If your content marketing pushes seem to be missing the mark, Joe Pulizzi believes now is the best time to change your strategy. Where can you find unexpected wins? In a content world where there’s endless noise, Joe Pulizzi knows how to cut through the clutter. In this episode of The Content Callout, he talks about the importance of honing in on one channel, finding your content tilt, and growing an audience.
Joe Pulizzi is an Amazon best-selling author and the founder of three different companies, including the Content Marketing Institute. He received the Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. He’s launched dozens of events and hosts numerous podcasts, including This Old Marketing with Robert Rose.
Outline of This Episode
- [2:23] Joe’s 3 strategies + tactics
- [5:56] How to build an audience in a recession
- [8:47] The less social media—the better
- [13:44] Joe still advocates for print—why?
- [16:56] Marketers: think outside the box
- [18:40] Where Joe sees the event space going
- [21:35] The Content Inc. six-step model
- [25:01] The uptick in marketing agency buyouts
- [27:56] How to follow Joe Pulizzi online
How to build an audience in a recession
How do you build in this phase? Joe notes that if you’re like most companies, you probably need to reallocate resources. Most enterprises do between 14–16 content “things.” Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, email, webinars, podcasts, etc.—most of it’s not very good. Joe asks, “What if they put all of the content together in a box and shipped it out? Would your customers even notice? Probably not.” Joe would focus on doing one amazing thing—whatever it is. Take that leftover money and focus on paid distribution to build that audience. Simplify.
NOW is the time to refocus your content marketing
If people are cutting things, no one seems to care or notice. This is the time where CEOs are letting marketers try new things. CFOs aren’t grilling you on numbers, and you can move things around. Take advantage of that. Baseball moved to a 60-day format. The designated hitter is now the same in every league. That rule will never change. They’re playing with the rules creatively—so can you.
Maybe it’s time to kill the awful newsletter. Perhaps you don’t need to be on Facebook. Joe shares that it’s okay to move from 14–16 activities to 5–6. Only 1–2 should be your main and consistent content delivery channels that you are building an audience around.
Unpopular opinion: the less social media—the better
Joe’s personal opinion is that most B2B companies are wasting their time on Instagram. 1–2% may be doing okay. Maybe they share inspirational quotes or videos. But if you look at the TikTok algorithm, it’s entertainment that keeps you sucked in. Joe points out that it is tough to compete with that from a business standpoint.
Joe is on board with what may be an unpopular opinion: the less social media, the better. To him, it’s a customer feedback tool. Even if you’ve grown an audience on Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram, you still have to move that audience somewhere you have control. Social media can do anything they want with your channel and its algorithm. You can say one wrong word on Twitter, and you’re done. You’re on rented land. Build your own environment that is native to you.
Where to build an audience instead
Can you start with a blog, podcast, email, or newsletter first? It’s easier to grow and monetize an audience this way versus rented land. If you have ad dollars for content distribution, use it. Drive advertising to an eBook or subscription channel. If you’re starting fresh, you should have a 25% to 75% ratio of content creation to distribution. Create something unique and get it out there. Then you switch to 80% content creation and 20% distribution.
Joe believes that marketers have 12–18 months to build an audience to monetization. So you have to focus on getting your content out to the right people to build that audience. Joe points out that an emailed newsletter or something where you’re getting an email drives everything else. What do all social media companies need? Your email is still the key.
To hear more about email marketing, Joe’s six-step content creation model, why Joe still advocates for print, and much, much more—listen to the whole episode!
Resources & People Mentioned
- BOOK: Killing Marketing
- BOOK: Content Inc.
- BOOK: Epic Content Marketing
- BOOK: The Will to Die
- Arrow Electronics
Connect with Joe Pulizzi
- Joe’s Personal Website
- Sign up for Joe’s Newsletter
- This Old Marketing podcast
- The Content Inc. podcast
- Connect on LinkedIn
- Follow on Twitter