Content Marketing on Discovery Channel On Thursday, December 4th, my family and I were flipping through the channels...
My Latest Post My latest post on LinkedIn is up. It’s called Could Building a “Content Network”...
Tony Robbins Used Content Marketing to Make His Latest Book a Best Seller Tony Robbins isn’t...
The Surprising Origin of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ I love A Charlie Brown Christmas special. I love...
The Surprising Origin of the Green-Bean Casserole Thanksgiving is 17 days away. (Can you believe it?) And, besides...
I’ve loved many of the music group OK Go’s past videos (here and here), but their latest video for their...
I am an idea person. Insights come to me all of the time and they can come from surprising sources. But on this...
My Surprising Journey into Content Marketing I can’t believe it, but it’s been 26 years since I first...
A Reader’s Digest article from October 1991 told an amazing story of how one national skier, who was...
Hi everyone, I thought those of you who are my regular readers might want to know that my blog post “A...
Joe Pulizzi, the founder of ContentMarketingInstitute.com - one of the leading thought leaders behind the content marketing and social media movement
I can’t believe it, but it’s been 26 years since I first began experimenting with creating content to capture people’s attention. (I’ll explain more of that story in my course.)
It was 15 years ago that I built a website in a small niche. (I’ll share more about this story too.)
At that point in time, I had never paid attention to marketing or cared about it at all.
But after creating that site, I suddenly needed to figure out how to get traffic to it and cause it to grow.
That’s when I began reading about marketing. I read every old, classic book on marketing that I could. I read every internet marketing guru at the time (approx. 1999).
I began to apply what I was learning and grow that little website.
And in the process of growing and improving that website, I began to really have an interest in marketing.
Not only that, but I found out I really had a knack for it.
Something else surprising happened…Read More
On Thursday, December 4th, my family and I were flipping through the channels and we came across a show on Discovery Channel called Surviving Exodus.
We began watching the show and were quickly drawn in.
It was hosted by Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul and it explained the plagues sent by God in the Bible.
They showed what it would be like to experience each of the plagues: the Nile turning blood red, plagues of flies, frogs and locusts, furious storms and even the seas parting.
It was pretty cool. My family really enjoyed watching them test out each plagues. But it was obvious from the beginning that this wasn’t just meant to be a TV show. It was content that was designed to promote the movie Exodus: Gods and Kings.
You can check out the preview of the show and see how tied together the two were…
I later discovered more of the backstory of the show on Variety.com…
“Viewers will not be expressly told the show was created by Discovery for purposes of drawing attention to the Fox film, said Scott Felenstein, executive vice president for ad sales at Discovery Communications, and that is by design. Rather than jamming a commercial message into dialogue or placing a product on a show’s set, he said, ‘Advertisers want to be a part of creating content. They want to be able to distribute that content in other platforms and they want to be immersed in producing the content. Ultimately, you just want to produce content that viewers are going to like, and if you can get your message across in a subtle way, that’s a lot better than putting it where it doesn’t belong.’”
There are two things I don’t want you to miss in this quote:
1. It was created by design to promote the film.
2. Felenstein revealed something important when he said that ultimately your message is much more powerful when it is woven into content like this, instead of awkwardly trying to place an out-of-context product in a movie.
This reminds me of two content marketing hacks that I reveal in my book 51 Content Marketing Hacks.
In my book, I talk about two important content marketing hacks that can teach us some important lessons that we can take away from Discovery’s Surviving Exodus.
Content Marketing Hack #28
“Average content marketers create one content stream (such as a blog) and then they wonder why they don’t see much momentum. Top content marketers create multiple streams of content that play off each other, promote each other, and have a compound effect.”
LESSON: If you want your content marketing to have the maximum impact, then you’ve got to get creative and think of as many ways as possible that you can have content that promotes you, your business, or organization. One stream will only give you a small amount of response. But multiple streams will give you a flood of response.
Content Marketing Hack #38
It’s a mistake to focus all of your effort on creating your own content. Make sure that you do things to encourage others to create content about your business, product, or service.
LESSON: The producers of Exodus: Gods and Kings didn’t try to create their own TV show. They approached Discovery Channel. This allowed them to get the word out about the movie without the burden of having to create the show themselves. You need to do the same.
You might not be able to get a TV network to create a show based on you, your business, your product or service, but there are other ways you can get them to create content.
For most businesses, this type of content usually takes the form of reviews, interviews, and articles about you or your products or services. (This is slightly different from Hack #24 where you are having people create content using your product or service.)
Let me leave you with this thought.
Successful people don’t hear an idea and say, “I can’t do this.” Instead they say, “How can I apply this?’
I’d encourage you to think about this example and these lessons and see how you can apply them.
P.S. If you wanted to get 51 Content Marketing Hacks, then please remember that today (1/22) is the last day to get it at $9.99. Tomorrow the price goes up to $12.99.Read More
My latest post on LinkedIn is up. It’s called Could Building a “Content Network” Take Your Content to the Next Level?.
It’s about something I believe that everyone needs to focus on in 2015, if they really want their content to reach more people this year.
I released my first Kindle book late on Thursday, January 7th. On January 9th, it had was ranked #34 in Kindle Store under “Marketing” by January 9th.
Here is what some experts have said about it…
If you would like to know more about my book, see what experts have said about it and read three chapters, then go here to learn more.
By the way, today (1/12/15) is the last day to get my 21 Types of Content We Crave webinar recording ($99) as a free bonus when you buy my book.Read More
Tony Robbins isn’t just a great motivational speaker, author and coach.
He has now stepped into the financial advice arena.
In case you haven’t heard, his latest book is Money: Master the Game.
I got the book a month ago and have started reading it. I really like it so far.
But what I am writing about today is NOT Tony’s financial advice.
It is his content marketing skills.
He’s a great marketer. In fact, he used content marketing with superb mastery to propel his book to become an instant best-seller.
He’s obviously doing something right!
Today I want to take a look at the content marketing methods he used to make this book a best-seller, so that you can launch any of your products or services using some of the same principles.
But first, I want to reveal to you a very important marketing concept that Tony understands (and that you need to too). Then I will show you how he used this understanding and tapped into the power of content marketing.
One well-known marketing principle is that you need, on average, 7 marketing touches before your marketing gets through to someone. That means it takes minimally 7 marketing touches to produce a sale.
I believe this is true today more than ever.
In fact, with how flooded our lives have become with marketing and advertising hitting us from all directions, I’d say that you need much more than 7 touches. Why?
Because with so much information coming at us we’ve learned to block most of it out. Even if we see an ad, and have interest in what is being offered, we usually will forget about it unless we act on it right away.
The problem we have nowadays is that we’re all much less trusting of people, businesses, and organizations. We’ve been burned too many times by false promises to believe everyone.
How does this impact us? It keeps us from acting on things right away, because we don’t want to look stupid. Instead, we want to wait and find out more about this thing, person, or service. We want to make sure we don’t move too quickly and look stupid.
That’s why multiple marketing touches are needed today.
But the question is: how does a business do that nowadays – without looking pushy and without being drowned out from all the other marketing noise?
Content marketing is the perfect way to create these touches.
And Tony realizes the need for multiple touches and the need to harness content marketing to overcome this issue.
Watch how he does this…
In order to make sure that he could implement these multiple marketing touches he used what I call “compound content marketing” and “content collaboration“.
Here are the 8 content marketing methods he used:
1. He appeared as the cover story of a major magazine.
The first one I saw was Tony Robbins, The CEO Whisperer in Fortune magazine.
2. Weeks before his launch, he had business associates and friends begin promoting his book with a special offer to get the book before it was released.
If you simply paid for the shipping and handling cost, he would ship you a book. You can see an example of the offer here on Michael Hyatt’s site.
3. He was a guest on various podcasts.
You can see an example here on Joe Polish and Dean Jackson’s podcast: I Love Marketing podcast.
4. The day his book released, he had a “worldwide premiere” that was hosted by Brendon Burchard.
You can see the premiere here.
5. He wrote an article on Entrepreneur the appeared the day after the book released called The 3 Decisions That Will Change Your Financial Life.
6. He did video interviews.
You can see an example of one on Marie Forleo’s: Marie TV.
7. He did some media interviews on local news networks.
You can see an example of one on My Fox NY.
8. And guess what I just saw a couple days ago? He’s on the cover of Success magazine for January 2015.
It’s called Tony Robbins on How to Achieve the Extraordinary.
It was these 8 powerful methods used in numerous different ways that made Money: Master the Game climb the best seller lists.
Do you see how Tony implemented multiple marketing touches without looking pushy?
The 8 content marketing methods that Tony used can be condensed down to four “content marketing hacks” that I mention in my new book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. Here are the four hacks:
Start your content promotions much earlier than usual and plan out how to build momentum for your content marketing.
Tony didn’t wait until the day the book released to start promoting it. He set things into motion (such as the “shipping only” offer and Fortune magazine article) that would begin to put his book on his prospects minds way before it was available. It worked. Because that is how I first heard about the book and decided I wanted it. You need to do the same thing with your products or services. Do just put them out there. Launch them.
The power of endorsement is “social proof” on steroids. Think of ways you can create content (or have others create it) that shows people in your market using your product or service.
Tony didn’t create all of the content himself. In fact, he didn’t create most of it. He wrote some articles, but other than that, all of the rest of the content was created by others. Why would they do that?
Because Tony has a relationship of some kind with them (business or personal, online or offline). You can do this too. Before you’re ready to launch your next product or service, contact the people that you have relationships with and ask them if they’ll help promote it for you. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many are willing to help you.
Tap into the power of interviews as content marketing for your product or service that is created by others.
There are many websites and publications that are continually in need of content. Providing them with interviews is a great help to them. The more you’re interviewed from sources your prospects trust, then the more they will begin to trust you.
Average content marketers create one content stream (such as a blog) and then they wonder why they don’t see much momentum. Top content marketers create multiple streams of content that play off each other, promote each other, and have a compound effect.
The more content streams that you can create (or have others create) the better. Each content stream helps to build momentum for your product or service and helps provide more social proof for them. This will also help your product or service to stand out and become more memorable.
Make sure that you, at least, check out a few of the ways that Tony implemented these four content marketing hacks, because they’re such great examples.
Then try implementing some of them to launch one of your new (or current products) or services. Who knows? Maybe it’ll help you to have a “best seller” yourself!
I love A Charlie Brown Christmas special.
I love watching it every year with my 3 sons.
But I just found out something about the special that I didn’t know.
The most famous Christmas cartoon of all time wasn’t Charles Schulz’ idea.
It was Coca-Cola’s idea.
You see, Lee Mendelson and Charles Schulz wanted to do a TV special featuring Charlie Brown, but it wasn’t about Christmas.
It was going to be about baseball.
In fact, they made the pilot of “the world’s worst baseball player” (Charlie Brown), but the network rejected it.
That’s when Coca-Cola stepped in.
They approached Mendelson to see if they could create a Peanuts Christmas special.
Him and Schulz hadn’t considered such show and didn’t have anything prepared, but they seized the opportunity.
They quickly crafted a simple, single page creative treatment and presented it to Coke.
“The next day, Coke sent Schulz and Mendelson the following telegram:
‘CONFIRM SALE OF CHARLIE BROWN FOR CHRISTMAS TO COCA-COLA FOR DECEMBER BROADCAST AT YOUR TERMS WITH OPTION ON SECOND SHOW FOR NEXT SPRING. GOOD GRIEF!‘”
As popular as the show is these days, this might be hard to believe, but the show almost didn’t make it on air.
According to Smosh.com…
“The network hated the idea of a religious message in a Christmas TV special. They hated that the special wasn’t non-stop action interrupted with gales of fake laughter (as if cartoons would actually have a live studio audience). They didn’t like the soundtrack, thought the kid voiceover actors sounded too much like children, and would rather have played a needle scratch than jazz music. Things got so bad that even the special’s producers and Charlie Schulz (not known for having a cheery outlook to begin with) thought the cartoon would be a critical and commercial bomb. In fact, everyone was thinking of simply scrapping the show altogether…except for Cocoa-Cola, who was the special’s main sponsor and was not about to let a half-hour of advertising not make it to air.“
The ads for Coca-Cola have been removed from the special over the years, so you won’t see them when you watch it today.
So where were they in the original?
Ted Ryan says that the only Coca-Cola messages were “title slides telling viewers that the production was made possible by the support of the local bottlers around the country.”
Here is a video clip of the slides mentioning Coca-Cola…
Most people think of content marketing as content that focuses on the particular business that is creating it.
Many times that is true.
But the most powerful content marketing can be content that isn’t focused directly on your business at all.
As I revealed in a ContentMarketingInstitute.com post I did called “4 Illuminating Lessons From One of History’s Most Inventive Content Marketers“…
“Create content that your prospects and customers want — especially if it isn’t focused on your business: You must not only create great content, but you must also create content that your desired target group is craving and searching for. And this might seem counterintuitive, but the most powerful kind of content for you to create might actually be content that doesn’t directly focus on your business or industry at all.”
Do you want proof that it was content that marketed Coca-Cola effectively?
The original episode was such a powerful piece of content that Coca-Cola received thank you letters for sponsoring the special.
You might have thought you couldn’t use content marketing, because you’re not a content creator of any kind.
Well, now you know that you can harness the power of content marketing without actually creating it.
You can hire content creators to create content for your business.
It doesn’t have to be someone at the level of Charles Schulz.
There are many content creators out there who would gladly create content for you.
And, if you have always thought, “Well, who really cares about content related to my business?”
Now you know that the content doesn’t have to directly focus on your business or industry.
It just needs to be content that resonates with your audience. That’s the key.
That’s what Coca-Cola did.
And the result is content that was so popular that it still resonates with people almost 50 year later.
Thanksgiving is 17 days away. (Can you believe it?)
And, besides Turkey and stuffing, one of the most common side dishes that we’ll all have is the “Green-Bean Casserole”.
Have you ever wondered… How did this recipe become an American tradition?
You might be surprised, but it’s because of content marketing. Let me explain.
In 1955, a chef named Dorcas Reilly created the recipe for a cookbook that was being created to promote Campbell’s products.
Look at the recipe more closely and you can see the product they are promoting…
1 Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 1 1/3 cups onions in a 3-quart casserole.
2 Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the bean mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining onions.
3. Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.
Did you catch it?
The recipe that so many of us love so much was created to sell Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup.
But we need to ask ourselves, “Why did it work?”
It worked because they focused on the thing that mattered most: the content.
Campbell’s marketing department didn’t try and make up a recipe in order to sell more mushroom soup.
No. Instead they had a chef who was a part of their home economics department create it. Why?
Because they wanted the recipe (the content) to be something people would want to make over and over.
And it worked.
Almost 50 years later, that recipe is still selling Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup.
Learn from Campell’s.
Make sure the content in your content marketing is superb, helpful, and usable for your target market.
If you do, you might come up with something that will still be selling your product or service 50 years now.
Photo by LWYang
Take a look for yourself…
I don’t know about you, but when I saw this video I thought, “I don’t know if this was on purpose or not, but I now want one of those ‘things’ they were riding on!”
After doing some quick research, I made two discoveries:
1. Those “things” they were riding were made by Honda and are called Uni-Cubs.
2. And their placement in the video WAS on purpose.
A Billboard.com article I read revealed this about the video: “Filmed by a camera on a drone, the band members ride motorized scooter chairs made by Honda, which paid for the film.”
This is a genius move by Honda.
This video will not only gain them a ton of publicity, but I am betting that it will gain them a ton of interested customers who want to buy their Uni-Cubs.
Hearing about how great a product or service is is one thing, but SEEING how great it is is much more powerful.
Content marketing is a great way to harness the power of demonstration.
Instead of just creating another ad for your product or service, why don’t you create a video of people USING your product or service?
When you say that your product or service is great, it’s expected. It doesn’t have much influence on your prospects.
But when others say that your product is great, then we take notice. Instead of creating an ad, why not create content marketing (pictures, videos, testimonials, etc.) that shows others happily using your product?
And if you can get any local “celebrities” to do that, it’s even better!
Honda tapped into both of these powers when they decided to have OK Go create this video.
And the results are powerful.
I am sure you’ll be seeing this video everywhere in the coming weeks.
And every time you do, let these two content marketing lessons pop into your mind.
Then figure out how to apply them in your marketing.
P.S. If you’re wondering how they made this video, then here is a behind-the-scenes video you’ll want to check out…
P.P.S. Sorry that it’s been over a month, since I’ve last posted something on here.
Here are some of the posts I’ve been writing on other sites during this time that you might want to check out:
I am an idea person.
Insights come to me all of the time and they can come from surprising sources.
But on this particular morning that I am about to tell you about, I didn’t expect to get an important insight into the power of content marketing.
I was just expecting to eat breakfast.
Let me explain…
I woke up one Saturday morning and learned that my wife had made breakfast for my sons.
As I came stumbling into the kitchen in a half-awake stupor, she asked me if I wanted some “flapjacks”.
I thought, “That was weird. I’ve never heard her use that word before.”
So I replied, “You mean ‘pancakes’, right?”
She said, “No, They’re flapjacks. Actually they’re called ‘Kodiak Cakes’ and they’re really good!” (My kids, who were already sitting at the table and eating them, agreed that they were really good.)
I said, “Kodiak Cakes? What are those?”
She then set the box on the table and said, “Read the back…”
I grabbed the box and flipped it over to see what she was talking about.
And there on the back on the box I found this amazing story…
Years ago, flapjacks were the hearty mainstay of frontiersmen from the frigid Yukon to the wilds of Alaska, and from the Rocky Mountains to the High Sierras.
These rugged mountain-men and homesteaders relied on a traditional flapjack that combined the rich, substantial taste of whole grain wheat with the light mellow taste of whole grain oats.
Although the old-timers knew of the excellent taste and abundant energy they received from their daily flapjacks, they didn’t fully realize that they had stumbled onto a superb nutritional combination.
Their flapjacks contained a powerful source of carbohydrates, protein and fiber – all with very little fat. Since then, the original flapjack has quietly disappeared from North American tables.
Today, few people even know that the frontier flapjack and the ordinary pancake are not the same.
Many are now discovering for the first time that the original flap-jack tastes a whole lot better than the lifeless creations that commonly pass for pancakes these days.
At Baker Mills, we set out to restore the flapjack tradition.
In the process, we soon realized we had to get serious about ingredients – real taste and real nutrition demand real ingredients.
The old recipe could not be compromised for profit.
Inexpensive fillers such as bleached flour, white sugar, vegetable shortening and artificial additives that have taken over so many baking products were definitely out of the question.
Only with a commitment to use the original ingredients could we restore this lost tradition.
We believe we have made good on our commitment with Kodiak Cakes, using only the finest American wheat and Canadian oats.
Kodiak Cakes, are not for the fainthearted, but for those who, like the old frontiersmen exploring and settling untamed wildernesses, require nutrition, vitality, and taste.
Wow. I couldn’t believe what I had just read.
I had never heard of flapjacks described in this way.
It was a history lesson, a story, and an amazing invitation that was “not for the fainthearted.”
I never knew there was a difference between flapjacks and pancakes, but now I did.
Not only that, I knew what made these flapjacks so special.
After reading the box, I had to try them.
And so when the next hot batch was ready and placed on the table, I made my move and snagged a batch off of the plate – before my boys swarmed in for them.
I put some butter on them and poured the syrup over them.
I was now ready for my first bite.
I plunged the side of my fork into the stack and wiggle it so I could cut off a small wedge of the stack to try.
I then stabbed the wedge with my fork and popped it into my mouth.
They WERE really good – just like my wife, my sons, and the box said they would be!
I seriously think they’re some of the best “pancakes” – oops, I mean “flapjacks” – that I’ve ever had from a box.
As I finished eating my first plate of Kodiak Cakes, I realized I had just experienced one of the often overlooked powers that great content marketing has.
When we usually think of content marketing, we usually think of it in terms of its “pre-purchasing” power.
In other words, we usually focus on its ability to influence prospects BEFORE they buy (i.e. by drawing attention to your company, by encouraging them to know, like, and trust you, etc.).
But the revelation that I got that Saturday morning during breakfast was the impact of content marketing’s “post-purchasing” power.
This is the overlooked power that great content marketing has…
Content marketing has the power to not only sell your product or service, but to BOOST your customer’s experience (and pleasure) with you product or service.
The copy written on the back of the Kodiak Cakes box is so good I’m tempted to take it apart sentence by sentence.
But I won’t.
Instead, let me just point out three important lessons you can learn from the makers of Kodiak Cakes.
Don’t limit your content to the these pre-purchase avenues. Instead, create content that will be featured on your products themselves (or on/in the sales copy or sales scripts you use to sell your services).
Baker Mills didn’t waste the space on that box that their flapjacks come in. They harnessed it by filling it with content and story.
Its Impact: This drew me in and made me care more about the product.
Tell the story of how your type of product or service began to be offered to people. Paint the picture of its impact and its intrigue. Point out the good, the bad, and the ugly of how your type of product or service came to be and how it has evolved over the years.
Baker Mills explained things I never knew: what the difference was between pancakes and flapjacks, what type of people ate them, what made them flavorful and good for your health, etc.
Its Impact: This me gave information and categories I didn’t have before. This gave me criteria I would now use to judge and compare every other pancake mix. It also created intrigue and context for what I was about to experience.
Explain your origin story. Tell them why your company offers the unique product or service that you do. Paint a clear picture of how your product is different, better, etc. Be descriptive in telling your customers what it will be like to experience your product and service.
Baker Mills told me they weren’t just concerned about profit, but they cared about taste and authenticity. They were committed to using the original ingredients and carrying on the tradition of the frontiersmen. And they explained how they only used the finest ingredients.
Its Impact: This caused me to experience Kodiak Cakes before I even tasted them. It made me an ally of Kodiak Cakes. It even challenged me to be like one of the rugged and brave frontiersmen who explored and settled the untamed wilderness.
Do you see how these three things impacted my breakfast that morning?
I wasn’t just eating pancakes. I was eating flapjacks.
And they weren’t just any old flapjacks.
They were flapjacks influenced by the tradition of the frontiersmen. They were flapjacks with the emphasis on real flavor and real ingredients.
That created meaning, anticipation, and the sense of adventure to my regular, old breakfast experience.
Now don’t get me wrong.
You still need a good product or service. Kodiak Cakes really are great flapjacks.
You must have a great product or service, if you plan on using the above three “secrets”.
Because great content marketing that is used in the above ways to promote a BAD product or service will just make a bad product or service seem even WORSE.
But great content marketing that is used in the above ways to promote a GREAT product or service will make a great product or service seem even BETTER.
Apply these three “secrets” to your business today.
If a company that makes flapjack mix can use these methods, then so can you.
P.S. If Kodiak Cakes sound like something you want to try, then you can learn more about them on their website: KodiakCakes.com.