Targets and tribes

As many of you know, I advocate regular content creation as a way to boost SEO online, be seen as valuable to your target audience, and remain visible for when they seek solutions. I had an interesting question raised at a recent presentation about creating content for the masses and content for your tribe, and specifically what to use for each audience, and what to keep free and how to turn it all into sales.

Content comes in a couple big buckets: Free and paid. Of course the ultimate goal is to earn sales from paid products, but to get to that point, there is usually a crumb trail of free stuff, which earns visibility and trust. Some folks will remain on the “forever free” content plan, and that’s totally cool, because they are likely to be strong advocates and recommend your business to others who become paying customers.

Forever free content

There are several types of content in this category: free attractor content, free tribe content, and free promotional content. Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.

Free attractor content: This is the stuff you produce to attract your ideal target customer. It might be a weekly blog post, podcast, live or recorded video, a Slideshare presentation offered in your blog post or podcast for download, a cheat sheet PDF, an e-book chapter, a guide, a social media post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn which is entertaining or informative etc. You get the idea. It’s some sort of content, presented in a variety of visual, written, audio or broadcast methods that fits the content, and comes on a platform where you know your ideal target customer, or avatar, hangs out. The more free attractor content you create, and the more platforms it can be discovered on, the wider the net to attract new people. Attracting new people is key, since you are inviting them to the next level, the become part of your “tribe.”

Free tribe content: Tribe content should have consistency of delivery. I think that’s key. It is meant to pull the audience closer and offer a “behind the scenes” look at things. In my view it should also allow you to be a little vulnerable. It’s where you can be honest and real. I consider this enewsletter a tribe builder. I often share content here that doesn’t make it to my blog, or if it does, I will have removed some of that more personal sharing or behind the scenes elements. Free tribe content can take the form of a newsletter, a podcast, a video or a blog post, much the same as free attractor content, and depending on social media channels used, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, there might be groups into which you create and share specific content for your inside circle. But the key with tribe content is consistency and vulnerability to form a closer relationship. I have some clients who do weekly blog posts and less frequent tribe content, but the stuff they share with the tribe is created exclusively for them and sent out monthly, almost like member benefits. I have other clients who do live video, or Zoom calls in a virtual meet up for their tribe members. It really depends on who your audience is, what you have to share, and what will bring your tribe closer to you.

Free promotional content: Promotional content is that stuff that you create to help sell another product. An example might be a webinar, which is free but leads to an opportunity to sell a service at the end. It could also be other freebies like an e-book, which leads to email collection in a sales funnel. It could also be the use of storytelling or case studies around your work and client results through a video or interview, that is learning content but which ultimately positions your business well and offers an opportunity to capture an email tracking for sales funnel follow up.

Paid content

Paid content is your ultimate goal, which might come in the form of workshops, books, courses, consulting, coaching, or other product or service offerings. Paid can come in the form of 1 to 1 purchase and delivery, 1 to many purchase and delivery, or evergreen and passive income through a packaged DIY offering. Businesses need to earn the opportunity to get to a paid offering, and that only comes through the creation of a relationship, often nurtured through free content.

So that’s it for this week. I hope that gives you some insight on how free content positions you, builds your brand, and ultimately offers you the opportunity to nurture relationships and sell. And as anyone who has been reading my content for awhile already knows, I always advocate content that strategically has a purpose that brings visitors back to your owned properties such as your website or blog, where you have the opportunity to capture data or their contact information is some way.

If the topic of marketing with media interests you, and you’d like my 5 Step Cheat Sheet for growing your audience, using social and earned media as part of that strategy, link HERE. We’ll get it to you ASAP. As always, thanks to those who like, share, post and comment to these posts both on the blog as well as when they’re shared out on social. As you know I’m always looking to build my audience, so please encourage others to “follow” this blog, or subscribe to my 5-Minute Marketing enewsletter Sunday morning updates. You can subscribe directly on this website, or simply HIT THIS LINK and we’ll get you on the list.



Mary Charleson

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