6 steps to succeed with content marketing

According to Joe Pulizzi’s latest book Content Inc, nine out of ten businesses worldwide use content marketing but only 30 per cent are successful. At Super Content Marketing 2016 Pulizzi, the founder of Content Marketing Institute, shared six steps that will help your company to succeed with content marketing.

The sweet spot
To begin, you need to identify your company’s sweet spot, the area where you have more passion than other people.

Pulizzi said: “You have to get up every week of the month and you have to create content so you need to have passion.”

Content tilt
“Most of us start at the story we want to tell, we start at the sweet spot and now we have to take that a level up, that’s what we call the content tilt. We want to tell a different story so we need to figure out how we tell a different story, that has little to no competition in our content niche,” Pulizzi told the audience at Berns, Stockholm.

So, how do you find your content tilt? According to Pulizzi’s latest book there are three key steps you need to go through in order to find your content tilt.

First, identify your core audience. According to the author it is important to only target one audience at the time. He said: “If your targeting more than one persona at the time, you will never be relevant enough to cut through the clutter.”

Second, what is it you will deliver?

Third, what will the outcome for the audience be?
Pulizzi said: “I want you to add audience outcome to every piece of content you create. Most of us think we need to sell something but, what I want you to focus on is what your audience need in every piece of content.”

Build the base
When you have created your strategy by identifying your sweet spot and your content tilt, it is time to create your content. In order to build your base it is important to focus on one content type, according to Pulizzi.

Your audience need to know what they can expect from you and therefore the speaker also emphasised consistency. He explained: “Consistency is more important that you content quality.”

One of the biggest challenges for companies, according to Pulizzi, is to be consistent over time. Research presented in his book showed that the average time from start to monetization is 15 to 18 months.

Harvest the audience
According Pulizzi, the most effective way to build an audience is to focus on email subscribers. It might sound old-fashioned in the age of social media but the speaker noted that you have to build an audience base where you can control your content.

In order to engage your audience you need to diversify your content. Pulizzi said: “You want to deliver amazing content as many times as you can.”

For the Content Marketing Institute it took 24 months before they decided to diversify. The first two years they were only focusing on blogging in order build their audience base. After reaching their audience goal of 10 000 they started launching other subscription options, still just focusing on one type of content at the time.

Pulizzi said: “You don’t need a lot of tools to do this. All you need to do is to take your email subscription data and run that against your customer relationship management database and then look and see what’s different. Do your customers stay longer? Do they buy more? Do they talk more about your brand? What’s the difference in behaviour between subscribers and non-subscribers?”

3 key take-aways:

  1. Only target one audience at the time because otherwise you will not be able to stand out and make sure to add customer outcome to every piece of content your create.
  2. Be patient. It takes time to succeed with content marketing and consistency over time is a key part.
  3. Use email subscriptions in order to build your audience base. It’s important that you can control the content that your audience get, which you can’t on social media platforms.