Byravee Iyer
Apr 9, 2014

Brands need clear purpose for content marketing: Joe Pulizzi

SINGAPORE - Nine out of ten marketers use content marketing, yet few feel they are effective with it. At the Content Marketing Asia conference yesterday, Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, shared best practice advice.

Pulizzi: content needs to be valuable
Pulizzi: content needs to be valuable

Pulizzi put together five quick tips to help brands with content marketing. “We’re seeing this big shift to owned media,” he said. “Brands need to attract customers by creating valuable, compelling and consistent content to change or enhance behaviour.”

Tip #1: Create an objective

Content marketing is done to either drive sales, save costs or create happier customers. “If you’re not doing that, you don’t have the right strategy.”

·         Driving sales - Copy Blogger is a small B2B technology company that practices content marketing to help brands build their businesses online. The software and training company has about 200,000 subscribers on its ebooks and online marketing courses.  A solid 100 per cent of its revenue comes from these subscribers, Pulizzi points out.

·         Saving Costs - Denmark’s Jyske Bank is an example of how a variety of content marketing initiatives helped save costs. The company used its US$2.5 million marketing budget to create a video production studio for creating online content. The result: the bank doesn’t need to pay for sponsorship deals.

·         Creating happier customers – In 1895, tractor manufacturer John Deere launched The Furrow magazine, providing business information to farmers. The first-of-its-kind publication has become the leading media product in the farming industry and has over 1.5 million subscribers. “More people read this than any publication from a traditional media company, ”Pulizzi proclaimed.

Tip #2: Create a content marketing mission

According to Pulizzi, brands rarely have an editorial mission statement. It’s important to have one. In 2003, P&G launched, a home care website with a simple mission: Enabling women to have more quality time with their families. Today, the site has over 10 million subscribers. Similarly, Indum Corporation, a B2B engineering company has tasked 17 engineers to blog for them on a regular basis on industrial solder. The company appointed an editor to make the content more engaging. This move helped the company increased qualified leads by 600 per cent.

Tip #3: Don’t build your content on rented land

Pulizzi cites the example of Starbucks, which has about 36 million fans on FB. Only 1-5 per cent of this fanbase will see updates organically. Facebook has become a paid media platform. “It saddens me to see so much money spent on fans who are never going to see your content. Brands don’t own the likes of fans – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn do.”

Tip #4: Leverage influencers to build audiences

Influencers determine where my customers are at when they are not on my site, explained Pulizzi. One brand, which he didn’t name, spent $30,000 on a research package to launch an ebook-based white paper about a product it wanted to market. Only two people who weren’t current customers ended up downloading it. He likens the situation to building cathedrals in the desert. It’s important to create an influencer hit list and strategically build a relationship with these consumers.

Tip #5: Open up your wallet

Today, brands have more resources and investment opportunities than publishers. Corporate profits have never been higher. Even small companies can purchase small media companies in an area of expertise instead of building a practice from scratch. Photobook company Adoramapix acquired the out-of-business JPG Magazine in 2009. The acquisition helped the firm gain 291,000 subscribers overnight, Pulizzi points out. “It’s an asset that’s worked really well for them.”


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