Saturday night’s Dwight Yoakam show at the annual Forecastle Festival in Louisville was my fourth or fifth time seeing him. Not many famous people hail from my hometown, and fellow Pikevillians tend to keep track of the ones that do.
One subtlety I noticed about Yoakum’s performance this time around that was different than my previous concerts was the choice of material. Yoakam and band played a wide variety of his hits from as far back as Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., his first album from 1986. At previous shows, he played mostly songs from whatever album he was touring to support with a handful of hits from throughout the years. He has always done a medley tribute to Buck Owens, including Streets of Bakersfield, but pretty much sticks to the current LP’s tunes.
The more I thought about it the more I realized that the song selection for a big music festival that would feature a different audience than his typical show was spot-on content marketing smarts. If I had to guess, I’d say Yoakam knows that the festival crowd is more populated with younger listeners who may be able to spot a hit or two (particularly one of his remakes of Elvis songs) but doesn’t really follow the album-to-album progress of his career. Mixing in the familiar for a less concentrated audience of hard-core fans means he’ll deliver a great experience for the differing audience.
Extracting a lesson from this is simple. When I’m answering a designer’s question in the forums at CafePress, my direction and even tone is different than when I’m answering someone’s questions about the site on Facebook. CafePress designers, not customers, populate the forums. Facebook and other social channels are more apt to see customers, not designers, and those who don’t necessarily know all the inside baseball of our community. The purpose of communication might be the same, but the approach is different.
Think about this as you communicate with your audience or audiences on various channels. Is your on-site audience different than that on Twitter or Facebook? Do those two social channels seem to be slightly different groups of people? Being a content marketing pro means knowing which audience you’re speaking to and how to appropriately speak to them. And that might vary from site to site and channel to channel.
Mix in some of your old standbys with the broad audience, but deliver the new goods to those that know you best. That’s not a bad approach on stage or off.