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The Pros and Cons of Tribal Content Marketing

It sounds like the perfect solution to all of your marketing problems: Use skillfully crafted content to generate a population of followers who love what you do, what you say, and what you stand for so that you never have to advertise again because your tribeis standing at the ready. Proponents of tribal marketing present it as the end of promotional payouts and expensive advertising campaigns and the beginning of, well, being a super-star (at least in your own small corner of your niche).

At first, there appear to be no detractors at all. However, as tribal marketing takes hold, some business owners report that the process is not necessarily a fit for every product or service.

In this report, we break down three pros and three cons for tribal content marketing. Evaluating when the process works and when it fails will help you determine if this ubiquitous content strategy is a good fit for you.

Con #1: Many tribe-building methods become event-dependent

Tribal marketing is not too expensive at first, compared to other marketing strategies, but over time the cost of supporting your tribe can grow to dominate your budget. Many people build their tribes in order to sell access to live events, but most have no idea just how expensive live events can be. Add to the equation that you are likely to become very emotionally invested in not disappointing your tribe when they meet you in person and you could have a very costly following on your hands in a few months or years.

Pro #1: You can start building immediately with next-to-no overhead

While you might end up with a tribe demanding live events, you can start building a tribe very effectively using carefully crafted Facebook content that leads your tribe to join an exclusive group where they can learn – you guessed it – more about you and the great things you do in your business. Facebook and other social media platforms create an inherent sense of community, which certainly helps foster the feeling that everyone in your tribe is a full-fledged member of the your-business fan club.

Con #2: The content requirements can get overwhelming

Many people successfully build a tribe, then spend the time when they should be leveraging that tribe instead stressing out over how to create intense, compelling content for the tribe members. Tribal marketing makes good content a necessity; there is no way around this. Good content not only expedites the building process but dramatically improves retention. However, you should not be writing all of your content yourself because (back to that emotional issue tribe-builders have with not disappointing the tribe-members) you probably are not really best-suited for that job unless you are already a professional content marketer. You could end up spending way too much time writing things that do not serve your purpose and that your tribe members do not even read if you allow content to overwhelm your business once you create your tribe.

Pro #2: Your tribe will want to hear from you

One of the things that so often surprises us here at Desert Path is that we find many new clients are actually afraidto send their tribes too much content. It is certainly the case that you should fear sending your tribe mismatched content that does not fit what they expect from you or crummy content that you or an overseas V.A. pecked out in a hurry because you felt obligated to provide something 10 times a day. That type of behavior will send your tribe scurrying for cover. However, your tribe does want to hear from you with the content they expect from you (whatever made them love what you do, love what you say, and love what you stand for in the first place) often. Very often. So send them content and tell them what they want to know: what you’re doing that they can do, too.

Con #3: Tribes tend to convert into networking groups

Most people who start tribes eventually let them lapse into networking groups which, unless you happen to have started your tribe so it could be a networking group and that serves your goals and purposes, can dilute the value of the group. Networking takes time, and the events cost money. If you created your tribe so that you could promote webinars and sell products, for example, then permitting that group to start focusing on meeting each other without carefully structuring those meeting settings could be the last straw that starts causing people to leave your group instead of staying to learn from your webinars.

Pro #3: Tribe members are hard to discourage

I know: We just finished saying you can drive your tribe-members off if you let the group lose focus. It’s true. However, the good news is that people who have joined a tribe thanks to effective, compelling content marketing and tribal infrastructure tend to be hard to discourage. With tribal marketing, you can relax (to a reasonable degree) about making mistakes because tribe-members are far less likely to do problematic things like abandon ship the first time they don’t like what you say, report your emails as spam, or complain publicly but not directly if they have an issue with your product or service. They took several distinct steps to get into your tribe, and it usually takes several repeat offenses to drive them out as well.

Find out if a tribal marketing strategy is the right fit for your business by calling Desert Path for a free consultation. Building a tribe for your business or your brand could be the most impactful move you make in 2019.