How to Get Started With Content Marketing
At the 2015 NAMM Show, leading marketing expert Joe Pulizzi took to the show floor after his Breakfast Session. He gave audience members a kick-start on content marketing in a nitty-gritty NAMM Idea Center presentation, "Epic Marketing: Get Started With Content Marketing."
“When we say content marketing, we’re talking about valuable, relevant, compelling content that we’re going to create on a consistent basis,” Pulizzi said.
He shared six guidelines to keep in mind with content marketing:
1. Fill a need. Focus on who your core customer is and what need you want to fill for them. “Ninety-nine percent of the time when your customers don’t need anything from you, how can you be interesting, amazingly relevant and valuable to them?” Pulizzi asked rhetorically. Instead of talking about your products and services, recognize your customers’ pain point and solve their problem. He stressed that you take it seriously—publish amazing content that fills a need.
2. Be consistent. Consistency, not quality, is where we tend to fall down. With content marketing, you’re creating an expectation or promise with your customer, such as making sure your e-newsletter goes out regularly when it needs to, without fail.
3. Be human. What’s your tone? Who are you? What’s your voice with your customers? “You’re a storyteller,” Pulizzi said.
4. Have a point of view. “If you’re trying to create content for everybody, you’re creating content for nobody,” he said, adding that you’re probably not going to get the engagement you want if you don’t take a stance. If you go middle of the road, you’ll get ignored. Have a clear point of view.
5. Remove the sale. The more you try to pitch your products and services, the less your message will travel and the fewer people will share it. “You already have plenty of content about your products and services,” Pulizzi said. “Don’t stop doing that, but where you’re going to make an impact and build an audience is when you keep the sales out of it.”
6. Be best of breed (the goal). You might have different audiences that you’re targeting, such as musicians, recording artists and parents. What kind of needs do they have? Who is it you’re trying to target, and how can you be the leading information provider for them in your area? Once you identify your target audience, you can connect with them in different channels—blog, podcast, video, newsletters and social media.
According to Pulizzi, we tend to get hung up on social media metrics, but they’re meaningless by themselves. He suggested using social media channels to build assets—an email subscriber.
“Email is more powerful today than it’s ever been before,” Pulizzi said. “It’s the one thing you own. Own that relationship, and get them into some kind of email product.
“If you create followings on different social channels, such as Facebook and Google Plus, they can change the game and start charging for marketing access. Convert these followers to email subscribers. For small businesses, you’re looking at nine months to build a relationship and a good customer base.”
Pulizzi then opened the floor to Q&A from retailers and attendees, delivering some practical examples and firsthand tips on blogs, how to treat multiple audiences, titling your content, hashtags, reaching teen audiences, website landing pages, formatting emails, keywords and more. (Watch the video for more information.)
He reminded the audience to focus on one thing: “It’s not about the products you sell; it’s about the person you’re targeting. Build the relationship first.”