While watching Luke Bryan, the headliner closing act on Saturday night, at the 2014 Bayou Country Fest I was struck by two things. First, his pandering techniques (to get the crowd into the show) and second, the number of folks heading for the doors during his encore. This was the headline act, the keynote speaker if you will, and his audience seemed more concerned with beating traffic than making sure they heard every last word he sang.
Which got me to thinking about this question — as a content marketer, are you creating your content for the converted fan or to convert new fans?
Create Content Marketing to Convert New Fans
I have no doubt that Luke Bryan, like every other singer in the world started out creating content designed to convert. Let’s face it – as a new singer or band, you don’t have any choice. You need to build an audience of fans that will buy your music, attend your shows and tell their friends.
As a new content marketer, you do the same thing. Your content marketing strategy is designed to build an audience for your blog. You’re trying to create content that folks will consume, like (literally) and share with their friends and colleagues.
You’re squarely in the conversion business.
In terms of the Bayou Country Fest, this always seems to be the 2nd to last band on Saturday night. A few years ago it was Zac Brown giving a clinic on creating music to convert new fans. Sure the band was already well known, but they were clearly the undercard to Kenney Chesney’s headliner. But a funny thing happened on the way to Tiger Stadium that night — someone forgot to tell Zac and the band. They came to the stage and just flat out killed it for over an hour.
They played with a ferocity designed to infect the crowd with a love of the Zac Brown band. A love that converted even the most casual of fans into raving fans… in short, that night Zac Brown converted.
Chesney on the other hand… played to the converted.
Create Content Marketing That Converts
Have you ever totally lost yourself in the music? Just completely lost sense of your life for an hour and totally given yourself to the music? That’s what it means to be converted. When a band first converts you they just own you for a short time. You can’t imagine doing anything else but listening to their music. So much so that when they stop playing you immediately look for the closest lighter (or cell phone) fire it up, start screaming, shouting and banging on anything within reach to make noise. You have a pavlovian belief that if you can just make enough noise — show enough love — that the band will grace you with a few more songs.
So how does a band get you to lose yourself in the music?
In my opinion — they stop giving a concert and commit to creating a memory. They commit completely and totally to the music…to the audience and to the real goal of a live concert — creating a life memory. They feel indebted to the audience… truly thankful that you’re there for them… for the band… to support them and their music.
And this complete and total commitment… this thankfulness for the attention is what captures you, drives them to give the concert of their lives… and that energy is what converts you… and keeps you holding that damn lighter up even though it’s burning your fingers.
How To Create a Content Marketing Memory
Now obviously, it’s a tad easier to get an audience to lose themselves in music during a live concert than it is to create that same “life memory” with a blog post, video or maybe podcast. But it can be done. The question is, are you ready to commit?
Are you ready to commit to creating content that motivates your audience to grab that virtual lighter? Are you ready to do the work required to create something that truly rewards your audience each and every time they consume your content? Think about that?
It might mean you have to publish less… do more pre-post research… give away even bigger ideas and most assuredly get to know your audience at a level far deeper and more personal than you probably do today. But it can be done. You can do it.
You just have to ask yourself if you can truly commit to creating content marketing assets good enough to convert. Or are you satisfied taking the easy route and just creating content for the converted.
The choice is yours. Now go make it.