When someone else is drawn to you, it comes from a place of personalisation and being grounded in what you believe in and the enthusiasm that sits alongside.
Lets look at making connections more relevant by tuning into what your audience are intrigued about and your point of interest/belief.
Drawing people to you beyond what you create is a missing ingredient when it comes to encouraging a content marketing approach. Whilst you can look to pull the wool over someone’s eyes with click baity headlines, unconvincing company videos and ‘18 ways to’ dullness, it’s not going to be sustainable in the long wrong.
You may even have your customer personas nailed to a tee and there personalities are so precise you feel like you’ve found an extra Crème Egg at the back of the fridge. However, this is not enough if your audience are not drawn to you.
Right Time, With The Right People
To get people to come to your barbecue, what you create comes from a place of wanting to spend time with the right people and they want to spend the time back. People don’t buy from bold headlines or intense persona mapping; they buy from people they can rely on where the content is delivered with them in mind.
The You Are The Media Lunch Club has been highlighting since last summer, businesses that are managing to build their audience with a consistent content driven approach. What I am seeing are companies that understand who their audience is and the role they serve and then lean into it.
During the lunchtime session (last week) with Ali Carmichael from ExperienceUX, one thing that stood out for me was the belief that everything the business does is founded on the principals of UX.
They do not want to be led astray to become a fully blown agency ie. seeing a project all the way through and effectively becoming a design and web build entity where they are swimming with a myriad of other companies. By having a defined personality, people know they are flying for the flag for UX in the south and they do it from a place of sharing. They haven’t gone back on the values that have been in place for 10 years.
No Meaning, Just Noise
Havas Groups, Meaningful Brands study (2017) that consists of 300,000 people from 33 countries worldwide shone the light on the fact that 60% of people believe that the majority of content created by companies is just noise and has no meaning to them. As the study highlights, content created is, ‘poor, irrelevant or fails to deliver.’
In the 2015 Meaningful Brands report and amongst 19,000 British consumers, 94% responded that they wouldn’t care if a brand completely disappeared. If you are not relevant, why should others care?
This is the challenge, whilst you maybe able to identify who your audience is and have the ability to deliver content through the medium of your choice, you still have to be engaging for them to actually be bothered. You need to become the magnet that draws people in, not just by what you say, but how you do it.
This is what I am seeing with getting to know the companies who participate in the Lunch Clubs, no one has pretended to be something they are not. The businesses we talk to are personalising their area of confidence to an audience who warm to them.
Lets look at it this way, no one wants an invitation to their neighbours barbecue, when the food is perfect, the cheese for the burgers are more than Dairylea slices and the tubs of coleslaw are as deep as bargain buckets. It is tough when all your neighbour wants to do is tell you about how long it took to prepare the barbeque, their Spotify playlist and the new extension that is happening next year.
The point I am trying to make is that you can’t go heavy on substance (and reasons why people should warm to you) when it has no interest to someone else.
When A Connection Is Made
What people want is acknowledgment that they are ‘one of us’ and what is created addresses the frustrations, pain points and hopes for someone else.
This is about real people, making real connections with others. Lets highlight three quick examples.
This is what Tarryn Poulton has done with PCOS Diet Support. The entire programme is formed from her story linked to diet and health that led to her having two children. The people who watch her videos and read her articles, know that they are reading from someone who has created content for them.
This is what Michael Grubb does when he addresses his audience. His company is a lighting design consultancy, Michael Grubb Studio and their message comes from a place of sharing how we use space and also how wasteful companies are when it comes to lighting. This enabled the company to stand for a cause by setting up the Re:lit Project to take lighting that would have been used for landfill but for an extended life. It is the frustrations and hopes that makes things personal and for their audience to make that connection.
This is what Ben Crowe from Crimson Guitars does when he addresses his audience with his tutorials on how to build guitars. Every video is from his workshop in the heart of Dorset and has an air of authenticity about them. It is from a person who has dedicated years to a craft and now has the confidence to demonstrate his realness within digital channels.
These examples highlight people who represent an engaging side to their business. They become the magnet that draws people in as they are talking and sharing from a place of conviction and belief. In the words of Seth Godin, “Being a leader gives charisma. If you look and study the leaders who have succeeded, that’s where charisma comes from, from the leading.”
You shouldn’t feel obliged to make a comment on social media just because there is a hashtag that is trending (hello #Pepsi and their awful self indulgent protest ad this week). This carries no substance to a cause and what you believe in. How are people going to connect when you become detached looking for a quick win of accreditation from a stranger?
Being personalised also means being personable. The examples that I have highlighted all come from a place of tuning into a discipline and there is a receptive audience. This means you have to sound with soul and meaning. Find that cause to challenge and have an opinion that sits beside it.
People are fed up with irrelevant content. According to customer identity software provider, Janrain, and their Online Personal Experience Study 74% of respondents (over 2,000 people) get fed up with websites that provide content that has no relevance to their interests. On the other side, people are ready to trust. 57% were ok with providing personal information as long as it is for their benefit.
This is where the opportunity lies. If you can become relevant and personalised you stand a greater chance of winning the battle over short-term dependence on acceptance.
How do you want to make people feel?
Ways To Draw People In, Without Being Creepy
Here are some pointers to thin about.
- When you send an email newsletter send it from a person and not a cold info@ or enquiries@
- Segmenting your audience makes things a bit more tuned in. For instance, it would be a waste of time sending an email that is targeted for a local event to those people who subscribe to the You Are The Media email who live overseas. This means messages are more narrowly targeted.
- When someone responds and addresses you, reply back. From the comment on a LinkedIn post, to a reply to an email, if it is from a place of genuine interaction, rather than a cul de sac of, ‘great post,’ the gate is open to interact.
- Show an interest in others and the world around you. If that means showing up in their spaces where you have the ability to draw in audience from someone else’s circle that may not be familiar with you, then the opportunity is there.
- Every place you are visible, talk like a person, not a flat press release that no one is going to read and instantly forget about. If a person is reading it, why talk to them in a patronising way?
Lets Round Up
When you have a persona that is unconvincing, you come across as fake. If there are no breadcrumbs to at least piece together to understand your approach and belief system it comes across as gold digging for personal gain.
When people become hooked on to your side and from the people I try and get to know a little better and how they do it, I see one thing stand out. These are businesses that are sticking to their guns that know their audience, and can express themselves in a captivating and sincere way.
In a world that is encouraging you to delve further into AI and automation, to stand out is for you to be yourself, be difficult for computers to do what you are good at and turn it up another notch.