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Epic Content Marketing focuses on what is important to customers rather than on simply promoting products. Marketing tactics shift from pushing product facts to helping customers understand how the product improves their lives. Content marketing answers the questions of potential customers and helps them solve problems, while also promoting the product. Success depends on identifying the specific content niche based on how people would best fit the product into their lives. Social media offers an excellent communication and marketing channel because it enables posting content with an authentic voice and information of value. SEO is equally important because it makes your content visible to the audience through search engines.
Author Joe Pulizzi is a pioneer in content marketing, having first used the term in 2001 before the business world recognized the shifting communication practices in the marketplace. By 2013, content marketing was rapidly growing as a search term on Google. Pulizzi defines epic content marketing as the marketing and business process for creating and distributing valuable and compelling content that is focused on a well-understood targeted customer group. There are three words of the utmost importance - valuable, compelling, targeted. Traditional marketing focused on pushing a product’s features and is static, i.e. the same commercial plays over and over again on television or the same billboard remains visible for months. It is also mostly disruptive marketing, forcing a person to give the marketing material some attention, i.e. television commercial. Successful content marketing is an innovative way to serve customers. Innovation in customer service, says the book Sticky Branding, helps a company attract customers and succeed.
Epic Content Marketing is not static. It is focused on delivering regularly updated content of personal value to potential and existing customers in the places where they are most likely to search for it - print, social media, online, mobile, in-person, etc. One of the most important points to grasp before getting too deep into the book is that customers do not care about your products, services, or your company. Customers care about themselves. Customers want to read or view content that meets their needs and wants and is presented in an entertaining way. You do not pitch products; you engage buyers. It is similar to the premise of the book They Ask You Answer in that you let people’s needs guide marketing.
Just like the book Experiences explains, campaign-oriented approaches to marketing are over. In its place is content marketing. In his book, Pulizzi first sets the stage for understanding what content marketing is and how it can engage buyers. Companies embracing content marketing are at one of three levels. At the first level, the company is already producing content that attracts readers to their marketing channels and is generating new business. At the second level, the brand produces content that makes the company a thought leader delivering value.
At the third level, the brand becomes a storyteller which means an emotional connection is established with people. Achieving the third level of audience engagement requires developing a deep understanding of issues important to the people. Pulizzi discusses creating a persona which is a fictional representative of the people in the targeted market niche. What are their demographics, characteristics, needs and wants? Having this information in hand is the only way to determine how your brand’s products or services can meet their needs. The book The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing discusses positioning products in consumer minds, and that is precisely what your content marketing will do.
The next step is to form an epic content marketing team with responsibilities like content creation and audience management. The team is responsible for creating an immersive experience like that discussed in the book F*ck Content Marketing. A team of people who understand how to create storytelling content and track the effectiveness of the marketing is essential to success. At that point, the brand is ready to make the marketing epic - the real theme of the book.
One of the best things about this book is that Pulizza offers thorough and specific advice, like the do’s and don’ts of content marketing. He gives 15 reasons why current content marketing may not currently be working in an organization. You get multiple perspectives on content marketing through interviews with corporate leaders. Pulizza walks the reader through the steps to creating epic content and making epic content marketing work for the brand. They include learning the kind of memorable stories that people can apply to their needs, defining content, selecting a strategy to create an engagement cycle, managing story creation, marketing the stories, and measuring the impact of the marketing. Storytelling is one way to leverage the psychology of persuasion as described in the book INFLUENCE. Metrics are important to ensuring the content marketing is working and to getting buy-in from organizational members. The metrics address consumption, shares, leads, and sales.
Pulizza forecast the direction consumers would take in terms of buying. For example, storytelling was a new concept in 2013, and today storytelling is common practice. Stories are persuaders and sales generators, like the author describes in the book The Ultimate Sales Machine, but without pushy sales talk. Think of the short videos, blogs and social media posts available today that actually tell a story, proving the brand understands and cares about its audience. The author also anticipated the importance of mastering SEO and selecting the social media platforms that best fit the targeted market. This is a good book to read in order to return to the roots of content marketing as a means of assessing the approach your company is using today. Ninety-percent of the information in the book is timeless.
Joe Pulizzi is an author, podcaster, marketing speaker and entrepreneur. He is recognized as an early authority and current expert on content marketing, making him a sought after global speaker. Pulizzi is the founder of Content Marketing Institute (CMI), launched in 2007 as Junta42, which offers a wealth of training opportunities and advice. There are links to his articles, research, events, a magazine, and consulting service on the site.
CMI quickly became an industry leader in content marketing matching. Due to requests to expand services to content marketing education, in 2011 Pulizzi developed Content Marketing World and CCO Magazine.. He has been called an evangelist for content marketing. Today, CMI is the leading global content marketing education and training organization offering consulting, research and a variety of resources. The website also has links to blogs, articles and business guides. Followers can connect on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube and visit the CMI slideshare site.
Content Marketing Institute hosts the annual Content Marketing World event. It is the largest in-person content marketing event in the world. In 2014, Pulizzi received the John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council.
Pulizzi has written or co-authored six books to date. In addition to Epic Content Marketing, he wrote the books Content. Inc. and The Will to Die, a suspense novel, .He also co-authored the books Killing Marketing, Managing Content Marketing and Get Content, Get Customers. Fortune Magazine named the book Epic Content Marketing as one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013.”. Paluzzi is the author of The Random Newsletter in which he shares marketing ideas every two week..
The most recent venture of the content marketing expert is the founding of The Tilt, a digital content news site. This Old Marketing podcasts offer the shared insights of Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose and has been downloaded in more than 150 countries.
Joe Pulizzi is co-founder and board member of the Orange Effect Foundation which provides grants to children with speech disorders who need consistent speech therapy or technology equipment.