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Secrets of Content Marketing World: Agent Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute

Posted on Aug 27th, 2012
Written by Lee Odden
  • Blog
  • B2B Marketing
  • Secrets of Content Marketing World: Agent Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute
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    TopRank Marketing drives results with content, influencer, SEO & social media marketing.

    Joe PulizziTopRank’s Online Marketing Blog has partnered with Joe Pulizzi and the upcoming Content Marketing World conference to help promote the event and sessions by doing a series of interviews and creating an eBook: “The Secrets of Content Marketing and the Undercover Agents Who Shared Them”.

    Successful content marketing that works efficiently, effectively and that can scale is a very big secret for a lot of companies. This series of interview posts and the eBook will shine a light on what some of the top brands (Intel, Kraft, SAS, Cisco, Ricoh, Kelly Services, SAP and more) and thought leaders (Jason Falls, Joe Pulizzi, Robert Rose, Michael Stelzner, Ardath Albee, Ann Handley, Jim Kukral, Mark Schaefer and more) have up their sleeves (or on a microdot).

    Let’s start the information flow with none other than the mac daddy super secret content marketing agent himself, Joe Pulizzi:

    You’re known as the “Godfather of Content Marketing” to those in the online marketing industry.  In your current role as founder of CMI, how has your work with content as a marketing asset evolved? What do you think about all the recent buzz about content?

    We are seeing a significant correction in paid media.  What that means is that more brand marketers are beginning to look at owned media, and corporate storytelling, as a key part – maybe THE key part – of their overall marketing mix.  The challenge is that even though marketers have always had the muscle of content marketing, it’s been underused for years…so we need a significant amount of training, education and culture change to make it happen on a large scale.

    If content marketing were a baseball game, we are just getting out of the dugout for the first inning.  That means “we ain’t seen nothin’ yet”.

    How would you define content marketing to someone that is new to the idea?

    Content marketing means thinking and acting like a publishing.  Instead of renting the media channels (borrowing other’s relationships to promote our products and services), we need to own our media channels and create passionate subscribers to our brand.  To do this effectively, we need to create valuable, impactful and compelling content on a consistent basis everywhere our customers are hanging out (online, print and in-person).

    Your’re opening day 2 of the conference with your kick off session.  What are 3 of the primary takeaways from your Content Marketing World presentation that you think are most important?

    We are rolling out some amazing research into what is actually going on in content marketing.  I just took a look at the results and I’m giddy with excitement.  I can’t give away the details, but the results are fascinating.  Plus, my outfit will be a must see 😉

    Where do you see content fitting in with the overall digital marketing mix? Do you think content should lead or follow with most digital marketing strategies?

    Without a compelling story that makes you interesting as a brand, nothing else will work…not SEO, not social, not online lead generation.  A content marketing strategy comes first, and then the channels will follow.  For years now, most brands have looks at channel first, then story.  That simply doesn’t work.

    Many companies are challenged to create new content on an extended basis. Can you provide 3 tips for managing long term, effective content creation for marketing?

    1. Understand the Why?  Why are your creating content in the first place?  What impact can you have on the customer that doesn’t involve your product or service?  What is your higher purpose?  This creates your content marketing mission statement.
    2. Don’t be afraid to outsource.  Most companies outsource some part of the content marketing.
    3. Find your niche.  You can’t be everything to everybody.  Focus on your content area that you can be the leading expert in the world, and focus on a specific buying group when you do it.

    Content is both art and science with high demands on time and resources, especially for small businesses owners that wear many hats. What tools, software or services can you recommend for marketers that want to be more efficient and effective at using content to drive new business and engage customers? Can you share 3 or 4 tools that are essential?

    Here’s the top eight content production tools for content marketing:Compendium

    • Contently
    • DivvyHQ
    • InboundWriter
    • InnoBlogs
    • Kapost
    • Skyword
    • Zerys

    Content Marketing Institute’s study earlier this year mentions that most B2B companies are using content marketing tactics to grow their business. While content marketing has a high adoption rate with B2B companies, many are still having difficulty earning internal support. What advice can you offer on winning upstream executive approval for content marketing initiatives?

    First, find a champion.  Content marketing involves a different way of thinking, and someone in the organization needs to own this, and work with the other silos in the company to make it work.  Second, start by hitting singles with small content projects focusing on a very specific pain point that content can help with.  Once you see success from that, you’ll get buy-in to expand your program.

    What’s one content marketing secret that you would like to share with Content Marketing World attendees?

    Thing big but act small.  Your content marketing goals should be lofty, but you need to be incredibly fast and flexible, like a small startup, to really make magic happen.  Oh, one more thing.  Consistency is the key.  Content marketing can’t just be a campaign…it must be a way to communicate with customers over the long term.  Content is your promise to your customers.  Don’t start and then stop, breaking your promise.

    Well done agent Pulizzi. 

    If you would like to tap into the super secret smarts of Content Marketing World in Columbus next week, check out the website and sessions. It’s by far the best content marketing specific conference I know of.

    Content Marketing World – Secret Agent Interviews:

    Here’s the full list of content marketing secret agents we’ve interviewed for Content Marketing World 2012:

    Joe Pulizzi – Content Marketing Institute

    Pam Didner – Intel

    Michael Brenner – SAP

    Jason Falls – Social Media Explorer

    Julie Fleischer – Kraft Foods

    Ardath Albee – Marketing Interactions

    Robert Rose – Content Marketing Institute

    Todd Wheatland – Kelly Services

    Curt Porritt – MasterControl

    Amy Porterfield

    Be sure to check out the 29 Content Marketing Secrets e-book as well:

    What’s your best content marketing secret? Share your best tip below and you can win a free copy of Optimize. Winners to be announced later this week.