Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi considers himself the poster boy for content marketing. Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe evangelizes content marketing around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books, Managing Content Marketing and Get Content Get Customers. Joe's latest book is Epic Content Marketing (McGraw-Hill). If you want to get on his good side, send him something orange. For more on Joe, check out his personal site or follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

By joepulizzi published December 10, 2007

Is Data-Driven Content the Next Killer Marketing App?

More and more, I’ve been running into businesses that are using Internet data to drive their content marketing efforts. What this means is that instead of an organization creating content for their websites in the form of text, audio or video, they are generating content by extracting information (data) accessible on the web.

Two excellent examples of this are Webbed Marketing and Hubspot. Webbed Marketing, an internet marketing company, created a very interesting tool on their website called the Webbed-O-Meter. The Webbed-O-Meter measures the amount of buzz your website is getting in the blogosphere by pulling in content from Yahoo! SiteExplorer,
Wikipedia,
Technorati,
NewsPad (PRWeb),
Feedster,
IceRocket,
Del.icio.us,
Digg,
Google,
and Google Groups.

Junta42 scored a not-too-pleasant 17.8 out of 100. According to the Webbed-O-Meter:

“A small hive, but a start. There are a handful of folks online that are Buzzing about this site. Interested in creating more Buzz? Contact Webbed Marketing and let us help you get people talking.”

Regardless of the score, I love the concept, and the idea of attracting customers by offering a unique data formula set that creates unique content.

Internet Marketing Software company, Hubspot, has created a similar type of data-driven tool called the Website Grader. Website Grader pulls information from around the web to generate a report that measures your website against all others graded with the service. Here are Junta42′s results for Website Grader:

“A website grade of 91 for www.junta42.com means that of the thousands of websites that have previously been submitted to the tool, our algorithm has calculated that this site scores higher than 91% of them in terms of its marketing effectiveness.  The algorithm uses a proprietary blend of over a dozen different variables, including search engine data, website structure, approximate traffic, site performance, and others.”

I’ve personally used Website Grader for about six months, both for myself and for clients. It’s an incredibly helpful tool. Hubspot collects an email address every time you do the report (so they can send you a link to the final report). Since Hubspot has had my email they’ve notified me of their periodic educational webcasts. I’ve attended a few (which were both excellent), and have recently looked into purchasing their software package.

Now that’s what I call content marketing.

I don’t know if data-driven content will ultimately be the killer app, but it is definitely something that organizations need to consider as part of their total online content marketing and custom publishing program.

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By joepulizzi published December 7, 2007

myFord Magazine Special Issue Spells Disaster

Last week I received a special issue of myFORD (myFordmag.com), Ford Motor’s owner magazine, entitled “New Directions”. First off, I’ve owned a variety of Fords over the past few decades, and they’ve all treated me well. But frankly, I’m not really sure what they are trying to do with the latest issue of their custom magazine. If the goal is “sell, sell, sell…feature, feature, feature” then they are doing a good job. myFORD has never been an elite lifestyle magazine (actually, it’s always been pretty poor), but this one may take the cake.

There is no need to go into great detail on what’s wrong with myFord magazine. It takes just one analysis.

There are 17 separate content sections in the magazine (mini-features, sidebars, etc.). Of the 17 areas, Ford is mentioned in the title or first sentence of 14 of them. What this means is that the magazine has nothing to do with customers…it’s all about Ford.  Just take a look:

“…Ford Focus is a sporty car with serious smarts…”
“…at Ford, hydrogen fuels are starting to hit full speed…”
“…Ford has received more 5-star crash ratings than any other…”
“…the Ford Personal Safety System responds in milliseconds…”
“…Ford is continually improving its vehicles…”

I’ll stop there. I’m sure you are wondering what they did in the other three sections that did not mention Ford in the title or first line? One mentions the Focus (a Ford Brand), one mentions the Escape (another Ford Brand), and the last one is a short sidebar on “What Five Star Means”. Wow, no mention of Ford…until the 4th sentence (and the big Ford Taurus Trophy next to it).Continue Reading

By joepulizzi published December 5, 2007

How Poor Marketing Kills Great Content

I was reading some excellent articles on the web that brought me back to a key issue faced by most marketers today – the marketing of content.

Look at it this way…the majority of companies (yes, including media companies) that have been creating quality content for years never had to worry about marketing their content. They had targeted databases and targeted direct mail lists and knew exactly where their prospects and customers are at all times. Marketing time and resources had always been used for brand advertising, sales initiatives, event marketing, direct marketing, etc., not to market the content. But today, since the average company spends almost a quarter of their marketing spend on content (according to the Custom Publishing Council), how can a company put so many resources behind something and not market it effective? Well, it’s happening a lot.  If that’s your situation, this is a must read.

MediaWeek’s recent feature on “Is Social Media Killing the Campaign Microsite?” brought attention to the fact that the microsite (or content web portal…content microsite) might be going the way of the 30-second spot. The author, Brian Morrissey, states that “the growth of social media is causing marketers to realize they cannot expect consumers to always seek them out.”

Social media is just one aspect to this issue. Ever-changing buyer behavior and expectations are another. Regardless of the reasons, custom publishing content cannot be marketed the way it was in the past.

Let’s take a look at the traditional custom publishing or content marketing campaign:

  1. Create glossy 32+ page magazine.
  2. Mail magazine to targeted list of customers and prospects.
  3. Upload content to the magazine microsite just before the print copies are delivered.
  4. Repeat process in 3 months.

I may be simplifying this just a bit, but this is how 99% of the custom projects are produced. This is so five years ago.

It’s Not All About You

I’ve been keeping up with the postings from the folks at PandemicBlog recently and picked up on this review of an article by Kevin Nalts on best practices for using viral videos.  Kevin, one of THE experts in viral marketing with video, posted in the comments and they struck me as something so simple, but something most content marketers haven’t realized yet. Kevin says…

“Would you go to Hersheys.com to watch funny videos? Probably not. Would you watch Hershey-sponsored videos via YouTube? Much better chance.  It’s based on when pharmaceutical marketers wanted their brand site to be the “ultimate destination for people who have condition x.” Puleez-just go syndicate or advertise on WebMD.”

This is true for not just video, but all your content that can be “webified”. Heck, I’m a huge fan of the microsite. The microsite is not dead, it’s simply just one way out of many that you need to connect and communicate with your customers.

There are no glass ceilings or content gates or, God forbid, concerns over where your content ends up. Don’t be blind that, no matter how you promote your content, that people will just come and engage with your content.

Less Content, More Marketing

This is essentially the key, and there is no better example to this than in blogging.  Successful blogging, to most people,  is about frequency. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Said best by Eric Kintz at the mpdailyfix, blogging is not about “how often” but about how the blogger participates in the community. The same can be said for all of your web-based content. However you or your company are involved in physical communities in your industry, you need to double those efforts on the web.

I’ve had actual conversations with three industry experts this week about their web content (two marketers, one media professional). Each of them couldn’t figure out why they weren’t getting more traffic. Outside of the basic SEO fixes, the majority of it came down to poor marketing, not poor content. When I asked, “How are you marketing your content?” it was like I asked them if they were the missing gunman on the grassy knoll. And please, there is more to marketing your website than a little SEO and pay-per-click.

Here’s the Point: Before you create any more “great content“, figure out how you are going to market it FIRST.

A More Fitting Example

Let’s end where we started, with the traditional custom magazine example. For the basic quarterly magazine project, here is one way to look at how to actually get the most “bang for your buck” out of your content, and truly create multiple avenues for qualified prospects and customers to reach you.

  1. Record audio and video of interviews for the magazine if possible for later repurposing.
  2. Begin news release schedule before the magazine comes out. Target three or four key topics that affect your customers and the industry (based on the magazine content). The release link should take them to the magazine subscription or digital magazine subscription page. Incentive could be to get a free subscription to the print magazine or newsletter.
  3. Discuss the magazine on your corporate blog. Get your editor to post some of the key findings/issues.  If you don’t have a corporate blog, create one on your magazine microsite.
  4. Sent out news releases through a keyword-optimized service such as prweb.
  5. Post videos of interviews to YouTube and other targeted video portals specific to your industry. Upload audio to microsite.  Possibly research podcast directories relevant to your industry.
  6. Print and mail glossy 32+ page magazine.
  7. Sent digital magazine version to the international audience or domestic audience you didn’t want to spend printing and postage on.
  8. Make sure all articles have their own HTML pages on your microsite. Be sure each article has social media capabilities such as letting people add to Facebook, Digg, or StumbleUpon, to name a few.
  9. Be sure to Stumble! each article and choose the proper category for the article. Say, for example, the article goes best in agriculture, those people who have tagged agriculture as a keyword may see your article when they use StumbleUpon.
  10. Provide something remarkable and different on your microsite for download. This does two things: 1) continues the conversation with your current customers, or 2) gives you the information on prospects so you can begin a conversation with them. Something remarkable may be a free eBook about the 10 trends in your industry, or free white paper on some new cutting edge technology. Keep the sales pitch out.  Education only at this point.
  11. Be sure to make RSS feeds available for your web content. I use FeedBurner.
  12. Continue the news release program pushing to the videos, or eBook, or key articles. Remember, news releases aren’t for getting press, they are for building key links and for bloggers and influencers to find your site. Industry bloggers are key to your magazine (believe it or not).
  13. Upload articles to key vertical portals such as smallbusinessbrief.com for small business, Sphinn for SEO/SEM and Junta42 for content marketing.
  14. And if you are really on the cutting edge, create a Facebook page around your magazine or your company and promote within that vehicle. Patrick Shaber provides an example of the possibilities of this, and how a customer of Pragmatic Marketing actually set one up for them. To heck with controlling your own content.

There are more, but this gives you an idea of the marketing that should be happening around your relevant and valuable content. Think of it this way…how much content have you or your organization created that you felt was so valuable but was only seen by one group of people, or possibly not engaged in at all. Marketing problem, not content problem.

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By joepulizzi published December 4, 2007

A Useful Content Marketing Checklist

Pete Shemilt from the new UK blog Relevant and Valued created an interesting content marketing checklist that is worth a look. According to Pete, who created the checklist from a combination of our eBook and information from Client Path Marketing, “The framework can be used to explore which content marketing opportunities are most relevant for your organization and business.”

What I like about this new checklist is the ability to choose the most appropriate content marketing device depending on the goal, taking a more broad term like “lead generation” and using more concrete terms such as acquire, convert, retain, grow, recruit and amplify.

Ultimately, in this new age of uncertainty for marketers, testing and experimentation is key (as Pete suggests). Possibly more helpful in the future is to take a chart like this and offer degrees of tactical importance. For example, if your goal is retention, is a print magazine more powerful than website content, or even is the combination of both more powerful than any individual tactic? Does it depend on the type of customer, or specific market? These are the questions that have no concrete answers…and until we get some hard and fast research, testing may be are only answer.


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By joepulizzi published November 29, 2007

The Big Idea Won’t Fix Your Marketing…think Small and Frequent

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The December 3rd issue of BusinessWeek featured an article about Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts, and the company’s struggles to significantly grow revenue. More than anything, this article discusses the transformation that Saatchi and other large agencies are undergoing to stay relevant.

Times have clearly changed, and agencies, as well as traditional media companies, are struggling to find their way. The article states:

“For most of the 20th century the so-called creatives ruled the industry. They didn’t worry about where or how an ad ran. They didn’t analyze market niches. They were about Big Ideas that would connect a brand, emotionally, with millions of consumers. Today, you might say, the
Small Idea is ascendant. Ads are targeted at individuals or communities of consumers. That’s because the media universe is so fragmented–into blogs, social networks, television, magazines, and so on–that finding the right medium is fast becoming more important than the message itself. “

Couple of takeaways here. First, most agencies and creatives I know still search and believe in the big idea. I believe all humans do, to some extent. We believe and have faith that all our problems (and in this case, communication challenges) have one great and almighty solution. Sometimes, they do. But in media and marketing, this very rarely happens. Today, it’s never just one big idea.

Look at it this way. If a heart attack victim survives and is on the road to recovery, it’s not one thing that brings her back to health. It’s many little things, accomplished and executed over many days, weeks and months. It’s eating better, exercising regularly, maintaining a more positive outlook on life, smiling more…and so on and so forth. If you did just one of these, it would be ineffective. If you did all of them, just once, that’s no good either. No “big idea” fix.

Now look at today’s marketing. If you have a customer communication challenge, is one big idea going to fix that? Not in the least. It won’t be fixed by a glam-packed 30-second spot, or print campaign or even the integrated strategy itself.

Here’s the solution for 99% of the businesses out there: It’s not one big idea but a series of small, ongoing conversations with your customers, distributed through the media your customers use. This requires intimate knowledge of your customer, and a determination to leave your customer, on each occasion, in better shape than you originally found them. Instead of one big bang, it’s one brick per day that over the course of weeks, months and years builds a house, a true brand relationship with your customer.

This is done by communicating great content to your customer that helps them become, not necessarily emotionally tied to you, but intellectually tied to your brand. Educating your customers is probably the single greatest gift you could give them.

Second point, specific to this quote: “…finding the right medium is fast becoming more important than the message itself.” I’m not sure anyone really has the answer for this, but I’d position that it’s neither. The most important is finding the right customer. The customer dictates both the medium and the message. Without the perfect concoction of both, the communication effort will fail.

To some extent we are all suckers for the big fix. Who really wants to create ongoing, educational content for customers anyhow? It’s too much work. Yes, it may be too much work, but it sure does work.


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By joepulizzi published November 27, 2007

Facebook: Ads Still Interrupt, Even if they Come with a Photo of My Sister

I was reading Danny Sullivan’s article “Forget Facebook. Search ads are the real revolution” and couldn’t get over the point that advertising, even in it’s most targeted form, is an interruption.

Just in case you haven’t heard, Facebook has been receiving some criticism over their new advertising platform. The digital content blog has a good 3 step description of the new program. In looking this over, there are a lot of opportunities for brands to get involved, but the one that is intriguing is the integration of your friend’s referrals.  Saul Hansell from the NYTimes puts it this way:Continue Reading

By joepulizzi published November 26, 2007

Association of Publishing Agencies’ Customer Publishing Awards 2007 Announced

The Association of Publishing Agencies (APA), the UK organization focused on custom publishing and content marketing, announced their annual winners of their customer publishing awards. The grand award (customer publishing solution of the year) went to Boots’ (Britain’s leading pharmacy) parenting club magazine, published by Redwood.

The APA Customer Publishing Awards are focused on effectiveness, while their Olive Awards are more focused on creativity.

Below is a listing of all the winners. Congrats to all.

Customer Publishing Solution of the Year – Parenting Club Magazine, Boots
produced by Redwood.

Most Effective Automotive Title – Today, Tomorrow, Toyota produced by Sunday.

Most Effective Finance Title – Roar, Liontrust produced by Cedar Communications.

Most Effective Travel and Leisure Title – About the
House, Royal Opera House produced by BBC Customer Publishing.

Most Effective Membership Title – Parenting Club Magazine, Boots produced by Redwood.

Most Effective Public Sector Title – Camouflage, British Army produced by Haymarket
Network.

Most Effective Internal Communication – The Job, The Metropolitan Police produced by Seven Squared.

Most Effective Business-To-Business Title – Contact, Royal Mail produced by Redwood.

Most Effective Consumer Publication
(Retail) – ASOS.com Magazine, ASOS.com produced by Seven Squared.

Most Effective Consumer Publication (Non Retail) – Sky Movies, BSkyB produced by Future Plus.

International Publication of the Year – Land Rover Onelife, Land Rover produced by
Redwood.

Specialist Communication of the Year – Food 4 Thought, British Heart Foundation produced by John Brown.

Online Publishing Solution of the Year – HondaracingF1.com, Honda Racing produced by John Brown.

Launch of the Year – A
Journal of Interest, Coutts produced by Seven Squared.

Integrated Marketing Solution of the Year – One Army, British Army Recruiting Group produced by Haymarket Network.

Designer of the Year – Tan Parmar, LIV, Volvo produced by
Redwood.

Journalist of the Year – Claire Wrathall, High Life, British Airways produced by Cedar Communications.

Editor of the Year – Zac Assemakis, Land Rover Onelife, Land Rover produced by Redwood.

By joepulizzi published

Content Marketing: Driving Customer Growth through Content

Just wrote a “basics” article on Content Marketing for the About.com: Online Advertising site by Cory Treffiletti.

The article reviews a bit about what content marketing is, what companies are doing it and in what form (with specific links to examples), how to integrate content marketing into your overall marketing plan, and how to start your own content marketing plan.

Check it out when you get a chance. Also, tool around the site a bit.  Cory provides some excellent information on online media buying.

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By joepulizzi published November 25, 2007

3 Steps to Initiating a Successful Online Content Marketing Program

I talk a lot on this blog about the importance of integrating content into your overall marketing program, and the various media outlets available for your corporate content. In this post, I’d like to focus not on why a content marketing focus is important, but how to implement one step-by-step.

Many businesses, especially small businesses, may not have the financial resources to create a glossy custom magazine program, but all companies can initiate a low-cost, effective online content marketing program today.

Here are initial 3 steps to creating an effective online content marketing program. This will cover the start-up phase. We’ll cover execution in another post.

1. Determine which organizational goals will be affected by the content program.

An effective online content marketing program must directly tie to the overall objectives of your organization in order to be successful. Don’t get into creating content because it’s in style. Do it because it truly helps your customer and, in turn, your business. Here are some answers that I have actually heard before from marketing professionals that want to launch custom publishing programs:

  • “We want to drive more traffic to the Web site”.
  • “Our competitors are doing it, so we need to do it as well”.
  • “We’d really like to win an award for this”.
  • “We have tons of great information in this company. We need to tell the world about all the wonderful things we are doing”.

Some of the above may sound reasonable to you. The problem with each of them is that they are not measurable and don’t consider the customer for a second. How does driving more traffic to your Web site accomplish your organizational goals? Just because your company has lots of “great” information, does that mean that telling the story will bring you more revenue? Not in and of itself.

Most of the key problems with a content program result in a clear misunderstanding of organizational goals. So, let’s start there. Organizational goals must be two things, specific and customer-focused. Here are a few examples of organizational goals:

  • Increase our number of domestic widget-line software customers by 20%.
  • Generate an average of 10% revenue growth in the top 20% of customers in Latin America.
  • Sell 10 consulting packages to new customers in 2008.

The above may seem simple, but it’s amazing how many marketing organizations don’t bring these types of goals to the table when creating a content program. So, before you launch any content program, be sure to list out your key organizational goals. Once that is complete, understand which ones your are trying to affect with the online content program.

2. Determine the informational needs of the buyer.

Most people want to move directly into creating the goals for the content program. Makes sense for it to be that way, right? Now that you understand the organizational goals, and have chosen which one or ones will be affected by the content program, we can come up with some clear and measurable content marketing tactics. Right? Wrong.

Let me give you an example that is more personal. Let’s say that you have a daughter who you want to shape into the next Tiger Woods. So, a reasonable goal for you (Earl Woods) would be for your daughter to win the junior nationals. Since that is your goal, you create a plan-of-action that includes finding a personal golf coach for your daughter, signing her up for the junior league program, as well as buying her the latest in golf equipment. Sound reasonable?

Unfortunately, when you created the plan, you didn’t consult the customer on what you want them to be, or what THEY need for THEIR success model. What if your daughter doesn’t like golf? What if she likes golf, but doesn’t want to be in competitive sports? What if she’s built for basketball, or engineering? Worse yet, you were so busy planning the strategy, you didn’t realize she was left-handed.

This may seem like a terrible example, but this exact issue comes up in organizations all the time. Businesses create specific content so that customers react in very specific ways. Without a clear understanding of the customer’s information needs, any reaction that is close to the end goal is pure dumb luck.

Successful businesses already have a pretty good understanding of their core buyer. In order to create an effective content program, you need to take it a step further. Businesses with content marketing programs create content that is supposed to do very specific things. Just think how pointless this would be if you didn’t know what information the customer needs to make a better buying decision…a buying decision that ultimately leads back to the organization’s overall goals.

Understand your customer by doing comprehensive research. Comprehensive research does not necessarily mean expensive. Think of your research as including the following:

  • Phone calls and in-person meetings with customers. Also include those people that you think should be customers (what I call “shutouts”).
  • Zoomerang or SurveyMonkey email surveys to customers and prospects.
  • Discussions with your customer service and sales department.

By doing the above, you’ll be able to create a buyer persona for your target customer, and a true understanding of what information they NEED that will effectively get you to your goals.

3. Determine what you want your customer to do and why this helps the business.

Have you ever asked someone who owns a company what their Web site is for? Most answers are scary and revolve around the ultimate response that is “because everyone needs a Web site”. Even those companies that believe their Web site drives revenues for their business can rarely define exactly how.

Content marketing programs are no different. Organizations create custom magazines, newsletters, microsites, podcast series, etc. for all kinds of reasons. Many know exactly what they do and are supposed to do. Unfortunately, many others do not.

Before you initiate and create the content for your online content plan, make sure of the following:

  • The content plan specifically drives the organizations’ goals.
  • The action(s) you want the customer to take are in some way measurable.
  • The content is based on your buyer research about their informational needs.

If you have each of these components, then you can create very specific goals for your content program. Some of these goals will be easy to link to your overall goals, such as a business transaction. Others will be just a piece of the overall pie (that keep you going in the right direction). Examples of these may be:

  • Downloading a white paper to extract more customer information.
  • Signing up for an enewsletter or ezine to begin creating a relationship with a prospect.
  • Trial offer or demo.

Today, most organizations call these instances a conversion. Whatever you call them, make them specific and measurable in some way. Even print programs can measure conversions through group A/B benchmarking studies, or specific calls to action that drive customers to web landing pages.

In Summary…

Before launching a content program for your organization (business, association, non-profit, foundation, etc.), follow these three steps first:

  1. Have a clear understanding of the organizational goals first.
  2. Understand the informational needs of the buyer.
  3. Create a content plan that is specific and measurable…one that directly speaks to the organization’s goals and an understanding of the customer.

By doing this, you’ll be ready for the next phase of the plan, the step-by-step guide to executing an online content marketing plan. I’ll be reviewing this over the next week or so.

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By joepulizzi published November 20, 2007

Content Marketing: Direct Marketing with a Higher Purpose

I’ve always explained the definition of content marketing in chunks.  I usually lead in with a quick definition like “editorial-style content delivered from organizations to customers through all types of media channels”, or something like that. Sounds too textbook, doesn’t it? Then I’d give a few examples. Then, if they still don’t get it, I say “have you seen the airline magazines?” That usually does it.

Well, over the last few weeks, I’ve started using a new definition, “Content marketing is direct marketing with a higher purpose”. People seem get that right away. I just got off the phone with someone who works in the direct marketing industry and they immediately got it. “Oh yeah, more than the offer, you are trying to build a relationship”. Yes!!!

Let’s take this a step further.  Here is the definition of direct marketing on Wikipedia:

“Direct marketing is a sub-discipline and type of marketing. There are two main definitional characteristics which distinguish it from other types of marketing or advertising. The first is that it attempts to send its messages directly to consumers, without the use of intervening media.  This involves unsolicited commercial communication with consumers or businesses. The second characteristic is that it is focused on driving purchases that can be attributed to a specific “call-to-action.” This aspect of direct marketing involves an emphasis on trackable, measurable results (known as “response” in the industry) regardless of medium.”

What’s Similar?

  1. Messages are sent directly to consumers. Content marketing is targeted.
  2. Content marketing, performed correctly, always involves some sort of call-to-action.

Major Differences?

  1. Direct marketing is measured through response, and is really the only way to determine if a direct marketing activity was successful. Response is easy to determine in direct marketing (clicks, downloads, calls, purchases, etc.). Response for content marketing could be anything under the sun depending on the marketing objectives of the program (time spent or engagement, downloads, sign-ups, click-throughs…even more challenging measurements such as brand preference).
  2. The definition of “call-to-action” is significantly different. Direct marketing has a specific call-to-action to measure that is usually a direct driver of a purchase decision. In content marketing, your overall goal is to deliver valuable and relevant content that match their informational needs. By doing so, the customer is more loyal, less prone to competitive products, spends more time with your content. Also, your goal with a content initiative may be to access another data point, so that you can refine your content plans to deliver even better content to them on a consistent basis. In business-to-business, where you may have to garner relationships with six or seven titles within an organization, content marketing addresses each of their needs individually to build your products overall case. Direct mail wouldn’t immediately work here because their are too many buying influences.

I think the biggest challenge to understanding content marketing is that it’s easy to get outside the boundaries of what exactly a content marketing product is.  A custom magazine is a very easy indicator of content marketing. It’s valuable content, it’s precisely targeted, and it usually has multiple calls-to-action (unlike direct which usually has one). A content web-portal is a little harder to peg. You create the content portal for a very specific group of people, and probably sent them direct mail and email to drive them to the site, but there are aspects that fall outside of the direct marketing equation. Examples may be a news release program that increases SEO (search engine optimization) to drive more relevant searchers to your site. Or a linking strategy that does the same. Does the fact that you don’t “know” EXACTLY who you are targeting hurt the definition?

Get to the Point

Although you could argue many differences, although some inconsequential, the basic premise of content marketing being direct marketing with a higher purpose is sound. As a content marketer, I want to employ all the same tactics of direct mail except the call-to-action should reinforce a long-term customer relationship. That is done, not through an offer, but through great content that meets or exceeds their informational needs.

What say you?


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