Creating Content for Customers vs. Amplifiers

The Growth Report #50

Happy Friday you lovely human being!

And: Welcome to Newsletter #50 🎺 🎺 🎺

From the bottom of my heart, thank YOU for reading this weekly publication 🙌

I love you and I am looking forward to many more inbox-shenanigans I can send your way!

And very special thanks to:

  • My partner in crime Nora who’s doing her very best every week making my writing readable and less of a grammar-mistake-graveyard. 😘

  • My brother-from-another-mother: Kevin, without whom this newsletter (and our business Growth Bay) would not exist. ✌️

*holding back the tears*

Alright, let’s do this…


...Today's topics

📈 Content Strategy:
Customers vs. Amplifiers

🧰 Tools of the Trade:
Articles, Tools and Inspiration for Marketers

⛑️ Reflections from the Trenches:
What can you eliminate?


📈 Content Strategy

Content for Customers vs. Amplifiers

Here's a question I had in the back of my mind for a long time now:

How is it that the people who frequently recommend and talk about our content are often not in the same group as our best customers?

People who would likely never buy our services still email us their thoughts and feedback, they comment, like and share our posts on social and even recommend us to their friends and colleagues.

But with our best customers it usually goes something like this: "Hey Sandro, I've been reading your newsletter and saw you on LinkedIn a lot. You talked about X, let's hop on a call and discuss our current X-related challenge".

With further inquiry I learn that they usually heard about us first from the people in the first group I mentioned. The raving never-customers.

Great. Traditional marketing advice tells us we must create a customer persona, find out what they like, where they hang out, what their challenges are and then go write about this stuff.

So what do we do?

There are Customers and then there are Amplifiers

So naturally, I started googling for solutions. And lo-and-behold a former podcast guest of mine, Rand Fishkin (check out podcast on Spotify) wrote an article about this very topic.

Quote from Rand:

Your content audience is and should differ from your product or sales audience. You’re not (and shouldn’t be) trying to sell everyone who consumes your content. You should, however, be trying to earn amplification and engagement from everyone who consumes your content.

In the article he shows that the people who buy from you (your potential customers) and the people who engage with and share your content (your potential amplifiers) are two separate groups (there are overlaps as seen above).

So the most successful content appeals to both potential amplifiers and potential customers. BUT and here comes the clue, if you have to choose, targeting the potential amplifiers will yield much more bang for your content buck than going for the customers themselves.

Why?

Quality Content is Not Enough

If there is one universal truth in every part of marketing-focused creation, it’s this:

Whatever you produce, no matter what, where, or how you’re promoting, it requires amplification. Yet, to the surprise of many first-time creators, quality and resonance are two very different things.

Search engines, social networks, content platforms, publications with influence, word of mouth—none of them work unless people engage and amplify.

Here’s the problem:

Most creators believe that high quality work is the key to amplification.

It. Is. Not.

A quality post, video, podcast, etc. might be more useful or enjoyable to consume, it might even earn you more business if it is consumed, but quality has only a minor influence on amplification behaviors. In fact, quality and amplification are barely correlated, because “this is quite good,” just doesn’t motivate people to share.

So Rand suggests:

If you want to earn the sharing behaviors that lead to your work reaching a greater audience than the one you’ve already got, you’ll need to answer this question:
Who Will Amplify This? And Why?

Who are the Amplifiers?

There are a bunch of examples for amplifiers that you can target with your content:

  • Journalists & media

  • Niche writers & bloggers

  • Podcasters & video channel creators

  • Social influencers & amplifiers

  • Conference & event organizers

  • Your super fans (the group of people who already read and share everything you post)

There is so much more to be said regarding this topic, and I’ll go deeper into it in future newsletters. For now the takeaway is this: We need to shift our thinking from focusing solely on customer-focused content towards amplifier focused content.

Because in today's content landscape high quality content just doesn't suffice anymore if you want to achieve a certain reach.


🧰 Tools of the Trade:

Articles, Tools and Inspiration for Marketers

💬 On Criticism.

Criticizing a musician is easy, but it is more difficult when you have a guitar in your hand.

- Chilean Proverb

👨‍🎓 Marketing & Leadership Education

🤩 Brands and (digital) Products that caught my eye

  • Bannerbear - Wow, this is dope. Bannerbear auto-generates social media visuals, ecommerce banners, dynamic email images and more with Zapier (and many other app integrations).

  • Sunday App - Payment done right. I don't really understand why not every restaurant has that yet?

  • Goldcast - Their pitch: "Create virtual events that feel like a Netflix show". I've attended an event recently that used this tool, and it was a great experience!

  • Microclimate - Full-faced space masks for the everyday citizen. I really hope this does not become a thing. Brand and design are still kinda cool though.

📚 Interesting reads

  • Transactional Enchantment - "Enchantment is not just for game nights with friends, or for hobbies, fiction-reading and TV-watching. It is something to infuse into everything you do."

  • Curiosity: An Overlooked Superpower - "Curiosity allows us to find challenging situations, unpleasant experiences, unforeseen events all as an opportunity to find something out, to learn something simply for the sake of it. When everything is interesting, nothing is limiting."


⛑️ Reflections From the Trenches

What can you eliminate from your life?

If you are a maniac like me, you keep trying to optimize the way you work and live your life so you can get more things done quicker. And maybe you even succeed and squeeze out 10% here and 5% there.

While there is nothing wrong with that, I had a personal aha-moment this week:

There is way more time and effort wasted on doing things that don't matter than on doing the things that matter inefficiently.

Meaning for example, why on earth would I obsess over automating a small part of my content writing process (which saves me a couple of minutes each week), when out of sheer habit I literally waste an hour every day reading news articles I don't care about?

This makes glaringly obvious that my content writing inefficiency is not the thing I should focus on optimizing my time and effort.

Doing things that don't matter.

But what does it mean to "eliminate things that don't matter"?

What if I really enjoy reading the newspaper, playing video games or flipping through Instagram stories? Well then, by all means: Go out and have fun!

What we arguably shouldn't do however, is to mindlessly do things we don't care for just because we got used to doing them.

If we think about it: How much of our time is wasted each day, week, month and year on things that don't matter to us (or the people in our lives) at all?

  • We do them out of unconscious habit.

  • We do them because we've always done them.

  • We do them because someone told us to a long time ago.

  • We do them because at some point in the past it seemed (or was!) important to us.

But times change. Circumstances change. Our goals change.

So if we think about the hours and the mental effort we waste on things that don't matter, it's okay to change our minds. It's okay to drop what we've been doing and decide to focus our time elsewhere.

So where do I start eliminating?

The meaningless can hide in the small things (opening that news app every morning) and in the big things (working in a job that sucks the life out of you).

The first step is to get the awareness of what the heck we are actually doing all day. I started making a brief list of the things that I spend my time on every day and ask myself these two questions for every item on that list:

  • Does it mean anything to me?

  • Did I enjoy doing it?

If it's two 'No's', I put a little asterisk (*) mark next to the item. If you do this for a week or two and you find a bunch of asterisks next to one activity (which was the case for news reading for me), then this is a serious contender for elimination.

And don't get me wrong. This shit's hard.

But I realized I can safely stop over-engineering the things that already work and mean something in my life, and focus on eliminating the things that don't first.


That's it for this week.

Talk soon,

Sandro