Content marketers must improve staying power: Less is more in 2014

By Frank Chung | 24 February 2014
Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi.

2014 will be the year content marketing “grows up”, quality trumps quantity, and marketers learn not to blow their budget in one blast, according to content marketing “godfather” Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute and author of Epic Content Marketing.

Speaking to AdNews ahead of the upcoming Content Marketing World conference in March, Pulizzi – widely credited with coining the term 'content marketing' – said the average enterprise brand is using 17 different channels to publish content. “We're running as fast as we can into all these different channels, we're not building relationships and that's a failing strategy,” he said.

“If you look at the history of any great media brand or media property, they always start out in one channel, they dominate that channel and then expand, re-imagine, repurpose that content into other channels. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, ESPN, down the line they've all been the same. Brands are not doing that.”

Pulizzi said brands needed to pull back and focus on higher-quality content in fewer channels. “Consistency is a huge issue. This is where I see brands fall down in every category – they focus on campaigns. They say, 'We're going to do the six-month or nine-month campaign', but content marketing is all about consistency, just like publishing.

“Publishing success is about consistently publishing on this time in this channel whatever the case is – brands are horrible at that, because they're all about, 'Oh we've got this money for this campaign so I'm going to do this YouTube blitz' or 'I'm going to do this blog stuff' and then stop. The reason why most content marketing programs fail is because they stop or they're inconsistent.”

Pulizzi flagged quality, along with consistency, as the two big concerns for content marketers in 2014. He said while most Australian companies “say they're doing content marketing” the reality was most was still product- and service-focused. “It's the bait and switch. It's that white paper that says, 'I'm going to give you this great content but I really want you to buy this stuff'. I think consumers see through that – we've really got to focus on higher-quality content.”

Content Marketing World returns to Sydney for its second year in Australia on 31 March, in partnership with King Content, with US speakers including Mark Schaefer, Robert Rose, Colleen Jones and Tim Washer, and local speakers Bernadette Jiwa, Todd Wheatland, Jesse Desjardins and Andy Lark.

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