Tara Hunt—the CEO of Truly and co-founder of Phlywheel—joins us in this episode of Content Callout to talk about how to get to know your audience and how to build a community for them. We also ask a profoundly sad question: Is there hope for social media? This episode of The Content Callout is an amazing opportunity to think about new ways of doing things—while embracing a few old strategies, too. Don’t miss it!
Outline of This Episode
- [1:23] 3 tactics + actionable strategies
- [2:14] Get to know your audience
- [12:09] Building a community for your audience
- [18:23] Is there hope for social media?
- [33:53] How to connect with Tara
How to get to know your audience
You already have an audience: customers, social media followers, etc. You have data and brand awareness on some level. But many companies don’t fully take advantage of the information that they have to create value for their audience. How do you gain that information?
The old-fashioned way is to talk to your audience. Pick up the phone, do a Zoom call, or talk to them in person. Most people will be happy to have their voice heard. Plus, it will give you valuable insight into their world, the phrases they use, and the questions they want to be answered.
Tara also recommends embracing Google Analytics, especially the “audience” category (which is often overlooked). There’s a category within it that she frequents called “interests.” This sub-category includes affinities, in-market segments, and the “other” category. How can you use these to get to know your audience? Listen to find out!
The importance of investing in your community
The COVID-19 pandemic taught marketers that their customers really need to connect with the brands they’re buying from. It’s more essential than ever. Many of the brands that took the time to build loyalty and trust with a community before the pandemic are faring better during the pandemic than those that didn’t. If your dinky restaurant built a community, it’s likely still surviving and thriving.
Ben & Jerry’s saw a huge uptick in their purchases. Why? Because they’ve been outspoken and involved by building goodwill in their community. Other brands had to do layoffs and may be closing their doors down the road. Fashion brands that made masks and donated PPE to communities are the ones that are back to selling clothes at full price again. Other brands are closing stores because they didn’t get involved. You have to build goodwill in the community. It will keep your brand alive.
Building community around your brand
Tara emphasizes that you also have to build a community around the brand itself. There’s a local spa in Toronto—one of the first services that shut down—that created girls’ night packs for their customers. They connect people by using a browser plugin to watch a Netflix show together. It wasn’t going to make up for their losses, but as soon as they were ready to open, they had a line of people waiting to come back. They found an ingenious way to stay top of mind.
India Hall in Philadelphia—a coworking space—switched to “working together” online. People get lonely as solopreneurs, even more so now that people are stuck at home. People still need someone they can share a joke with or send a tweet to. They built a community. When there’s a community around a brand, there’s affinity to that brand. You have to stay top of mind—while adding value to people’s lives.
We’ve started creating mastermind groups for people to meet up and connect, and we get brand affinity. If you give your clients the ability to network with each other, they can say things like, “It’s thanks to Content Callout.” It reinforces why they’re paying you to help them.
What about social media? Should you strive to build a community on a social platform? Listen to the whole episode to hear Tara’s thoughts!