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
The 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!
Scroll to the end of the article for links to important resources mentioned in this episode.
Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:
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.
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:
- What’s your objective?
- What’s the outcome for the buyer?
For example, Inc.com magazine’s goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs be more profitable.
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 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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Connect with Joe Pulizzi on Twitter or Content Marketing Institute.
- Check out Epic Content Marketing for a free chapter and a couple of free downloads.
- Find out more about Content Marketing World.
- Watch Chipotle‘s video The Scarecrow and Back to the Start.
- Check out Fiona Apple, who sang the song on The Scarecrow video.
- Read the article about how Chipotle agonized over the branding of their video.
- Take a look at OpenView Venture Partners‘ content platform, OpenView Labs and American Express’ OPEN Forum.
- Check out Charmin’s SitOrSquat app that rates public washrooms.
- Read more about Jonathan Mildenhall, who’s the chief content officer for Coca-Cola.
- Try WP Open Graph and the Facebook Debugger tool.
- Learn more about Social Media Marketing World 2014.
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What do you think? What are your thoughts on content marketing? Please leave your comments below.