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Interview with Joe Pulizzi- Tackling the Latest Content Marketing Trends and Sneak Peek of New Book

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Today, Ebyline is proud to present an exclusive interview with Joe Pulizzi- CEO, entrepreneur, speaker, blogger, and author. We asked Joe to fill us in on the latest content marketing trends and give us a sneak peek on his upcoming book, Epic Content Marketing.

Joe is known as the “Godfather of Content Marketing”, using the now ubiquitous term as early as 2001.

He founded the Content Marketing Institute, the go-to source for content marketing news, in-depth research, and forward- thinking articles.

He is also the founder of Content Marketing World, an annual conference with workshops, a two day “show” (that word is an understatement), and summits. This year’s show will kick off September 9-11 in Cleveland, OH and features William Shatner, Jay Baer, and Lee Odden, among others.

He has frequent speaking engagements all over the country, and works hands-on to coach individual companies.

He entertains and teaches every week on the Content Marketing Institute Blog. If that wasn’t enough, he is the author of three books, the latest of which- Epic Content Marketing- is set to release this September.

How would you explain the importance and basic function of content marketing to my grandmother?

Buyers are so distracted with so many marketing messages today (more than 5,000 per day). It’s incredibly hard to get their attention. Instead of trying to interrupt their day with advertising, content marketing is about creating content they enjoy, so we can build a long-term relationship with the buyer. It’s less like marketing and more like publishing. So, think about your favorite television show, radio show or magazine. Content marketing is about doing those things ourselves (be the content you love) instead of just buying ads around the content you love.


If you had to pick one source for a beginner in the industry to start their research, what would you recommend?

Talk to your customers. Find out- what are their informational pain points? Make a list of their questions.


Are there still some industries that are out of reach of the benefits of content marketing?

I’ve never found an industry that can’t benefit from some aspect of content marketing. It really depends on the goal. Is it demand generation, customer retention and loyalty, or possibly some piece of content to help them move through the buyer’s journey? Now that said, the manufacturing industry is a bit lagging. Financial and Healthcare are coming on, but they aren’t taking the content risks they need to at this point (due to fear).

I’ve never found an industry that can’t benefit from some aspect of content marketing.”


What would you tell businesses to help them cope with the transition from finite campaigns to a long term marketing strategy?

Try to hit singles instead of home runs. If you go for the home run and big budget programs, you’ll run into an incredible amount of politics and critics. It’s best to start with very specific content marketing goals, such as search, social sharing and demand generation…or focusing on a customer retention program to help keep customers longer.

Second, it’s helpful to clearly show the executive team how your buyers buy. Specifically- that they don’t buy the way our marketing is positioned.

Third…hire some journalists and storytellers. Most organizations are poor storytellers.


A lot of start-ups want to know- What is the best way to organize roles in a small organization when so many aspects of content marketing overlap?

Everyone can keep their roles…just get one person to lead the content strategy, and bring all those different groups together pertaining to content marketing. For more, this will help.


What do you think of the likelihood that Google will introduce AuthorRank in the coming year?

I’d rather play the lottery. Honestly, it doesn’t matter. If you adhere to basic content marketing principles, all will be fine. Brian Clark from Copyblogger wrote a great article on this.


With so many social media channels opening up, such as Pinterest, Vine, and now Instagram Video, how do you make a decision about which channels to include in your business strategy, and which to leave unused?

Ask yourself: Where are your customers hanging out? first. Those should be your focus. If a majority of your customers are using these tools to help make buying decisions, you need to be there.

The better strategy would be to be great at one channel (say, a blog) and then experiment, integrate and test usage of these new tools to see how it resonates with your audience.

Ask yourself: Where are your customers hanging out?”


How has the last Google update affected SEO for you and what do you expect from Google in the future to improve quality searches?

So far (fingers crossed), every update has helped us. We produce high-quality, original content from very smart people. That content is shared by many different people as well. These are all things Google likes and should continue to like.


In your first book, Get Content Get Customers, you focused on persuading businesses to use content marketing. In the second, Managing Content Marketing, you showed readers how to implement in great detail. What direction will your book coming out in September- Epic Content Marketing – take in expanding your overall message?

Get Content Get Customers was written when content marketing was just a pup. Managing Content Marketing is very specifically written for organizational challenges in larger companies. Epic Content Marketing contains both the why, the plan and the execution details for any-sized business to find successful. It’s basically everything I’ve learned in the last 15 years in the business.

It’s basically everything I’ve learned in the last 15 years in the business.”


More about Joe and the person behind the frame:

What is your first priority when you come into the office every morning?

To make sure I’m not holding another team member from being great at their work.

With the season coming to an end, what was the personal highlight of your summer this year?

Spending time with the family. The first five months of the year included CRAZY travel and I was gone a lot. This summer has included some great quality time with my wife and two boys.