By Guest Contributor Carlijn Postma
Author of Binge Marketing, Carlijn Postma, explains how to create your brand in 2021, based on relevance to your audience
In the previous five episodes of this blog series, I’ve explained what binge marketing is, how it works and how it can benefit you. There is only one part I haven’t explained yet and that is the audience journey. The audience journey is a 12 step model that gives you insight on what content is relevant to your audience at what moment.
FROM HERO’S JOURNEY TO AUDIENCE JOURNEY
Literary scientist, Joseph Campbell, discovered that all stories have the same story structure. From fairy tales to religious ones and everything in between. Even before we had words to tell stories. He called it the hero’s journey. I’ve already mentioned that in episode #2. It is about the hero in the story that has to face challenges on his journey in order to grow as a person.
Then, in the seventies, Hollywood discovered this story structure framework and George Lucas used it to write Star Wars. It was an instant hit. Now this framework is used in almost all blockbusters and many writers use it to tell a compelling story. Because this structure will retain your audience during the whole story. So this hero’s journey can be used to tell your brand story. But, what I’ve discovered too in the last couple of years, is that this journey is also a great way to plot to your audience. It gives you great insight on what is relevant to your audience at what part of it’s journey.
THE AUDIENCE JOURNEY
The audience journey is based on the 12-step model that Christopher Vogler wrote in his memo for writers in Hollywood. “If you want to tell a story about a fish out of his comfort zone, you have introduce him within his comfort zone.” That is why all movies start within the ‘ordinary world’ of the hero. The hero is just living his life and there is not so much going on. Until there is a ‘call to adventure’. There is a challenge the hero has to face in order to grow as a person or to keep everyone safe… But of course this is all quit new and he or she experiences some ‘resistance of the call’. Could be fear or not willing to leave the ordinary world. Well these are just the first three steps. But let’s plot them onto your audience:
Your audience is just living it’s life. There is no urge to visit your website or to be interested in your content at this moment. No offends, but realize that you are the one that wants to get something across in this stage of the audience journey. This is a crucial step in your binge marketing strategy. Translate you target group into a description of your audience and than describe it as your audience’s ordinay world:
STEP 1: ORDINARY WORLD
Start with a description of your audience’s ordinary world. What is the mindset of your audience when you, as a brand, are not yet relevant, but can be in the (near) future? Remember that your audience is just living their lives and not waiting for you to interrupt them with your content. Yet.
For example the ordinary world of my audience could be:
I am a marketer and I like innovations in the field of marketing.
There is no need to look for content instantly, but in the near future I might be able to interest this person for my articles.
I am a content creator interested in creating compelling content.
Also no need to look for my articles yet, but this is a mindset where I can be relevant at some point with one of my episodes.
As I said this is a crucial point in your binge marketing strategy, because this is what the other steps of the audience journey are based on. The next step is the ‘call to adventure’.
STEP 2: CALL TO ADVENTURE
What makes your audience move from it’s ordinary world? What triggers it to start his journey for content, information or entertainment maybe? And is that trigger something you as a brand can deliver? You can get insights from search, sales and other data. Just remember that these triggers can be created by external factors, but also personal questions.
In my example of a marketer who is interested in innovations in the field of marketing these triggers can be intrinsic: I have to brief my agency to create content, how can I do things differently, I have to deliver my budget plan for 2021, the last campaign didn’t add up to our expections… etc. These are just the first things that come to mind. If you add your data and Google Search to this step you will create a long list of subjects. Wage them to your objectives and search for the most promising subjects. Those are the subjects you have to create episodes for. And you can do this for all your ‘ordinary worlds’. You’ll see that some subjects overlap multiple worlds. Then you’ll know that is a subject worth to base an episode on.
As you may see from these first two steps it can be really effective to work out your audiences journey in order to choose what episodes would be promising and what subjects don’t need content at all. Even though you thought it was worth talking about. But, as I mentioned this is a 12-step model and we’ve only discussed the first two steps. If you are interested in the rest of the audience journey you can download this schedule at www.carlijnpostma.com/products
WANT TO FIND OUT MORE?
If you want to read the complete audience journey, you can buy my book Binge Marketing, or subscribe to my newsletter and get updates about Binge Marketing every month.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CARLIJN POSTMA is a Dutch content marketing strategist. As founder of The Post, a leading content marketing agency in the Netherlands, she translated her unique binge marketing methodology into practice. Her efforts for the content marketing profession have not gone unnoticed. Carlijn Postma is a much sought-after speaker on international stages. In 2014, she was ranked 27th in the international list of most influential people in the field of content marketing. And in 2017, she was awarded with the title ‘Content Marketing Woman of the Year’ in the Netherlands.
How do you build a brand in a time of information overload where the media are so fragmented that you can barely get the attention of your audience? And how do you ensure that everyone tells the same story on all those channels? Carlijn Postma takes you to the place where content is the product and where people know how to attract and retain an audience: Hollywood.
Binge Marketing is not another stuffy marketing book, but a refreshing look at modern marketing so you can be sure that people will want to listen to your story. Not just one episode, but as a loyal and committed reader, viewer or listener. Compare your brand with the scenario of a very good television series and consider every single statement and marketing activity you put out there as an episode of that series. As a true show-runner you can build on your own loyal and involved audience.
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