Content Marketing Best Practices from Joe Pulizzi

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Hubspot Inbound Now Video Interview also a Case Study In How to Create Content Like a Publisher

Whether you are new to content marketing or an advanced practitioner you can learn something from the recent Hubspot Inbound Now interview with Joe Pulizzi of Junta42 and founder of the Content Marketing Institute.

Anytime I can hear or read Joe’s insights it’s a worthwhile time investment.

The Hubspot process is an excellent example of thinking and creating content like a publisher:

  • Be a resource for new ideas and insights
  • Acquire content by interviewing subject experts
  • Use audio and video as acquisition methods (more than just interview)
  • Transcribe the audio
  • Offer the content in multiple formats for consumption convenience: text, audio and video
  • Amplify — in this case they blogged about the interview for another distribution method
  • Promote — others will help you do this


Inbound Now #16 – Content Marketing Best Practices & Tips with Joe Pulizzi (@JuntaJoe) from HubSpot.


Interview Outline

To wet your appetite I’ll provide a brief outline of the highlights, including specific quotes:

Definition of Content Marketing

Why Content Marketing 

Key mistakes 

“I think that overall it’s we’re very used to thinking like marketing people, which is we want to sell. With content marketing, we first have to think about the needs and the pain points of our customers and create content that answers those questions. If we do that right, they then pay attention to us. They then buy from us. They then talk about us. It’s easy to talk about. It’s hard to do.”

“55 percent of brands outsource some part of the content marketing process. We know that’s going on right now, but it doesn’t matter if they do it themselves or they do it outside. Sometimes it’s easier to do a little bit of both. What we see in a lot of bigger brands is they have a content coordinator, or maybe it’s under social media, whoever that’s under. And then they work a lot of journalists or a lot of content agencies to get out that work.”


Acquisition and capture processes 

” …the processes probably are not set up to capture that content. So that’s what we need. How do we set up a process to capture that content?”

We have a lot of content 

“I think that we have the content. There’s no shortage of it. It’s just how do we set up a process within our company so we can extract that story and figure out what are the really important things that we need to tell our customers and which channels should we use.”

Content vs. Commercials 

“You brought up the idea of commercial. I don’t have any problem with a company taking their commercials and putting it on YouTube, but don’t have any expectations that a lot of people are going to watch that. Use that as more of an archival resource. 

I talked to a contractor the other day that had something like 40 or 50 commercials. I said, ‘Great, put those on, but don’t think that people are going to rush to YouTube and search for all kinds of stuff and find you. You might get a couple. It might help in some part of the sales process, but probably not. What’s more effective is if you are answering your customers’ pain points through a piece of video content that you probably didn’t have before.'”

Use multiple channels 

“We do a print magazine, but we also have six or seven different digital versions of that magazine. We have podcasts that are integrated with that magazine. We have white papers integrated with that. That’s all online. So even though one of the channels is print, there’s no such thing as a print magazine today. You’ve got so much digital wrapped up in the integration of that. You’ve just got to make sure you know what your objectives are.

So I would just say focus on what your objective is, and first of all, you can focus on some kind of a behavior. It doesn’t have to be a sales behavior. It would be nice if it is. But at the end of the day, what’s their behavior? Are they making actions, and then can you show that as some kind of an increase in some portion of your key performance indicators?”

Listen: Get input from customers, sales, customer service (everywhere) 

“Talk to your salespeople. Talk to the front line. Most of the salespeople that I talk to, the marketing department is not going to them and getting their input about what the challenges are to the customers. Customer support, talk to them. You’ve got to have a process.”

Relationships — one person at a time 

“Gary Vaynerchuk was quoted in the latest issue of Rolling Stone. He said, ‘We’ve done what so many companies don’t want to do because it’s so hard. Because we build relationships one person at a time.’ And that’s what we’re talking about with inbound marketing, with content marketing – we’re building relationships one at a time, and it’s fantastic and it works, but it’s hard work and it takes time.”

It’s a Marketing Evolution 

“If you’re not thinking of yourself like a media company you’re doing yourself a disservice. I wouldn’t call it a revolution, I’m calling it an evolution of the marketing department into a publishing department. 

Most companies are still not there yet. You see content spurts and you see content as part of campaigns.

Be like media companies and provide really helpful resources to customers on a consistent basis in video, text form, and iPad and everything else.”

Advice for small businesses 

“I would say figure out the content niche where you can be the leading expert in the world. That means you’ve got to get really small. 

You can be the leading expert in that because we’re so nichified with media today. You’ve got to think of yourself in content.”

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