Throughout our InterviewFX series, we’ve interviewed a lot of Internet marketers and we’ve interviewed a lot of authors. Joe Pulizzi is both. He’s one of the leaders behind the content marketing movement, and his book Epic Content Marketing is one of the best marketing resources out there.
We talked with Joe about content marketing, mistakes people make when starting out, and what makes content “epic” instead of just “good.” Check out what he had to say in 2015’s first interview!
1. Do you feel it’s necessary for a company to have a dedicated content marketer position to create content for their customers? Or can they truly succeed at content marketing without this?
Ultimately, yes. If a company of any size wants to be serious about real content marketing results, they need someone in the organization to own it. But at the start, I think it’s fine to use current resources to make this happen. Often times, the strategy can be owned by someone in marketing and much of the execution and production can be outsourced to journalists, editors and broadcasters.
2. What separates “good” content marketing from “epic” content marketing?
Today, good is not good enough. Good gets you ignored. Good doesn’t grab anyone’s attention. To be epic, you need to do a few things.
First, you need to find a content niche that you have a chance at being the leading informational expert in that industry. You also need to have a point-of-view. You need to develop content consistently that works to build a loyal audience over time. You need to remove all sales pitches from your content.
Perhaps most importantly, you need to set the goal to become the leading informational provider in your niche. If you don’t at least set the goal, you’ll never set yourself up for success.
3. Where do most people go wrong when starting content marketing?
Most people think the answer to this is quality content. In most cases that’s incorrect. The majority of marketers fail at content marketing because they either stop producing the content or do not do it on a consistent basis.
4. How to you respond to people that think that if they just create good content, people will find it?
I usually ask “how will they find it?” Most likely, the person asking this question doesn’t have an initial audience to distribute their content to. Since that’s the case, how will anyone see the content they are distributing?
Part of creating a documented content marketing strategy is marketing the marketing. “Create it and they will come” is an ignorant strategy. It’s like saying that just because you created an advertisement, people will find it. For the ad to be seen, you have to place it in front of others, right?
5. What are some books, articles, or blogs you would recommend to those new to the topic of content marketing?
Our entire team at CMI just produced a post with hundreds of outside resources to help with content marketing. Here it is!
Bonus: What are you currently working on?
I’m in the process of launching a podcast/online platform/book project called Content Inc. Content Inc. is the idea that entrepreneurs can be more successful by first focusing on building an audience through content and then launching a product once the audience is built. The podcasts launched in December but the book will launch before Content Marketing World in September.
Joe Pulizzi is founder of Content Marketing Institute, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World.