About the Author
Joe Pulizzi is a marketing speaker, author, and entrepreneur. He founded the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), which is the leading educational organization for using different forms of information to generate business. His book, Epic Content Marketing, published in 2014, was named a must-read business book by Fortune Magazine.
What is Content Marketing?
Epic Content Marketing is broken down into 5 parts, which are as follows:
- Content Marketing – There and Back Again
- Defining Your Content Niche and Strategy
- Managing the Content Process
- Marketing Your Stories
- Making Content Work
The first section answers some key questions: what is content marketing and why should you use it in your business. According to Pulizzi, the formal definition of content marketing is:
The marketing and business process for creating and distributing valuable and compelling content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
What makes it different from traditional marketing methods is that traditional marketing focuses on making the sale. With content marketing though, the goal is to provide value to the potential client. You must focus on understanding what their wants and needs are and provide relevant content to meet those needs. This will get them to pay attention to you. Pulizzi cautions that not everyone is ready to make a purchase right away, but by providing content that is relevant, it will keep them coming back until they are ready to buy.
Defining Your Content Marketing Niche and Strategy
In the second section of Pulizzi’s book, he provides tools for the reader to help discover their personalized strategy. He cautions that there’s not a one size fits all, “magic bullet” approach when it comes to content marketing – every business is different and therefore the content marketing needs will vary. However, there is a formula you can follow to help develop your strategy. You must define your goal, define your audience, understand how your audience buys, choose your content niche and then develop your mission statement. After taking these steps, you’re ready to start producing and distributing content.
Manage and Market Your Content
Parts 3 & 4 teach the reader how to manage and market content. Depending on whether you’re a small business owner who’s just starting out or CMO at a Fortune 500 company, you’ll need a process that fits your specific business model. Within Part 3, Pulizzi offers recommendations for companies of different sizes and industries. Additionally, he provides recommendations on how to set up editorial calendars, create a content platform, and a plan for which channels your content should appear on.
Where to Share Your Content
Next, Pulizzi offers guidance on where to share your content so that it makes the most impact. In today’s digital age, there are so many more channels (print, TV, Radio, OOH, steaming services, social media, influencers, etc.) and so many different types of content (print, digital, graphics, infographics, white papers, etc.). It’s important to determine which channels are right for your business and your brand.
The final section of Pulizzi’s book discusses measurement, which is arguably the most important component of content marketing (all marketing). You can have a great strategy in place, but if you do not take the time to analyze the results of your campaigns and make necessary adjustments, you will not be successful. In part 5, the author provides a clear framework for measuring the success of your plan.
You Should Read it Too
I would recommend this book to any business owner or new marketing professional who is ready to get into the world of digital marketing. This book is also a great read if you are looking to improve upon your already existent skills. The book is available on Amazon.com in hardcover, audiobook, and Kindle, so get your hands on one today.