Do you use content marketing for your business?

Are you wondering how to attract customers with your content?

To learn about the power of content marketing, I interview Joe Pulizzi for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael StelznerThe Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.

It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode, I interview Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, the Content Marketing World conference and author of the new book, Epic Content Marketing.

Joe shares why a content marketing strategy is important for your business.

You’ll learn how content marketing works and what you need to do to get started.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

Listen Now

You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher or Blackberry.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Content Marketing

The latest video by Chipotle Mexican Grill and content marketing

Chipotle‘s recent video called The Scarecrow has been viewed more than 5 million times. The essence of the video is a scarecrow who works for a big corporation that’s in the business of processing food. He soon realizes that he doesn’t like the world he’s in and decides to make things using healthy alternatives.

At the end of the video, Chipotle has included a video game for viewers. Their brand is only mentioned at the very end for a few seconds. It’s received a lot of press.

Joe says that it pulls at the heartstrings a bit and if you can do that in marketing, it’s great. This isn’t the first time Chipotle has done this. They did Back to the Start in 2011, which was a similar movement.

You’ll discover why in 2011 Joe would have said this was creative marketing/advertising and why today it’s an approach to storytelling. And now it’s fully fledged content marketing. The story is bigger than Chipotle, as they don’t talk about their products or services. Joe believes more of this type of content marketing will be seen in the future.

One of the keys to content marketing is consistency. You need to take a 24/7 approach to telling stories to attract and retain your customers. This is exactly what Chipotle has done. They found their bigger story and began a movement around it.

Although considered long for a YouTube video at 3 minutes 23 seconds, Joe believes that if you tell a story it doesn’t matter how long it is.

You’ll hear why Chipotle agonized over whether to include the chili pepper in the video, which is part of their brand.

chipotle chilli pepper

Chipotle didn't know if it would be too promotional for their trademark chili pepper to appear in the video.

If you think about what stories you can tell, they should not be about you but rather something you stand for, which will make a difference in your customers’ lives.

Listen to the show to find out why Chipotle’s goal was to get their video out into social media.

How content marketing works

Over the last 50 years, advertisers interrupted people’s attention with their advertisements. Today’s content marketing is not about distracting the customer; it’s to attract them with useful content.

You need to provide valuable, relevant and compelling content and deliver it consistently. People then grow relationships with you because they see you as the trusted source for that particular content. This can then lead to sales.

It can look like a daily blog, a podcast, a quarterly magazine, a weekly newsletter or even a TV show. You have to be the producer of the content and create an asset.

Content marketing happens when businesses start to think like publishers and deliver compelling content to a defined readership. You should position yourself as the go-to resource in your industry.

Listen to the show to find out why most people aren’t set up as publishers.

Where to start with a content strategy

Joe says it starts and ends with the same thing: “Who is your buyer?”

It’s important to have a deep understanding of whom you want to try to communicate with. Then you’ll need to answer:

  1. What’s your objective?
  2. What’s the outcome for the buyer?

For example, magazine’s goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs be more profitable.

inc com homepage

Every piece of their content makes you feel that they want to help you be more profitable as a business.

When this happens, you read more of that content, which can lead to sales for Inc. It drives their objectives.

You’ll hear the questions you need to ask yourself to help you figure out the “Why?”

The next step is to know what you can be the leading expert in. Joe believes that it’s where you tell your unique story that sets you apart from everyone else. Once you know your niche, you can start to build an editorial program around it and discover what tools work best to tell your story with.

Joe says the number-one reason why content marketing programs fail is because they stop. The other is because businesses talk about themselves. IBM research states that 85% of corporate blogs have 5 or fewer posts. Content is a promise to your customers and you have to keep that promise.

Joe states that content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll hear how long it took Joe and his team to make it work.

If you build a loyal audience, magic can happen in any business.

Listen to the show to learn why Coca-Cola built an emotional connection with their audience.

Content marketing to promote the Content Marketing World conference 

The huge profit-making machine for the Content Marketing Institute is their physical event, Content Marketing World.


Content Marketing World 2013.

The first thing they do is develop a daily blog post, which is very “how-to” oriented and inspirational. It’s a multi-author blog.

They have three editors on staff. One is the managing editor who oversees the content and works with different authors. There are also a proofreader who reviews everything and a content director. The managing editor works with influencers and thought leaders who want to get content onto Joe’s site. You’ll hear how this can become a win-win for both parties.

Joe’s content marketing mission statement is “Advancing the Art and Science of Content Marketing.” Sometimes they talk about things that they know will not get a lot of traffic, but they feel they should because it’s bigger than them.

Listen to the show to find out what has helped the Content Marketing Institute increase their subscriber base.

Social media and content 

Joe says that 10% of his business is consulting and he mainly consults with Fortune 1000 companies. The majority of the time it involves helping them with their content marketing strategy because their social is a mess.

Most of Joe’s customers create a magazine where the pages are blank. There’s no content strategy at all. In order for social to work, you must have interesting content that people want to share.

Before you go into any of the social channels, you have to think about buyers’ informational needs. Think about what their pain points are and how you’ll create a conversation through social that will not only make an impact on their lives, but also tie into your business.

You’ll discover why Joe advises you to not get into social media until you have a content strategy.

Listen to the show to find out how your business can move ahead in content marketing when it comes to social media.

Track and measure content marketing

There is a whole chapter in Joe’s book, Epic Content Marketing, on what businesses and marketers need to track to find out if their content marketing is working.

epic content marketing

Epic Content Marketing covers what you need to track.

If you’re a marketer in any size enterprise, whoever you report to only cares about three things when it comes to content.

  • Is it driving sales?
  • Is it reducing costs?
  • Is it creating happier customers?

Your objectives have to come from one of the above. It could be lead generation or customer retention. Whatever your goals are when it comes to content, it has to be one of these.

You need to ask yourself, “What’s different about the people who engage with our content versus those who don’t.”

At the Content Marketing Institute, they know that people who subscribe to their database for an average of 6 months or more buy at more frequent levels than those who don’t.

You’ll hear how it works for OpenView Venture Partners‘ content platform, OpenView Labs.

open view labs

OpenView Labs has a great content platform.

Listen to the show to find out the easiest way to discover whether you’re having an impact with your content.

Survival Tip: How Content Looks on Facebook

I’ve recently discovered a brand-new plugin called WP Open Graph by Nick Yurov that can help you radically improve your WordPress website content and how it appears on Facebook.

Facebook Open Graph is the technology behind the scenes that looks at content and tries to pull in the title, description and so forth.

When you install the plugin into WordPress, on every single post and page, it will show you a little summary of what the data will look like once it’s shared on Facebook. It’s called a Facebook Snippet Preview. You can then edit it. Underneath the preview it shows you the title and the description. It’s very powerful.

open graph plugin

The Facebook Snippet Preview in WordPress.

Another tool I want to share with you is the Facebook Debugger. You can paste in a URL and once you hit the Debug button, information will appear about that particular URL.

You want to look for the object properties. This is the type of article, the title, the graphic it will pull in and the description. In particular you want to look at the description. This plugin helps you control the title and the description.

You’ll learn what else makes these two tools so valuable to Facebook marketing.

Call in and leave your social media–related questions for us and we may include them in a future show.

Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how this works for you.

Other Show Mentions

Social Media Marketing World 2014 is officially open. It’s our physical mega-conference which is set to return to San Diego, California on March 26, 27 and 28.

In April of this year, over 1100 marketers from 31 countries attended. We had an incredible time and everybody loved it. You definitely want to mark your calendar. If you want to find out more click here.

smmworld 14

Social Media Marketing World 2014.

The slogan for the conference is “Networking, Discovery, Fun.”

Networking is a key component of this conference. It’s not like your typical conference. Networking is worked into every aspect.

The opening night party on March 26 will take place on a navy aircraft carrier, the USS Midway. You’ll have incredible opportunities to network with your peers and connect with people.

Also the month before the conference starts, there will be an exclusive LinkedIn group just for the people attending. This allows people to connect long before the conference.

After every keynote and lunch, there will be 45 minutes to 1 hour of dedicated networking time. There will also be networking exercises during the keynotes.

People have said that some of the connections they made at this conference have been absolutely astounding.

Some of the speakers we have already secured are Chris Brogan, Mari Smith, Michael Hyatt, Jay Baer, John Jantsch, Amy Porterfield, Mark Schaefer, Steve Farber, Laura Fitton, Lee Odden, Joe Pulizzi, Marcus Sheridan and many more.

Check out the amazing video testimonials from some of the people you respect and follow online and see what they have to say about this conference.

Discount tickets are available right now and they will go extremely fast. Check it out.

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

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What do you think? What are your thoughts on content marketing? Please leave your comments below.

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  • Ilkeston Web Design

    Will that WP OpenGraph plugin work with Gensis themes not using SEO plugins?

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  • Another great post, Michael! This is so crucial: “In order for social to work, you must have interesting content that people want to share.” I also absolutely agree with the advice to think about buyers’ informational needs. Content marketing really is about being an ally to your customers. The brand will shine through if value is provided.

  • I would give it a try as it should not have any interoperability issues (at least we had none)

  • Thanks Sarah!

  • Thanks Sarah…I believe if you start to position yourself as the “go to” resource for your customers, it changes your thinking on how to effectively market online. Most companies think about pitching first (which, in general, doesn’t work in social).

  • Definitely! I read something today about throwing in swag or small gifts your customers’ way (in addition to great content, resources) as a great way to connect on a more meaningful level. I think this goes right along with your notion!

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  • What I loved most about this episode is Joe’s comment that most businesses
    didn’t succeed in creating content because “they stopped”. Also, I loved
    your add Mike: nothing happens overnight… in order to build a network
    and succeed, you have to work for it. Start connecting with your
    audience by creating great content, connect with them not because you
    want to talk about your product but because you are giving helpful
    information for them to grow as well. Awesome episode Mike and Joe!

  • Thanks John…well, you are the man that knows all about building a massive network! Congrats on all your success my friend!

  • Thanks John!

  • Great episode Mike and Joe will definitely be trying out the WPopengraph tool. Loved the insight to share stories you stand for that make a difference in customers lives.Fully agree that a plan and objectives need to be set for your content as without measuring these aspects you won’t be able to adapt and expand.

  • Thanks Ravi and I hope that plugin is useful for you

  • Nori Lee

    Really like this article. Goal is original content that’s compelling and useful. Where am I going to find this? I have a very limited budget and my writing is major improvement. Need help!

  • Nori Lee

    Thanks Michael!

  • Great episode Mike and Joe. I really like how content marketing is shaping the industry and that we are moving away from being ‘distracting to the customers to attracting them with useful content’. As someone who has just embarked on a social media + content marketing strategy (a few months into it), I have definitely benefitted from articles from CMI and SME.

    And as we work our way into becoming the go-to guys our chosen niche, it was heartening to find out that CMI took a few years to really take off. It’s great to see someone succeed at it (it can be done!) and comforting to know that you probably went through similar pain/hard work in early stages like we are experiencing now (all that hard work can be worth it!).

  • Jayden Barbour

    Very interesting article. A good read. I consider content as one of the most important tools for marketing. But it’s a huge challenge. This made sense.

  • Thanks Zach…it took almost three years to really see the success we were looking for. Keep the faith my friend!

  • Hey Zach – Glad you find both of our publications useful. I’ve been watching Joe’s growth for a while and it’s been great to see the steady clime he’s been able to make. It’s very impressive and yes, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  • Hey Jayden – To true. Becoming a publisher is hard work, but VERY rewarding

  • I particularly love the line “content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.” So true. It does take time before one can establish a good name but if done right, everything is sure to pay off really well. Another thumbs up post, Michael!

  • Thanks Matt – Time to stretch before the big run 🙂

  • Great conversation, guys! Always love Joe’s emphasis on telling great stories. When we see a great story unfolding, our inner-5 year old can’t help but jump up, lock-in and wonder what’s going to happen next. It’s not an overstatement to say our entire civilization was built on great stories. They proven to be the best way to engage an audience since the first caveman recapitulated his last successful hunt using arcane scribblings on a stone wall.

    And to the point about the Chipotle ad. They really went for it there, but I’ve got to admit I like the honest version from Funny or Die better 🙂

  • peeter

    I can’t stand Stelzner’s voice. It sounds too old and depressing and monotonous. The voice talent should be hired to conduct the whole interviews.

  • shilpa

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. Yes, content marketing is the best strategy to attract people towards your blog or website. If we offer useful information presented in an engaging format to our readers, so they share our content with other people or they provide a link back to our website which increases visitors on our site.

  • Seriously? The fact that your time means so little to you that you would waste even 2 minutes of it to come to this page just to hate on Michael Stelzner says an awful lot more about you than Michael’s hosting style – which is fantastic, by the way … At least that’s what the tens of thousands of weekly listeners he has think – maybe they’re all wrong.

    The next time you’re tempted to stop by any page, let alone SME, just to be the hater of the day, please stop and think, “Will this message create value, build up and help move this person forward? … Or am I just looking to tear someone down to make myself feel important because this guy has 225,000 people on his list?” I don’t know the condition of your heart, but the tone of the comment would lead you to believe it is much more of the latter in this case. And that is truly sad. Because comments like these roll off the backs of successful people like what on a duck. But haters build their own unsuccessful prison cells brick-by-brick with each successive insult.

    Lastly, one may also consider constructing sentences in which the active voice is used much more prominently. Many people have found this way of communicating to be much efficacious as the subject being addressed is much more easily ascertained by the person to which the communication is addressed.

    Good day to you, sir.

  • peeter

    Sorry about my negative criticism. No harm intended. It’s probably only me who expects more energy and enthusiasm from the show-host to make the whole thing more motivating.

  • It’s all good, peeter. I know I sort of dropped the hammer on you, so my bad if I over-reacted. I’m just a huge fan of Mike’s work and felt like I should jump to his defense.

    It’s funny, though. I actually gave him similar feedback after his first show. In fact, many people said he needed to kick the energy up back then. And if you listen back through the archive, he really has come a long way. But if it’s still not where you’d like to see it, there’s a way to deliver that message to make sure it’s received well.

    Helpful & Constructive: Great content, Mike! Got a ton of takeaways. Especially liked the point about going big with your content via the Chipotle example. I would add, though, that I would love to hear you kick up your energy a notch. While I loved the content and takeaways, I had a hard time concentrating. But, then again, maybe that’s just your style and I either need to learn to roll with it or find a new podcast. Either way, thanks for all you do!

    Negative Criticism: Man, you’re a terrible host! Hire some voice talent – ASAP!

    The former builds up, adds value and offers constructive feedback maybe he hasn’t considered lately. The latter just makes you want to wince and try to move on with your day.

    At any rate, thanks for being open to my feedback, even if through a knee-jerk reaction I fell more on the negative end of the spectrum.

    Hope you have a great day, my friend!

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  • Michael

    What do you think of using command words like “Share this” on posts? I found it is extremely difficult to get a “share.” I posted cool pictures that relate to my theme and more… Not necessarily about my brand