chris marr

Locking Down On Building Your Audience. An Interview With Chris Marr.

Lets look at the importance of building an audience with Chris Marr.

Chris is founder of the Content Marketing Academy and is going to be heading down from Scotland for the You Are The Media Conference. Chris is going to share his story of how he has built and maintained value for people to stand shoulder to shoulder with him and his team.

Here are five questions where we focus on nurturing an audience where you have a responsibility and lock-in for the long term.


What have been the key factors that have worked to building your audience since 2014/15?

There have been a whole bunch of things that we’ve done right over the years. From the very start, I feel like the biggest factor has been giving people a easy way to get close to us, so that could be anything from a Facebook group to a Slack group. The summer of 2014 is when we set up our first Facebook group that worked the way wanted it to.

So, I think one of the key factors is closing the gap between CMA and our audience, and that happened through things like an online group, which eventually became our paid-for Slack group that we have today.

In the middle of all of that, the other factor was our live events. Again, this closes the gap between CMA, me, and my customers, and that’s a great way to achieve a few important factors for audience building; understanding my audience better than anyone else, emotionally connecting with my audience better than anyone else, and getting to know them better than anybody else. I think that’s the main factors that really allowed me to not just grow that audience and build that audience but to build that relationship with the audience as well and have a close relationship with them.

I feel like my audience give me a lot of their time and attention, and in return I deliver something valuable to them.

There have been a lot of other tactical elements to it, but I believe these to be the underpinning factors.


Is there such a thing as a target audience or is it more about reaching out to the people who enjoy what you do?

There is a target audience that we want to work with. That’s who we write our content for, who our website’s geared towards, who our live events are curated for. Our target audience are marketers, entrepreneurs and business owners. Those are the types of people that we’re trying to connect with.

Regardless, every single one of those types of people are marketers, so it’s all about helping people to be more successful with marketing.

That being said, although there is a target audience, we have put things in place that help people to self-qualify themselves as our audience.

About 20% of our members that we have at the moment are in-house marketers. At first I never thought we would ever be in a position where we were teaching in-house marketers, but that’s where we find ourselves.

So, there is a target audience, but we’ve attracted different groups of people that I never thought that we would be working with too.

We go to market to solve a problem, which is to help people to understand how they can grow their business, and increase their revenue and profits with content marketing. That message then attracts the types of people that want to make more money, grow their business or get more customers using content marketing.

I feel like we do have a good understand of the audience we’re trying to attract, but it is much more varied that perhaps I would have first thought it was.


As your audience has grown, has your responsibility to others increased ie. for instance, I see a lot of your work around the development of people and not just from a content marketing perspective?

Content marketing on its own is great. We could just teach content marketing all the time. That could be anything from blogs to videos to podcasts, and things like optimising content for traffic, leads, conversions and sales. If you understand content marketing the way that I see it – it’s multifaceted. You can’t talk about content marketing without talking about many other aspects of business growth.

We try not to be specialists in all areas, but what we have done with our community is bring in a lot of different expertise from different areas, and everyone contributes to this knowledge base.

So, content marketing is our core. It’s something we all believe in. But there’s other factors that come into that, and what’s happened is that Content Marketing Academy, or CMA, has become a ‘learning organisation’ as opposed to a content marketing teaching organisation. There are other things like sales, leadership, communication, social media, and search engine optimisation that are built upon to that core, which now gives us a more complete perspective of business growth. Click here to read the focus on creating a learning organisation for the CMA.

So, what we really do is help people with personal development and business development and, if you would put it under any umbrella at all, it would be business growth. So, content marketing, like I said, is at the core of what we do, it does work well on it’s own, but with these other factors, I think, you can be far more successful.


Do businesses overlook finding a metric to get people to their side ie. building email subscribers?

Businesses very much overlook measurement. It’s a real gap and barrier to success in marketing. Everything from email subscribers to traffic to conversions, and even sales.

In CMA we really push people to measure. We know that if we can get people to measure the right metrics, it will lead to their success.
It’s just like anything in life. If you want to be successful, you have to measure.


What ways do you activate your audience and create a sense of participation, that you control ie. I see the 90 day challenge and WCC?

We do a lot in this area.

To activate our audience, we’re obviously doing some social stuff, so, Facebook Lives and Instagram Stories, and we’re posting content across all the channels. But there’s a lot going on behind the scenes.

We run things like 90-day challenges. These were built out of frustration because I didn’t see enough people posting enough content consistently for long enough. So, what we did was create a challenge, and in that challenge you might commit to writing one blog article a week for that 13 or 14 weeks. We push people to achieve those goals.

We’ve done three of those challenges this year. We also run a premium 12-week training course, which is coached by me, and we do our live events as well. Our live events are huge for activation. People come to live events, they connect with other members, and as a result they get involved in the community at a deeper level.

Every single week, at half past nine on a Thursday, I do a live weekly 30-minute video roundup of what’s happened in CMA. I also do live training every single month for 90 minutes.

We also have guest webinars, and I share a tonne of content with them inside the community.

So we’ve got lots going on to activate our audience. But it’s not just about activating them. It’s about keeping in touch with them, helping them to improve and adding value as much as we can. It’s largely about getting them to take some sort of action to improve their business, to improve their own personal development and business development.


Would you like to be a part of the You Are The Media Conference (May 24th 2018) on the south coast of England and get to see Chris Marr?

The day is going to be focused on how you can grow your audience, within the spaces that you have 100% control. Click here to buy your ticket. Look forward to seeing you soon.

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