Drew's Note: As I try to do every Friday, I'm pleased to bring you a guest post. Meet another thought leader who shares his insights via the blogosphere. So without further ado…Joe Pulizzi. Again. Enjoy!
I can’t tell the difference between publishing and marketing anymore. That’s a good thing.
When people refer to HomeMadeSimple.com from P&G, they say, “now that’s engaging marketing.” Hmm, I think publishing.
When social media experts say that the people at Blendtec (willitblend.com) are great marketers, I say first-rate publishers.
Let’s face it, we are all publishers now whether we like it or not. Just look at your laundry list of marketing tactics. Looks an awful lot like publishing.
But what does it really mean to be a publisher in today’s social media environment?
When you boil it down, publishing is simple to explain:
- First, define a critical group of buyers (your customers/prospects).
- Second, determine what information they really need and how they want to receive it (not your sales and marketing content…valuable, compelling content…that solves their pain points).
- Third, deliver that critical info to that core group of buyers in the way they want it.
- Fourth, continually measure how well you’re doing and adjust as you go.
For a publisher (in the traditional sense), success means selling lots of ads or subscriptions.
For a marketer who begins to think like a publisher, success means attracting and retaining customers. We do that by creating and delivering consistent and valuable content to our customers that positions us as experts, and that people ultimately want to share (through social media).
So let’s get practical. What are some things that you, the marketing professional, need to be thinking about now that you are a publisher? Here’s three:
- Where are the content assets in your organization that provide the editorial information for your content/publishing strategy? Do you need a content audit?
- Do you have experts in your organization that can write from a journalistic perspective? This is not features/benefits content. It needs to be the best of the best on the topic you are writing based on your marketing goal. If it's not the best, can you honestly position yourself as the expert and build relationships through your content? Hire a turnkey content provider or journalist to help you that understands this. Quality content counts! Remember, good enough is not good enough anymore.
- Who owns the content strategy in your organization? Where is that individual at – marketing, PR, communications? Without ownership, creating a consistent message to your individual customer segments is a challenge at best.
If you aren’t sure about this whole “publishing” thing yet, I urge you to download this free excerpt to my book.
Joe Pulizzi is co-author of Get Content Get Customers, the original handbook for content marketing success. Joe is also founder of Junta42 (called the eHarmony for content), a free service for marketers that matches them up with the best turnkey content providers based on their specific project needs. Get regular content marketing updates from Joe on Twitter @juntajoe.