As the nutty aroma of my first cappucino enveloped my senses, I walked into Florence, Italy for the first time – eyes wide open, shaking from the coffee and witnessing the wild breeze.

Remember the first time you visited a place where every sight, sound, and action seemed so special?

Because when you visit a new place, you notice everything. After a few days, even this fades away.

Your audience wants to see, smell, hear, and feel your story – that’s why the attention span scans in 9 seconds or less, because the mind is not engaged until it feels, sees something new, and begins imagining….

When you visit your audience on social media, and plan your content marketing, it should be like that first visit to a new place.

Content marketing isn’t just creating content, it’s answering questions and creating lead generation, and adapting to changes driven by your audience.

Here’s what you should listen and look for:

1. Discover Their Schedule and Make it Yours

  • Your customer’s actions/behaviors – what time of day, week, and yearly events frame their digital activity?

Go way beyond just automating everything, blend automation with active listening (like social keyword prompts from Warble.co, and many other solutions for Twitter).

  • Simply Responsive Marketing: when someones asks a question on Twitter, Facebook, or wherever your customer goes daily, answer, and invite to follow up.

Don’t expect it all in one day, look to see if there’s sufficient demand first. You’re building a foundation to grow, not an instant boost in sales. Target 3-6 months to build your reputation and lead generation system.

  • Big Fish in a Small Pond and Influencers: Define the best time, and the best people to contact (influencers) ongoing to spread the word. Don’t just look at big numbers of followers, look for repeat activity to a defined niche audience.

2. Which social platform(s) dominate their attention?

The most obvious, and overlooked advantage is knowing the social platforms. Optimize for one or two, not every one, and cutting/pasting your same message doesn’t work.

  • Break routine, in your headlines and your writing, to keep your audience engaged. If you keep sending out the same stuff using the same language, their brains turn off.


  • Remember you don’t own the social platform, they do; that subtle control allows you leverage, but if you pitch to it, they turn you off.

3. What stories do they follow?

  • You will know them, by what they follow, and that means stories.

On Facebook, the stories tend to be more positive by algorithm; what makes them smile? What creates the rare spurts of activity? Go to BuzzSumo to see what’s being shared and where.

  • Instead of looking at the new mobile, social layer of activity as some problem/solution pool of prospects, seek instead to qualify them through traditional lead generation practices – ask qualifying questions, share How To and Problem/Solution free content (video, audio, and written).
  • It takes 2-20 steps (or more) before “they” buy, and “they” are a specifically small 2-20% of everyone you reach.

And for the many who will never buy, encourage them to share.

Before Content Marketing, forget you and listen like it’s the first time…

I can still taste that cappucino from Florence many years later, because it was all new. Immerse yourself regularly because your audience changes, and what excites them changes with time and repetition.

  1. Try visiting your audience with new eyes, or bring 5 people in and listen to what they say.
  2. Discover how to smell, see, listen, and taste the stories – and train yourself to keep looking with “new” eyes
  3. What are the elements of your audience’s story?

If you map your content marketing strategy to what your audience is doing, instead of guessing, you’ll almost never be wrong…unless you keep doing the same thing.

Cover Image from Pixabay.com