“Epic Content Marketing” author Joe Pulizzi interview with Verne Harnish

I'm with Joe palette see who wrote what we considered it fortune one of the top 5 business books last year when it came out epic content marketing and look customers don't want to be sold they want to be educated and what I loved is you shared that this thing's been around a hundred plus years John Deere in 1895 with their furro magazine jello but come on small to mid-size growth companies tell the story about river pools and spas well I love the story about Marcus Sheridan CEO of river pools and spas and you know the quick story is in 2007 2008 I mean just think of the economic impact that was going on and Marcus installed fiberglass pools yeah it was it was fifth in his market who didn't a local market local market worst Warsaw Virginia didn't think if he could make payroll I mean it was a tough time so what does a company supposed to do at that time can't have advertising this is this is the end of times right so Marcus said well what can we do that our competitors aren't doing and he said we are going to answer every question our customers have starting with how much does the fiberglass pool cost and started to created a blog yeah and started to answer every question on a consistent basis and people started to go to a site when they started to type into search engines like Google and go to social media and people were sharing this really good content he started to become the expert in fiberglass pools from 2007 8 almost near bankruptcy went to 2011 5th in his local market mind you then sold more fiberglass pools than any fiberglass pool installer in North America which is unbelievable and you say how is that possible to go from that to this and now flourishing now a manufacturer did it because he he created a blog such a simple thing it doesn't cost very much it's just time patience and understanding your customers pain points what they're dealing with and then figuring out you know what is your mission statement as a Marcus did what was his mission statement to his customers is we're going to be the leader in questions around fiberglass pools and what our consumers want to know and that's exactly what he did now that's b2c business to business I love the example of the company got 17 engineers blogging in the soldering you know space share that real quick and what you've got to do when you got folks who can't write so Rick short director marketing and indium corporation indium manufacturers industrial soldering equipment so really sexy contact right you got it so what you know where's the expertise in the organization their expertise was with the engineers well as you know you know we both work with engineers not always the greatest writers or storytellers so Rick had to create a system where you know how do we extract those stories how do we work with them to help tell those stories but again on a consistent basis so they created a blog where these 17 engineers blog about basically answering the question about what are our customers our b2b customers challenges as it relates to industrial soldering equipment and they started answering all these questions a lot of consists in 2005 so you talk about consistency it's so important and did that really quickly after that saw 600 percent increase in qualified leads it's changed the whole mission of the organization because they say hey we want to publicly display this leadership this you know we don't want to keep it all in we want to share that expertise out and a lot of companies are scared to do that indium wasn't scared to do that it's changed the company and that's why if you search for anything and anywhere online related to industrial soldering equipment you come up with not their products and services their content and then that gets them to the products and services now they have though this person you need somebody that is the publisher or editor what do you call this person well we call it like theoretically we call it a chief content officer sort of you need a Content champion alright that could be a VP of content marketing could be a VP of Marketing it could be somebody not in marketing you need somebody to champion the effort and say this is important enough to our business to what we want to do in our business to say we're gonna start communicating publicly about this expertise area to this audience and we're gonna do it in this way and we're going to help our customers with this specific thing but yeah you need somebody internally to you know go to the CEO and say hey we're not just kind of advertised we're not just gonna go in somebody else's channels we're gonna create our own channel we're gonna become a real media company real publisher and we're do it on a consistent basis okay now a lot of us it's convenient though for us to build that platform on a Facebook on a LinkedIn on a Google+ but you gave us a huge warning that you we don't want to build our platforms on rented space we can use them as channels to get to our space let's talk a little bit about this so real quickly we we work with a number of our clients and readers as well then they put so much time and effort and energy into building a community on facebook and they're taking all those likes and fans or whatever you want to call it now right well Facebook's changed the rules on us and now they don't show all of our content basically what we know from the data is they're on five to six percent of our organic or of our posts are seen by the people that like our page kidding me 5 to 6 percent and I've spent like millions of dollars in some cases to build that up over time and we see that actually going down to 0% so basically Facebook has to change the rules and say you got to pay now to reach your audience which is fine they could do that that's their business model but that's why if you've built your content channel on somebody else's property I want to own it so the create your own blog on your website and then use those social channels to direct it back to you because the Google+ is the LinkedIn's the Facebook's which I think you should use them if that makes sense for your business they hold all the cards you don't so take a little bit of that control back and then build your your content ship on something you actually own and I'll tell you this last point that you touched with our audience is bleeding-edge but I think you're right on with the trend amadee is hey if you can't build it buy it and you're seeing a huge market place for purchasing bloggers by industrial and consumer companies talk a little bit about this so as we talked about in the presentation to be an a Content marketer and make impact on the business it takes time you have to be patient and we say if you don't have 12 to 18 months go by advertising go do something else but and there is an opportunity if you want to cut some of those corners and what we talked about is as you build your list of influencers a lot of those are bloggers what do they have they have scribers they have a loyal audience and if you do your analyses you might say that's our audience that we're targeting maybe there's an opportunity for you to partner with them or possibly buy them and bring them in and so you can cut some of those corners I think absolutely it's something we're gonna be seeing a lot of I think that in the next 12 to 18 months you're gonna be seeing companies like your IBM's your John Deere's your Facebook's your your apples companies that aren't necessarily media companies they're going to start to buy media companies because when you're on your smartphone you're going to content you're going other places to get information and you want to connect with subscribers that are maybe your customers you either have to build or you have to buy it I think that there's an opportunity that you could buy it in a dorama did that at all the great the story we talked about was jpg magazine they were you know 2008-2009 an online mag an online magazine well it was a print magazine what but they had online print and online they then they went solely online because they couldn't support the print anymore with their business with their media model and they had 290 thousand subscribers and they were going bankrupt and Adorama came in with a group of investors Adorama is a photography supply store and who do they target photography enthusiasts who's the subscribers of jpg photography enthusiasts they came in and bought them I'm like wow I can't believe we haven't seen more of this and it's worked out super well for them I just think that I think we're just not used to thinking that way I think as businesses we have to start looking at we look at M&A about partnering with other companies that do things like us I think we need to look at M&A and buying content ships and start to build assets instead of looking at marketing as an expense Joe it's literally a brilliant idea thank you for sharing it with us thank you so much for having thank you for being here wonderful thank you sir anytime


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