Joe Pullizi is a leading evangelist for content marketing, an entrepreneur and a speaker and is the author of awesome content marketing books such as Content Inc and Epic Content Marketing. He believes passionately that there is a better way for brands to market than they have done in the past and as the founder of Content Marketing Institute. In fact, CMI is a culmination of all his ideas and beliefs around content marketing.
(This transcript has been auto-generated. Artificial Intelligence is still in the process of perfecting itself. There may be some errors in transcription):
Ash Roy: (00:00)
So, what sort of timeframe are you thinking, Joe, for someone to have their content marketing strategy to really start paying dividends.
Joe Pulizzi: (00:07)
So if you have the strategy and you're focusing on one audience and you do what we do and what I call my new book, it's called the content tilt. You have something different. You're talking about, you have a unique story and you build the base over time. We think that you can expect results in 12 to 15 months. Generally I'm Matthew, Kimberly
Matthew Kimberley: (00:26)
From Matthew. We don't come on. You're listening to my friend, Ash, Roy of productive insights.com. Welcome to the productive insights podcast, where you can learn how to systemize, automate and scale your business via the internet to access previous episodes and useful productivity tips. Go to productive insights.com. Now here's your host Ashe. Roy. Welcome under
Ash Roy: (00:50)
The productive insights podcast. Now just a couple of little housekeeping things before we jump into the show. First of all, I'd like to do a shout out for Nick who left a fantastic review on the Australian iTunes store. He says, somehow stumbled on this and have been super impressed, great insights from some really big and not so big names is rapidly becoming my favorite podcast. Well, thank you very much for your review, Nick. And if you too would like to leave a review on iTunes, please go ahead and do so. And I would love the opportunity to give you a shout out in a future episode. If you enjoyed this podcast, there are some other podcasts you might enjoy as well. Episode six, with Chris Garrett, where we talked about how to use content marketing to win online. And he actually talks about a five day plan to get you started episode 12 with Dan Norris on content marketing for startups episode 23, which is a tutorial on content marketing for business success, episode number 38 with Rand Fishkin, the founder of moz.com on how to create great SEO friendly content episode.
Ash Roy: (01:51)
Number 41 with Eric anger who wrote the book, the art of SEO with Rand Fishkin and that's on mobile gettin, but it talks a lot about mobile related content, which is very related to the content. In this episode, episode 47 with Damien Farnworth. Who's the chief content writer at Copyblogger episode number 64, which is a tutorial on podcasting and talks about nine reasons why podcasting is critical to your content marketing mix episode number 70 with Valerie CU the founder of the Australian writers center on the power of stories and the eight stories you must tell episode number 71, the author of economics with Rohit Bhargava and episode number 74, which is part two of a two-part series with Darren Rouse, where he talks about logging success secrets and how he's become a prolific content creator. And Darren of course is the founder of pro blogger.net. Okay. Now onto the show, today's guest is a leading evangelist for content marketing. He's an entrepreneur and a speaker and he's the author of awesome content marketing books, such as content Inc and epic content marketing. He believes that there is a better way for brands to market than they have done in the past. And as the founder of content marketing Institute, in fact, CMI is a culmination of all his ideas and beliefs around content marketing. I'm delighted to welcome the founder of the content marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi
Joe Pulizzi: (03:17)
Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Ash Roy: (03:19)
You're most welcome. Now, Joe, could you share your views on content marketing and why a good content marketing strategy is so important today, more than ever before?
Joe Pulizzi: (03:29)
Well, I think first off Ash, you can choose not to do content marketing. You can choose not to have a content marketing approach. I think that's important because a lot of people out there say, oh, you know, you have to do content marketing or there's nothing else. Well, not necessarily if you've got a big bag of advertising money and you want to advertise, you can absolutely do that. I mean, if things have been successful, if you're targeting a very specific audience and you're used to referrals and whatnot, you could absolutely make that work where I think that content marketing is a huge opportunity today is because our customers, they have unlimited access to information today. They have a smartphone with them 24 seven. They can absolutely ignore our product and service messaging it well. So at the same time, we have an opportunity to reach them because they have that device.
Joe Pulizzi: (04:13)
But how do you cut through all that clutter that's out there. You have to create valuable, relevant, compelling information on a consistent basis, by the way, just like media companies have been doing since the Dawn of time. But we can't just talk about our products and services. We have to talk about the value that's outside of the products and services that we offer focusing on the audience, what their pain points are. And if you do this over a consistent period of time, it doesn't happen right away. Like Ash, if you said, Hey, what can I get for content marketing in less than six months? I'd say, go buy advertising, go do something else. Because content marketing, you have to be patient with it. It takes a while to build a relationship with somebody else through content. So yes, there is a huge opportunity. It's a bigger opportunity because of the things we talked about then if there's ever been before, but it has been around for a long time. I mean my own podcast, as you know, this old marketing and we talk about a really old example of content marketing every week and we've honored some from the 17 hundreds and on. So it's just more so because of the digital age that we have this opportunity to communicate with customers. So as long as you're committed to it and you're patient and you focus on audience ahead of the products you're trying to sell, you can be very successful with it.
Ash Roy: (05:21)
Cool. So what sort of timeframe are you thinking, Joe, for someone to have their content marketing strategy to really start paying dividends?
Joe Pulizzi: (05:29)
Do you have the strategy and you're focusing on one audience and you do what we do and what I call my new book, it's called the content tilt. You have something different. You're talking about, you have a unique story and you build the base over time. We think that you can expect results in 12 to 15 months generally. So I think the challenge is ashes. A lot of people don't focus on building subscribers. They focus on a lot of other things likes and whatever they deem as engagement. And what we want to focus on is how do we build an opt-in audience to get permission from an audience like Seth Goden has been talking about for 20, 30 years now, how do we get their permission to communicate with them? They opened the door to us. We deliver value. They end up knowing, liking and trusting us more than anyone else. And when they're ready to buy a product, they buy from us.
Ash Roy: (06:15)
That is such a good point. Now there's a couple of really interesting points you raised, which I want to just talk to. One was, I recently did a podcast with a guy called Kevin Rogers. Who's a copywriter. And I was saying to him that I believe attention is the new currency. And your point earlier was, you know, in today's noisy environment, you do have to come up with good quality content. So getting people's attention is difficult, but worthwhile. And to do that, you have to produce good quality content. The other point that Chris Garrett made when I interviewed him earlier, he's from Copyblogger. And he said, the conversation is already happening out there between the buyer and the seller through content marketing. The question is, do you want to be part of the conversation or not? Because nowadays, increasingly people are making buying decisions well, before they actually visit the company or interact with a brand, the first time they interacting with a brand directly is when they actually buying the product because Google is telling them all the information they need. And so the search process and what Google calls, the zero moment of truth, that's all happening well before the person actually gets to the business. So as you said, you can reach your customers either through advertising, which is a lot more expensive and probably a lot more fleeting as well, because it's not a long-term relationship or through content marketing. So yeah. Thank you for those great points.
Joe Pulizzi: (07:31)
Yeah. Just to build on what you're saying as you're building a long-term asset, that's it. So it's interesting. If you look at what's the asset, the asset, actually, isn't the content, the content gets you the asset, that's the audience.
Ash Roy: (07:42)
Yes. And the relationship. Exactly.
Joe Pulizzi: (07:45)
So think about it. Like, how do you look at the value of the New York times? You don't say, well, they have 15,000 pieces of content they've created in the last six months. And that's the, no, that's not the value. Nobody ever looks at that and values that, what do they value? They value the circulation. Absolutely. And the buying power of that circulation. So if you think about it that way, what am I trying to get to with all this content I'm trying to get to an audience, ultimately, that's the value. Then we monetize that audience. However you monetize it. You could sell advertising, you sell online training courses, you can sell products and services, whatever you happen to sell.
Ash Roy: (08:17)
Right? Another great point that around Fishkin made when I interviewed him was he said, good quality content is content that tends to get shared. And that's what Google is valuing these days as well. So when creating content, he recommended that we think about an actual person or a bunch of people who we specifically are talking to and solving a problem of like you touched on before, where we actually solving a problem with a content that they will want to share. And that's what is going to help our content, you know, rise to the top.
Joe Pulizzi: (08:46)
Well, obviously, I mean, you're throwing out some great names. Rand is fantastic. And one of the ways to help you get to that point is what we call creating a content marketing mission statement, similar to an editorial mission statement like a media company would create. So you think, okay, when you're thinking about that persona, that audience, who is that audience, that very specific audience, we can only talk to one. We want to be as specific as possible. What are we going to deliver to them? What is the actual thing we're going to be delivering? And what is the outcome for the audience? What do we want them to, to get out of that piece of content or that content approach? And we try to help them get a better job, live a better life in some way, be very specific. And then whenever you give an assignment to a content creator or to an employee in your organization or to an agency, you give them that editorial content marketing mission statement. You say, this is what we're trying to do. And actually with every piece of content you create, you should actually add a line to your editorial calendar and say, what is the audience outcome of that piece of content? Because if you think about it that way and you deliver on what they're looking to solve, whatever that problem is, they'd be much more likely to share like random was talking. Yeah.
Ash Roy: (09:50)
Cool. And can you tell us a little bit more about this, Joe? What does a mission statement look like? What's the mission statement of CMI, for example? So
Joe Pulizzi: (09:57)
The big overall mission statement. So if it's a vision statement is our goal is to advance the practice of content marketing. Now, how do we do that? First of all, you start with who is the audience? Our audience are enterprise marketers, marketers that work in very, very large billion dollar enterprises. What are we going to deliver? We deliver ongoing education and training about the, how to, of content marketing. What does that look like? That looks like we deliver blog posts. We deliver a bi-monthly magazine. We deliver online training. We deliver an annual event called content marketing world. We do all that. And what is the outcome? The outcome is to make sure that content marketer can do their job better and actually get the roles in the organization that they want to get to. So that's the individual. And then the overall goal is we actually want to see companies that we deal with market.
Joe Pulizzi: (10:48)
Like it's valuable information that they're not just trying to take, that you're trying to give value. And we always talk about at CMI is how you need to create value outside of the products and services you offer. That's easier said than done Ash. Like if you really think about that, that's the core to a content marketer. That's what you're trying to deliver. You're trying to actually solve the problem that your products and services is saw, but you do it through the content you create. It's very, very hard to do. So that's sort of the mission. So if you're, you know, if you're listening to this at home, how do I create my own mission statement? Because if you're a B2B company, you might have seven to nine different audiences that you target. You can't do that with your content. At one time, you have to focus on one, one initiative, one audience. So what's that one audience, what are you going to deliver to them to make that connection, that relationship. And then what's in it for them. Because if you focus on that audience, then you'll deliver content. That's worth our while. Then you can connect it to your corporate objectives and your marketing goals, but you have to first figure out what center for them. So
Ash Roy: (11:46)
I guess this is where it's really useful to really understand the buyer persona. I'd put yourself in their shoes, look at the problems facing in their life and the general environment and solve those problems rather than just be focused on trying to promote your product or creating content just around a product. That's what you meant. Is it when you said, you know, look beyond exactly what you're selling?
Joe Pulizzi: (12:06)
Absolutely. Because, well, 90% of the content that's created at enterprises right now, it's about our products and services. And so you talked about the buying process before people might ignore you all together. So let's just look at the funnel. If you say, okay, at the funnel at the top, we've got content, we go all the way down to right before the buying purchase. We have almost all of our content, like right before the buying purchase. It's all about us. And what are we doing here at the top? And what are we doing after the sale? How are we keeping those customer relationships going? How do we turn those, those customers into lifelong advocates for our brand? Like, we're not thinking about those things. So those are the areas that we really want to think about. Most companies, you don't have to go in and say, you know what? You really got to work on that product brochure and the stuff, you know, that those specs on the product specs, they're really not what we need. That's like 1% of the time you're going to need that kind of information. But what happens other 99% of the time you want to communicate with these people, you can't talk about yourself. You better talk about what's interesting to them,
Ash Roy: (13:05)
Right? Right. I'm thinking of myself as a prospect. If I want to buy a pair of shoes, I don't want to only know about shoes. I might get drawn into the conversation because you're telling me about how running is beneficial for my health and how I can use it to aid, weight loss. We're not even talking about shoes right now. The conversation hasn't gotten there yet. But if you don't meet me where I am, which is looking for solutions around a health in this example, then I'm not going to be interested in your shoes. Exactly.
Joe Pulizzi: (13:31)
Right? I mean like, look at, you know, you could talk about red bull. Red bull is all about that lifestyle, that risk-taking lifestyle. And they show those videos and whatever. And oh, by the way, you have such a great relationship with red bull. You happen to drink their stuff as well. I mean, you do those types of things as you go on, Patagonia is a good example. They talk about sustainability all the time. That's their target audience is really interested in sustainability. So they create content all around sustainability. Well, lo and behold, when you're ready to buy a jacket, where do you go? Well, I want to go to the people that are in line with my thinking. I want to go to Patagonia. So it's almost so simple. We almost talk past it. But most companies don't create that kind of a con con because we're so focused on today. We're so focused on creating that, oh, that what's that next quarterly report. We've got to make those numbers. We've got to sell those. We need leads, leads. These right now we really want to do is create subscribers. And we want to nurture those subscribers. And from those subscribers become our leads. That's where we can score those leads. And then that's where we can figure out, okay, those become better customers because we've been educating. We've been talking to them all along,
Ash Roy: (14:33)
Right? Absolutely. Another point you made earlier, which I really liked was, you know, it's not about just trying to get social media, attention, Facebook, Twitter, whatever. I'm a big believer in creating your own online asset, which is your website typically. And having links propagated out to those social media channels rather than posting your directly on those channels because you don't control those platforms. You do control your own websites. So absolutely post on those social channels, but have links coming back to your site. That's another mistake. I find a lot of content marketers tend to make, you can
Joe Pulizzi: (15:04)
Make it work on YouTube. I mean, you've seen some of these YouTubers are, have been tremendously successful, but to your point, you don't control those connections. YouTube does. So at any time you could say, well, I know you've got a million subscribers, but you don't have access to those anymore. We're going to change the rules. I mean, obviously Facebook's done that in a number of topics where they changed the rules. So if you do that, you've just got to make sure that you have some owned asset at the end of the day. So look at what YouTube are doing. Now. They're saying, Hey, get our special offer on our website. So you can sign up to our email newsletter and you get something great every week because they know at the end of the day, they don't control that they don't have any assets. So they're like, oh, we better get an email asset. We better do something like that. So you can go to iTunes first. You can go to YouTube first, instead of the blog or website, it made me faster to market because your customers are already there and you don't have to send them to your website, but at the end of the day, you don't control it. So you got to think about that asset and making sure you have direct connection with those customers in some way.
Ash Roy: (16:03)
So one good idea is to build that list and don't forget about the list.
Joe Pulizzi: (16:07)
Yeah, absolutely. Email is more important than ever before. Don't let anybody kitchen. Email is not dead. It's crucial. And you just have to be one of those emails that they really want to open because it's really delivering
Ash Roy: (16:18)
Value, good quality value. Exactly. And if you have their email address, you can proactively initiate the conversation rather than waiting for them to come up to you, whether it's on YouTube or Facebook or whatever. Okay. This is a really interesting discussion. I'd love to talk a little bit about how content marketing has evolved over the last few years and where you see it headed in 2016. Now I have seen a real proliferation of richer forms of content. We're seeing a lot more video and audio and so on. And in your response, I would love to hear what your thoughts are about where written content is headed as well in the next coming years. Well, I'll
Joe Pulizzi: (16:51)
Start with that first because it's not going anywhere. Okay. Still the majority of content out there is textual. Still. If you look at how we engage in our smartphone devices, yet, maybe the younger generation is watching more video. Maybe we're watching more video, but at the end of the day, we're still reading. We're reading as much or more than we ever have before. I personally think there's still a big opportunity in print publications. A lot of people don't agree with me, but there's an opportunity because a lot of people have moved away from print. So we're not getting as much in the post. So there's an opportunity there. I think that if we look at what's going on from, let's say I really got started in this business in 2000, 2001, CMI started in 2007. So I've been a part of this content marketing thing for 16 years.
Joe Pulizzi: (17:33)
And then really for CMI the last 10 years now for the last, let's say up to last year, that five, previous years, lot of experimentation going on, a lot of I'm going to try this. I'm going to do that. And let's see what works. No formal strategies were just a lot of experimenting and get it. You know, it was a muscle we're not used to using. Uh, we're just starting to, trying to test it out, get used to it kind of condition ourselves, whatnot. So we've seen a lot of experimentation. Now you see a lot of companies that are saying, Hey, I've tried the blog thing. I've done the YouTube thing. I've tried Facebook. It's not working content marketing doesn't work well, unfortunately they never did it the right way. Anyways, that's the PR they've done all this experimenting. And they basically said, oh, where's our customers.
Joe Pulizzi: (18:15)
Let's just throw up content everywhere. We possibly can to see if we can get our customer's attention without thinking strategically, how are we focusing on the audience's needs? How are we doing that consistently? Like instead of just one blog post every month, every once in a while, when you get to it, are you delivering two blog posts every day, the same days every week at the same time delivering consistently because that's what media companies have done and become successful because of that consistent delivery. So I think right now in 2016, it's sort of the haves and have nots. You've got the haves that have built a strategy. They've got a documented content marketing strategy, which is the far minority of companies out there. They've been consistently delivering on that. And now they're seeing the fruits of their labor. They're building audiences and they're able to build relationships and generate revenue.
Joe Pulizzi: (19:01)
You've got a lot of people that have just done experimenting and they do these campaigns and they do six months over here. And three months over here, and nine months over there, they don't stick with it. They don't build a relationship with those people. They don't build a subscriber base and they say, oh, it doesn't work. I think in 2016, we've got a lot of that going on. And I think you're going to see more and more of that. You're going to see more content marketing is dead articles out there along with a number of amazing case studies that say, yes, it just took us a while. We just stuck with it and we were persistent with it. And now we're seeing the fruits of our labor. So I really think I shouldn't this year, you're going to see that split into those two groups. And until you get a documented content marketing strategy and really follow it and really commit to it inside the organization, because it takes a lot of change management to do this. This is a different way to sell. You're not going to get to the point where you want to, until you really focus on that audience and what their needs are and deliver on that consistently.
Ash Roy: (19:54)
Okay, cool. So now we've moved into the action section one of my favorite parts. So I'm going to try and talk through some of the actions that have come out of this episode and then feel free to add to them as you consider the fit. So the key actions are listening and take from having listened to this conversation, our focus on building an email list. If you are going to create content wherever we created, YouTube, Facebook, whatever, make sure you have a facility to capture the prospect's email so that you can continue the conversation and you can initiate the conversation. The next one is, if you're going to create content, don't try and create content just around your product. As in don't just think about how your prospect can use your product and create content for that. Think about your prospect more holistically and how your product fits into their life. Think about the whole life and think about how you can solve problems in their life, which naturally leads to your product as a solution down the take a long-term approach, be consistent with your content creation and content propagation. If you're producing content published every Tuesday and every Thursday or whatever the days you're going to do it and do it consistently say your audience knows where and when to go to find that information. Anything else?
Joe Pulizzi: (21:06)
That's fantastic. I think you like, how'd you get all that last 20 minutes. I think the one thing to add on to that, and you sort of mentioned it, but I think the critical thing is are you actually telling a differentiated story? And the question that I like to ask, and when we talk to our clients and workshops and whatnot, I always say if your content was gone and never been anywhere, if it never was created, would anyone miss it? It's a really important question because if they wouldn't, then you're probably not delivering on your audience's needs. You're probably creating a lot of content. That's wasting your time. You might as well not even do it, then
Ash Roy: (21:43)
Probably not solving a problem, right? If your content is solving a problem, that's when people miss it, right.
Joe Pulizzi: (21:48)
You really made the whole product focused content and audience focused content. You really said that. Well, I asked because most companies focus on product oriented content and it's like, here's the product and what we want to talk about, but how do we do a, it's a light pitch or we'll do a bait and switch. It's really, it's really about our product, but we're going to, we're going to disguise it as educational or information. And then at the end, it's like really all about our product instead of really focusing on the needs of the audience, building that relationship, and then finding where your product fits in their journey. That's a much better way to do it.
Ash Roy: (22:20)
That's beautifully put, man. I really love how you said that, you know, finding where your product fits in the audience's life, instead of trying to shove the audience into your product, act into
Joe Pulizzi: (22:30)
Your sales flow. I mean have funnel. Yeah. That's I think that's the whole thing. Cause we always do that. Here's our sales process and this is how we market and this is how we communicate. And that's what we've been doing for 50 years. Ash, that's the targeted mass media. That's what we've been doing forever. While now the consumer is in control. Well, we can either choose to communicate differently or not.
Ash Roy: (22:49)
Awesome. Well, look, man, I've really enjoyed this discussion. I'd love to have you back on the show one day. If that that'd be great.
Joe Pulizzi: (22:56)
Absolutely. We'll we'll do it all again. That'd be great. Cool.
Ash Roy: (22:59)
Okay. Well just before we leave, though, I'd love to hear some books that have had the biggest impact on you and why and how listeners can find out more about you.
Joe Pulizzi: (23:06)
Sure, absolutely. So my go-to book is thinking grow rich by Napoleon hill. It was written, I think in 1937, every few years, I still pick it up and read it. I think it's just the kind of mindset that we need. And then seven habits, Stephen Covey, and then into 10 X rule grant Cardone. It was actually those three books together that I worked out, my whole goal setting process that has really helped me for the last 10 years where I write my goals down. I review them every day. I look at those are, do they make sense? And if you read those goals in the morning, you really set yourself off on a path for maybe not getting into email, maybe not doing some things that aren't going to help you hit those goals. And if you do that every morning, it's amazing as you just get focused on the right things that are going to help you reach those goals.
Joe Pulizzi: (23:52)
At the end of the day, the other two that I would just say were inspirations to me, a science fiction book stranger in a strange land, Robert Heinlein, as well as Andy where's the marsh, which I just saw was fantastic, but that was one of the latest ones that I read. And then any information on me, you can get any information on the new book content Inc at content dash Inc com. There's a free chapter, a couple of other good giveaways there. I'm at Joe Pulizzi on Twitter. Yep. And then everything about content marketing Institute, content marketing institute.com and then content marketing world. The big event we have every September is content marketing, world.com.
Ash Roy: (24:25)
And when does your new book come out? Jug?
Joe Pulizzi: (24:27)
So epic content marketing, what two ago was that was released in 2013, the new book was released a couple months ago, right at the end of 2015. So I'm still sorta on the content Inc tour going around and giving that talk about building your audience and then thinking about your product second. So my next book is going to come out in 2017, but I'm not content tilt. The Cottonelle content Inc. Content Inc is out. It came out in 2015 and then I haven't decided what I'm doing for 2017. I got to figure that out yet.
Ash Roy: (24:56)
Cool. Well, I'll be sure to post links to all your books in the show notes. So yeah. Excellent. Well, that's the end of our formal interview, Joe. Thank you very much for being on the
Joe Pulizzi: (25:05)
Show. Awesome. Thanks Ashley. That was fun. Thanks for
Listening to the productive insights podcast. You can find all the links in the show notes below this episode on productive insights.com. You can also ask questions in the comment section that Ash personally answers. How can Ash help you today?