Insights on Marketing & Technology

Stop talking about yourself

You can no longer interrupt your customers with sales messages or mediocre content they don’t care about. You need to create content they actually want to engage in. But how do you do that? MARKET has asked Joe Pulizzi, one of the world’s leading experts on content marketing. And his points are clear. Stop talking so much about your products and services and create consistently, sharable content instead.

  • By: Maria Præst
  • Published: 06-01-2014

Content marketing is on everybody’s lips at the moment. MARKET has set up a meeting with Joe Pulizzi, founder of The Content Marketing Institute and, in his own words, the poster boy for content marketing. He evangelizes content marketing around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and books. We were lucky to catch him in between.

Content marketing is one of the buzzwords of the world right now, so please tell us, what’s all the fuzz about?

Haha, well content marketing as a term is new, but in practice it is more than a hundred years old. The first example of content marketing goes back to 1895, where John Deere began publishing a free magazine, The Furrow Magazine, which solved the daily problems of farmers. It is still produced today and is actually the largest farmer’s magazine in the world with 1,5 million readers in more than 40 countries.

So the idea of brands creating content is very, very old, but has become buzzwordy today because now everyone can publish and it is the consumers who are in control.

Some confuse content marketing with clever advertising. What is content marketing in reality?

Many people still view content marketing as the Old Spice-style viral campaigns that are fueled by traditional media. I have often heard people say: ‘Aw, we made a 2 minute video, which became a viral hit, it is the perfect content marketing.’ No, it is just clever advertising.

Content marketing doesn’t interrupt consumers. The core is valuable, consisting content, which can lead to a behavior change. The content has to be so useful, that it can lead to better lives or better carriers for example.

When you start a content marketing program, the most important thing is consistency. With content marketing we move away from the campaign idea and creates something persisting – and that is much more difficult than to come up with one great idea for a campaign.

How do you create a successful content marketing strategy?

With content marketing, like anything else, it is very important to have a strategy. Content marketing is still a relatively new marketing discipline where many companies just shoot and aim. But the better the strategy, the more efficient you content marketing will be.

So how do you create a strategy? You have to start with the two whys.

Firstly, ask yourself, WHY are you doing this? Are you increasing revenue, saving costs or creating happier customers? It has to lead into one of these three. Otherwise, you don’t know why you are doing it.

Then ask, WHY should your customers care? What is in for them? This is your content marketing mission and it is very important. A great example is Procter & Gamble’s site, which helps mothers to be more sufficient around the house, so they can spend more time with their families. That is two strong whys. Procter & Gamble are creating happier customers, because they get to spend more time with their families.

Another thing you must consider is this. Who is your persona? The more specific your audience is, the easier you can target the content. In content marketing it is better to go small than large. So choose a small niche, where you can be the go-to-person rather than trying to hit everybody.

Which pitfalls should you avoid working with content marketing?

There are three important pitfalls you want to...
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