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Insights: A New Edition of the Content Marketing Bible

By May 9, 2023No Comments

Epic Content Marketing, a book released in 2013 by Joe Pulizzi, is considered the gold standard on a topicPulizzi knows inside and out. Nearly a decade later, Pulizzi, along with Brian Piper, has written a secondedition with sections on data, AI, Web3, and community. Piper told us what to expect from the secondedition and dished out some free advice on a few topics covered in the book.Co-authors Joe Pulizziand Brian Piper have released a new edition of the highly acclaimed bookEpic ContentMarketing. The updated version hit bookshelves on February 27, and it brings readers up to speed on all thingsnew in the world of content marketing. How much has content marketing changed since the original version ofthe book became a hit a decade ago? Let’s just say that 10 years is an eternity in content marketing.We have social media channels in 2023 that did not even exist in 2013 (TikTok, anyone?), but that’s onlythe beginning. More (better) data tools offer greater insight into how your marketing is performing, brandcommunities and superfans hold enormous marketing power,creator networks are now a well-establishedtool, and your content can be leveraged and repurposed in a multitude of ways. All this and much more fillthe pages of Pulizzi and Piper’s new book, officially titledEpic Content Marketing, Second Edition: Breakthrough theClutter with a Different Story, Get the Most Out of Your Content, and Builda Community in Web3.“The content marketing landscape has matured and grown in big ways in the past decade and has becomea common tactic ofany successful brand or content entrepreneur,”Piper tells us. “We have differentplatforms, new technologies, and evolved consumer expectations and needs. Content marketing is reallyentering its heyday now. Between the public need for trust and belonging and the advances in technologyand access to data, it is delivering what consumers want from brands and creators.”The second generation ofEpic Content Marketingincludes updated statistics and new case studies for thefundamental strategy and process chapters, along with completely new sections covering some of the mostrelevant current changes in content marketing, including data, AI, Web3, and community.In part 2 of the book—“Defining Your Content Niche and Strategy”—Pulizzi explains that while contentis traditionally thought of as a brand-awareness and lead-nurturing tool, it can also be incorporated intocustomer service, customer loyalty and retention, and customer upsell efforts. Once it has taken yourcustomer that far, it can also make them subscribers to whatever content you’re offering. Whether yourbrand is just you or is a Fortune 500 company, yourcontent needs to be repurposed across a variety ofchannels.Red Bull, LEGO, and General Electric are prime examples when it comes to repurposing content, but it’snot just the big, established brands that effectively repurpose their content. “You can also see examplesamong smaller content entrepreneurs, like Ann Handley, Dasha Kennedy, and Wally Koval,” Piper says.“All of these content marketers and entrepreneurs are creating and distributing content on multiple platformsand pushing consumers of thatcontent to some goal that includes supplying an email or other first-partydata.”A sample of Piper’s advice: every piece of content needs to be guided by and focused on strategy. Eachpiece of content also needs the necessary calls to action, should becategorized by its location in themarketing funnel, and needs to have tracking data connected to it in order to monitor performance andmeasure success.

Later in the book, Piper writes about what happens between a brand and its audience once the brand hasbecome a trusted source. In a chapter titled “The Importance of Community and Superfans,” he shares thestory of the Savannah Bananas, a minor-league baseball team in Georgia that has built a community ofsuperfans by putting the team’s fans first in everything they do.“The fans-first methodology is essential for any brand or content entrepreneur,” Piper tells us. “It all startswith understanding your audience, knowing what they need and what problems they have, and then sharingcontent that can helpthem find solutions.”He explains that once these fans start to see you as a trusted source and find value in your content, theywill start consuming your content consistently and on other channels—they’ll share with their friends. Mostimportantly, they’ll start to engage with your content: replying to emails, commenting on posts, andpromoting within their network. In short, they will become a community.“This is when it’s critical that the brand or creator engages with the user,” Piper says. “You have tocultivate that relationship and offer even more useful information and begin to celebrate members of yourcommunity. This is how you create superfans who will become your biggest advocates and champions.Superfans are lifetime customers and consumers.They will pay more, spend more time consuming, andlook for opportunities to engage and support the company or creator.”Organization leaders can also learn a thing or two from the second edition ofEpic Content Marketingabout how a modern marketing team might be structured in this prime time of content marketing and howthey can find the creators that today’s landscape demands. Piper says it’s no longer enough to post newpositions on job boards and scour titles on résumés.“When companies go out to look for content marketing talent, they’re looking to see what creators are outthere who have blogs, podcasts, or active social channels,” he explains. “They’re looking for people who arealready creating content and have started building an audience. Whether they want to leverage that audienceor are just looking for employees that understand how content marketing works, many companies arelooking to bring in people who understand the challenges and opportunities of content marketing.”Epic ContentMarketing, Second Edition: Break through the Clutter with a Different Story, Get the MostOut of Your Content, and Build a Community in Web3is currently available in hardcover, audiobook, and e-book.