Think you have a content strategy? Think again.
On the eve of Content Marketing World Sydney, we sit down with content marketer extraordinaire Joe Pulizzi to find out more.
Joe Pulizzi, content marketing evangelist, author and founder of the Content Marketing Institute, has asked Australian marketers to revisit their understanding of content strategy and think carefully about the ways in which content is integrated within organisational marketing processes.
Help is never far away though: Joe and the amazing orange brigade known as the Content Marketing Institute are busily preparing to bring the world’s largest content marketing conference, Content Marketing World, to Sydney again this March.
King Content managed to grab some time with Joe this week to discuss the much-hyped explosion of content marketing, its adoption in the Australian market and why he’s looking forward to returning Down Under.
Q. Content marketing has exploded in the past few years from being relatively niche to a key component in any digital strategy. Why do you think marketers have so readily adopted content marketing?
Joe: We are beyond the experimental stage with digital marketing. Getting found in search engines, driving online leads or demand, and having social media work for you in any way is completely dependent on the stories we tell and content we produce.
None of our marketing goals work online without being helpful, compelling and interesting. That’s why brands are running to develop content marketing strategies. Brands have figured out they need to communicate with customers digitally, but that customers don’t want anything to do with brands unless they provide value in some way.
Q. As more brands begin content marketing, do you think there is a danger of brands oversaturating their online audiences with ineffective content? How can brands counter this?
Joe: Ineffective content? Absolutely. Our customers don’t need any more useless content about how good our products or services are. Our customers have all the power to get information that will help them live better lives or get better jobs. If we as brands don’t provide that kind of content, there is no way we will get our customers’ attention.
The only way to win is to become the leading informational provider for our customer audience. To consistently produce amazing information to that specific niche. To have a point of view that differentiates our story. And to stop talking like a company and start talking like a human being. It’s not rocket science, but it does start with a strategy – something most brands simply do not have.
Q. Recent research released by the Content Marketing Institute revealed that only 52 per cent of Australian marketers using content marketing have a documented content strategy.
How does this compare with the US?
Why should Australian content marketers develop documented content strategies?
Joe: I’m torn about these results. They show that Australia is a bit ahead of the curve when it comes to creating content strategies, but I believe that most organisations don’t know what it means to have a documented content strategy. From our discussions with larger Australian brands, most are still at the very beginning of this process and are learning how to integrate content marketing processes into the marketing function. We are still in the early adoption phase.
A good first step: look at all the channels you are creating content for (Facebook, Twitter, email, events, print, etc.) and ask yourself why you are creating content for that channel. Do you have a clear mission and objectives for each?
Q. The Content Marketing Institute produces an astounding amount of great content. What’s your organisational secret to successful content?
- Focus on a niche where we can be the leading providers of information to our audience.
- Talk to our audience on a regular basis.
- Choose channels that we can master and dedicate resources to (forget the rest).
- Consistently publish. This is the most important one and where most people fall down. We publish 365 posts per year. Every day, same time, same location, we publish. Once you stop publishing you break your content promise to your customers. Most brands, at some point, stop the chain. Never stop the chain.
Q. Do you have any favourite examples of brands doing content marketing well?
Joe: Well, Red Bull is perhaps the best-known content marketer on the planet. Red Bull Media House is an actual content centre of excellence (publishing operation) inside Red Bull. The Red Bulletin magazine has more than 5 million subscribers and Red Bull actually makes sales directly off its video and image content (by licensing it out to media companies). Red Bull looks at content as an asset and that’s why it works for them.
Q. It’s Content Marketing World’s second time in Australia. Are you looking forward to coming back Down Under?
What can marketers expect from the speakers at the conference?
Joe: I am so excited about the brands and experts we are bringing in. We had a lot of requests for more experts from the States, and we are doing that. What I’m really excited about is that we are talking about real, tangible organisational change around content marketing, not pie-in-the-sky theories. Anyone who goes to CMW Sydney will be blown away. I can’t wait to come back Down Under.
Register today for Content Marketing World Sydney, 31 March – 2 April 2014.