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Are Content Marketing and Social Media the Same? An Interview with Joe Pulizzi of CMI

New results from The CMO Survey argue that social media spending is expected to increase 128% in the next five years. What role does content play in this shift and how will the marketing department change?

As content and social media become increasingly important, it’s critical to understand the role they play in the modern marketing mix. To better understand their relationship, we sat down with Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute.

How did you go about building a unique channel strategy? Do specific types of content perform better on one channel than another?

The key is to ask “Why?” you are in each channel from a business perspective. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up producing content for a myriad of channels without a real purpose behind it.

I come from the publishing background, and have always believed in the three legs of the publishing stool – print, digital and in-person. Those are the three key channels, and to be the true informational expert for your niche, you need all three. That’s why we launched a print magazine and an in-person event in conjunction with our key channel (the blog).

As for what performs better, that all depends. What we do know is that our best customers regularly engage in a minimum of three different channels. That’s true engagement. The more channels we can get customers to engage in the more likely they are to buy from us.

Do you believe that every company needs to create different content for every channel? If so, how can brands achieve this?

The short answer is yes. Gone are the days where you produce one piece of content and spread that content in every channel. That means we need a content marketing strategy where we understand our tone, voice, consistency and purpose for each channel. Every channel needs to be treated differently. When a strategy is created, then we can look to tell a story and know in advance how that story will ultimately be repurposed for each channel.

Which channels have been the most successful for CMI?

Our blog is our main channel where we direct our 90,000 subscribers every day. The blog works in conjunction with email (sent out every day at 10am, based on the blog post distributed at 7am ET). We’ve had great success with our print magazine, Chief Content Officer, as well. There isn’t much competition in that channel, so we get more attention there than we probably should. But the key channel for us is our in-person event, Content Marketing World. That’s the channel that separates us from the rest. All the other channels ultimately lead to CMWorld.

On a smaller scale, we’ve had great success with SlideShare and Twitter. We’ve also just launched a podcast network, where our lead podcast (This Old Marketing) has performed exceptionally well.

Do you reshare older content on your social channels?

Yes. Content that performs well over time, more evergreen content, is continually shared out on Facebook and Twitter. We also take older posts and reimagine many of those into eBooks which are shared on SlideShare.

How do you determine the success of a single piece of content?

Subscribers. Our goal is to get more audience and keep our current audience, so every piece of content shows how many subscribers we are creating.

Do you think native content is the future of marketing?

No, but it can be part of the mix. Native advertising is not new, but since many publishers are opening up this option for marketers, it could be an opportunity for stealing audience.

We have a lot more to say about the future of marketing. To learn more about this topic, check out this previous post.

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