The book is full of “aha” moments for me. I’m highlighting certain sections and then taking notes for future implementation of the ideas generated from them.
I recently was struck by the truth of Joe’s statement:
My friend and colleague Jay Baer, author of Youtility, says there is no right or wrong when it comes to content marketing, only “more right” or “less right.” So many marketers and business owners are looking for that silver-bullet methodology that will solve all their business problems. You can stop searching for this.
The best I can hope for you is that you start asking more of the right questions, which will lead you to plan for “more right” rather than “less right.” The best business books I have read, from Seth Godin to David Meerman Scott, have always challenged me to ask better questions. Through the years, I’ve noticed that most marketing plans don’t work because not enough questions are asked. Don’t make this mistake.
Pulizzi, Joe (2013-09-07). Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less (p. 68). McGraw-Hill. Kindle Edition.
The reason it’s so tempting to find that “silver bullet” is because the business world is moving at warp speed. At least it feels that way.
We open up our online news aggregator application that shows us 20, 30, or maybe a 100 blogs and websites that we’re following. We try to consume as much information as we can as marketers but fear we’re missing out on something important.
And we have a tendency to think that results happen overnight simply because we can access information about an industry in milliseconds.
But the truth is, we need to give ourselves time to ask questions, to think things through, to mull over ideas and then thoughtfully develop a plan.
The Pressure of Innovation
With content marketing, you’re not trying to be the first to bring a new product to market. You’re trying to connect with your market. This is a significant distinction.
In his book, Joe Pulizzi quotes Jeff Ernst from Forrester: “Consumers no longer buy our products and services; they buy into our approach to solving their problems.”
So how long does it take for you to trust someone to solve your problem? You probably trust your friend of 17 years but would you trust the opinion of someone you just met?
The pressure you feel from either your boss or perhaps yourself is akin to the insecure girlfriend asking after the first date, “So, where is this relationship going?” She wants a relationship but can’t wait for it to develop naturally. She feels the need to push it in that direction.
In content marketing, this looks like a barrage of promotional emails and content that focuses on a business’ offerings. It’s self-serving and predictably, doesn’t attract that many fans.
For businesses to differentiate themselves with content marketing, they need to ask questions about who their audience is and what they want. After doing that, then you can develop the kind of content marketing that will be engaging and meaningful.