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.

By joepulizzi published January 20, 2010

The Year of Content Marketing How

2008

The Year of Content Marketing What – Most marketers never heard the term and didn’t “get” it. Lots of explaining to do.

2009

The Year of Content Marketing Why – Marketers now knew what is was, but needed to convince their teams (and bosses) why it was so important (if you are not convinced, get the content marketing book).

2010

The Year of Content Marketing How – Marketers know what it is and why it’s so important. 2010 is the year we see major content marketing projects come to fruition (especially online). Marketers are talking content strategy and how content needs to be the center of their social media program.

I’ve been talking about the content marketing revolution for over a decade now.  It seems like it took 10 years for us to get to it.

We are in the middle of something amazing, whether you realize it or not.  Brands, small, medium and large, are the publishers of today and tomorrow.

Long live content marketing.

By joepulizzi published January 19, 2010

Does Branded Integration Really Work?

Thanks to Randall Beard, EVP and General Manager – Nielsen, for sharing this week’s guest post…

Instead of using your own content marketing to surround and reinforce your brand, what if you put someone else’s TV program content around it instead?  Branded

Integrations, done right, use TV program content to drive your brand.  The problem, though, is that most Branded Integrations come about by happenstance and not by use of proven tools and techniques.  Here’s how to successfully use Branded Integrations as part of your Content Marketing portfolio.

Continue Reading

By joepulizzi published January 7, 2010

How Long Should You Spend on Twitter Each Day?

Every speech I give to marketing professionals, I get asked one of two possible questions:

  1. How long do you spend on Twitter each day?, or
  2. How long should I spend using Twitter each day?

Bar none, this is the best response to using Twitter that I have heard – from Guy Kawasaki:

Question: How long do you spend on Twitter every day?

Answer: Asking me this is like asking Tiger Woods how much he plays golf. “It’s what I do.” If I’m on the computer, I’m on Twitter, and I’m on a computer eight hours per day.

After reading this from Guy, I realized he’s exactly right.  When I’m on the computer (which is most of the day), or using my iPhone (when I’m not using the computer), I’m on Twitter.

Twitter, as well as other social media, just becomes part of what you do as a marketing professional.  We have no choice anymore.  It just is.

And you know what…that’s okay by me.

By joepulizzi published December 22, 2009

100 Social Media & Content Marketing Predictions – The eBook


Thanks to our good friends at Zmags, we now have a 75-page eBook covering over 100 social media and content marketing predictions for 2010 from the most influential marketers in the world. You can view it here without signup!

Last week we released the 100 content marketing predictions for 2010, easily our most popular post of the year.

By joepulizzi published December 16, 2009

Marketing Shoelaces

No one seems exactly sure when, but shoelaces became popular sometime in the 20th century to better tighten shoes, replacing buckles and buttons (which were slow and cumbersome).

Shoelaces are odd to me.  The technology exists today that we can manufacture any type of shoe, dress, casual or sport, without the need for shoelaces.  There is no need to tighten shoes, because the shoe itself can loosen or tighten, depending upon the need.  Take a shoe like this I just purchased from Sketchers.  I could wear this shoe for literally any situation. And no shoelaces.Continue Reading

By joepulizzi published December 14, 2009

100 Social Media & Content Marketing Predictions for 2010

2010 Content Marketing PredictionsSome things amaze me, like this year’s social media and content marketing predictions list.  What does one sent email and two tweets equal?  Over 100 predictions from 60+ of the best and the brightest in marketing, content marketing, custom publishing and social media.  No kidding!  Just check out this list below.

…and just to be fair, we have listed the predictions by order of submission.  Congrats to Seth Godin for being Quick Draw McGraw.  For those of you who want to add your two cents, please do so in the comments.

Here are some of the key trends I found while reading through our expert predictions:Continue Reading

By joepulizzi published December 3, 2009

Why Print isn’t going anywhere for a long, long time…

We’ll be here someday with electronic, but this makes the case for why print is still an essential tool for most of us.  Enjoy!



By joepulizzi published November 30, 2009

Crowdsourcing Content Marketing – Oxymoron or Killer App?

Thanks to Rick Liebling, a long-time Junta42 supporter, for this provocative guest post.  Connect with Rick @eyecube.

While those of us who are believers in Content Marketing have been diligently spreading the word, proponents of crowdsourcing have been screaming from the rooftops with all the subtlety of a tent show revival about the buzzword of 2010. But is crowdsourcing really all its cracked up to be? Can brands really harness it to their benefit? As a marketer your resources, both human and financial, are limited, so where should you be looking to shift your time and money?

It’s important to understand what Content Marketing and Crowdsourcing are, what they can (and can’t do) and how they can be used (and misused). I think the biggest area of, if not confusion then perhaps misunderstanding, is with crowdsourcing.  Right now a lot of brands are using crowdsourcing like a cudgel instead of a scalpel. They are trying to grab as many consumers as possible, throw a challenge, any challenge, at them and see if they can catch lightning in a bottle.

Is that how you would crowdsource open-heart surgery? What about automotive engine repair? Of course not. You’d try to gather a large selection of pre-qualified people for the specific task at hand. So, if you are a brand marketer and you want to produce effective, relevant content marketing, and you want to do so via crowdsourcing, you have to look at this from a different perspective.

You need to be more strategic and a little more thoughtful. Whether your product is a mass product or has a very specific target, you can identify a niche consumer. Sure, everybody loves your fizzy beverage, but maybe you want to target college students. Why open your crowdsourcing contest to everyone then? Why not target college kids and more importantly, make the content relevant to college kids. How about crowdsourcing live music reviews from college campuses all around the country. This would engage your target consumer with relevant content and eliminate submissions from sources you don’t want and aren’t targeted.

The real power of crowdsourcing is in focusing on a group of experts, not a group of generalists. If you’re a brand marketer who is a believer in content marketing but hears the siren call of crowdsourcing, go for it, but be smart.

By joepulizzi published November 25, 2009

The Pros and Cons of User-Generated Content

 


Thanks to Dara Solomon, Community Manager at FunAdvice.com, for putting this timely piece together on user-generated content. More and more, marketers are asking how or if user-generated content should fit into their overall content marketing strategy. Dara provides a good overview below to help you in your decision making.

As the Internet continues to sprawl, entangle with, and seemingly overtake many aspects of our lives, different issues also begin to reel us in. Something interesting to think about is the debate on websites using “user-generated content” (UGC) versus “traditional” content.

The concept is simple: user-generated content includes any site where the user (that’s you or possibly your customer) can write and publish content, whether it is video content, blog posts, advice websites, and the like. No Rupert Murdoch involved there. Contrarily, “traditional” content includes pages run by local and national media, business pages, and any website where the content was professionally written, edited and published (your content marketing).

Working for a site, FunAdvice.com, that contains almost entirely UGC, it’s starkly apparent in my daily life that UGC has both pros and cons.

Pros of UGC:

  • Voice:  As we all witnessed, the Internet played a huge role in the 2009 Iranian election protests. Whereas without UGC, much of the protests would have been peripherally covered (through Iranian traditional news only), UGC allowed blogger Joe Schmo in Iran to post his protests for the world to read. It’s not debatable that UGC gives people around the world a voice, whereas traditional content does nothing of the sort. As for the inherent debate on Democracy, maybe later. For now, a definite pro.
  • Upcoming: The current teenage generation uses the Internet. According to a late 2007 Pew study, 94% of American teenagers polled use the internet/email. As this occurs, teens are watching TV (traditional content) less. UGC seems to be the way to go if trying to hook the future generation.
  • Simpler: It could be argued that UGC is easier from a site owner’s perspective– considering content is written for you rather than by you. I’ll leave you a minute to ponder that; it’ll come up again later.
  • Self-policing: Not only is it possible to not have to write much content, there are ways to get the community to actually police themselves. Over at FunAdvice, we use volunteer moderators to help keep abuse and spam at bay.

Sounds good and dandy, right? So why isn’t every website based on user-generated content?

Cons of UGC:

  • Credibility: For anyone who has asked a fairly simple question on an advice site and received a myriad of different answers, this issue comes up immediately. Who are these people generating this content, and what makes them experts? How much wrong (or even dangerous) information are they disseminating to the world through their blogging and incorrect advice?
  • Bias: Also seems to be a no-brainer. Unless the site is a specifically-stated political party site, bias isn’t explicitly told in UGC. It’s up to the reader to gauge which information doesn’t hold bias. And many people aren’t capable of this determination.
  • Moderation: Unless using self-policing options (see Pros), there is an issue of moderating UGC sites (especially advice sites). How much work is involved with making sure illegal or abusive activity isn’t published on your watch? And is the work worth it for the possibly biased and incredible information?
  • Ownership: When examining traditional content, it’s easy to see who the owner is (Rupert Murdoch). Ok enough of those jokes. In all seriousness, who actually owns the content on user-generated sites? The host? The user who wrote the content? Both? Intellectual property laws regarding the Internet have a long way to go to catch up with us today.

So where do you personally stand on this debate? Is UGC the wave of the future and a possibility for your company, or just a way to spread junk en masse? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

By joepulizzi published November 18, 2009

10 Corporate Blogging Tips and Strategies

Ambal from Click Documents asked me if I had any tips/strategies for corporate blogging.  The presentation below is a corporate blogging basics presentation useful for beginning bloggers.  That said, here are the main takeaways.  For more indepth understanding of a content marketing strategy, this content marketing white paper will help.

  1. A blog is just a tool, nothing more, nothing less. BUT, it can be a powerful tool to distribute consistent and valuable information to your prospects and customers.  Be sure to focus on the informational needs of your customers, and provide helpful content around those needs. The more niche the better.  Find your expertise area and own it!
  2. Not sure how to get started with a robust social media presence? First, focus on your blog and use that as the magnet to attract customers from social networks to your site.  You cannot have a social media strategy without first understanding your content strategy.
  3. Match your expertise areas with the needs of your customers.  Every situation where you have expertise and your customer has an informational need is a piece of content that leads to a larger content strategy.
  4. There are thousands of blogging platforms.  Pick the easiest to implement. WordPress and TypePad would be my first and second choices. Larger organizations may want to look into Compendium.
  5. Get your blogging ears on and listen.  Use tools such as Google Alerts, Twitter Search and Tweetdeck to actively listen to your community.
  6. Where are your customers hanging out?  Find relevant industry blogs using Twitter, Google Alerts and Google Blog Search and begin to read those blogs. A bit later, start to engage and comment with helpful tips.  Once you gather a presence on those blogs, guest blogging opportunities should be considered.  Make a list of at least 10-15 blogs.
  7. Automatically spread your message.  Use a service like Twitterfeed to automatically post your blog updates to Twitter and Facebook.
  8. Choose a consistent schedule.  Whether it’s once, twice a week or even daily, pick a schedule and stick to it.  This blog posts 2-3 times per week and has been doing so for almost three years now.  Of all these points, this may be the most important.
  9. Track your performance. Use Google Analytics to monitor which posts are being engaged in the most and where people are coming from.  Do more of the posts that are read, less of the ones that are not.
  10. Length and style tips:
  • Shorter is often better (250 words).  Get to the point and make it actionable.  Link out to ideas that need more explanation.
  • Bullets/Lists do better
  • Titles are like magazine covers…their role is to get people to open them.  Work on titles that get people to read your post.
  • Integrate video or presentations (embed) whenever possible.  Mix it up!
  • Actively link to other bloggers.  They will notice.
  • Proofread!