Your brand’s most loyal fans are valueless if you aren’t using them to reach new audiences.
Having them around might make you feel warm and fuzzy, but in terms of growth, they’re a load of zeros. Why? Because they’re what content marketers call your first circle – people that your brand has so thoroughly captured that you cannot expect them to increase their purchasing or engagement any further. They’re lovely people, and were, perhaps, some of your first customers, but from a marketing perspective, it’s time to move on.
Move on to where, though?
Circles two and three.
The good news about circle two is that, through circle one, you’ve already engaged with most of them. This is because circle two consists largely of people who interact with circle one. They’re the friends, family and co-workers of your first circle, but unlike circle one, they aren’t customers. At least not yet.
In order to connect with circle two, you have to keep circle one happy. The righteous anger of a scorned first circler can turn their entire social network off your brand. In addition to pleasing circle one, you must also create content that appeals to brand outsiders, such as those in circle two. Circle one, out of loyalty, will push this content to circle two, even though it’s not particularly relevant to circle one themselves.
As long as your first circle remains loyal, it’s virtually certain that circle two will see your content. They might even become customers, but this is not necessarily a given as they have already been exposed to your brand through the first circle and if they were going to buy, they would likely have done so already. However, they are the primary route to the all-important third circle.
The third circle consists of potential customers who have never been exposed to your content. They are not subscribed to any of your social media outlets and can only be reached through the second circle. Put another way, they are the social connections (family, co-workers, etc.) of circle two. Once again, content that appeals to outsiders is required if circle two is to be counted on to spread the word. The majority of new customers that your content marketing generates will come from the third circle.
In light of this, a good content marketer will provide their audience with two types of content. The first type tightens the bonds between your brand and the first circle; the second targets those who have not yet bought your product and may have very little industry knowledge.
For the first type, good content should explore the deeper features of your product, acting almost as a form of customer service or training. For the second type, your content should explain not only your product but also the industry in which it exists. This content is for people who know they have a need, but aren’t sure what that need is, let alone how it should be filled.