Lessons from Copyblogger CEO and Founder Brian Clark
No matter how much game you think you have, your relationships start off cold.
Over time, they heat up (or should, if it’s in the cards). Some faster than others—some slower.
The same goes for brands’ relationships with their audiences. And do you know where the relationship is at its coldest? At the social media touchpoint.
This was a key point Copyblogger CEO and Founder Brian Clark drove home in last week’s Content Certification program lesson. At Reputation Ink, we’re all about continual learning, and taking this course is just one way I’m staying fresh.
Running Rep Ink’s social media and working as a content marketer myself, I constantly found myself thinking “PREACH!” throughout the session.
So, what exactly did Clark say that your company needs to get through its head?
Let’s start at the high-level stuff before diving into the social media shiz.
The Circles of Belief: A sound media strategy at the center
The “Circles of Belief” concept was the real meat of the lesson lead by Clark and Sonia Simone. These are the steps the audience takes from becoming aware of your company/brand to moving in towards paid services/products.
These are concentric circles, or rings, wrapped around a center point: your company’s media strategy.
The idea is that your audience has to believe in you, and if you make them believe, you attract them, bringing them in closer.
How do you make your audience believe?
“It’s an audience you're building, and you can attract them closer to you by making them believe. And you do that by showing up with the right content at the right time," Clark explained.
That’s content marketing.
Clark added it’s giving the audience content they want versus marketing content they want to avoid. Your content should answer a problem they’re having. And that in itself performs the marketing function perfectly, inspiring the right kind of incremental actions that’ll bring people closer to your company.
And it’s a content marketer's job to increase the temperature of the audience relationship. Bring them from, say, Twitter follower to customer.
The tip of the iceberg: Social media followers
“Social media is the beginning of the social media experience, but is the coldest possible relationship within the realm of an audience mindset,” Clark explained.
Why is it so cold?
Think of an audience member who is only following your brand on Twitter. You’re not reaching them with everything you’re tweeting. You’re crossing your fingers hoping you post something relevant, and that they’ll then migrate to your timeline. At any one time, you're only reaching a fraction of your audience.
But, Clark said, people ranging from the small business to the enterprise are buying likes and spamming at the social level are throwing their arms up, claiming “social media doesn’t work!”
Not like that, it doesn't.
For me, that’s like a sleazy guy hitting on a chick at a bar and opening with, “Hey, you wanna get out of here?” Then going back to his group of v-neck wearing friends (after she shuts him down) complaining that all women are prudes.
Social media is the WRONG area to make a sale. It’s not the time nor the place. Wait for email (or after some dinner dates).
In other words, wait until they're closer in the circle. Understand that, as Clark said, “People aren’t on social to be pitched.”
So what are people on social for? Figuring that out is 85 percent of the battle, he added.
Keep in mind, the answer is going to be different for every brand and company. You need to do your homework and develop a social strategy. You need to know who you're trying to attract, determine what they need and, then, give it to them.
If social media is your only touchpoint with an audience member, they're the ones who believe in you the least. You have to figure out which content is going to increase the temperature of your relationship. And once you do, social media can become a beautiful thing.
If you connect the right content with the right people, it spreads. There's your spark. That's going to get you to the next circle. That's going to get your audience in closer to your company and your content. So, how are you going to heat things up?
I'm on the beginning of my own journey with the Copyblogger Content Certification program and will be sharing my top takeaways here on INKsights throughout. Stay up-to-date by subscribing to our newsletter.