Podcast: Content, Content, and Funeral Homes With Joe Pulizzi

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In this episode of Landing Page Optimization, SiteTuners CEO Tim Ash chats with Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute and author of Epic Content Marketing. The two discuss the changes in the marketing landscape, the relevance of content marketing to conversion rate optimization, and doing content marketing right. 

Brands as Media Companies: Why Content Marketing Matters

Joe shares that brands are media companies because they create content at the different parts of the buying cycle. He, however, reminds that the content that’s effective in engaging and attracting buyers is not about your products and services, but about addressing your customers’ pain points

Marketers can’t choose how they’re going to engage with consumers as the latter is now in-charge of the buying process. Joe stresses that majority of the buying cycle will have been completed by the time consumers get in contact with you, so it’s best to get content in front of the consumer that’s going to cut through the clutter and get attention toward what you have to offer. 

There’s also the competition to think about. Aside from competitors and media companies, marketers also compete with Google. Joe explains that Google has their own content marketing initiative- they are also displaying things that take attention away from you. When people search for things on Google, your competitors are there, Google’s own content can be there, and hopefully, you’re there as well.  This is why marketers have to put a lot of thought into content distribution and syndication. 

Right Place, Right Time: Trust-Building Through Content

Joe explains that content marketing is unlike traditional PR where you talk about yourself. If you want to be on Google, get shared on social media, you can’t talk about your products and services. 

Tim adds that your offer or call-to-action has to be primed with good content. Joe agrees that making a relationship first in form of content subscription (e.g. e-mail newsletter, regular feed of blog posts) is ideal because majority of people who first come to your site are not looking to buy at that particular time. 

A marketer’s goal should be to establish trust and credibility first. Joe shares that instead of trying to get a lead in and giving it to the sales department, it’s better to try to get the person’s information, so we can serve them content that’s appropriate for where they are in the buying process, and create a long-term relationship. That will eventually make the sales process easier. It’s easier to assess if a person’s a qualified lead when you’re communicating with them for a longer period of time – you can identify what content they’re engaging with both on and off your site. This way, you can gauge if they’re ready to move on to the next step. 

Joe shares that if you don’t have this set-up now, you can slowly approach content marketing, so there’s no disruption, by being more thoughtful about marketing and aiming to become the go to expert resource for a niche. He says that for this to work, you need to have a clear segmentation grid for what content goes to a certain stage in the buying continuum. Content creators should also be fully aware of who they’re talking to and not just producing content based on a keyword. 

Engagement Continuum: When to Gate Content

Tim explains that content served should change based on the motivation of the people through the buying cycle, what they’re trying to accomplish, and their level of background knowledge as they get more educated about what they’re looking for. 

The amount of information you’re allowed to collect and exchange also varies. Tim and Joe agree that there’s no sense in gating top of the funnel content – you want this information to be available, so it can be shared. Joe adds that down the funnel, for people who are really interested, who want higher quality, more in-depth content, it’s okay to get the e-mail address to get the long-term relationship working. The sale-stage type of content (e.g. product data sheets, pricing plans), you should also give away. 

Doing Content Marketing Right: Purpose-Driven Blogs

A blog, any company blog, should have a clear purpose. Joe shares that for his company, their purpose is to acquire and keep subscribers, so they can get subscribers involved in other activities in the hopes that they will eventually turn into buyers.

 Joe stresses that there should only be one call-to-action on your blog: “Subscribe.”  When subscribers turn into buyers, that’s when you bring them to your landing pages. Tim adds that through your content, you can smooth call consumers to the next appropriate thing (e.g. downloads should have a CTA to take them to the next stage). 

For content marketing to work, Joe says that a company should have a defined or documented content strategy – there should be objectives behind content marketing.  

During the podcast, he also lists questions marketers should think about for content marketing to be successful:

  • Is your content filling a need? 
  • Are you delivering content consistently at a specific time through a specific channel?
  • Are you talking like a human being?
  • Do you have some kind of a point of view?
  • Are you removing the sale from the content? 

Joe and Tim end the discussion by tackling other points to consider in content marketing: 

  • Who you’re talking to - What are their informational needs? How can you take them to the next level?  Where do they hang out on the web? How do they buy? 
  • How you can be the definitive go-to resource - Once you identify who your buyers and prospects are, focus on narrow content niche. Own that niche and don’t be afraid to alienate your non-audience. Take a stand, so you get attention.  

First Air Date: November 25, 2013

Listen online or download the podcast from WebmasterRadio.fm