The other day, I was watching the PBS series “American Experience” and learned something I never...
I have mentioned the wise marketing methods of Disney before. Now that I see of all these posts, I realized I...
Today I am going to share with you a story about what some have called “the worst blunder in the...
Today is the first FULL week of 2014. You have 360 days left in 2014 to do, be or have something different than you...
Dale Carnegie’s Words of Wisdom Dale Carnegie once revealed something very powerful about human...
My Latest Confession I have another confession. This confession reveals another fact about my past and who I am. Not...
The Common Content Creation Problem To create 100% original content based on an idea that no one has never heard of...
Sometimes having a concrete example is the best way to teach someone. That’s why today I have a simple,...
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The Universal Attraction of Halloween Halloween is coming in 29 days. It’s a day that many kids (and adults)...
Joe Pulizzi, the founder of ContentMarketingInstitute.com - one of the leading thought leaders behind the content marketing and social media movement
Want To Learn How To Create Better Content?
Welcome. I have 21 years of experience in creating content on a regular basis, so I know it’s much easier for me to create content than it is for you. I realize that I know methods that you don’t. I know techniques for how to present my content that you don’t know.
Because of that fact, I want to teach you what I know. That way you can have a head start on creating compelling, engaging content.
If you are interested in this, I’d like to send you some free lessons, which are excerpts from my upcoming e-course.
These free lessons will teach you:
Read my most recent posts below...Read More
The other day, I was watching the PBS series “American Experience” and learned something I never knew before.
And this discovery reminded me of an important lesson about being “top of mind” in your business category.
The show was about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
But what I learned has nothing to do with them directly.
It was an interesting piece of trivia about the term “Private Eye.“
Let me explain…
Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch were very smart.
The more crimes they committed the better they became at robbing people.
And they always took what they learned and used it in the next town.
This made it very difficult for the local sheriffs in each town to catch them.
That’s when the The Pinkerton National Detective Agency got involved.
If was because of their nation-wide intelligence network and their new methodology that they were able to disband Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch.
What I thought was interesting was that Allan Pinkerton formed the The Pinkerton National Detective Agency in 1850.
It was the first detective agency to exist.
The agency’s logo was an eye embellished with the words “We Never Sleep.“
After their work disbanding Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch, the agency became so well-known that the term “private eye” began to be used to describe any detective agency.
Think about that for a moment.
Their business became so well-known that ALL detective agencies today are known by a name that comes from their original agency.
The term “positioning” was coined by Jack Trout and Al Ries back in 1972.
At the time, they were running the advertising agency Ries Cappiello Colwell.
In January of that year, they made a speech at club called the “Sales Executives Club.”
The topic of their talk? “The Positioning Era.”
No one else would have probably heard of the term except for one fact.
At the head table that day was a man named Rance Crain.
He was then a reporter for Advertising Age (he’s now editor in chief).
Rance loved their concept of “positioning.”
He loved it so much that he suggested that it might make a good series of articles in Advertising Age magazine.
Ries and Trout agreed and so the concept and the articles appeared in the April 24, May 1 and May 8, 1972 issues.
If you’re not aware, the term “positioning” describes the “position” or “place” you or your business has in your prospect’s mind or your customer’s mind.
Later in 1981, they expanded on the idea in their famous book “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind.“
In the book, they said something very important.
They said, “Today’s marketplace is no longer responsive to the strategies that worked in the past. There are just too many products, too many companies, and too much marketing noise.“
They said that because the market is so crowded, if you want to stand out in your market, then you must be first in your category.
If you’re second, you’re forgotten.
And they said something interesting about the leader in a product category that explains why the “private eye” from The Pinkerton National Detective Agency became the term for all detective agencies after them.
They said that the leader in a product category has such an overwhelming position in people’s’ minds that they become synonymous with the category itself.
Do you see how this happened to The Pinkerton National Detective Agency because they were first?
If there were too many products, too many companies, and too much marketing noise in 1981, then think of how true it is TODAY!
The amount of competition and “noise” is now off the charts!
If you want to stand out in most categories, then it’s probably way too late for you to grab the first spot.
What can you do to gain the “top of mind” position?
I think the two best things you could do would be this:
Chipotle was definitely way too late to the game to be the first to sell burritos and tacos.
That’s why they didn’t just create another Mexican restaurant.
They created a new category to be first in by the way they let us move down the counter to create our burritos and tacos and by emphasizing their use of local, “food with integrity.”
You have to propose something to your prospects that your competition can’t or doesn’t offer.
It has to be at least unique in how you frame it.
Jetblue was too late to be the first in the low-price airline category, but they still gained “position” in people’s’ minds.
They did this by offering direct TV (the first to do this), first-class seats to everyone, and better snacks.
The next time you hear the phrase “private eye” let it remind you that now more than ever you must find a way to gain “top of mind” position.
It won’t just help your business to stand out today, but if you do it right, it might just help it to stand out for years to come.
If you’d like other ideas on how to do this, then I’d encourage you to grab a copy of the 2000 version of “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind.”
I have mentioned the wise marketing methods of Disney before.
Now that I see of all these posts, I realized I look kind of obsessed with Disney.
I am not really.
It’s just that I keep being reminded that they are geniuses at content marketing and I have to write about what I notice.
Well, please bear with me. Today, I am going to mention them again.
I put on Netflix a couple of weeks ago and I was looking for something to watch.
I ended up watching a Bloomberg TV special called “Inside: Pixar”. It was all about Pixar and Disney animation.
As I was watching this short show, I suddenly heard the narrator say something that surprised me. He said, “It costs Disney $10-$15 million to make one of their old animated movies into a 3D film.”
That’s a lot of money to bother dealing with converting an old movies!
But what the narrator said next explained the “method to their madness.”
He went on to say, “But they make $50-75 million in new income from that old film being re-shown in 3D.”
Now that make more sense!
Spend $10 – $15 million = Get $50 – $75 million
That’s $40 million – $65 million dollars profit!
And they don’t have to:
NONE of that! They leap-frog over the normal production process, spend $10 – $15 million to convert the previous successful content, and they’re guaranteed to make money!
Wouldn’t you do that? I would – every day!
That got me thinking. Have you ever thought about how much content you’ve created?
Even with the most popular blog post that you ever wrote, there are a lot of people who never saw it.
Isn’t that a waste?
That’s why we need to take a page from Disney’s playbook.
I am not saying you can make millions off of your old content. (If you do, I’d like 10% as a “thank you” gift. )
But some of you probably have some content that you could repurpose and sell.
That’s not all.
You’re really only limited by your creativity!
There is an insane amount of content being created every day.
How much? So much that content has become a commodity.
Isn’t that crazy? And some of these stats are a few years old!
Think about how many distractions there are.
In fact, I bet I already lost people who were reading this post. Why?
They clicked one of the links above and they never came back!
Think about how much competition there is!
I believe that all of these facts demand that we repurpose content.
It is the only way it will be seen.
It is the only way to stand out.
Think about the people who stand out in the marketing arena.
Take Seth Godin, Brian Clark, and Joe Pulizzi as examples.
I bet you know who they are and the key ideas they stand for.
That isn’t by accident.
It’s because they created epic content marketing and they kept repeating and repackaging their ideas.
They write about an idea, then give a talk about it, put together a webinar on the topic, mention the same ideas in interviews, etc.
Repurposed content is the tool they leveraged to become household names!
Now obviously, they keep creating new content and so should you.
But they keep repurposing their key ideas.
They also use former, popular ideas to help guide them to know what type of new content to create.
Now you don’t want to do that with all of your content. You want to focus on your popular content.
You should only repurpose your popular blog posts into audio recordings.
You only want to repurpose your popular audio recordings into video. You get the idea.
Even if you don’t make money off it, you still get to leap-frog the normal production process of creating any of these types of content.
The best thing is that you know that the end product will be received well!
That is valuable because:
I know that some of you have heard this before, but have you done it?
I hope that this real-world example from Disney will be your inspiration to take action.
I am going to!
I have already repurposed my popular infographic “21 Types of Content We Crave” as a webinar.
But I am going to repurpose it and the webinar in new ways.
I am going to use it guide me to create content that expands on the ideas and adds to the ideas it contains.
I will also repurpose content from my ebook “How Your Business Can Survive and Prosper in a Recession.” (*For those of you who have wondered, that ebook is how I first came up with the current domain name.)
What about you? How will you apply this idea?
Let us know in the comments below.
Today I am going to share with you a story about what some have called “the worst blunder in the history of college football“.
This story contains a lesson for us all about a seldom discussed topic: the dark side of goal setting.
Yes, you read that right.
Read on to learn more.
On New Year’s Day, 1929, Georgia Tech played the University of California in the Rose Bowl.
It was a typical game with no specific reason for it to be memorable.
That is until UC center, Roy Riegels, recovered a fumble for California.
After evading some of the Georgia Tech tacklers, he started running sixty-five yards.
But there was one problem: he was going in the wrong direction.
Worse yet, he didn’t even know it.
Luckily, just before Riegels was about to score for Georgia Tech, one of his own teammates tackled him landing on the one yard line.
How would you feel if that was you?
I’ll reveal Riegels’ reaction in a minute.
But first, I want you to realize something most of us overlook.
We are amazing beings that live on a miraculous planet.
Think about this.
We aren’t passive beings who just have things happen to us, we have the ability to be active and create the life we and others experience.
This means something pretty amazing that we often take for granted.
It means we can:
It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.
Many people who succeed and achieve a lot in life realize this ability and live their lives on purpose, with purpose.
But there’s a dark side that isn’t usually mentioned.
You CAN become and do almost anything you set your mind to!
Let me say it this way…
You can become wealthy, powerful, famous, (fill-in-the-blank)… and STILL fail in life!
Don’t misunderstand me.
I’m NOT telling you not to set goals. Please DO!
Please don’t just wait for things to happen.
Go for things you’re afraid you’ll fail at. Aim high!
But don’t be deceived into thinking ”If I succeed at all my goals, or what people say my goals should be, then I will have lived a successful life.”
That’s not true.
Let me tell you, what most people won’t.
It doesn’t just matter that you set goals this year. It matters WHAT goals you set.
You must be discerning and discriminating in your goal setting.
Choose them carefully and wisely.
Because you just might accomplish them.
And you might end up scoring the wrong touchdown.
Now let’s get back to the UC/Georgia Tech game.
Are you wondering what Roy Riegels reaction was to making that embarrassing play?
Let me show you.
But more importantly, you’ll want to hear his coach’s reaction…
They say that as half-time came to an end everyone but Riegels got up to leave the locker room.
He didn’t budge.
He reportedly said to his coach, “Coach, I can’t do it. I’ve ruined you, I’ve ruined myself, I’ve ruined the University of California. I couldn’t face that crowd to save my life.”
His coach replied, “Roy, get up and go back out there — the game is only half over.”
If you’ve realized you’ve been running toward the wrong goal(s) in life, don’t give up.
Get up and get back in the game.
There’s still time to play.
Photo by Plutor
You Have 1020 Minutes To Make Today Different Than Yesterday (recessionsolution.com)
Today is the first FULL week of 2014.
You have 360 days left in 2014 to do, be or have something different than you did, were, or had last year.
Depending on how much you slept last night, you only have around 1020 minutes (or less) to make today different than yesterday.
A few of your choices today will have little or no consequences in your life.
But most of your choices today, both big and small, will fall into two groups:
1. Life and death
2. Addition and subtraction
Would you purposely choose to subtract from your life or choose a little death? No!
But people do that every day.
Many of your choices today will not only impact your life, but also those who come after you.
*You will never have another January 6, 2014.
(NOTE: If you are reading this on a later date, then insert your current date and year. It still applies! )
If you want things to be different, you have to be willing to do things differently.
Choose the things that will add to your life instead of subtract from it.
Ready, set. go!
Photo by tableatny
Dale Carnegie once revealed something very powerful about human nature.
He said, “People are not interested in you. They are not interested in me. They are interested in themselves – morning, noon and after dinner.”
Later he said, “Why should people be interested in you unless you are first interested in them?”
He goes on to tell a surprising story to prove his point.
The story is about a researcher on coast to coast airplane flight.
On the flight the researcher only asked his seatmate questions.
The researcher never talked about himself – except to give his name.
When each person the researcher was talking to got off the plane, they found out they were a part of an experiment.
They were asked what they thought about the researcher and they all said they thought he was a really good conversationalist!
All he did was ask questions and let THEM talk!
That made him a good conversationalist!
I think one of the unspoken reasons that Christmas is loved by so many people is not because it’s a time of the year to get a lot of presents.
I think it’s so popular because it’s the time of the year when we all tend to focus more on others instead of ourselves.
Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
If that is true, then this is the time of year when many of us really live because we really give.
What content is worth creating?
This video below reveals a company that understands these two powerful things…
The video above has now been viewed over 32 MILLION TIMES!
Everyone is talking about WestJet because of this video.
It’s because they FIRST did something worth creating content about and then they created a powerful video.
It wasn’t powerful because it focused on their airline or services.
It was powerful because it was focused on their customers and making their day.
That is what the “Christmas spirit” is about and that is what powerful content marketing is about.
To all of you who celebrate Christmas, I want to wish you a very merry Christmas!
Photo by mysza831Read More
I have another confession.
This confession reveals another fact about my past and who I am.
Not only that, this confession will reveal some important lessons about content creation and content marketing that many people don’t know.
I’m about to reveal what you can think of as some of the “real magic of content marketing”.
What is my confession?
I have always loved magic.
I’ve loved it since I was a kid. I used to buy magic trick books and practice those tricks over and over.
My favorite magician was Harry Houdini.
I wanted to be like him so much I’d have my sister, babysitter, my Mom – or any friend I could find – tie me up and I’d try to escape like he did.
What made Houdini such a great and memorable magician?
He was a showman.
He didn’t just do a trick or an escape. He did things that made it an experience you would never forget.
David Blaine reminds me a lot of Houdini in this way.
When most magicians do a magic trick people politely applaud.
When David Blaine does a magic trick people start freaking out.
Watch them freak out for yourself…
I want you to think of magic tricks as content.
In that sense, much of the content a magician has to work with is common.
Take card tricks as an example.
There are only so many card tricks you can do.
And on a basic level they’re all the same.
But somehow, in some way, when David Blaine does a trick it doesn’t feel “the same” at all.
Now think about this.
As a content marketer or content creator you have the same challenges.
Much of the content you have at your disposal is common.
There are only so many things you can say about your topic.
On a basic level all the content in your niche is the same.
So what can you learn from David Blaine about making content that people freak out over instead of politely applaud?
There are four tricks that he uses that I want to reveal to you right now.
One of the most powerful things that David Blaine does has nothing to with his tricks at all.
It’s what he does before he does a trick.
What does he do? He creates anticipation.
It’s the press he gets before his shows.
It’s the fact that he’s known as the magician to the stars (he is seen performing for movie stars and athletes in his shows).
It is the fact that he is known as a shocking magician.
All of those things (and more) create anticipation and give his tricks a greater impact when he does them.
If an unknown magician did the same exact trick as David Blaine he would get much less of a response.
People might like the trick, but they wouldn’t freak out in amazement.
Why? There is no anticipation.
You need to do interviews and get any press you can in order to help spread the word about who you are.
You need to do everything you can to get your content validated by other respected people in your industry.
You need to get people who think highly of your content to share their opinion of you with others.
That will create anticipation for your content before someone ever consumes it.
Gary Vaynerchuk does these things.
He is interviewed frequently. He is mentioned and quoted in articles.
His content is validated by many respected people in many different industries.
People are constantly talking about how amazing he is and they’re always sharing his content.
That creates anticipation before you even consume his content.
It gives his content more impact. Do the same and you’ll increase the impact your content has on people.
An amateur magician just does a trick.
A professional magician builds up to a trick.
And that makes all the difference in the impact of the trick.
David Blaine doesn’t just do a trick.
He gets your attention. He draws you in. He creates intrigue. He builds suspense.
By the time he does the trick the audience is bowled over.
If you watch how I tap into the “magic” of content marketing, you’ll see that I never just post an idea.
I always do my best to grab your attention first.
(I did that today by telling you about my love of magic.)
I always try to draw you in and create intrigue.
(I did that today by telling you about David Blaine.)
I always try to build suspense.
(I did that by telling you that there were lessons we could learn from him about content marketing.)
You need to do the same thing. Don’t ever just present your idea.
Grab attention. Create intrigue and build suspense, then present your idea.
Have you ever wondered why a magician is never supposed to do the same trick twice?
It is because a key principle of effective magic is surprise.
When you first do a trick the audience doesn’t know what to expect.
If you do it again, right away, then they will know what to expect and what to look for.
The surprise-factor is gone.
And that will ruin the trick and probably reveal your secrets.
David Blaine is great at surprising an audience. You never know what he is going to do.
Watch this trick below. You’ll never guess what he is going to do…
In content creation and content marketing you want to keep your audience guessing. How?
Don’t always write about the same things.
Be willing to post contrary viewpoints that are opposed to the common opinions in your industry.
Help people to come to surprising conclusions from the content your provide them with.
And, even if you’re going to present a common idea or thought, present it in a surprising way!
A great magician knows that it’s context that makes a trick truly great.
Instead of doing just a card trick, they tell a story with the cards as the characters of the story.
Instead of just performing tricks from the stage, David Blaine performs them on the street.
Not only that, he creates context with the things he says and does before he does the trick.
Powerful context creates powerful tricks.
Let me explain how you can apply this by revealing more of the “magic” behind this post.
I could have just told you these 4 points.
They would’ve been ok by themselves, but not that powerful.
Instead of doing that, I created a context for them.
The overall context was magic. I wanted you to think about content marketing the way a magician does about magic.
But beyond that, I created an even more powerful context by telling you about David Blaine and telling you how he uses these 4 tricks.
That context gave this post more impact.
You need to do the same thing.
Present context BEFORE you present your content.
The content might be common, but your context can make it feel completely uncommon.
Now none of these things excuse you from presenting the most powerful content you can.
None of this excuses you to be lazy and just copy other content.
There is nothing like powerful content.
But using these 4 tricks can allow you to take that powerful content and make it explosive.
Watch this final video to see David do a powerful trick you’ve never seen any other magician do…
P.S. David Blaine’s latest TV special is on tonight on ABC. It’s called “Real or Magic”.
I’ll be watching it! If you like magic, then you won’t want to miss it.
If you would like to learn some more of the “tricks” that I personally use to create powerful content, then click the link below…
“21 Types of Content We Crave”
To create 100% original content based on an idea that no one has never heard of is pretty much impossible.
As the ancient saying goes, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
The point isn’t to try to rack your brain and try to come up with ideas and content no one has ever heard of.
The point is to create content that is so different and unique in how you put it together that it feels new, interesting and intriguing to the person consuming it.
If you don’t think that’s possible with the boring type of content that is in your industry, then check out this Virgin Airlines safety video…
I guarantee that video is like no other safety video you’ve ever seen before.
If you were on one of their planes and that came on, you’d pay attention.
Want proof of how powerful it is?
As of today, it has 5,312,478 views – for a safety video!!!
Most people have IGNORED airline safety videos that many times, but this video has been purposely watched – and shared – millions of times!
What makes it even more amazing is that the basic content that the video presents is the exact same common content that every other airline presents.
But the difference is that Virgin Airlines has added humor, dramatization, music, dancing, etc.
That’s what makes it completely uncommon.
When you know how to add the right things to your content it will make it seem new, or at the least, worth consuming again.
And it will give you the upper-hand over all of your competitors who are just presenting the same, old common content.
In this A.D.D., multitasking world, this is the skill you must learn as a content creator or content marketer.
If you don’t you’re doomed to be ignored.
If you would like to learn some of the methods I personally use to make common content uncommon, then click the link below…
“21 Types of Content We Crave”
Scott has consistently been one of our top authors at the Content Marketing Institute. His posts are timely, fact-driven and almost always drive a high-level of discussion. His ‘21 Types of Content We Crave’ infographic post on CMI was one of our most popular posts of the year!”
- Joe Pulizzi / ContentMarketingInstitute.com
Photo by Filter ForgeRead More