Not all stories are created equal.
One of the biggest problems I find with small businesses wanting to engage their audience is placing the right content with the wrong audience type or the wrong content with the right audience type.
In order to persuade your audience to move, you’ll need to match the right content or story with the right audience type.
There are four audience types:
A – Current Customers
B – Inactive Customers
C – Prospects
D – Unknown
A-Type: Current Customers
Since this audience type consists of your current customers, or those that are very close to becoming a customer, they are the most engaged in your Audience Wheel. Your content can be longer in length since they are most familiar with what you do. When making longer videos, speak to the audience as if you know them deeply. It’s also great to assume things in your storytelling or content piece (as long as you know what you are talking about).
B-Type: Inactive Customers
Every business owner I speak to has a primary concern of growing their business. The B type in your Audience Wheel is the greatest opportunity to grow your business. This audience knows your company because they were once a part of it. In my humble opinion, your most strategic thought in creating content and telling stories needs to be addressed to this audience type. One challenge, especially for a new business, is the lack of this audience size type in your customer database. If your customer database has less than 20% of this audience type, you’ll need to focus on building it up before focusing your best effort on this audience type.
When engaging this audience type, you want to combine content and storytelling strategies used to engage your A and C audience types. Since they “know” you and your brand, include the assumptive techniques used when engaging the A-Type and use informative techniques used when engaging the C-Type. What you don’t want to do is sound apologetic in your content. Always be confident when producing content and show them why they need to come back by showing them you know them and informing them of anything new they are missing out on.
Who knows, if you grow your business the right way, maybe this portion of your Audience Wheel will always be less than 20% because your customers (A-Type stick with you). 🙂
A prospect is defined as a person regarded as likely to eventually become your customer or client. The C-Type audience in the audience wheel is just that; they are a prospect you feel strongly about because they fit the persona you’ve grown to know and understand.
If you’re paying close attention, you may be wondering how the B-Type audience fits in the funnel of moving from C-Type to B-Type eventually arriving at the A-Type audience. First off, great catch! I’m glad you’re paying attention. Funnels are a popular digital marketing technique and one thing to remember is the Audience Wheel isn’t a funnel, per se. The Audience Wheel is a way to classify your audience types with the purpose of creating and matching content with the right audience.
A funnel’s purpose in capturing prospects is to convert them to customers. The purpose we are talking about is engaging audience types not converting them. When a prospect converts to a customer that is the result not the purpose.
“Does it even matter?” You might ask. Yes, yes it surely does and here’s why: The purpose of your content is the DNA of your content.
If the DNA of your content is to convert your prospects to customers it will feel differently than the DNA of informing your prospects.
Creating content for the C-Type audience has an element of assumption since you know the prospects name, title, email, and most likely their phone number. There has to be some level of assumption that they are a good fit otherwise you wouldn’t be reaching out to them. Here is something else to always assume with this audience type: ASSUME THEY AREN’T PAYING ATTENTION TO YOU.
This is the point I have to often remind my clients of when they engage their C-Type audience group. Just because they know the contact information of their prospects doesn’t mean they know them enough to talk to them like the A-Type audience. The content you produce targeting the C-Type audience has to follow the K.I.S.S. model: Keep It Short and Specific. Don’t “sell” in your content, simply inform your prospects about the problems being solved by your solution. When you start the sales follow up, your prospects will remember the content you published and are more likely to respond.
D-Type: The Unknown
This is the biggest difference between how you engage the C-Type and the D-Type in your Audience Wheel is the fact that you don’t know who the individuals are in the D-Type. You know their persona, job title, and industry, however you don’t know the details of the individuals.
The content and storytelling to this audience type is your shortest. In my experience this is where personal branding videos shine. By recording videos from your smart phone that are 30-45 seconds in length and sharing insight into your day or hobbies, passions, you are connecting with people. They begin to know you before you have any idea who they are.
This is especially effective if you have your employees producing their own personal branding videos on LinkedIn. It’s easy to do and they aren’t talking about your business so marketing doesn’t have to have a tight reign on what’s being said. Obviously, you want your employees to be professional, that’s not what I’m suggesting (settle down marketing peeps).
By not talking about your business and just sharing information about their day-to-day life, they will begin to grow their followers. Followers will then click on your employee’s LinkedIn profile and find that they work for your. business. They find your website, fill out a form and BOOM, you’ve moved them from D-Type to C-Type in your Audience Wheel.
When was the last time you conducted an audit of your customer database? Do you know what percent of your customer database are A-Type, B-Type, and C-Type?