1-Sentence-Summary: Epic Content Marketing shows why traditional methods for selling like TV and direct mail are dead and how creating content is the new future of advertising because it actually grabs people’s attention by focusing on what they care about instead of your product.
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Do you remember the last billboard you saw? Or commercial you watched? Did you buy anything after these interruptions? You probably didn’t.
If you don’t catch the signal this gives that the marketing world is changing dramatically, you’ll get left behind. And if you’re still using direct mail and TV ads, your competitors are going to put you out of business.
The answer to an ever-evolving business world is content. And thankfully we have Joe Pulizzi here to help us navigate the shift to this effective method in Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less.
These are just 3 of the many exciting ideas in this one:
- Advertising as you’ve known it is dead, you need to find out what your customers want to learn about and give it to them.
- When you focus on getting to know your audience you will figure out your niche and build your following.
- Get your content out there with social media sharing and SEO.
Are you ready to learn how to finally stand out in a competitive market? Let’s get to it!
Lesson 1: Don’t follow old ways of advertising like TV, instead think about your customer’s questions and answer them with content.
It’s probably not hard to find some sort of advertisement around you right now. If there’s not one present, there will be on the next YouTube video you watch or website you visit. It’s hard to imagine parts of our day where someone isn’t trying to convince us to buy their product!
And just think of your position as a business. It’s difficult to be heard in a day when people are sick of all sorts of ads in their faces! The reality is, potential customers couldn’t care less about the details of your product. What your people really care about themselves and how much your product will improve their lives.
That’s a huge problem with most marketing tactics these days. Bombarding your audience with facts about what you’re selling just turns them off. But what a difference it would make if they could see what a big difference having your product will make in their lives.
This is where content marketing comes in. Writing articles or creating YouTube videos that answer your potential customer’s questions are just two examples of this. And it works like magic.
Deere & Company, for example, puts out a publication called The Furrow. It’s not just any old sales catalog though. It’s got articles that help customers solve their problems while promoting the company’s products at the same time. It’s far cheaper to go with this type of advertising than traditional methods, and it builds trust more quickly, too!
Lesson 2: If you want to find your niche and build a following, you need to start by focusing on understanding your audience.
So you know that you’ve got to have content, but how do you make it? Well, the best way is to begin by understanding what your customer needs. And to do that, you’ve got to find out who they are.
This is also known as discovering your customer persona and involves asking yourself questions to identify their traits. Here are a few good ones to start with:
- What is their age?
- How much money do they make?
- What does a normal day in their life look like?
- How might your product make their life better?
That last one is probably the most important. Work with variations of it to make sure that you’re considering all the possibilities. Let’s look at an example to see how this works in the real world.
Imagine you’ve got a company that specializes in consumer financial services. A good persona might be a married 40-year-old man with children. He works full-time and does a lot of traveling for his job. But most importantly he’s already got relationships with people in the financial services industry.
Once you get this figured out it’ll be simple to find your content niche. This is the central message of your posts or videos that provides value for your audience.
Say you have a pet store and you’re writing blog posts about the supplies you carry. As you work on your persona though, you might find out that elderly people that like to travel with pets is your niche.
Lesson 3: Social media and SEO are the tools you need to learn if you want people to see your content.
Alright so you’re figuring out some of the details of creating your posts or videos and now it’s time to get it out into the world. The best ways to get it seen are SEO and social media, but how do you use these in the right way?
First, pick a platform. If you use a popular one, like Facebook, you’re going to have a lot of competition but also reach a lot of people.
Niche sites, on the other hand, have less of an audience but are easier to find the people who are interested in what you’re sharing.
The next step is to figure out a publishing pattern that is right for you and your company. Andrew Davis recommends the 4-1-1 technique in his book Brandscaping.
Whatever site you’re sharing on, you want to divide every six shares up into the following categories:
- 4 pieces from influencers who are already well-known in the space. This helps you build relationships and they might start sharing your content with their people too.
- 1 share of your own content.
- 1 marketing item, like product information, release dates, or coupons.
Also, make sure to take advantage of search engine optimization. If you do it right you can show up on page one of Google search results. And then, if it’s for a term that a lot of people search for, you can get a lot of traffic for free!
Epic Content Marketing Review
I really enjoyed Epic Content Marketing. It defines the more formal aspects of what it means to make money with a blog, which I am really interested in. It doesn’t account much for the solopreneur type who is doing it all on their own at the beginning but is still a great book that lays out the future of marketing!
Who would I recommend the Epic Content Marketing summary to?
The 56-year-old businessman who is tired of all their TV and mail ads failing and wants to know a better way, the 32-year-old that wants to quit their day job and become a blogger, and anyone that wants to discover what effective marketing really looks like in the information age.