained or informed about something that interests them. They don’t wake up wondering about your latest product or service, your new partner program, and they certainly don’t care about your lead generation goals. Provide value in a creative package. As content marketers, we should aim to treat those we hope to attract as we would an audience at a theatre or a lecture. We must rise above the noise and differentiate ourselves from the competition. Scott Abel @scottabel Chief Strategist at The Content Wrangler #CMWorld Panel: Oh No! Please Don’t Do That: Avoiding the Big Mistakes When Going Global
  27. 27. #CMWorld Content Performances Here are a few tips to help you develop your audience: •! Don’t be boring! Shake it up a bit. If it’s something amazing — truly amazing — consider sharing it. •! Step outside your comfort zone. Share content that dares to be different. Daring content is interesting content. •! Publish great content from a wide variety of sources, even from your competitors. Doing so shows competence and confidence. •! Have fun. Comedy can attract and repel. The trick is to attract more than you repel. Be selective, but not afraid. •! Be authentic. No one likes a phony baloney. Just be who you are and the audience that values what you share will follow. Without an audience, there’s no reason for you — or your content — to exist. Without an audience, all you are doing is rehearsing. Scott Abel @scottabel Chief Strategist at The Content Wrangler #CMWorld Panel: Oh No! Please Don’t Do That: Avoiding the Big Mistakes When Going Global
  28. 28. #CMWorld Speak Customer “Speak English!' said the Eaglet. 'I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and I don't believe you do either!” Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland Marketers know that it’s essential to use meaningful words to engage their audiences. So why is audience-focused content as scarce as white roses in the Queen of Heart’s garden? And what can we do to choose our words more wisely? The source of our dilemma is fairly simple. When we spend most of our time with internal stakeholders who speak the company language, and almost no time with the external audiences who have entirely different needs and perceptions, it’s easy to miss the fact that we have a failure to communicate. As it turns out, this problem is self-reinforcing. The pressure to do something to influence audiences puts so much emphasis on marketing deliverables that there is never enough time to get to know the people who matter most. Adele Revella @buyerpersona CEO and Founder, Buyer Persona Institute #CMWorld Presentation: How SAP Builds Processes and Personas that Align Their 1600- Person Marketing Team
  29. 29. #CMWorld Speak Customer Fortunately, companies are starting to notice that this is a rabbit hole they can’t escape without one or more of the following investments: 1. Make listening a top priority. Spend at least a few hours each month in actual conversation with buyers. Don’t distance yourself with a survey based on the questions that matter to you. Get on the phone and have an unscripted conversation with a real buyer, asking them to tell you their own story about how they make the decisions you want to influence. 2. Talk to your sales and marketing peers about what you’re hearing from buyers, the new knowledge or insights you’re gaining, and how this information could reshape your marketing activities so that you can deliver more value to your audiences. 3. Build buyer personas that capture the essence of what you hear, and make sure that everyone on the marketing team relies on them to make audience-focused decisions. When the internal dialogue begins to look like a Mad Tea Party, look for clarity by listening to what your buyer persona has to say. Adele Revella @buyerpersona CEO and Founder, Buyer Persona Institute #CMWorld Presentation: How SAP Builds Processes and Personas that Align Their 1600- Person Marketing Team
  30. 30. LEARN EVEN MORE ABOUT CONTENT MARKETING Join 3,500 industry peers from 50 countries, 100+ speakers, and leading Fortune 500 brands at: CONTENT MARKETING WORLD 2015 September 8-11, 2015 www.contentmarketingworld.com REGISTER TODAY Use code “TopRank” for $100 off of Main Event and All-Access registrations.
  31. 31. Content Marketing Services Tired of Chasing the Rabbit? We Can Show You the Way Connect with TopRank’s world-class expertise: •! Content Marketing •! Influencer Marketing •! Paid & Organic Search Marketing •! Paid & Organic Social Media Marketing Let us help you plan, source, create, manage, measure and optimize the performance of your content marketing programs. Contact TopRank Marketing: !"#$$"#$%"&&%#' ()**)*+,-./01*2310245*+67.3''' 8)9)-':9'.*;)*4'1-'<./=1*2>10245*+67.3'
  32. 32. Thank You From Our Sponsor How to Feed the Content Beast Don’t have enough resources or time to dedicate toward constantly creating good content? You’re in luck, because the content beast craves both curated and created content. Learn how to balance and blend the two halves of content marketing in this eBook (with a foreword by Ann Handley). To view the eBook today, click here.
  33. 33. Be sure to check out the next eBook in the Content Marketing in Wonderland series: A Visual Content Marketing Strategy at: toprankblog.com Next: Visual Content Coming: Aug 18, 2014

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