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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Joe Pulizzi on Content Marketing

Content Evangelist Joe Pulizzi

Grow Your Business With Content Marketing Says Joe Pulizzi

Content evangelist Joe Pulizzi from, Z Squared Media, spoke at the MENG NJ meeting on 11/13/09 about Using Content Marketing to Grow Your Business, a strategy I believe strongly in.

[Joe is a fellow contributor to The Age of Conversation 2 - Why Don't They Get It. His chapter is titled "The "Golden Age" of Corporate Media" in which he describes how "content marketing is defining the future of marketing."]

To place content marketing into perspective, Joe reminded us that 15 years ago we made buying decisions based on at most 6 channels ranging from trade shows, TV, and radio.

Contrast that to today when the channels are too many to count and brands no longer control messages to potential buyers. Instead, buyers start at a search window [i.e., Google] to educate themselves; the sales function only plays a role in closing a sale. According to Forrester Research, the Internet plays a major role in 92% of all business decisions.

Which means that we must stop talking about ourselves in our marketing and focus instead on customers, what matters to them and how to help them make better buying decisions.

We are content marketing publishers.

Our real competitors include trade publications because that's where customers are going for information about our products, not to our websites.

Look at what P&G has done with Home Made Simple and Being Girl, two sites that offer information [i.e., content] relevant to each site's 1 million visitors. Imagine what an effective R&D resource such a site becomes. Notice how subtle the brand message is.

Approximately 30% of marketing budgets [especially in B2B] goes to content; with the balance, marketers continue to "rent" the message and interrupt, which Joe describes as the dark side of content. Interruption based messages are brand focused rather than valuable, relevant and compelling content offered to customers on a consistent basis.

Examples of compelling content:

It's much better to tell compelling stories and then use all of the available digital channels to share the message.

+ Blendtec's Will It Blend? is compelling. Launched in late 2006/early 2007, revenues increased 500% after one year; the videos have garnered over 150 million views and the company is the leader in blenders.

+ Look at Omniture vs. HubSpot, a startup. And, yet, because HubSpot is a content factory [with blogs, podcasts, videos, photos, presentations, ebooks, newsreleases, etc.] it has twice as many pages indexed compared to Omniture. That translates into twice as many opportunities to be found by potential customers.

With content, a business can benefit from SEO, attract more visitors and generate better google juice add to that Social Media for developing relationships and sharing content, and you have the opportunity to spread the word and "Be the trusted expert" everywhere customers are.

But, you need a content strategy.

Become a trusted expert with a content strategy.

1. Determine what are your goals and objectives? What will be different 1 year from now? [is it revenue, exp?]

2. What are your information needs? What do you need to know to be successful? What are your customers' pain points? Listen first via Google alerts, , tweetdeck: develop new content to address what you hear.

3. Figure out your Secret Sauce: your expertise + their information needs.

4. Where is the content? What are you doing? What's working? Find relevant content happening and publish it! video, slideshare...

5. Where are your customers? Target the top 10 to 15 blogs relevant to your customers: read them and get active. Start commenting [LinkedIn, Ning, Google groups, FB/twitter, stumble, BusinessWeek Exchange]. Which communities are you involved in?

6. Choose your tactics. Use the "3 and 3" method. For example, publish your presentation on your blog and post it on Slideshare, write about it on another blog and create a video about the presentation. If you've created a white paper, create an audio version, obtain testimonials, and share research by leveraging a news release.

7. Develop a content calendar.

8 . Execute the plan. Here's what's most important for the plan:
  • 1. consistency [content promise]
  • 2. focus on what you do well and outsource the rest [multitasking makes you stupid]
  • 3. it will never be perfect - evolve with feedback and experimentation
Determine who is your chief content officer. That individual becomes the chief storyteller. As you become a motivational source, your customers become your evangelists!

Thanks, Joe! I loved meeting you in person.

For more information, read Joe's Content Marketing Playbook [here is the Table of Contents listing 42 different ways to generate content].

What are you thoughts about content marketing? What examples have you come across where your content has generated a different type of conversation with potential customers?


  1. Thanks are doing some great work here. Know that it is appreciated.

  2. Joe, thanks for that lovely comment. Best, CB

  3. Thanks, Joe, for the informative post. I wasn't aware that so much of the marketing budget goes to content, especially in B2B.

    I can vouch for how engaging HubSpot's content is--I eagerly await and share their content.

    To me, HubSpot's Inbound Marketing University is the premier content marketing strategy and simultaneous service to the marketing community. On the flip-side, I had only heard of Omniture, maybe once before this post.

    I like your advice to use the "3 and 3" method, which reminds me of similar good advice in Chris Borgan and Julien Smith's Trust Agents on leveraging our efforts, with social media.

    Thanks to you for writing, and C.B. for hosting, this helpful post.

  4. Peg, I wish you could have been there to hear Joe! He was full of interesting perspectives. Like you, I was really taken with the "3 and 3" method. Thanks for contributing to this discussion. Best, CB


Reminder: Please, no self-promotional or SPAM comments. Don't bother if you're simply trying to build inauthentic link juice. Finally, don't be anonymous: it's too hard to have a conversation. Thanks, CB

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