What’s one thing content marketers really want?
You want an audience that hangs on your every word.
Loyal fans are the foundation of your business, and they’re the best guarantee of your entrepreneurial success.
You can read a lot of powerful advice on how to build a powerful relationship with your audience. But some nuggets of marketing gold are found in unexpected places — like a live pop concert.
I went to Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” Ball a while ago, and it was pure genius. Right from the first moment of the show — and all the way through the final moments of the concert — Gaga was teaching the marketing lessons every content marketer needs to master.
Here’s what you can learn from her.
1. Create drama
Gaga entered the stage on a horse dressed up to look like a unicorn.
She wore a black bodysuit made of hundreds of glittering vinyl tubes that resembled full body armor.
Her dancers accompanied her in skimpy black outfits. Gaga’s face was covered by a full face helmet, which made her seem alien-like, powerful, strong. You only heard her voice and saw the way she moved.
Our emotions were boiling, and Gaga’s presence was dramatic. The scene was so eerie and strange that we were charged with fascination.
The electricity in the air lasted for a few long moments.
It was a moment of pure drama, and this entrance set up high expectations for the entire evening. The audience was immediately emotionally involved.
That’s what you want to create with your content. You want to draw your readers in with an experience unlike anything they’ve ever seen.
Do your followers feel a thrill when they think about you? Do they get a little charge when they go to your site and read your articles? Do you make readers sit up and pay attention?
Next time you compose a blog post or landing page, create some tension. Create drama to grab your readers and take their breath away.
Writing stale posts isn’t enough. Instead, create fascination. Persuade your readers and captivate their imaginations.
2. Lead with a mission
Gaga has a clear mission, and she makes sure the world knows it. During the concert, she stood up for self-esteem, body-love, gay rights, and artistic expression.
Having struggled with bulimia and bullying, she uses her past to help people who are still hurting. She helps them stay strong by encouraging them to remember that they are loved and that they’re not alone.
That’s why she launched the A Body Revolution 2013 project, which she describes as follows:
My mother and I created the Born This Way Foundation for one reason: to inspire bravery. This profile is an extension of that dream. Be brave and celebrate with us your ‘perceived flaws,’ as society tells us. May we make our flaws famous, and thus redefine the heinous.
On her website, Gaga wrote, “Now that the body revolution has begun, be brave and post a photo of you that celebrates your triumph over insecurities.”
And within the first day, fans submitted hundreds of thousands of personal photos. They responded to her mission by celebrating their bodies.
There is enormous power in giving voice to those who feel invisible. Telling your fans’ story will help you earn their trust and their loyalty. By focusing on a collective mission, you create a powerful, cohesive group identity.
What’s your cause? What’s your greater message? What’s your “why?”
You don’t have to initiate a positive body image campaign — but your readers should know exactly what you stand for.
Is it integrity? Following your dreams? Building a career you love? Making a fortune? Doing philanthropy work?
Make sure you have a clear understanding of your mission. Once you know your message, talk about it (and act on it) often.
Communicating your cause to the world is crucial to making your business stand out and creating a group identity that welds your audience together.
3. Openly address concerns
Between songs, Gaga addressed the audience. She thanked us for our time, and for shelling out the cash to visit her show.
Even though I know she thanks every concert audience, her sincerity spoke to my heart and those of thousands of others.
Her small gesture showed that she cared, and she didn’t take our presence for granted.
She addressed the fans’ concerns opening, placing them right in the open. For a moment, she took the spotlight off herself by letting us know exactly what our ticket money paid for that night. That’s smart marketing.
Customers and readers want to be acknowledged and understood.
Use that knowledge to your advantage, and do it in a thoughtful and genuine way. Show that you’re grateful. Tell your readers you care, and that you are aware of the circumstances and issues they face.
4. Build your tribe, one person at a time
Gaga took the time to connect with her fans on an individual level. She spent a long time looking at gifts, t-shirts, and photo albums that her fans had created.
She invited groups of Little Monsters (as her fans are called) to join her on stage. She hugged and kissed them and was very approachable.
Gaga is a master at making her fans feel validated. By focusing on individuals in a sincere way, she’s taking her mission one step further.
You can also see in her interactions on Twitter that she honestly cares about her tribe. Her tweets include many one-on-one conversations, and they seem to be completely without motive — they’re simply to get to know what her fans are thinking.
This attitude makes a huge difference. It’s a clear way to create fans for a lifetime.
To create a loyal fan base, you need to create a deeper connection with your readers. Get to know them personally. Learn their names, fears, concerns, and hopes.
5. Eliminate noise
Gaga talked about not caring about what certain people say, think, and believe about her.
Gaga is quirky, sometimes even extraterrestrial. From her language to her outrageous outfits, she’s truly one of a kind.
As she puts it: “You have to be unique, and different, and shine in your own way.”
She’s provocative in ways that exclude a lot of people. And that’s not an accident.
In marketing online, there’s nothing worse than trying to please everyone. The broader your message, the less you can address the deepest concerns of your specific audience.
Instead of trying to please everyone, cater to a select group of people who need help with a specific problem. The rest don’t matter.
So, focus, focus, focus — and eliminate those who aren’t on your wavelength. The narrower your niche, the better your chances of success.
Gaga over-delivered during her show. She sang live, which unfortunately is the exception rather than the norm in today’s concerts. She performed with full presence and commitment. She communicated freely with her audience, and I could feel that Gaga lives her art and breathes her performance.
She was funny, serious, poetic, and expressive. She gave the fans what they wanted and so much more.
Once you’ve created high stakes, it’s important to deliver results that blow your readers’ minds. Give them everything you’ve got and more. Create a customer experience that is off the charts.
If you deliver high quality content on a consistent basis, your fans won’t leave your side.
It’s simple, but not easy …
Creating fans for life is not rocket science — but it doesn’t happen by accident, either. I’d love to tell you that publishing good content is enough — but it’s not. As Gaga knows, building a tribe that cares about you takes hard work and deliberation.
And that’s where most content marketers fail.
But you’re different, right? You’re not afraid of getting up early and working late.
You’re devoted to building a rock solid knowledge of content marketing.
You know that taking the time to focus on individuals will put you a mile ahead of your competitors.
You’re motivated to deliver brilliant, action-evoking content.
And you realize that modeling the work of superstars like Gaga is the smartest way to turn your readers into loyal, lifelong fans.
So, keep pushing, keep caring, and keep fighting for your tribe — Lady Gaga style.