How to Catch Attention and Build Your Tribe (Part 1)
The Secret it Takes Years of Online Content Marketing To Learn
Every online marketer goes through the same woes as they try to catch attention from the growing internet population, ‘With so much content on the web, how do I build a tribe for myself?’
The vast majority of them go through a similar process; they learn about the power of online marketing- the ad revenue, lead generation, and tribe building potential- and they start looking into how to capitalize on it.
Before search engines really became sophisticated through Google’s algorithm updates, there were a hundred easy answers to this question which later turned out to be horrible ideas.
Let me skim over a few of the bad techniques used to catch attention before:
- Keyword Stuffing: Filling a page or article so full of search term goodness that it was barely readable, and useless to anyone who found it.
- Backlink Scamming: Creating fake websites to send links to content, buying backlinks from bigger websites, or doing any number of dirty deeds to get links to your content that were irrelevant, unqualified, and not useful to readers.
- Duplicating Content: Using the same botched content on a wide variety of very similar pages to rank for different search terms.
What made these techniques so horrible? For starters, they did nothing to build your tribe for anything worthwhile. People would stumble onto your page, hopefully click an ad to make you a few cents, and ultimately sprint away hoping to never return to the dark alley that you had made of your website.
But most importantly, catching attention is about more than a quick glance. You might be seen in a crowd if you have a six foot neon blue mohawk, but once people see you, do they want to talk to you, get to know you, and find out what else you have to offer?
Content marketing, or tribe building for that matter, is all about what you do with traffic after you’ve caught their attention. But the secret lies in a complicated point; if your goal is to treat every bit of traffic you get like a friend, you’ll see more traffic overall.
That, right there, was the entire point behind all of Google’s algorithm updates. Their stricter standards helped them identify the best, most trusted content on the internet. That content both helped its creators catch attention, but also respected that audience once it had shown up. Google treated their tribe well by offering them the best resources, and because of that, they built a tribe that kept coming back search after search.
Most novice copywriters have stumbled upon Copyblogger.com before; a brilliant resource to learn how to craft great headlines, create compelling copy, and manage a full content marketing system. But what do they define as content marketing?
That great secret I alluded to? Create great content. No tricks, no scams. Create great content, and create that content constantly. You’ll catch all the attention you could ever want, and see a tribe build up around you that is eager to see what you’ll do next, to buy your next product, or to help support your next steps.
What is Creating Great Content All About?
I don’t bring up Copyblogger lightly. That quote above is from one of their most popular articles of all time, and it represents their entire mission in helping people create great content. They average several million hits a month on their site and much of their content has been shared and rehashed across the web to teach thousands of burgeoning content marketers how to do their jobs properly.
The people they train are the people setting the standards of what a website needs to look like to be successful and valuable. They raised the bar for catching your audience’s attention, and it’s no wonder. Look at the values and goals they ascribe to content marketing.
- Create and share valuable content
- Attract and convert prospective customers
- Turn customers into repeat buyers
- Educate leads and customers on your product or project
- Build an identity with that audience
- Build trust and affinity with that audience
Its likely that all six of those points are goals of yours. Who doesn’t want an educated, loyal audience that will buy time and time again?
But if those are their goals, how does content marketing achieve those goals?
The perfect article will excel in three main categories, and with one piece of content you can actually hit all of those goals.
Clear and Authoritative Content Builds a Trusting, Educated Tribe
Great content provides a strong value for your reader, and there’s no better way to provide value than by teaching your audience something useful in the best method available. Be honest with your audience about what you know, and provide useful resources to help them learn more.
Sometimes this will mean quoting research data from scientific studies, field reports, or surveys. Sometimes that means referring to another expert who can back up what you say with supporting evidence, experience, or arguments.
I’m going to be entirely honest right now; the best thing you can do for me, and I also believe for yourself, would be to enroll in Superhero Academy. Why, then, did I talk so appreciatively and fondly about Copyblogger, instead of demanding you watch one of our courses?
Part of being authoritative is knowing that you are not the only expert. Copyblogger is one of the best resources on the internet for learning copywriting and content marketing. We at Superhero Academy teach a great many skills which they don’t like getting your life together or getting support for a project.
We want to support our tribe as best we can- and that means making sure that they get the best educational material, no matter its source.
That benefits our ultimate goal, too! If you become a copywriting master, start up a business crafting content marketing strategies for other people, and end up making decent money at it, what’s the likelihood that someday you’ll want to learn better project management, team building, or even how to run a successful podcast?
We teach those skills in our academy, and by providing great resources, you’ll have a better education to back up those skills with. You have a better chance of being successful, which makes you a better student for us to work with, and increases the likelihood we get to enjoy your success.
It’s the same reason we won’t lie to you or teach you scam-artist skills that will make you a quick buck and then ultimately backfire. Our greatest asset is a well built tribe that trusts us and students that are educated enough to succeed.
Shareable and Enjoyable Content Will Catch Attention Beyond Your Reach
Think about the last time you saw an article on Facebook; what elements caught your eye?
You probably stopped scrolling because of a great headline or an interesting picture.
Now think about how you normally interact with articles. Do you often click on a good headline just because it made you laugh? Did you ‘like’ the article to show that it caught your attention? Did you share it because you wanted others to see it?
A content marketer has to work backward from the answers to these questions. They need to understand why people engage with content the way they do in order to create content that people really want- it goes back to the whole idea of creating ‘valuable’ content.
The importance of understanding these ideas can’t be oversold.
Imagine you are trying to get ten thousand signatures on a petition. Sure, you can strap that petition to a clipboard and go ask people one by one to sign, but how much easier would your life be if you could get one hundred people to go out and ask people to sign for you?
That’s the value of making valuable, shareable content. Suddenly, everyone who engages with that piece you wrote becomes a marketer on your side.
You might not have the means to get your petition in front of someone on the other side of the world by going there yourself, but you can get that message to piggyback on someone who is already heading that way.
Your job is to create great content that catches attention and serves your tribe. It’s the content’s job to get where it needs to go… for now. We’ll go into more detail about creating content for a specific demographic and giving it the first push to virality in part two of this article.
Timeless Content Works While You Sleep
Though simpler than the previous two points, the idea of making your content timeless is no less essential.
The problem with spreading a petition is that people will only keep sharing it around as long as it is relevant. If your petition is to make April 1st “Wisdom Day” instead of “April Fools” day, people may share it as early as a few weeks before, and a few days after, but not much further.
But if you want to someday focus on other aspects of your business besides creating an endless onslaught of content and lobbing it at your audience, you need to create content that matters everyday and is repeatedly useful.
At the risk of sounding like a fanboy, Copyblogger does an excellent job of this. On the page I referenced earlier, they have links to a whopping one hundred different articles. Each of those articles is almost definitely useful to a piece of their audience at all times.
Sometimes that relevance will vary, and over the years some of those links will have to be replaced with fresh content, but for the most part, each of those articles have the potential to catch attention, build their tribe, generate trust, and maybe even make a sale.
If they wanted, they could probably make a lot of money just by relying on Google search traffic, Facebook ads, a really good e-mail autoresponder, and some excellent landing pages. We call that passive income, but you’ll hear more about why passive income does and doesn’t work in the Academy.
Can You Really Run a Business off Content Alone?
Short answer: Kind of.
Content marketing is incredibly valuable- in fact, to be competitive nowadays, it’s almost essential, especially if you want a marketing strategy that can mostly run itself someday.
“Build it and they will come” may be a great phrase, but popular wisdom often lacks common sense.
When you begin building out your content strategy, keep in mind that it is the lengthy, high-quality process which can work as a foundational platform for your future products, services, memberships, or movement.
Shareable and enjoyable articles will catch the attention of potential new prospects for you and allow you to reach places you never could manually.
Clear and authoritative content will help you build your tribe with educated, trusting fans eager for your future sales pitches.
And timeless content will allow the process to stand the test of time so you don’t have to constantly be working on the basics over and over again.
But a great tribe needs personal attention; you have to regularly assess their needs, changes in the market or the culture, address critical issues in a timely manner. The easiest way to do this is by documenting what you’re working on, and letting your audience tell you what they love or hate.
Plenty of money has been made off effective content marketing strategies, but if you’re looking to make a genuine change in the world, start a movement, or become the everyday hero you know you can be, always be wary of relying on a process that removes the personal element out of your work.
If what you’re doing is truly your passion, use these strategies to get you started, but keep learning how you can really serve both your project and your tribe.
Don’t miss out on the second part of this article!
We’ll show you the strategies to creating content out of your daily work, delivering the content your specific audience is craving, and setting expectations that you can regularly exceed!