This post is part of the Content Q&A Series, featuring interviews with top content strategists and bloggers about their work and insights about the industry.
Joe Pulizzi is known to many as the man in orange.
He’s the co-author of Managing Content Marketing: The Real World Guide for Creating Passionate Subscribers to Your Brand, and has been a key player in the content marketing conversation for the past decade.
The Content Strategist spoke with Pulizzi about his thoughts on where the industry is heading.
The Content Strategist: What do you think are the most important factors that go into a solid content marketing campaign?
Pulizzi: An organization has to be telling good, engaging, instructive stories on a regular basis … just like a publisher would. So much content that brands create is just so-so. There is no room for average in content marketing anymore. It really needs to be amazing stuff that people are willing to share.
According to CMI’s recent study, the biggest challenge that corporate marketers have is creating engaging content.
From that, brands need to effectively link the content marketing to real marketing objectives. We can’t just create good content because we want to be nice. We need to do it to maintain or change a behavior.
TCS: What companies lately have got content marketing right?
Pulizzi: I think P&G is a great example, with content sites like Home Made Simple, Being Girl and Man of the House. Same for AMEX with Open Forum. Red Bull itself is a media company (even they say they aren’t).
On the B2B side, I like what Openview Venture Partners does, and what Adobe is doing with CMO.com. Also, check out Content 2020 from Coca-Cola, an amazing vision on content marketing from one of the biggest spenders of paid media in the world.
TCS: What do you see as the next big trend in content marketing?
Pulizzi: Now that content marketing is being accepted as an important marketing practice, we’re starting to see marketing departments (from a structural standpoint), start to look and feel like publishing departments.
Slowly but surely we are seeing more content creators, journalists and storytellers being hired by non-media brands. We have just seen the start of this, but this is an important first major step in the evolution of content marketing.
TCS: Why do you always wear orange?
Pulizzi: Well, orange is our company color, so that’s where it started. When I first began speaking heavily, I wore orange for the first four or five speeches. Then one event I decided to wear black. Multiple people came up to me and asked me where the orange was.
From that point on I knew I branded myself to the orange … so now I always wear some piece of orange while I’m out in public. People look for me in orange, and although I can’t prove it, I believe it has helped our business.
TCS: What role do you think multimedia (pictures, videos) will continue to play in marketing?
Pulizzi: Visual storytelling needs to be a marketing priority today. People share what they see, which means pictures and video. Most of what brands share today is textual (we are overweight in this area). We are in dire need of a correction.
TCS: Is outbound marketing is being phased out?
Pulizzi: No, I don’t at all. I think traditional advertising is still important and can be critical in distributing content marketing.
Ultimately, we want to own the subscriber relationship (not rent it like we do with traditional advertising), so brands should be leveraging paid media to gather attention for their stories.
IBM has always done a fantastic job with this.
Inbound marketing and outbound marketing are both key parts of content marketing.
Anyone who tells you that we only need inbound marketing today doesn’t understand the full scope of the buying process.
TCS: Anything else you’d like to add?
Pulizzi: If content marketing were a baseball game, we’d be getting out of the dugout for the first inning (even though content marketing is hundreds of years old). It’s going to be an interesting ride.