When we are talking about marketing we are only talking about one thing…Attention.
It is what we want, what we need and the only thing that really matters when it comes right down to it.
When we think about attention it can get very easy to focus too much on width instead of depth. How many followers do I have vs. how good are my followers. How many people can I tell about my product or service vs. how can I make sure that I am telling the people that care about it.
When I first got into the world of selling stuff (in other words the business world because we are all sales people…) we used the newspaper for advertising and we did a new set of ads every week for an entire season. The best feature they could come up with at the time was how many people actually took the paper. We had no idea how many people actually read it (in my house growing up I remember a stack of papers by the fireplace that dad was going to read later…) Did it work? Who knows? The only thing we knew was that a lot of people had the opportunity to see our ad.
The ads were flawed in several ways compared to what we have today.
First of all they weren’t trackable. We would run a coupon in those ads and then count how many coupons we got back. However that meant to count we had to give something away. It also didn’t give us any idea how many people stopped and even looked at the ad, or clipped it out to save for later and never did.
Second, they weren’t targeted to the people who cared about our product. We ran the ads for the golf course in the sports section, but that didn’t mean that the right people were seeing it. Sometimes we would run in the business section to get the business person that doesn’t follow sports but plays golf, but it was all a shot in the dark at best.
Lastly, and most importantly, when someone would take the time to stop and read or clip out our ad, we didn’t have a way to reach them again. They had self selected by using or being interested in our offering, but we didn’t know it. We couldn’t reach them again without casting the same wide net over everyone that may read that section of the paper.
When you are working in the depth arena, attention will naturally come your way. When you have a deeper relationship with a customer, you are also more likely to be in context for them.
The article 1,000 True Fans by Kevin Kelly explains the depth concept beautifully. If you can find the right 1,000, or in some cases 100 people, you can do very well.
Don’t get me wrong, we still want to grow our fan base because we never know when one of those new fans will fall into the category of a “True Fan”, but we can’t be solely focused on the quantity of our audience and ignore the quality. And you can create the quality by spending the time and energy to truly engage and go deeper with your fan base.
Is it good to have a lot of followers? You bet and we encourage growing your following on social. But just having a ton of followers alone isn’t going to get it done. Build relationships with those followers. Offer them value and let them tell you they are interested so you can give them more of what they want.