By Joe Pulizzi published November 3, 2011

The Muppets and Content Marketing: 3 Things You May Be Missing

The Muppets are back!  The new Muppets Movie starring Jason Segel comes out this Thanksgiving.

You might now know this, but the Muppets’ comeback has been a long time brewing…and, of course, content marketing is at the heart of the efforts.

As corporate marketers, we can learn a lot from their recent efforts to get back on the map.  As we know, content marketing can be very complex, and we often forget to do those things that are most important.  Let’s take a look.

Expanding Your Net

Since announcing the new movie back in 2008, various Muppets have been seen on SNL, Nightline, and many others. This has driven awareness, not only about the movie, but that the Muppets are indeed back to forgotten audiences and even new audiences from around the globe.

What should you do? Guest blogging, guest webinars, blog commenting and speaking at partner events is necessary for your content marketing efforts to work. Think of this as activating your content.  Showing your thought leadership expertise to outside audiences is critical. And regardless of what other pundits say, you really have to market your content marketing.

Larger Content Packages

In the Content Marketing Institute’s most recent study (to be out shortly), 65% of businesses have a blog. That’s great, right?  The problem is, we get so fixated on regular, SEO-driven content that we forget about the larger content packages that will make a significant impact on your customers and prospects.

In 2009, the Muppets released The Diva Code: Miss Piggy on Life, Love and 10,000 Idiotic Things that Men Frogs Do to raving reviews. This was an excellent strategy to a specific buyer persona, Moms with small kids.

Where’s your big content package?  It could be a research report, a book, an executive guide, a series of short novels…whatever. Point is that, depending on the buying cycle, larger content packages, such as a book, can make all the difference in moving people through the content marketing funnel (more on the content marketing funnel in my new book – Managing Content Marketing).  If you are positioning yourself as the leading expert in a certain niche area, you must have a piece of content that defines you and your business.  Unfortunately, most businesses just don’t do this, relying on the smaller bytes of content.

Laser Focus on Your Expertise Area

The Muppets are all about parodies. They came back with a vengeance in this area with their rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody leveraging YouTube (now at over 24 million views).

What are you the leading expert in the world at? You need to put your stick in the ground and clearly take a leadership position on and around your expertise area. The best content marketers in the world focus on a key phrase or idea and hammer that home. We use content marketing. Hubspot has inbound marketing. David Meerman Scott is all about “Real-Time” and/or “New Rules”. GoToMeeting uses Workshifting.

What’s your content mission?  Are you laser focused on it, or are you distracted with all those SEO keywords you are chasing?

Don’t Get Distracted

This is not rocket science folks…but in my experience, most businesses don’t do these three simple things.  Make sure as you plan for 2012, you make sure you are sharing the wealth (use outside media channels with your content), reimagine your content into packages for different persona groups and get laser-focused on your core content mission, just like a trade magazine would.

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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  • CC Holland

    Another great post, Joe! I really love your point about the content package — think that’s an often-overlooked opportunity. One client of mine gained a lot of traction by curating a number of their blog posts on social-media optimization, packaged them up in a PDF, and marketed it to their user base as a downloadable social-media primer. Just a reminder that a big package that brings great value to the customer doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive to create.

    Thanks for keeping the conversation going!

  • Brian Slawin

    As always…great stuff and right to the point.

    In a similar Content Marketing vein, here’s our thoughts on “What the Wiggles Can Teach Us!:

  • Barry Feldman

    Awesome Joe. Talk about magnetic? I started playing the muppet video and my family suddenly gathered arround my like particles of metal. ‘Twas really great talking with you at BlogWorld LA. Hey your post speaks to subject of SEO fixation. I get into that in a humorous way here: Junta42 readers, check it out. Shout it out. Thanks.