Most people are familiar with the concept of building an audience, but often get building an audience and moving an audience confused. It’s important to understand which thing you’re trying to do, because it impacts the entire content campaign. So what is the difference between the two?
If you’re trying to move an audience, you’re trying to shuffle them along the buyer’s journey. If you want to build an audience, the customer is allowed to interact with your content and engage in the buyer’s journey on their time.
Robert Rose—a content marketing genius—talks about this concept and other content marketing strategies in the premiere episode of the Content Callout podcast. To learn more about building and moving audiences, keep reading!
Moving an audience
Classic advertising and marketing is about reaching an audience, persuading them to come into our sphere of influence, then DO something. Typically, we want them to buy something, visit our store, come to our restaurant, talk to a sales guy—whatever the “first step” is.
We are trying to move audiences from step-to-step. We want to move them to our website, move them through content, and eventually move them to qualified leads. We are moving them through the buyer’s journey and down the sales funnel.
Building an audience
Robert points out that when we’re building an audience, we’re pooling them. We’re building a resource center, a blog, a magazine, or a TV show with the goal of getting our audience subscribed to our ideas. We want them to stay in that state. The goal is to use those content channels to engage those audiences where they sit—and allow them to move on their own time.
Understanding the value of both models
Robert worked as the CMO of a software company. During his time there, they had an influencer that came in as an audience member. The influencer NEVER talked to a salesperson.
This guy came in, read their papers, got knowledgeable, and recommended them to THREE other clients. He never bought from them, but recommended more than a million dollars’ worth of business to them!
While a sales professional’s gut reaction is to have content teams push an audience down the sales funnel, this demonstrates the inherent worth of building an audience. The key is that there is a time and place for both models.
When you understand the goal(s) of your content it changes the way you move forward. Robert notes that you NEED to find the proper balance of a built audience and an audience you move. Why? Because you don’t want to overwhelm your sales team.
If you’re writing content that compels your audience down the sales funnel it’s great—if your sales team can handle the influx. If they can’t, you can bet you’ll watch potential customers slip through the cracks.
To learn more about building and moving an audience, content strategy, crafting a proper call-to-action, and much more—be sure to listen to episode #1 of the Content Callout podcast!