Tips to build an audience with content marketing – Jonathan Crossfield (Day 2 CMW Sydney)

A man walks into a bar…

Jonathan Crossfield – a self-proclaimed professional storyteller – was a nightclub DJ for 10 years. In between beatmatching, cutting and scratchin’, he learnt some invaluable life lessons. And today he can see how neatly these lessons apply to content marketing.

Firstly, as a DJ, you need an audience…

Then you need to adapt the music so that it suits your audience – their mood and the time of night…

And last but not least, the show must go on!


Jonathan uses a Mark Zuckerberg quote to demonstrate you don’t just start a community – they already exist. How true! The question content marketers therefore need to ask is not what your audience does, but how you can help them do it better.

If you’re an SEO agency trying to get into content marketing, or if you’re a marketer who thinks high Google rankings are all that matters, consider this from Jonathan: “The goal of your content is not to get more search traffic with SEO. The goal of search marketing is to attract an audience to your content.”

If you’re the DJ, selling drinks is someone else’s problem. Is the same true of content marketing? Yes – a content creator should be trying to please the crowds, not sell the product. And yet at the same time marketers need to recognise the end goal. If you make them dance hard enough, they’ll get thirsty and buy a drink.

If you can’t create it, curate it. A DJ doesn’t write his own music – he puts his unique spin on someone else’s music and plays it as his own. Does this mean you don’t need to produce original content? Definitely not – a DJ session is rarely as good as a live performance. But it’s another tool you can use to keep your audience continually engaged.