There’s one thing about the internet that is universally true: it’s a noisy place. It seems as if everyone and their grandmother is now online, along with thousands of brands, all vying for attention all the time. With everyone shouting at once, almost no one is heard. Now, you have to change the way you talk, and who you talk to. By flipping the traditional funnel of communications, you can be heard once again by the audiences who matter most.
The traditional model focuses on pushing out a generic message to a wide audience, gaining some interested users or customers, flooding them with more messaging, and then hopefully coming out the other side with some new customers or followers. Online, this kind of strategy has led to everyone yelling louder and louder, just trying to be heard above all the noise, resulting in a shouting match where everyone loses.
To grow your audience and spread your message in today’s noisy digital landscape, you need to change the way you communicate. This means working backwards from the traditional model and starting small. At the center of this new style are three takeaways:
First, know your audience. Like never before, we are able to use digital tools to understand the nuances that make customers take action. With data anthropology, you can discover unique, affinity-based segments of users – groups who consume lots of content in your space. We can uncover their interests, and how they talk about them, to better understand messaging that will resonate with these groups.
Next, give your audience what they want. By showing your core group of influential users that you understand them and are invested in them, they will become ambassadors for you among their friends and networks. Gone are the days of focusing on the message you want to give – you have to share the one your audience is willing to hear and, more importantly, share.
Finally, figure out what works, and do more of it. If the internet is good for one thing, it’s fast feedback. You can see in real time if people understand and like your message, or if it’s falling flat. There will be some trial and error, but when you get it right, it will literally pay off.
When you flip the funnel and focus on speaking directly to a specific audience, you stop yelling at everyone and start a conversation with your passionate fans that will spread further than you ever imagined.
APCO project assistant Zoe Rankin also contributed to this post.