By Joe Pulizzi published March 15, 2011

The 3 Forgotten Tactics of Content Marketing

First, I read this post from Seth Godin that made me think about the lost opportunity by many marketers, so focused on new media, that they forget the content marketing tactics that customers are actually engaging in.  But more on that in a second.

Second, I spent the evening talking to HVAC contractors about our small-business blogging service SocialTract. I had individual conversations with over 30 owners and managers about their social media efforts (or lack there of).

Across the board, these small business owners were asking about how they could leverage the bright, shiny objects such as Facebook and Twitter, but weren’t doing the blocking and tackling of content marketing.

Question: How do you communicate with your customers on a regular basis?

Answer: We used to have a enewsletter, but we haven’t done that in years.

Question: Why did you stop producing it?

Answer: We just didn’t have time to create the content.

Question: Do you already have a Facebook page set up?  If so, what do you talk about on it?

Answer: Yes, we just set up our page, be we aren’t doing anything with it.

Question: Do you have a content plan for Facebook?

Answer: No.

This is typical of many small businesses that are working the business.  For small and large businesses looking at the bright, shiny objects of social media, we advise them to focus on the blocking and tackling.

  1. Continuous Content Creation – Articles and posts developed (most likely through a blog) on a consistent basis can serve as the core of your content marketing program.  Informational posts just a couple times a week can fuel your search engine optimization strategy, can be your source for social media content, and can be the center of your enewsletter content. Start there.
  2. Enewsletters – What if your prospects come to your website but aren’t ready to buy?  How can you touch your customers on a continuous basis without selling them? Even with all the spam clutter, relevant and consistent enewsletters are still opened and read.
  3. Print – As long as there is a dedicated channel called the Postal Service that distributes to business and consumer customers, the print channel should not be ignored.  Almost any size company can afford a print newsletter or print custom magazine to consistently deliver to customers and/or prospects.

So, as you and your marketing team navigate through Foursquare, Quora, Mobile Marketing, Gaming and more, don’t forget that blogs, enewsletters and print magazines are not dead.  Actually, they may be your greatest, untapped opportunity.

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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  • http://www.acSellerant.com Bob Leonard

    Joe,

    I would add that a good content strategy, AND consistent creation of quality content, can also be the foundation of a social media campaign. The content feeds Facebook, Twitter, etc. and the social networks drive traffic back to the mothership – the blog/website.

  • http://www.billeebrady.com Billee Brady

    Hi Joe,

    It really does come down to consistent quality content doesn’t it…
    I have found a huge difference in my business when I got real with my content creation and have stayed consistent.
    Rome wasn’t built in a day just like a business can’t be built over night, one brick at a time.

    Thanks,
    Billee Brady

  • http://engage.tmgcustommedia.com/ andrew

    Just yesterday I had a similar conversation with a group of business leaders. They were asking what new tools and technologies were on the horizon that they needed to be aware of. I mentioned a few, but the conversation turned back to the basics: people have had the same email address for years, most people don’t move physical residence that often, but these same people have probably been in and out, active and inactive on a variety of “new” platforms. Build your core around the basics.

    Great stuff, Joe.

  • http://www.thesaleslion.com Marcus Sheridan

    Good points Joe. Personally, I’m a huge fan of focusing on one social media and becoming great at it, and then dipping our toes in others once we get going. One of the biggest problems I see from biz owners is that they sign up for a bunch of platforms but do absolutely nothing with it…and this, of course, makes no sense.

    When I got into content marketing w/ my small biz, I decided to have the best blog in my industry. We didn’t do LinkedIn, or FB, or Twitter….but we blogged like champions. And because of it our small business exploded due to web traffic and the branding benefits that came with such content production.

    Good stuff,

    Marcus

  • Lauren

    Great post! For social media marketers, it’s easy to get swept up by all the new and emerging networks that content creation gets put onto the back burner. This is a great reminder that being diligent with our blogs can actually make our workdays easier!

    Here’s a related blog post I recently wrote: http://community.advanceweb.com/blogs/cc_1/archive/2011/02/01/6-reasons-why-print-rules-in-the-digital-age.aspx