Episode 2: Building an Authentic Audience


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We all know how limited time, energy and money are, especially for a business owner. Trying to nurture a relationship with an unmotivated audience, just seems like an utter waste of life, wouldn’t you agree? Welcome to episode 2 of Conversations with a Digital Strategist. In this episode, I’m going to explain how to build an authentic audience, I’ll discuss who should be included in this illustrious group and what communication with them looks like. Let’s get started…

We begin every episode with a buzz word of the week. I do this because someone could walk up to you and tell you the secret to life, but if you don’t understand the words coming out of their mouth, you won’t learn anything. So this week’s word is: audience.

Yes, yes, I know you already know what the word audience means, but do you know who your audience is? When I ask who is your audience, you may say its your customer base or target market. And that’s true, but, not a complete answer. Your audience is whoever consumes your content. Blog posts, articles, videos, tweets, its all content being consumed by your audience. Now, your audience can be segmented into smaller groups or sub-sectors, and we’ll discuss that later in this podcast.

Your audience is whoever consumes your content.
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For now, it’s important to note the entirety of your audience includes all types of people, not just customers.

Potential employees and vendors are part of your audience. Individuals interested in working with you and for you will often consume your content prior to contacting your or applying for your open positions.

Tribe members are part of your audience. Tribe members are connected to a customer or potential customer; this includes their friends, their family members, their co-workers. How many times have you had a conversation with a friend about something they wanted to do or buy, and low and behold, just a few days later you see something related to that subject. Then you have to review the content prior to passing it along to your friend. Tribe members of potential customers, will consume your content, they do this to determine it’s worth before forwarding it to the actual prospect.

Competitors are also part of your audience. Yes, your competitors are watching you, deep in the shadows like crazy stalker people. Just kidding, this is called competitive analysis, and should be a part of your digital strategy. But that’s a topic for a future podcast. Just remember, your competitors, will consume your content in order to benchmark it against their own. So set the bar so high, they’ll never get over it. Remember, you’re the best and no one can match you!

So, the key point here is your audience is broad and diverse. Keep this in mind as you develop new pieces of content. And, if you didn’t know, now you know.

Now it’s time for the cool tool! This week’s cool tool is VidIQ. VidIQ is a web-based tool and Chrome extension that helps you optimize your YouTube videos. Let me begin by saying, I love this little tool!

The purpose of VidIQ is to help you optimize your YouTube videos with the hopes of getting more views and a higher level of engagement. After installing the Chrome extension and signing up for the free account, you’ll begin to see a TON of information on every video you watch on YouTube. The information is so valuable when conducting a competitive analysis or looking for keyword ideas. I’m telling you, this information alone, is worth the time and energy to install the extension. It provides details like:

  • how many views the video is receiving per hour,
  • it tells you the number of times a viewer engaged with the video, like liking the video or sharing the video on social media,
  • it provides the number of subscribers who subscribed after watching the video,
  • you can view the average length of time a viewer watched the video,
  • and an estimation of how much this video has earned.

All of these details can be used to improve your own videos. However, in my opinion, the most valuable feature of VidIQ is the video and channel tag section. A tag is another term for a keyword. VidIQ lists all of the tags selected for a video and you can click on any one of these tags to see how well that tag is performing across all of YouTube. The tool highlights search volume and search competition. Search volume is the number of people who used that tag to conduct a search. Search competition is the number of videos tagged with that keyword. You’ll only want to use tags that have a high search volume, but low competition. VidIQ even gives you an overall score representing volume to competition ratio, so you don’t have to figure that out. The higher the score, the more effective the tag will perform for you. The scoring goes from 1 – 100. Now, finding a tag that has a score above 80 is not easy and you will need to invest some time researching tags, but trust me it’s worth it.

VidIQ also offers paid features where they can help you optimize your video titles and descriptions. It’s a nice tool and they don’t force you to pay for the some of the more valuable features, which is always a plus. So, go over to VidIQ.com and check them out, and don’t forget to let me know how the tool works for you.

Now on to what you really came here for, the good stuff. This week we’re discussing how to build an authentic audience. An authentic audience is a subset of your total audience. I mentioned earlier, your audience can be segmented out into different subsets or groups. If these groups were ranked, authentic audience would be the group with the highest value. They are your content muse, if you will.

Let me start this off by defining authentic audience. An authentic audience is the sub-set of your total audience, and we’ve already defined audience. They are the ones most interested in what you’re selling. They are currently in the market for your product or service. They are motivated to make a purchase and open to hearing what you have to say. They are highly interested and highly influenced. This means they can be influenced to buy what you are selling over your competitor if you say just the right thing. By this I’m referring to your marketing message. Speaking to them in a tone and using verbiage that illustrates, that you understand their needs and can meet them.

An authentic audience is highly interested, influenced and motivated.
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Your authentic audience, came through the door with money in hand. They are ready to make a purchase. Your only job is to get them to understand why they should buy from you, instead of your competitor.

Your authentic audience, came through the door with money in hand.
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In order for an audience member to be considered an authentic audience member, they must have two things: desire and means. Those two things together make an authentic audience. They must have the desire, yearning, want or will to buy what you have AND they must have the means, money, dinero, cash. If the audience member is missing one of those things, they aren’t included in your authentic audience. Now, that’s not to say that someone who has the desire to make a purchase, can’t get the means later and change their status, I’m just saying that they won’t become an authentic audience member until they have both traits: desire and means.

In order for an audience member to be considered an authentic audience member, they must have two…
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Earlier I mentioned that this audience group is prime for the influencing stage, meaning they know they need or want the product or service but aren’t sure from whom they’ll make their purchase. Before, you can get to the influencing stage, you’ve got to get through the sifting stage, also known as building your authentic audience.

To get to the most authentic of your audience members, you need to cast a wide net and then sift or filter them through a funnel. The ones truly ready to move on to the next step in the process make up your authentic audience.

Let’s call this funnel your audience funnel. Your audience funnel is the process you take your audience through get to the most authentic and qualified buyers. The funnel starts with the most broad content you have and then you begin to tailor the content to encourage your audience to put their money where their mouth is. The more tailored your content, the more real the purchase gets to the audience member. As the process gets closer to require audience members to make a purchase, you will see your audience shrink, this is part of the funnel process. Don’t fret when people drop off, it’s ok. That’s what you want. Truth be told, not everyone wants what you’re selling. We discussed earlier some of the other reasons people become part of your audience. What you want is to work with the most authentic audience members. Working with flimsy customers who may or may not want your product can cost you time, money and energy; and we’ve already established we don’t have any of that to spare.

So you begin by casting this wide content net. You produce high quality, general content that speaks to the needs of your audience as a whole. This could be in whatever format works best for your company. Remember last week we discussed that every marketing tactic isn’t for everyone? If you didn’t here that episode, I suggest you go back and give it a listen, it will free your soul, I promise it will. It’s episode number one and the title is the one thing the gurus aren’t telling you.

The steps in the audience funnel will differ depending on the needs of your company and customers. Ask a hundred gurus you’ll get a hundred different answers. But unfortunately, as I mentioned in last week’s episode, there’s no perfect formula. It’s all going to be trial and error. The one constant is the general steps.

  • Step 1: post some content; something that has wide appeal but is still high in value
  • Step 2: offer a freebie to get them to join you on social media or join your mailing list
  • Step 3: offer a second, higher value freebie
  • Step 4: send them a limited time, discounted product or service offer; if they accept move on to step 5
  • Step 5: send a follow-up thank you with another discounted product or service offer

The key to these steps, is not the steps themselves, I don’t want you to get caught there, it’s the content you’re offering your audience. In the beginning, you’ll have a ton of people consume the content in step 1, but you’ll only have a percentage of that initial audience consume the content in step 2, and so on and so forth. Hence the name funnel.

The content offered should be more and more tailored toward the final desired action which is purchasing the product or service. This helps you filter out the noise in order to get to the authentic audience. Those folks who are ready and willing to make a purchase. Now let’s look at an example. I’m going to abbreviate the funnel for this example, in the interest of time.

Let’s say Miranda, is a home-based baker who decorates wedding cakes. She created a series of videos on how to properly evaluate wedding cake samples and what to look for in wedding cake construction to ensure brides don’t select a low quality baker. On average, her videos received four thousands views. These video viewers are considered her audience. At this point her audience is made up of anyone who is getting married with a confirmed date, anyone getting married without a confirmed date, anyone hoping to get married, girls wishing their boyfriends would propose already, people who just love wedding cake, other wedding cake bakers, baking students who plan to become wedding cake bakers, tribe members of people getting married, and a whole bunch of other miscellaneous people thrown in the mix. At the end of each video she tells them to visit her website where they can get a free wedding cake checklist that outlines the questions they need to ask any baker during an interview. They can get this free checklist, if they join her mailing list. Of all the people who watched the video, only those who are really and truly ready to begin interviewing bakers will take Miranda up on her offer. This is her first filter in the funnel.

Now, let’s say four hundred or 10% of the folks that watched the videos, went over to her website and joined her mailing list to download the checklist. These people are not yet authentic audience members because while they have the desire, we don’t know if they have the means. In order to find this out, Miranda needs to filter some more. Let’s say a week after they download the checklist, Miranda sends an email to the email list offering a free consultation, where they can ask questions to a seasoned, experienced baker. This will allow Miranda to filter down to her most authentic audience. Let’s say her conversion rate stays at 10%, that’s 40 people who will make the appointment for a free consultation.

During the consultation, Miranda wants to make sure she can qualify the audience members even further. She’ll inquires on details such as, the wedding date and whether they’ve selected a venue. These questions will identify how far along in the planning the process the bride and groom are. From their answers, her authentic audience begins to take shape. Again, these are the people who have both the desire and the means to purchase a wedding cake. At this point Miranda can up-sell her baking services in subsequent emails or meetings with the audience members. The goal here was to narrow her audience down, so she was putting the highest level of effort into the most qualified leads. Had she simply offered the free consultation to anyone, she would have probably gotten audience members who were not ready to make a purchase which in turn would have been a huge waste of time.

As you can see in this example, Miranda started by casting a wide net to build an audience of all types of people, but as the audience members filtered through the audience funnel, the less qualified audience members dropped off and she was left with her most authentic audience. Now, keep in mind, those people who dropped off at the consultation stage, may have been partly authentic meaning they had the desire but not the means, like if a bride was just shopping around, but she and her future hubby hadn’t set a date yet. These partial authentic audience members are still very valuable to Miranda, so staying engaged with them will be key. When they’re ready to move to the next step, Miranda wants her company and services to be front and center.

Well that’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed this episode. If so, please leave a review on the podcast or a like and a comment on the YouTube video. Also, if you know someone who would benefit from this podcast, please share this video out to your circle of influence. My goal is to help as many people as humanly possible. If you’ve got questions about this topic or something I discussed helped you in some way, send me an email at podcast@level360.co and tell me all about it. I would love to hear about how you’re using the information in these podcasts to propel your business.

Thank you so much for listening and until next time, live true, work smart, and in the words of one of the greatest strategists to ever live, think different! Bye!

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