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, including best-selling Epic Content Marketing (McGraw-Hill) and the new book, Content Inc. Check out Joe's two podcasts. 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 January 26, 2009

‘Trust Me’ and Branded Entertainment Take Us Closer to the Future of TV

I was able to catch the Thursday edition of the New York Times and read this article about ‘Trust Me’ – the new TNT drama about a Chicago advertising agency. ‘Trust Me’ premieres tonight.

The difference between this one, and say ‘Mad Men’, is that real products are being written into the script, including those from Unilever (Dove), Anheuser-Busch and General Motors.

The article calls this a “…growing trend known as branded entertainment…” In actuality, it’s one step away from what we will come to know as common television programming.

Let me explain.

  1. Television advertising is expensive and difficult to measure.
  2. Everyone I know except for my kids skips TV ads.
  3. Consumer attention is scattered between hundreds of choices, so the storyline must be great in order to get ratings.  Most programs are canceled after just a few episodes.
  4. Companies can now, through the internet and advanced databases, communicate directly with customers, rather than promote themselves around traditional programming (advertising).
  5. People still watch great television (we watch one show in our house – ‘24‘ – but we do skip the ads), just as people still engage in great newspapers and great magazines.

If you agree with all this, there seems to be only one solution for corporations that want to promote their products and services through television – they need to become part of the programming (this may be the solution for the broadcasting business model as well). ‘Trust Me’ takes a leap into this area, but we will begin to see more programming dominated and created by one brand, similar to what Unilever developed with their 24-inspired series “The Rookie”.

At this point, I’m not sure when we will see more of this type of programming, but it is coming.  In order for corporations to use this channel effectively, they’ll need to partner with content producers that understand how to tell a story, much like corporations have partnered with custom publishers for custom magazines, newsletters, enewsletters, microsites and so on. Of course, we believe in this model is coming sooner than later.

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By joepulizzi published January 23, 2009

Striking Content Marketing Gold – Direct from the Content Experts

Just finished our first book tour call with my co-author Newt Barrett (@newtbarrett), Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) and Paul Gillin (@pgillin).  Fantastic call.  If you missed it, go here now. Much of this is also covered in our book, Get Content. Get Customers. Big thanks to Elizabeth Marshall for putting this together.

I was trying to jot down some golden nuggets from our esteemed panel while the session was going. So, in no particular order, here are some things you may find useful in your content marketing quest for gold.Continue Reading

By joepulizzi published January 20, 2009

Change Has Come to WhiteHouse.gov

As the clock struck noon EST and Barack Obama was being sworn in as our next president, the White House IT department flipped the switch on the new White House website. (See the difference in these before and after screen shots.)

According to Macon Phillips, director of New Media for the White House (in the first blog post ever from the White House), the new website will focus on:

  • Communication – new briefing room, blog RSS feeds and email updates from the President, as well as a weekly video broadcast from President Obama.
  • Transparency – yes, we know the government can only go so far in how much they can share, but their goal is to create the most open administration in history (perception is reality, remember?).
  • Participation submit your ideas to the President now.

Here’s what I really like:

“One significant addition to WhiteHouse.gov reflects a campaign promise
from the President: we will publish all non-emergency legislation to
the website for five days, and allow the public to review and comment
before the President signs it.”

A bold strategy, and extremely challenging to execute properly even for a mid-size corporation, let along the white house. Nonetheless, the formula above is how you keep and grow brand evangelists. We’ve already seen it work it Obama’s campaign, and now he aims to continue this as President.

It’s not a complicated formula:

  • Content – continually publish high-quality information to customers and prospects (US citizens).
  • Set up Listening Posts and Enable Participation – continually gather information about the needs of your customers (blog comments, submission form). I can’t imagine the staffing needed to do this correctly.
  • Be the Media – be honest and communcate directly with customers – engage with the community without a filter. This may be the first administration that will actually morph into their own media property (Go to the white house for news and updates before CNN or Fox?).

And after 10 weeks of Twitter silence, Barack Obama’s Twitter account just went active again. This was the one area that I couldn’t understand about now President Obama…the Twitter communication just stopped after election day. Glad to see the Tweet lights are on again. I hope it continues.

Are you a business struggling with new media marketing? If so, following the new plan from the White House and the President wouldn’t be the worst thing you could do. Do you agree?

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By joepulizzi published January 19, 2009

Free Teleseminar with Some of Marketing’s Best – Brogan, Barrett, Gillin

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If you are free on Friday, January 23rd at 1pm, don't miss this free Author Teleseminar with Newt Barrett, Chris Brogan, Paul Gillin and myself as we talk about how to deliver information to customers that they really want. 

Elizabeth Marshall has done a great job putting this event together. 

Here's the event overview:

As a business owner or entrepreneur, your job is
simple – to get more customers to buy from you. Easier said that done!
After all, how can you possibly increase your sales when most of the traditional marketing tactics are a waste of your time and won't do a darn thing to help you reach them?

On Friday, January 23 at 1pm Eastern Time,
meet Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett along with Chris Brogan and Paul Gillin, and discover how you can leverage
content marketing to reach customers faster and easier than before. You
will learn how to uncover what your customers really need and how to deliver solutions in a compelling and powerful way!

Register today!

By joepulizzi published January 15, 2009

Five Questions with Seth Godin

Seth-head-shot
Lori Rosen, executive director for the Custom Publishing Council (a wonderful Junta42 partner), was nice enough to let us share this brief interview between her and Seth Godin. Thanks Lori and Seth.

1. Your new book is called Tribes – how do you define a tribe, and what is an example of a tribe in today’s social media landscape?

A tribe is a group of people connected by a culture, a language, a mission and probably a leader. Barack Obama built a tribe, so did Harley Davidson.Continue Reading

By joepulizzi published January 14, 2009

Content Marketing: The Present and Future of Public Relations?

I gave a luncheon presentation entitled Content Marketing: The Present and Future of PR? yesterday for my new friends at Cincinnati PRSA.

(Note: Some of the images look a bit distorted in slideshare).

Here’s the high level overview:

  • Many traditional media properties are struggling to survive. For example, I had a conversation with Forrester research last week who stated the likelihood of 1/2 of all US newspapers to stop production in two years.
  • If these traditional media properties that PR used to get their message out are going away, what is PR to do? In any particular industry, who is helping to tell the story (companies, bloggers, etc.)?
  • Since PR professionals understand the value of, and how to develop a story, they are placed perfectly to be in the middle of the organizational content engine.
  • If PR’s role is to help manage the information from an organization to its “public”, doesn’t
    that include the creation of targeted story-telling initiatives like
    custom magazines, enewsletters, blogs, white papers, etc.?
  • Many PR professional already do many of these things, but are they “owning” the production of content within an organization that is targeted to customers and prospects?
  • Is this PR’s realm, or is it the realm of the marketer/corporation communications, the advertising agency, the custom publisher, or even the traditional publisher. Each of these group owners would say yes. But PR may have the advantage because they understand the value of the story.
  • The challenge is that the content distribution process has completely flipped on its head. Can PR professionals understand that they need to start communicating directly with customers and prospects, and not go through traditional media channels, to tell the story?

It was exciting to talk to many of the members after the presentation about how they believe they have now found their new career path, or how they can take their organization to the next level with content marketing. Makes driving through two hours of snow well worth the effort.

Here are some other helpful resources, based on the presentation:

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By joepulizzi published January 10, 2009

Check out this Social Media Event in Tampa Bay (Junta42 Discount)

My friend Scott Abel just let me know that he has a few more spots available for Web Content 2009: “The Impact of Social Media on Web Marketing Strategy”. The event is February 17-18 in Tampa Bay.

I asked Scott if he could offer the Junta42 community a discount, and he was happy to oblige.

Save $400 when you register by telephone using discount code Junta42, no later than January 17,
2009. Call Shari Spraker at Duo Consulting at +1 312.529.3000.

Here are some of the reasons why attending may be worthwhile for you:

  1. There are 12 inches of snow on the ground here in Cleveland. I’m under the assumption that the weather will be much better in Tampa Bay.
  2. You’ll learn about the social media landscape and how social networking tools,
    techniques, and tactics are changing web marketing strategy.
  3. You get to hear me speak (Yay!).
  4. Hear from content professionals who are leveraging social media tools
    and user generated content to extend their marketing reach.
  5. Learn how popular Web 2.0 tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and
    SlideShare are being used by web marketing pros to reach new audiences
    and generate buzz.
  6. Discover how web content managers are incorporating social media into their web content management initiatives

I spoke at the Web Content 2008 event in Chicago and the attendees were raving about the program.  So, if you can, give it a try.

Other Joe Pulizzi Events
Just in case you’d like to stalk me around the country, check out a few of these other upcoming public events I’ll be presenting at…

By joepulizzi published January 9, 2009

Don’t Give Up! (but do give up the campaign mentality)

Just read this post from Seth Godin on continuing to fight the good fight (it’s really short, take a read).  After I finished, I immediately started to think of content marketing/custom publishing efforts in corporations (big surprise, right?).

So many times, marketers get into the content arena with great (and often realistic) aspirations, but their timetables are too short. When expected results don’t come in three months, they ditch the program to advertise, call more customers, or any other demand generation activity they can think of.Continue Reading

By joepulizzi published January 7, 2009

Recession Creates Opportunity – Invest in Marketing that Builds Assets

I talked to a medium-sized company today that was having some difficulty with their content marketing efforts. After about five minutes it was easy to see why.

The print newsletter and “magalog” were owned by customer service. The five enewsletters were ultimately managed by IT. White papers, eBooks and annual reports were executed by marketing. The website was split up between IT, marketing and sales. And no one was responsible for listening to the customer through social media tools. Frankly, most of the attention was still going to trade shows, direct mail and telemarketing.Continue Reading

By joepulizzi published January 5, 2009

Visual Representation of Content Marketing: Do You Agree?

I had a few of the folks at VizEdu.com send me this visual presentation of content marketing @Twitter, and I thought it was close enough to share.

I like what they’ve done, but as always with trying to depict a philosophy visually, it leaves a few things out.  Possibly for the next version?

Couple thoughts…

  • This model completely leaves out content strategy, possibly the most challenging part of the content marketing process.  Check out this article by Kristina Halvorson (@halvorson) for more on content strategy, as well as in my book where we discuss this in detail. As part of content strategy is doing the research on the customer’s informational needs and setting up listening posts. Hard to distribute good content marketing without an ear to the ground.
  • A solid content marketing plan does not require viral or word-of-mouth to work.  There are plenty of retention-based content marketing programs that don’t need to be spread in order to achieve behavioral objectives. That said, great content should naturally spread (for example, this 2009 predictions post was my highest clicked post of all time in just a few days as it spread through Twitter, Facebook and Stumbleupon).
  • Content marketing does not only function online. Print content marketing, such as print newsletters and custom magazines/magalogs are still incredibly effective when done correctly (see the APA 25 minute research under Content Marketing Research). Customer events and roundtables are also a form of content marketing – the in-person kind. When planning your marketing, you should look at the all-important mix of online/print/in-person content marketing.

I must say, I’m still in awe at how the content marketing industry has changed and is evolving from custom publishing. Frankly, it’s exciting and utterly confusing at the same time. How can it not be with all these terms?: content marketing, content strategy, inbound marketing, custom publishing, custom media, branded storytelling, private media, customer marketing, branded content and so on. Rick Liebling (@eyecube) calls this branding. For the most part, aren’t they all pretty much the same thing?

Tell you what…let’s all get together an pick a term.  You with me?

If you liked this, check out 10 Content Marketing Tips to Start Now for 2009 or Content Marketing on the Rise for 2009.

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