Epic Content Marketing - PCC - ebook

Reach more customers than ever with TARGETED CONTENT Epic Content Marketing helps you develop strategies that seize the competitive edge by creating messages and “stories” tailored for instant, widespread distribution on social media, Google, and the mainstream press. It provides a step-by-step plan for developing powerful content that resonates with customers and describes best practices for social media sharing and search engine discoverability. Joe Pulizzi is a content marketing strategist, speaker and founder of the Content Marketing Institute, which runs the largest physical content marketing event in North America, Content Marketing World.

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Understand Epic CM

To do epic content marketing well, start with a good view of the lay of the land. In practice, what you’re trying to do is create memorable stories that people can apply to their own specific needs and circumstances. You’re trying to market more by selling less.

In practical terms, content marketing is really the art of marketing more by selling less. You communicate with potential customers and help them rather than sell to them. Your content becomes “epic” when it engages the customer and motivates them to take action. You provide so much value they reciprocate by buying more of the same in the future.

Content marketing isn’t new. Some of the most successful examples of content marketing have been:

■ Michelin – which launched it s iconic publication The Michelin Guide in 1900.

■ Jell-O – which has been distributing free copies of recipe books as a marketing vehicle since 1904.

■ Deere & Company – which started publishing their own in-house magazine, The Furrow, in 1895. This magazine is today delivered to more than 1.5 million farmers every month and is published in 12 languages in 40 different countries.

■ Procter & Gamble – which began promoting radio serial dramas in the 1930s to publicize its detergents. This gave rise to the term “soap opera.”

In a nutshell, content marketing is about creating material which engages your target audience so passionately they pay attention to you. You put material out there which solves problems for customers and then let them find it using search engines, social networking sites and so on. People access what you have, form an emotional connection and then are predisposed to access more of what you make available in the future. You gain attention by solving problems, not by interrupting them.

At one time, distributing content used to be expensive and hard to do. Today, all those barriers have fallen. Getting material to your audience is pretty much cost-free if you use the social networking tools now available via the Internet.

The business model of a traditional publishing business tends to look like this:

The publisher pays to develop engaging content which then attracts a pool of readers or viewers who pay a subscription fee. The publisher also generates additional revenue by selling access to that subscriber pool to third-party advertisers.

By contrast, when a business uses content to attract customers, the business model tends to look more like:

The content is used to attract a pool of qualified prospects first and foremost. That pool is then monetized by making sales to them. Revenues are derived primarily from sales of products and services rather than from subscription fees or advertising.

This actually gives an advantage to a brand which is using content marketing. A media company will generally not have the money, resources or flexibility that a brand has. This is why many journalists and storytellers are moving from media companies to work for companies which own valuable brands. The barriers to entry in publishing are now so low the advantages t he media companies once had are now disappearing.