Joe Pulizzi: Content Marketing Strategy First!

Content marketing evangelist Joe Pulizzi at the Social Marketing Forum roundtable in 2010

Earlier this week, we posted about Lee Odden’s interview with SAP's Michael Brenner on content marketing at the occasion of Content Marketing World 2012 and the content marketing eBook Lee published. In the interview the importance of a solid content marketing strategy was mentioned. Lee Odden also interviewed content marketing godfather Joe Pulizzi, the organizer of the event and founder of the Content Marketing World 2012. We interviewed Joe a few years ago and organized a first content marketing roundtable with him, back when we helped launching the European version of the Chief Content Officer magazine. In the interview with Lee, Joe explains what has changed in the use of content marketing and how his work with content as a marketing asset evolved. Of course, he also provides some content marketing tips! However, most of all he stresses the importance of having a good content marketing strategy. … [Read more...]

Content Marketing Evolutions and the Essence of Successful Content

The three factors of successful content according to InboundWriter

Content marketing ranks high on the agenda of most marketers. Buyers increasingly seek content to inform themselves and prepare their buying journey as surveys keep showing. Succesful content needs to be optimized for your business goals and the goals of your audiences. It's the purpose of content marketing. Although there is a clear evolution towards more 'visual' forms of content, eBooks, blog posts and other written content marketing formats remain important too. The fact that search engines are still crucial sources of traffic plays a big role here. Blog post headlines are good ways to attract attention, for instance. … [Read more...]

How to Write Blog Headlines People (and your Goals) Deserve

This blog post in InboundWriter

You can write the most interesting and best content in the world but if your blog headline doesn’t attract attention, appeal and convince people to read on, why even bother? You wouldn’t be doing yourself, your content and your readers a favor, right? Brian Clark says that “on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest." Discover how to write blog headlines - with a twist. Your blog headlines serve different goals and there are various elements to take into account before you start: your ‘targeted readers’, your goals, relevance and how people look for content. … [Read more...]

Content Marketing: Content and Blog Frequency

Content Marketing Evangelist Joe Pulizzi

Content marketing is marketing. So it should serve your business goals, take into account the needs and the behavior of your different ‘audience’ segments and finally be relevant for the audience and optimized from the perspective of the costs, benefits,  and resources (for instance, by having a good mix of external partners and an in-house content marketing expert team). These elements have an impact on the frequency of putting out content via the different channels you use. Frequency is important, but it doesn’t mean you should create content on all platforms every day. Let’s take blogging as an example. When you blog you create expectations among your readers, also regarding frequency. If you blog a lot for a while, and then you stop, it’s impossible to create a valuable and lasting dialogue. Setting these expectations at the beginning is important. Find the right mix and certainly do the math on the cost and return on your blog efforts, compared to the needs of your readers and … [Read more...]

Six Quick Tips to Get Blogging Ideas


You want to share your knowledge and be a regular blogger? You write but run out of inspiration now and then? You want to get some ideas to blog about fast? You want to write about topics that are interesting for readers but don't know where to start? Check out the following six quick and easy tips to get it done. 1. Use Google Alerts to inform you about latest industry news With Google Alerts you can easily track news and find interesting new content about topics that inspire you. Don’t create too many alerts; focus on three main search terms. Alerts can be delivered into your mailbox or sent as a feed. … [Read more...]

Ten Blogging Lessons from Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan

2012 is the year of oversaturation. On social media too. So says Chris Brogan. He has a point. You know the phenomenon. There is too much 'noise'. And we need filters. "Content curation" is hot. That’s why Twitter acquired Summify. We will scale down. We live in a consumption society, says Brogan. "People can barely read a tweet." We must keep everything brief. Ten blogging lessons. … [Read more...]

B2B Content Marketing: How are European Marketers Applying it?

B2B Content Marketing: What is it & How are European Marketers Applying it?

Content marketing is one of those terms that are tossed around a lot today and not well understood by many marketers. To put it as simply as possible, content marketing is about providing valuable content to your prospects and customers via a variety of channels. Content marketing is not a sales brochure or a spec sheet or anything of that sort. Content marketing is not just sterile data, but insight coming from expertise. You’re adding value to the product by showing people not what it does, but what people do with it. You have to think more like an editor and ask yourself what serves the interests of customers and prospects. What’s going to get them talking about your brand or your product?  Take off the sales hat, don the editor’s hat and ask yourself if the content serves the reader. That’s a good baseline to start your content marketing strategy from . … [Read more...]

Tips on Fighting Blogger’s Block: Re-Blogging is Not the Answer

Fighting Blogger’s Block: Re-Blogging is Not the Answer

We’ve all been there before: that time in the life of your blog where you just can’t think of something to write about. The famous blogger's block. I’ve been a writer and blogger for a number of years. I get it. Sometimes, it’s a serious struggle to find content for your blog. When you have blogger’s block (a very acute form of writer’s block), you’ll do just about anything to grab some ideas for content. And it’s tempting to give in and take and/or borrow other people’s content. But let me tell you this: re-Blogging is not the answer. … [Read more...]

7 Social Marketing Insights

Seven Social Marketing Inisghts

I’m known for turning a phrase now and then. You’ll find them (some of which have been inspired by other, smarter people) scattered through my posts around the web. Today, I thought I would gather seven of them to share with you all in one place. How insightful they actually are is for you to judge, but I do hope this post generates some thought and discussion. 1 - The web is driven by communities Communities laid the foundation for the web and they continue to be its engine. It’s certainly true that once companies developed transaction technology, the web started to develop into a commerce channel and money from that kept building it. However, without communities all you would have is huge strip mall with infinite parking. Understanding how communities grow and interact can help you develop a communication strategy which will work. 2 - The email vs. social debate is a red herring being used by some to drive personal agendas By definition any interaction between two people … [Read more...]

Viewing the Future of Television

Viewing the Future of Television

My father always referred to TV as the “boob tube” AKA, that mind sucking box which terrifies any parent when they observe the trance like state it places their kids in. To give you an idea of how dependent many of us have become, a recent study by Razorfish had trouble finding people who were willing to give up TV for more than a couple of days for $350 bucks! One very interesting thing which came out of the study (at least for me) is that kids today want TV to be personalized – to react to you. They’d like to see TV which responds to your mood and offers the appropriate programming based on that. As far as priorities go, the younger generation wants portability (we keep hearing that about all channels don’t we?). They want personalized TV which travels the globe with them. No more bad TV in foreign hotel rooms – your own TV shows should travel from home to plane to that overseas hotel with you. What about the future of TV? Is it going to evolve or just wink out like the last … [Read more...]

Parents are Social and Cross Channel Consumers

Parents are Social and Cross-Channel Consumers

It’s pretty easy to start thinking that demographics are just about age and gender, but of course, there’s a lot more to it than that. What channels people frequent are affected by where they happen to be in their lives and what they are focused on. Those stages and the inherent priorities are important flags which marketers should be sensitive to. According to a report from Media Audit (as reported by eMarketer) on social media users, where we happen to be in life means different frequency and usage of different channels. It won’t come as any surprise that younger respondents with no kids are the most active on Facebook, Twitter or Myspace. However, the study also found that adults with children were much more likely to be on social sites. More than 60% of those adults with kids living at home used Facebook, Twitter or Myspace. Parents with young children under six were the most avid users with 67.1% responding they had been on one social site at least in the past month, while … [Read more...]

Whitepaper: B2B Blogging Trends in 2011

B2B Blogging Trends in 2011

B2B blogging can be tricky, but rewarding all the same. The hardest question may well be whether you even want to start one in the first place. That’s one of the questions the folks from Aggregage posed to a number of B2B blogging thought leaders in a new whitepaper titled: B2B Blogging Trends in 2011. It’s a 42 page snappy presentation of tips and insight which will help your organization make the right moves when it comes to blogging for business. And when you consider that only 50% of businesses out there have blogs, you can see the need for some thoughtful expert advice in this area. As well, it also means that opportunities to leverage blogging and establish your company as an authority abound in the coming year. Amazingly, with one of the most powerful marketing tools in existence today, you still have time to get in on the ground floor! After reading this report with the wealth of insight from people such as Jay Baer, Tom Pick, Samir Balwani and Erik Qualman, you shouldn’t … [Read more...]

What Makes Good Online Marketing Content?

What Makes Good Online Marketing Content?

  I once worked with a broadcaster who hosted the morning drive show in Ottawa, Canada. We were having lunch one day and I asked him how he prepared for his show. He explained his secret show prep method to me and as I listened, my jaw slowly started to descend. About twice a week he would board a random city bus in rush hour and ride along for an hour or two, listening to what people were talking about. Again randomly, he would choose a stop to get off at near some local breakfast diner and go in for a coffee. Once again, his objective was to be the “fly on the wall” and eavesdrop on what the talk of the day was. According to him, about one trip a week provided more than enough show prep. Doing this allowed my colleague to discern what issues were relevant and resonating with people in his market. By being aware of what people were talking about, he was able to add his own voice to the discussion and feed the conversation further. I was reminded of this when I read … [Read more...]

Blogs Are the Hubs of the Social Network Ecosystem


Many businesses don't have a blog yet. Too bad since blogs are really social media hubs and more. But there is hope. Since blogs are almost a must for all businesses that want to do "something" with social media. A little more than a decade ago many companies had no websites. And if they had one, it was often no more than some online brochure. Now, for most businesses their website is a critical part of their daily basis and a hub where various online and offline activities start and come together. In little over ten years the corporate site has become a crucial component of the marketing and communication strategy. Today companies face a new challenge: social media. Actually, the challenge is not that new but the success of social media and the fact that people continuously want more control over the communication process and tap into their social networks force companies to use social media as well. Social media, including blogs, are so frequently used by people - and thus … [Read more...]

Measuring ROI on Content Marketing and Creation

Business goals metrics and ROI

Measuring ROI on content marketing is not straightforward; that is why most firms put measurement on the back burner. But measuring doesn't have to be difficult and is an essential part of each content marketing strategy. I asked a panel of B2B marketing experts "How can B2B marketers measure return on investment (leads generated, market awareness etc) for the money/effort spent on creating and marketing content? Share one example of ROI tool/strategy that has worked either for you or your client." Ardath Albee: "Depth of Engagement" Ardath Albee is a B2B Marketing Strategist. Her company Marketing Interactions helps companies with complex sales and quantify marketing effectiveness by using interactive e-marketing strategies driven by compelling content. She empowers her clients to create customer-centric nurturing programs that leverage strategic story development to engage prospects until they are sales ready. Ardath’s book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale is … [Read more...]

Developing A B2B Content Promotional Strategy In 7 Steps

digital content and publishing concept

We talk a lot about B2B content creation, but content promotion is equally important. When you want to promote your latest eBook, white paper or any other offer, there are two things to consider: Where do you want to promote your offer What message do you want to communicate? By answering the seven questions below, you can focus your thoughts and streamline your efforts. What is your objective? Be specific about the goal of your offer. For instance, do you want to generate leads, build a list, create buzz or establish yourself as a thought leader? Your decision in this area is one of the determining factors to decide if you should require registration for your white paper, eBook or other B2B content. Who is your target audience? I'm a big believer in targeting each promotion to a very specific audience; a one-size-fits-all approach usually results in nebulous offer that resonates with no one. To hone in on important prospect details, I suggest creating a buyer … [Read more...]

Content Marketing: When Stories, Emotions and People Meet

Joe Pulizzi

Content, my passion, has for many years been treated as the ugly duckling of the online marketing universe. Today however, this seems to have changed. Or better, from the European perspective I maybe should say “it starts to change”. Yes, I'm talking about content marketing. Exchanging ideas and thoughts on content marketing with some European friends, content marketing evangelist Joe Pulizzi, Bob Gilbreath and Wunderman's David Sable, confirmed a lot of viewpoints and resulted in new ideas and views. This post is the start of a series of posts covering these thought exchanges. Those who provide pertinent content in a creative way and in function of the customer or prospect, his preferences and the touchpoints across his buying journey have an enormous, competitive advantage. … [Read more...]

Content Marketing: Marketers Finally Start Looking Inside the Box

content box concept

Interactive marketers know since many years that content is crucial. Content is what conversion and conversation with customers and prospects is based on. As been beautifully put to words by management expert Bob Boiko, a website without content is an empty box. Without content there are no emails, no white papers, no landing pages, no blogs, etc. Welcome to content marketing. Online content comes in all weights and measures. Since a couple of years, content is (finally) getting the attention it deserves. And lately, also non-written forms of online content gain attention. For example, think of online video or slideshare presentations. But first and foremost, Internet is still a textual medium, especially when it comes to marketing. It's the words in SEA that generate clicks. An email's subject line is one of the most important reasons why the mail will be opened. The same goes for the words used in a call-to-action in an ad or on a website. They determine if the beholder decides … [Read more...]

Markets are Still Conversations: Why Blogging is Necessary

blog blogging

Lately I have been reading quite some posts about the "end (and even death) of blogging". Often, this is related to the increasing success of other social media (yes, blogs are social media and even very important ones, in fact they are social media hubs) and I guess that, after having declared email marketing dead, it's time to find something new the media can focus on. But let's get real. During lots of conversations with people from the business world, I notice that there still exist a lot of misconceptions about (corporate) blogs and their importance. Sometimes, I even have to explain what blogs actually are and, yes, there are plenty of businesses that are reluctant and even scared to set up a blog. I can tell them about all different kind of blogs, as Debbie Weil summarized in her book about corporate blogging, and what they can do for them. Sometimes, I have to keep it even simpler and tell them that a blog is a type of website where people can post texts, updates, … [Read more...]

How Content Travels and Works in Social: Stories and People

content marketing story sharing concept

Content is a key element in all forms of marketing: without good and relevant content there are no emails, there is no sharing and your site or blog doesn’t rank in search engines. Certainly in this era where people actively seek information that is pertinent for their needs, questions or buying journey, personalized and valuable content is crucial. However, content in a social context is about more than that. With the heritage of traditional views on marketing deeply rooted in our thinking, we still too often tend to look at the media and channels more than at the content. On top of that, we often value the content we create more than what it is ultimately about: what do people want to receive or find when and how. People, their needs and the networks they use So the starting points of content in a business or media context are the customer/consumer and the business goals we want to achieve (the “Why”). If our purpose is to generate traffic and buzz, regardless of the medium, … [Read more...]

A Good Reason to Invest in B2B Marketing Content: Sales

B2B marketing

Content marketing is about conversations, conversion, value, social media, lead nurturing, acquisition, inbound and outbound. But in the end it's about Sales 2.0, regardless of the medium. Content plays such a crucial role in this digital era that a new discipline has evolved around it: ‘content marketing’. Content is important in both B2C and B2B marketing but as a B2B marketer I would like to look with you briefly at how content is used in lead management, customer interactions and how B2B content marketing ultimately is…sales. Even though the name ‘content marketing’ is relatively new, the use of content in B2B marketing isn’t. We all have been using white papers to generate leads for decades and we have always known that content is crucial in engaging email recipients, having our websites found and providing our customers with valuable information. However, content marketing is more than that and the fact that a new 'school' as it were, has arisen around it, is no … [Read more...]

The Purposes of Content and Conversations


Content has always been key in online marketing. Ask any good email marketer. These days, content is even more important in all forms of interactive marketing. But that does not mean it’s the only thing that matters. Context is important as well. And, though content is crucial it’s how your business and people use it that truly matters. The context within which content is featured, is essential for the impact of the content on conversion, interaction, reach, engagement and in the end sales. People are increasingly seeking information themselves and use ever more channels to do so. Marketers have to make sure the information and thus content (potential) customers are seeking, is available to them when, where and how they want. Content also remains key in domains where it has always been crucial such as search engine marketing. And it is of the utmost importance in outbound marketing techniques and of course in email marketing.The context in which content exists is defined by the … [Read more...]