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Sept. 5, 2020

176: Corona Marketing - What Marketers Need To Know Now [Joe Pulizzi Interview]

176: Corona Marketing - What Marketers Need To Know Now [Joe Pulizzi Interview]

Today the Godfather of content marketing, Joe Pulizzi, joins me as a special guest to help you find opportunity in the midst of the coronavirus. Our episode on "Corona Marketing" led us to talk about a wide variety of things your company can be doing _today_to grow your business despite the times that we live in. These include:

1.  How marketers can cut through clutter with their content.
2. Strategies on how to build an audience in a recessionary environment.
3. What subscriber channels make the most sense to drive revenue.

Key Highlights

[06:05] Introduction of Podcast Guest, Joe Pulizzi

[8:00] Where to Start Resetting Content Strategy After the Pandemic

[12:10] Content Energy

[14:57] Creating Emotional Connection Using Digital Tools

[23:36] Understanding Who's Engaging in Your Content And Who's Not

[31:10] Instilling Passionate Influencers Into Content Marketing

[33:57] Strategies and How to Build Audience In A Recessionary Environment

[40:38] Different Subscriber Channels That Drive Revenue

[43:06] Joe's Take on Virtual Events

Notable Quotes

  •  This is the opportunity now where you can really focus on building an audience focusing on the relationship with that audience and start saying no to things.
  • You only have so much energy for content creation and distribution, there are only so many things you can do to the audience that you focus on.
  • Now is the time to reset, ask yourself the tough questions. What really, who am I really trying to target? What is the story I'm trying to tell? How is that story truly differentiated? Because to your point, if it's not truly differentiated, you're never gonna cut through all this clutter? You really have to have something special. It's hard to have something special when your attention is all over the place.
  • Perhaps because of the Coronavirus and so many companies are trying to think more digital-first realizing this is the only way to really engage. Maybe they are seeing how they can create more than emotional connection and really serve.
  • What this is honestly, what I would like to see it not everybody has to have a content marketing strategy. You could still traditional market your way to some success. But I would like people to choose, I like either to do it and do it really, really well. Or don't do it at all.
  • What do we in this whole ballgame for our job in marketing is to maintain or change the behavior of our customers and our audience? And if you're not doing that with something that you're from a content standpoint, then it's probably time to stop it.
  • I think we'd agree that what's happening with the pandemic is going to forever change a lot of things about how we communicate about a lot of different things. So really, now is the best time to figure that out. 
  • The most important thing that I see is I want you to move from your followers and your fans and your subscribers on social platforms and move and convert those to email as quickly as you can. 

Joe Pulizzi Links:

Joe Pulizzi's Website: https://www.joepulizzi.com/

Joe Pulizzi's books on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Z3LMUl

Corona Marketing [Free Ebook]: https://www.joepulizzi.com/corona-marketing/

Reference Links for Neal Schaffer:

My Website: https://nealschaffer.com/

Learn more about this podcast: https://nealschaffer.com/maximize-your-social-influence-podcast/

The Age of Influence Free Preview: https://nealschaffer.com/age-of-influence-preview

Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

Are you looking to cut through the noise and clutter out there and get your content noticed and read? Are you looking for strategies? And how to build your audience in social media despite the recessionary environment we're in? Or are you trying to figure out what subscriber channels make the most sense to derive revenue for your business? Well, if you are, then you should be pumped because today, I have the amazing godfather of content marketing. Joe Pulizzi. On this episode of the maximize your social influence podcast. Welcome to the maximize your social influence podcast with Neal Schaffer, where I help marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners grow their businesses using innovative marketing techniques, leveraging the concept of digital influence throughout digital and social media. Hey, everybody, Neal Schaffer here. Welcome to episode number 176. Of the maximize your social influence podcast. It's been another week, how are you all doing? Well, every week, the life of an entrepreneur, a business owner, I'm sure every one of you listening has your own story, you can tell, I'd say the highlights of my last week just to bring you along on my journey. Well, I got the good and the bad. So where should I start? Here? Yeah, of course, I can't hear what you're saying. Or nodding or shaking your head, we'll start with the bad news. So not all of you might have this. But when you become more influential in the world, or when your business becomes more influential in the world, you get on good people's radar, you get on bad people's radar. So I was attacked. And I'm gonna explain what I was attacked by a Russian. I'm gonna say hacker, actually, just yesterday, on my website, but more specifically, my email marketing. Let me explain this. Because, you know, I explained this to a client yesterday, and they're a startup and you're, you know, if you have this issue, then obviously, you've become famous enough that people want to target you. But I actually had in the course of an hour 500 New opt ins to my email list. And normally, you'd be jumping for joy, right. But when I was monitoring my Active Campaign, new subscribers, I noticed that, first of all, I love Active Campaign, because it actually shows me where people are logging in from, I get people that want to blog from my website, and they have English names, and yet their countries, they're located in a non English speaking country, right? So I can immediately say, okay, these people are trying to do me, but I noticed that probably out of the 500 450 came from Russia, there were some Mountain View, California that were sprinkled in. But what they were doing was the email addresses were normal email addresses. But the first name that I asked for, like in an opt in form and a website, they were putting in something like, Hey, friend, you'll want to check out this website where you can make, you know, $500 a day click here. So what they were doing is realizing that when I sent out an email, like with an autoresponder to people that opted into my list, that that first name, we always try to personalize our emails, that first name is going to go out, and therefore that message to these people is going to go out. And I don't know who any of these 500 email addresses were. They were legit, like, you know, legit looking email addresses. But it led me on a journey to figure out okay, which of the Active Campaign forums where they're coming from which automations were they going through? Anyway, the net net is have stopped asking people for their first name, and the minute I stopped asking people for their first name and the forms, the hacking stopped. So it was obviously someone using scripts. They might have been using a fake IP address in Mountain View to help them do this. I don't know. It stopped, I'm happy but I had to go into Zapier, I had to go into my autoresponder. Anyway, with just the little things we should always be working on our business, not in our business and I hate when external factors force me to work in my businesses. I'm sure a lot of you do too, also, but on the good thing, the age of influence is now in addition to going to be published in Vietnam, in Vietnamese, it's now going to be published in Bulgaria in Bulgarian. So hey, if someone in Vietnam wants to publish it in Vietnamese and someone in Bulgaria wants to publish it in Bulgarian, I'm hoping that most of you listening to me speaking English and reading English would find the age of influence to be of interest as well. If you have yet to purchase the books up. That's the latest with me. Let's move on to today's guest. Because this is I wish I have I don't know why I didn't reach out to Joe earlier. But Joe Pulizzi is and you know There are only a handful of people that are the absolute leaders in Content Market and Hanley, give it up for an and is amazing, written some great books right up there with and we have Joe Pulizzi. And there are others as well, right? I don't want to exclude people. But when I think of content marketing, those are the two people that come to mind. But Joe has created the Content Marketing Institute, Joe has created a Content Marketing World. So I mean, AMS creative marketing, profs not too shabby there. But when we talk about content, it's really hard to talk about content marketing, without talking about Joe Pulizzi. So obviously, today we talk about content, but we talk about content in the greater context of Absolutely. What is going on today. When I asked Joe, what should we title the episode, he said, Corona marketing. And we do touch upon these aspects of and I like to say that when in crisis, there's opportunity, there are significant opportunities for your business today, Visa Vee content. And obviously, we go beyond that to talk about digital and social media. I'm gonna stop rambling, you've heard enough about me, let's hand it over to the interview with Joe Pulizzi. I'm really excited today to bring you the one and only Joe policy who truly is someone that doesn't need an introduction, you should all know of him. I and many others fondly refer to him as the godfather of content marketing, the founder of Content Marketing World, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, author of so many awesome books. Joe, welcome to the show. Did I get the introduction right, or am I missing? I'm missing you're also a best selling fiction author?

Joe Pulizzi:

No, your your what your way to kind? Yeah, thank you for that introduction. It's a pleasure, too. We haven't talked to each other in quite a while. I can't remember which conference probably Social Media Marketing World or something like that. We were we were catching up. But it's good to talk to you. And it's been a wild crazy ride since we last saw each other and in thanks for having me. No, it has

Neal Schaffer:

been and as we were talking before we started the whole Coronavirus pandemic has has provided challenges, but also opportunities. For instance, the ability to do more podcasts, the ability to have more of these conversations with the geopolitics of the world. So there are positives. And I know, Joe, you know, when you told me about this ebook, and we'll make sure we put a link to in the show notes about Crona marketing, you are giving hope to a lot of marketers and I think, well, we don't we don't need just hope. Obviously, you have the ideas to back that up. But I really want to focus this episode on with all this change in the world. I've recorded a few episodes of that, like Mark Schaefer on right before he was diagnosed with actually having Coronavirus was right, one of the one his wife had it, we were talking about it. And obviously, you know, a lot of what we do is driven around content. So I think nobody else better than Joe to really help us navigate through these tricky waters. Let's, let's just start right now, Joe, for those of us and they're still marketers, even though we're a few months into it, we're still sort of trying to reset what we're doing. You know, where do we start?

Joe Pulizzi:

Well, you don't start by throwing all kinds of content against the wall, in my opinion. And that's what I think most marketers have done. And you know what, it makes perfect sense, because a lot of marketers are working from home now, if they were working in an office before, they have more time to create content, it's easy to get, you know, swallowed down the rabbit hole of content creation, and just like more and more and more and more, but in my experience, and what we're going through now, with with what you and I talked about being, I think we're gonna be we're in for a little bit of a recession here. I know the stock market may say otherwise. But that's absolutely where we're headed. We have not, there's gonna be some tough financial times out out there. And we need to be prepared for that. But from a marketing standpoint, I agree. And of course, that's the that's why I wrote Corona marketing the book was boy has this huge opportunity. And we're right now in what I believe we're going into the third stage of content marketing. And the first stage was right in there all after tragedies, which is just interesting, that we really focus on authentic one to one communications, when we get done with a 911 was the first one where we all were trying to figure out how do we get found on Google? Then you had the great recession, and everyone was trying to figure out how do we build audiences on social media? And now after this Coronavirus pandemic, we're into this third stage. And this is the opportunity now where you can really focus on building an audience focusing on the relationship with that audience and start saying no to things which is where I think the hope is, because, and I said this years ago, I think I said this in my first book, which was in 2007 2008. I said you have to be everywhere your customers are at online. And I wish I never said that. Because maybe at a time that was true, because there was only like four channels, so you could do it. And then Ping fm came along and for those people that know that reference and then you're like, Oh, we can we can throw it everywhere right now. We need to be strategic and now we need to start saying no to things So this is where I would suggest, look, you have to, you have to go through every channel that you're communicating in. And you have to start saying, Well, you know, here's one where we're not doing very well, or we're not putting a lot of resources in or we don't know what the benefits are. And it would be better to, let's just say, it's Facebook for let's say, you're doing a regular content program on Facebook, because it's an easy target. You say, Okay, we're going to use Facebook as a listening listening channel only. And we're going to divert those funds to our E newsletter, or our podcast, or something like that. I'd like to see more of that done. And instead of, you know, you and I both been in billion dollar enterprise companies, and you go in and they're a content marketing team is doing 1517 20 different initiatives, you know, we go in there, we never go and make a recommendation to do more content. It's always like, look at, you have to kill some of these things. Because of you know, the history of how you build a content platform, how you build a media brand, you really start with one, you start with one great thing. Is it the greatest podcast in your industry to that particular audience? Is it the greatest e newsletter? Is it the great, the greatest virtual event series, or whatever it is, that's what you focus on, you build a minimum viable audience in that platform. And then you can spread your wings and diversify. And I just tried to get that message out to as many marketers as possible, at least to give them a little relief and say, oh, man, maybe I don't have to have a tick tock channel. Right. Okay. Well, who knows how long take next is going to be around at least in the United States? So yeah, so that's a whole nother issue.

Neal Schaffer:

But it's funny in many ways, because now we're 100% Digital, because we have to be, if you're not doing well, on these platforms, now, you're probably never going to be able to do well, right? At this point in time, because the networks are fairly mature, you've probably been creating content for them for some time. Now, with the exception of maybe tick tock. And if you haven't figured out by now, but you're doing well on one particular network or another. It's also think about content mediums, as you said, like podcasting, or video or what have you. I think that's really great advice.

Joe Pulizzi:

Well, this is the one thing and you know, we've talked about this before. But if you look at any marketing organization, and I don't care if you're the Amazons of the world, or if you're a small business, you only have so much energy for content creation and distribution, there's only so many things you can do to the audience that you focus on. So I always I look at this thing called Content energy, and that you have only so much, so really matters on where you put that energy. So basically, what most of us do is we take that energy and we split it up into Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog, podcast, e newsletter, webinar series, on and on, right. And basically, what happens is you spread it around so much, you're mediocre at best on all these platforms, usually you're bad. Like, that's why we have so many horrible e newsletters, because people just, they just throw it at all. It's a it's an E newsletter, okay, let's sprinkle the content in there. We'll reuse content from wherever, and it ends up getting a 1% open rate. Instead, you then just kill five or six of those babies and have the best podcast and E newsletter in your industry. And you'll really see amazing things happen. So and I think you're starting to see that I think you're starting to see people say you don't want maybe we're wasting time with whatever you're doing with LinkedIn groups. And I mean, I'm, I have no, I have nothing against any platform. Because it depends. It depends on the goal depends on the company, Twitter may work for you check tick tock may work for you. I don't know. But that's a whole nother thing. So I think that now you really have the you talked about reset at the beginning of the show. Now is the time to reset, ask yourself the tough questions. What really, who am I really trying to target? What is the story I'm trying to tell? How is that story truly differentiated? Because to your point, if it's not truly differentiated, you're never gonna cut through all this clutter? You really have to have something special. It's hard to have something special when your attention is all over the place.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, there's so many angles. We can take this conversation now. email newsletters thinking about and we were talking about Chris Penn, great guy, great newsletter, right? I don't I don't ascribe to many in all honesty, but his you know, and Hanley Imagine if every newsletter you sent out was like a love letter right? Or every it was someone at Facebook who said this, like you know seven years ago Imagine if every single Facebook post to your Facebook business page was like a love letter right? How different would your marketing be from that? And perhaps because of the Coronavirus and so many companies are trying to think more digital first realizing this is the only way to really engage. Maybe they are seeing how they can create more that emotional connection and really serve and if they want to do that they obviously have to think about things differently than they've been doing. I'm wondering if have you seen companies become more you know, not just use digital tools more but become more emotional or in unique ways try to create that connection.

Joe Pulizzi:

I've seen it and mostly seen it done before. early. I mean, I think we've seen some things happen with the Black Lives Matter movement. And we've seen Oh, still this piling on of, okay, this happened, what's the COVID-19 email we need to send out? How do we show that we're, we're we care about our customers. So that whole thing, and then you had the whole thing with Black Lives Matter which you don't just Google, you know, Black Lives Matters, marketing mistakes, and you'll see all kinds of horrible things that companies did. I think most of us are still doing or doing wrong, and most don't get it. What this is honestly, what I would like to see it not everybody has to have a content marketing strategy. You know, you don't, you could still traditional market your way to some success. But I would like people to choose, I like either do it and do it really, really well. Or don't do it at all, like, forget the E newsletter that you think is supposed to be a loyalty initiative, it really is terrible. Just stop doing it all together? Or better yet, ask why you started it in the first place. Because a lot of people don't know, oh, we started that in 2012. And can't remember why. I mean, we've had events, major turnover since then, nobody knows historical reasons why. What I do, like seeing is almost the opposite of yeah, do we have to embrace digital, I mean, for those companies that haven't embraced digital, I don't know what they're doing. That's a whole nother issue. But I like the ones that are just being smart about media assets. So I don't know if you saw this, but MailChimp, just purchased courier magazine. So they per purchase the the asset base, the database behind it, and the writers, the talent and all that. And they probably got it for a song, which is a lot of media assets available today. For pretty inexpensive prices. Those are the things that are exciting me. So Raspberry Pi, the hardware company, they wanted to start a photography magazine, and a custom PC magazine will set a starting that fresh, they went out to Dennis publishing as a UK publisher, and they purchased those assets. Those are the things that you're that's those are really smart strategies to do that. And I guess a lot of I mean, I, I've been in publishing my whole life, I started in publishing in the late 90s. And I was always taught, never start an initial content initiative. If you could buy one. A lot. There. Marketers don't get this, right. Marketers always think that you have to be creative, you have to do this thing yourself, oh, we have to create this virtual event series, we have to create this magazine, whatever it is, you have to create this blog. No, you don't, you really don't. What you have to do first is see who's doing it well, to that audience what your competitive set is, if you will, and maybe you'll say well, this company is already doing it well. And maybe we should see if there's an opportunity to one partner or to purchase those assets. That's going to be a huge thing in the next 18 to 24 months, Neil, I think that you're going to, especially with media companies struggling from an advertising standpoint, as we've seen advertising drop, and that's not going to come back for quite a while. You're gonna see brands come in with venture companies, but mostly brands come in and say, hey, you know, that would be perfect that magazine or that newsletter, or that event series is going to be perfect as a bolt on for this division of our company. So that's what that's really exciting to me that you're starting to see that happen. I mean, I've been talking about that for eight years now that people should start to buy before they build. But now you're seeing this opportunity because some of the prices of these media assets have come down so much with the with Coronavirus issues. Boy now now's the time. So I don't even know if I answered your question. But I don't think I did, actually. But I think that now is now you can. Okay, we've dabbled enough in content marketing and content creation. Now we really need to understand publishing is kind of what I'm saying, like understand the business model of publishing. And if you understand the business model of publishing, now's the time to really look at things like oh, yeah, I'm building this blog over here. But there is a magazine that has 30,000 opt in subscribers to this magazine. And they're struggling. And I feel bad about that. But boy, we have an opportunity to buy that.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. It's almost getting back to you're not just content marketing for content marketing say that there's a business objective. And there are many ways to meet that business objective through your own content marketing, or through really being innovative and what I mean when you talk about a sort of an innovative approach, and if any, you know, Carla Johnson, right. Sure. Absolutely. Yeah. I interviewed her yesterday to talk about innovation, and her latest book, and it's exactly the type of thing that don't just do what everyone else is doing. You need to think about things very, very differently, connect the dots, look for game changing ideas. And this is definitely one of them. And that can be applied in so many ways. You know, it's funny, my father was a publisher, actually, and I talked about In a recent episode, but he published schoolbooks, and yes, he wrote, he wrote his first few books, but then he brought on a whole team of writers, right. And then he launched into a magazine, then one of the writers was doing these great workshops. So you know, hey, well, we'll bring on the writer will, will co brand workshops with them. And you extend this footprint, which began with just a week, you know, they were like, ditto, ditto books that you used to use the Ditto machine to copy to, you know, this empire that rivaled like scholastic and some of the big players in its time. So it's, it is getting back to who is the audience, understand your audience who they are, who's reaching them. And I think we're also finding with things like, obviously, you know, lifestyle content, like on Instagram, that it doesn't have to be even directly the exact same type of thing that you're talking about. It can be something related, where you can buy that media asset or partner with them and further influence that audience.

Joe Pulizzi:

So yeah, it doesn't it generally not the thing that you sell, it enhances the thing that you sell. So I mean, there's a Robert Rose, and I talked about this on our podcast, this whole marketing the other day, there's a roofing company, I think in I think, in Southern California. It's called, it's a roofing. So go to a roofing.com. And basically, the CEO there for years, every I think it's three times a week does a weather report. So this is a roofing company, does a weather report, and basically the entire small town that that he lives in follows us weather report, and even the weather people on the news channels follows this guy. And they're just so warm, another beautiful Southern California day, and blah, blah, blah, and goes into it. And watch out for these things over here and look for some clouds in the late evening. And it's so gentle and so wonderful. built an audience around doing a weather report. Now, is it is it directly related to him selling a roof for somebody? Nope. But is he the number one seller of roofs in that area? Absolutely. Everybody knows this guy. Everybody knows the company. So yes, it it actually. I don't think I don't know what your conversate I want to listen to the podcast. Yeah, with Karla, it's honestly not impossible to be innovative. It's so much easier if you get all this clutter out of your way, so that you can be innovative. And I think that's what we forgot a long time ago, like, for you meant you talk about buying media assets as being innovative? Well, it's really not it's been done. It's been done for hundreds of years. But marketers don't know about it. They don't most of them don't think about that as an option. So that looks innovative. So some of these things that are time tested, and have been around for a long time. We just can't see them. Because we're so busy doing little posts on Instagram, and Facebook and LinkedIn and whatever. And I think we forgot a long time ago that the purpose of creating content on those channels is to maintain or change behavior. That's this marketing. That's why what do we what do we in this whole ballgame for our job in marketing is to maintain or change behavior of our customers and our audience? And if you're not doing that with something that you're from a content standpoint, then it's probably time to stop it, I would assume, I would hope so. Yeah,

Neal Schaffer:

we Carla mentioned this, this notion of we all have to re we have to do a reset in how our brains look at things around us. And most marketers are probably stuck in this this container that this walled area where we're just looking at what we're doing, what our competitors doing what's written up in the blogosphere, without truly looking at the outside world at everything, and discovering things like a little kid walking down the street would,

Joe Pulizzi:

you know, I love that. It's this guy me that talked about this the other day with somebody. And they were they were shocked that he even brought this up. But we were talking about feedback loops and feedback mechanisms and how you get an understanding of who's engaging in your content and who's not. And we were talking about surveys and all these different tools that you could use, and I said, and they said, Well, what's your favorite tool, and I said, reader calls, like reader calls, that's a reader call. So you don't want a reader call is they said you don't know publishing, I said, I grew up in publishing, I started in sales. And we were at we had to make five reader calls a week, we as the salespeople had to call the readers of the magazine for at least five a week. And ask them what their experiences were, what their biggest pain points are, what their challenges are, what keeps them up at night. greatest thing you could ever do as a salesperson because then when you go on a sales call, you could talk about the challenges of the reader that of course, an advertiser thinks are very important. And in their language, you can their light in their language. Exactly. So and I said okay, what's the reader called today? It's probably a nice little direct email, you know, you could use that's probably the best way to do it. You probably freak them out if you call them. But getting direct feedback from a reader in a very simplistic standpoint, and qualitative standpoint is I think one of the best things you can do. And probably 99% of companies don't do that. So it's just you human to human contact, talking about what challenges are. And then that's the inspiration for a lot of innovation, a lot of creativity. But you know, those are the little things that, again, may seem innovative but have been done for 100 years.

Neal Schaffer:

There are people like Pat Flynn who talk about doing this on his podcast till his email list must be in the hundreds of 1000s. But every week, he'll reach out to like a dozen or so, hey, just love to schedule a 15 minute call get to know you best, right? Oh,

Joe Pulizzi:

good. That's why I had that's why Pat Flynn is Pat Flynn. That's why he's so successful.

Neal Schaffer:

Exactly. You know, I'm thinking back to some of the clients I've had in the past, there's a landscaping company. And their thing was radio ads, radio ads, where the CEO himself was the person speaking. And it's the code at the end, make sure you make sure you call this number, give this code for the free estimate for you know, $1,000 off whatever it is, it's measurable, right. And that company just killed it with that, and they tried other things. And social media was part of the other things that they were trying. But that's the whole thing, just getting back to where we started, was if you have something, you know, find out one thing that works really well. And I think every company's got to have this, right. from a content perspective, from a from a medium perspective, from a media perspective. And really try to if you don't have that, I'm assuming Joe, your recommendation today, because now we sort of know what the environments going to be like for a list next 1218 months. And I think we'd agree that what's happening with the pandemic is going to forever change a lot of things about how we communicate about a lot of different things. So really, now is the best time to figure that out. Look at your data, maybe experiment if you haven't been, but if you've been doing this really should have a good idea as to what is working what's not, and really double down on what it's working is what you're saying. Absolutely.

Joe Pulizzi:

Absolutely. Yeah. ask the hard questions. I mean, let's be honest. You're probably gonna I don't know. Unless you're working for peloton you're having cutbacks right now, I mean, mode and am or Amazon, you know, there's, there's some definitely haven't had not situations going on right now. But most companies are in the have not area, you're gonna see some cutbacks if you haven't already. So let's ask the tough questions, spend a week or two with your team? Talk about okay, what is working and double down on what's working? What is working, and you know what I mean, I, you really have to be honest about your content. And I, I start some presentations off like this, and I show up just a box like you're in a box you get with something from Amazon in it. And I said, What if you took all your content creation, all the stuff you're sending out to your customers and audience, you put it in that box? You sealed it up? And you pitched it? I said, would your customers even notice? And honestly, it's got to be and this is? It's a tough question, right? Because, you know, because we all do a lot of work, we put a lot of effort into our content creation and distribution. But honestly, most of it could go away wouldn't even notice. And that's those are the tough decisions. And then you can come back and say, Well, what would they notice? Is it that E newsletter? Is it that podcast, that video series? Is it that workshop series we used to do? And how do we replicate that in this kind of an environment? You know, those are the things that you can really focus on, and then come out of this thing by truly being great, because as you said, we're going to be in this for a while, and it takes 1218 months, sometimes longer to really build an audience in one platform. If you're like, if you're growing a media company today, you basically have three years to be profitable, you know, you're going to hit some good audience numbers in 12 to 18 months. That's just the way the media business works. So you got 12 to 18 months, and then you can start showing revenue generation and monetization, ROI, whatever you want to call it. Now's a really, really good time for that. Now that said, you also have to be patient, you have to have your executive team be patient, especially the CFOs or accountants in your group that are wondering, okay, why are we doing all this stuff? So at the same time, you need an internal communications activity that goes to those people that are ham that are holding the purse strings for your budget, so that they understand why you're doing what you're doing. Why are you doing that podcast? What's the purpose? What if we build an audience? Through a podcast? What does that do? How are we converting that podcast to let's say, our email newsletter or to a database? What's our hypothesis of taking those people from the database and showing that they buy more stay longer as customers or whatever that's, you know, just working the program, right? Right, work the program. But take your executive team along with you, because most of them probably don't understand how to do a content marketing strategy, or why even do a podcast or a blog outside of the attention or search engine rankings or something? So walk them through it. And I think that that will be a big payoff in patients in your organization.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, I'm just thinking when you're talking about packaging up your content. Do you remember the first Apple product like the first like iPod that you bought it Remember the first time like, oh,

Joe Pulizzi:

yeah, I absolutely had the have the white, the iPod stick,

Neal Schaffer:

big, except I had the big thick one, but I'll never forget the first time and it was a birthday present from my now wife. Thank you Morocco. And I'll never forget just opening up the product, just the experience of of just, it was amazing at the time because if they were the only ones they were doing it of the story it was telling about the product and the branding. And that sort of, you know, if your content can have that sort of same message, right, regardless of medium, I think that's really what we're going for. And, you know, it's almost like, because obviously, I've done a lot of work with influencers and you know, wrote a book on influencer marketing, these people are really good at what they do. Because of everything you talk about, right? They pick one platform, usually influencers are really, really good on one platform, one content medium, and that's all they need. But also, this is the other thing, Joe, and I don't know if you talk about this at all, but they have just a natural passion. And when you work for a company, and you're a brand, it's hard to have that same sort of passion that a person would do in something that he has a natural interest in, right. How do you instill that sort of the passionate influencers have into a content marketer?

Joe Pulizzi:

Well, I guess what I would say, first of all, you're absolutely right. And the first thing I would say is the content marketer doesn't have to be the content creator. That's true. That's very important. I think that we feel that, oh, we need to have the people in our organizations actually create the content. That's not true. I mean, if you look at any media company, they're outsourcing content to dozens of people at the same time. So what I would say is, if you believe so if it's technical content, you might not need the passion as much. But if it's consumer style, lifestyle content, if you really want to be differentiated, passion certainly helps. I would look at the people in that industry that already have the passion and get them on your team. Yeah, it could be with a influencer partnership, a blog partnership, it could be through a purchase acquisition. It could be through hiring them directly. It could be through a 1099. I don't care. It could be a lot of different ways. But I think that it's time to not say Oh, I'm an I'm a content marketing expert, or I'm a marketing expert. And we have to create all this content, blah, blah. Now you don't you just could you if you have you have that talent inside? Great. Go ahead, do it. But what's a really good use of your time, if you are a director of marketing, VP of marketing, content, marketing director, whatever, you're, you're in charge of strategy. You're not in charge of creation. You have to say, what goes and what doesn't, and why you're doing it and why it's important. So think about those things. First and foremost. And if you can create some stuff, great, if it makes sense was with your personal mission, but if not go find it somewhere else.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, and we definitely see that trend with leveraging, especially in b2c Really hiring influencers as content creators, and then just the whole move to leverage user generated content. You don't have to create your own content, right? You don't have to necessarily hire people to create content for you either if you're a fan, so that man that's that's a whole different discussion.

Joe Pulizzi:

So that's, that's another podcast down the road. But there I guess the point is, there are lots of options. And we we should think beyond the oh, I have to do this or my team has to do this that of editors, content creators, whatever the case is,

Neal Schaffer:

right? So one of the things I wanted to make sure we get to, we are going to the time here and I want to make sure that the audience gets gets as many takeaways as possible from having you on here. You talked about it before we started the podcast strategies and how to build an audience in a recessionary environment. So we talked about how to sort of cut through the clutter with with content that's meaningful, impactful, choose your mediums, choose your channels, do you know do one and do a really really good? What you know, let's now look at sort of audience development what what do you recommend to companies to do right now during this recession,

Joe Pulizzi:

the most important thing that I see is I want I want you to move from your followers and your fans and your subscribers on social platforms and move and convert those to email as quickly as you can. This is not a new thing. US folks in the industry have been talking about this for a long time. But if you if you look I've got this little chart that's called it's in the book it's a subscriber hierarchy and at the top is email you can also think a membership site or even like like right below that a Slack group somewhere where you get email permission, opt in permission to communicate with that person on an ongoing basis right below that is print subscription. Why is that so important? Because people will subscribe to get something in print and answer like 3000 questions for you about who they are if you're going to give it to the you're going to give them a magazine for free so print still a wonderful database building activity audience building activity, and then basically all the other ones you're renting land and there's nothing wrong with running land you know you you're the expert on influencers influences rent land, but really smart influencers that are building a business model. They take, like, you know, the vlogbrothers, let's say, let's say the green brothers, or they say, okay, great, we built this YouTube platform. And then they started building all these things where they were getting email information from people. And then they built this incredible business model. And just if you don't know about the vlogbrothers, look it up some time. Hank Green, by the way, just wrote a great book that everybody should read. So convert those subscribers and go up the chain. So that you have that database information yourself. That's the the number one thing that I could tell people that, especially with all these privacy regulations going on, and then you've got issues with what what's going on with Twitter and their subscription program? And what's going on with Facebook? Is our regulations going to happen to that? And are we going to see some of these go the way of Google Plus, we don't know. But I want everyone to act like that's going to happen. I want you to act like if you had let's say you have an audience on YouTube, I want you to act like that audience will not be available to you in six months. Like if that was the case, what would you do? You probably would have them subscribe to something else, an email newsletter, a membership program, and exclusive whatever it is, right? That's what we have to start thinking of. Because right now, the fact that we believe that those are our fans and followers, that's that's not true. That those are YouTube's fans and followers and Facebook, that you're just, they're just letting you borrow them right now. And I get scared that those things are going to go away in the next couple years. And then marketers are gonna be holding the bag of Oh, my God, we had all these assets and content and what's, what's going on. And it's happening with tick tock right now, I know some, some of my friends have really young kids. And one of the girls spent the entire Saturday downloading all her content from Tiktok, because she was afraid it was going to go away. Well, that could happen on any platform at any time. So and I hate to say that, I don't wanna be morbid about it, but it's true. Can and go in. And you have a great example that with Google Plus that already happened so or MySpace. So

Neal Schaffer:

influencer man just Sam. Yeah, hey, no, historical perspective. And yes, it has happened. And you know, it's funny, because I've been talking a lot about this digital first mentality for those companies that weren't there to begin with. And where do you meet your audience that are digital, first of all, they're either searching, they're on social, or they're reading emails, right. And people, you know, email marketing is not sexy, but it's still delivered. There's so much data that shows it delivers the greatest ROI for many reasons, you know, some of which you mentioned there. And people forget, you know, I go back to that first inbound marketing book, you know, social, were sort of the areas where you wanted to go to do at the end of the day, bring people back to your website, right. And when you bring people back to your website, you want to, you want to convert them to keep in touch if they don't become a customer with just the email. So it's so you know, and then the SEO efforts is the same. Yes, you do SEO to get your content found, but to come to your website to get the email just and get them in the funnel. It's such a fundamental thing. I have seen Joe, I'm sure you've seen a lot of so many brands, now all of a sudden, I'm getting emails from him, right? Like, never got an email

Joe Pulizzi:

from them, isn't it something it's really it's really gone nuts. And we've been talking about this forever. They they finally got it, it reminds me what you just said, reminds me of that point in the firm with Tom Cruise, where he walks in to the Meralco. br I think is the Meralco brothers. And he had the whole thing on mail fraud. And he you know, because basically, instead of getting charged with all kinds of horrible crimes or dying, he had this whole thing on mail fraud with his law team. And he gets back to the FBI. And he says you don't know what you have here with this whole mail fraud thing. It says it's not sexy, but it has teeth. That's exactly what email is. It is not sexy, but it has teeth, it is probably the most important thing you can do as a marketer. And I think to your point, a lot of brands are waking up to that.

Neal Schaffer:

And I think, you know, just tying that back into the original point we're talking about about the different content meetings, what have you, with everybody now trying to do email, like everybody launching a Facebook page or tick tock account, now's the time to really craft it to make sure that your emails get read. And obviously, you know, I don't know what marketing tool used for email, I use Active Campaign and any sophisticated email marketing tool with the personalization capabilities with the automation, you can be really, yeah, I don't want I don't want you to go too much in the automation if you lose that personalization, so you always want to check it. But you can have pretty savvy, you can use it as a way to really facilitate personalized communication in a compelling way than if you're still using that free version of MailChimp for those that may not have moved on to bigger and

Joe Pulizzi:

better. No, you're absolutely right. But you could also to your point about passion, just be personal. Is the other Yeah, just be a human being and stop it with all the regurgitated content stopped with all the content. You think that the sales team wants you to get out. Just, I mean, this might be your only chance ever to get them to say subscribe to your newsletter. And that might be it. So you got to make it count. So this could be like, I want you to think this could be the last my last chance, make it amazing make it remarkable. Do the be the Purple Cow, right that Seth Godin talks about. It's not, again, not rocket science, you just have to do it, you have to want to do it.

Neal Schaffer:

Now, that's awesome advice. One other thing that before we before we, you know, started recording, you mentioned, you know, the different subscriber channels that make the most sense to drive revenue. And I'm assuming this is a lead into email. But if there are other sort of areas you wanted to cover here, I wanted to give you the opportunity to talk about this.

Joe Pulizzi:

Well, I mean, if you're looking at from a from a revenue and a profit standpoint, you're looking at all the different channels you have, traditionally, it's been the event space. Now we're in a weird, I mean, the Content Marketing Institute model was built on Content Marketing World, the event, that was the most profitable thing we did, and all roads, I mean, we copied the Disney, the Walt Disney plan from 1957. All roads lead to Disney World, the same thing was with us all roads lead to Content Marketing World, we wanted somebody to sign up to Chief Content Officer magazine, because we wanted them to take their team to Content Marketing World. So we wanted them to listen to this old Marketing podcast. So they go to Content Marketing World, so that now where are we at for the next two years? Now, two years, two years from now. So actually, you should start thinking about, it's going to be boom times for the event, business, people are going to go out in droves. But it's not going to probably happen until late 2021 2022. But it's gonna come back. So that's a big opportunity. I, I cannot and I won't will not differentiate with the opportunities for any one of these channels. Because if you look at think Money Magazine from TD Ameritrade, they found out that people that traders who get that magazine trade five times more than those that don't, that's a that's huge ROI. That's a print magazine. So you know, ours happened to be events, we see major things happening with podcasts, email newsletters, of course. So again, I think it comes back to the beginning of the conversation is, what's the one thing that you can do great. And if you can really do great and keep, you can get people to watch, read, listen to that thing that you're doing every day, every week, every month, whatever it is, and then can show the behavior change, which might take some time. That's the chat. That's the channel for you. That's what I would say, don't just go to one because that's the revenue first line, maybe you're just thinking about pure monetization as in revenue dollars. Traditionally, media is all about subscription programs, and event programs. But for marketers, it's absolutely different than E newsletter or that podcast could be the thing that takes us to the next level. What's your

Neal Schaffer:

take on virtual events? Obviously, there's nothing like being there. And we've seen a lot of companies, there's just been a flood of webinars, obviously, live cast, what what's your is that I mean, it doesn't replace a physical event. But could that be another viable medium you

Joe Pulizzi:

see, what's the what you're seeing is you have a lot of wonderful free virtual events that brands are creating that are competing with formerly in person events from media companies, and it's really hurt the media companies because the brand some of these brands are doing an okay job, my recommendation would be not to do it. Okay, job do an amazing job. And I've seen a little bit of old at least in the marketing space, some of these virtual is like a little bit old, lay a bit a little bit, okay, get this person on doesn't have to be perfect 20 minute q&a, whatever I'm like, no, really do something great. You don't have to have 12 sessions a day do three remarkable sessions. It doesn't you don't have to even have the event be in the same week, you could think a little bit outside the box and do something different. The challenges is that I haven't seen brands do a great, truly great job with virtual events, because they seem to put more care into in person events. So I would say take the love and care that you do for your in person events and put them into the virtual events. And unfortunately, it happens a lot happens with webinars too. If you're doing a workshop, a workshop is almost so much more taken care of than a webinar. Same thing. But think of it differently. Don't think of that experience as differently. How do you make that a wonderful personal experience for somebody even though they're in their office somewhere?

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, that's great. I don't I don't think we've seen a lot of innovation and customer experience, visibly, virtual events. So still a lot of work to do there. And with that, a lot of opportunity. So Joe, this has really been awesome. A lot of food for thought. I think a lot of it just comes down to showing love for your content and your audience and doing the right thing, right, making impact where it makes sense. You don't have to do everything. No, find those areas. Just a lot of really, really good common sense that isn't too complex. It's it's easy to understand, but then for a lot of markets and content marketers that are in that have been doing all this, it's sort of hard to take a step back, right? Like you don't want to see yourself on video that very first time, but you need to in order better assess how you do and how to improve. And I think we're sort of in the same situation today.

Joe Pulizzi:

I just said, well, love, love your audience, love your audience, like you're sending content to your mother. And what would your mom approve of what you're sending out? Like, is it that impactful? And I know, it's kind of corny, but it's it's absolutely true. Like, you know, be the Ann Handley be the Chris pen of the world and really put something that nobody else is doing. And it's just, it's not as hard as you think.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah. And if you and I'm just thinking, you know, as we were talking, if you pick that one channel and do really well, you know, Pat Flynn started with a podcast, but he brings people everywhere, now, his YouTube channel, he'll get the YouTube subscribers, he'll bring the website, the email. So if you can do really well in one area, and you build the audience, they'll go with

Joe Pulizzi:

you. But that's the that's the thing. It's not, we're not saying just do one channel, we're saying just start with one channel, it'll want to build a minimum viable audience that Brian Clark has talked about for years, then you diversify into other platforms. And that's how every major media platform since the dawn of time has been created. And I think people forgot that that New York Times, you know, just had just had a newspaper for a long, long time. Now they're in everything. Huffington Post just started with mums blog. Now they have 400. So it's just start simple.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah. And then just one thing, I wanted to point out that when I saw you speak at Adobe summit, I think this is back in 2017. And you had one post up there. And it's actually something that like I copied the tweet from, and I think it was the data point that 98% of copy bloggers revenue came from his email list. Yeah, copy blogger being a blogger, right. But at the end of the day, it's the email that convert, so I just wanted to close on that as a reminder, because that's something if you've seen me speak about email more, I always bring that up. And I always credit Joe with with informing me on that. But yeah, just you know, this is nothing new. But it's time to really reassess during the recession and get things right.

Joe Pulizzi:

Absolutely. Great. Well, it's been it's been great having them glad to add me on. I mean, this is if we have to, whatever excuse we have to get to actually talk.

Neal Schaffer:

I know, right? I mean, we know where people can find you. But what's your you know, I know you have Corona marketing now. I know obviously, you have the best selling fiction book out. What else you working on that we should be on the radar? Uh,

Joe Pulizzi:

well, the next the next thing that's coming out in the spring, I've got the new edition of content, Inc. So content, Inc, is the book I wrote in 2015. And it talks about the business model of content marketing, we discussed some of it here. So that's out in the in the spring. So anybody that wants you know, more information on on what I'm doing, just go to Joe pull it CPU, allies. eci.com. And as you said, the you know, I've got a newsletter and podcasts and all that stuff. But the but Corona marketing book.com is where you get my new book for free. So I hope you enjoy it.

Neal Schaffer:

I'm looking at my bookshelves for my edition of content. And I see Epic Content Marketing. Oh,

Joe Pulizzi:

that was yeah, that was the that was the 2013 one. But I My My favorite one is content ink, because it is the one that takes the least amount of money and makes the most amount of impact. Like you don't have to be a big brand to do this. And I said, Well, shoot, I want to redo that one now for this time, because if there's ever a time where people don't have money and want to make big impact, now's the time.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah. And we there's a whole other episode we could talk about, you don't necessarily need to create new content. There's a lot of value in revising and repurposing old content. But anyway, you'll have to buy Joe's books, I guess start with content. And based on that recommendation, we'll put it in the show notes. Crona, marketing, comm Corona, marketing, book.com, Corona, marketing book.com. All right, and make sure you download the ebook, Joe. Thanks again, wish you just all the best. Really appreciate all the advice for the community. And we'll be in touch sounds good. Thanks. Alright, everybody, I hope you thoroughly enjoyed that interview with Joe he is he's he's amazing, for lack of a better word. And he's actually a really funny and animated guy, I got the feeling that his energy, we could have talked for an hour, two hours, three hours, but I do try to limit interviews. I know myself as a podcast listener. And if you're different, I'd like you to let me know. But I find that an hour interview. Unless it's really, really good. It's a long time to invest a long time to commit. So I do try to keep the interviews, you know, between 25 and 40 minutes. If you want me to go longer, let me know. Because we still have some great interviews to come. Obviously, I do these interviews every other week. But in two weeks from now, I'm going to be interviewing the amazing Jay Barry's gonna appear on this podcast for the second time. So you want to make sure you hit that subscribe button. And as always, I am honored that you chose my podcast listen to out of all the other ones out there. I got nothing to sell to you just want to provide you the information and the insight to really help your company better build, yield and monetize influence in digital and social media and really grow your business through what I consider a very, very innovative marketing technique. So there you have it, another episode of Max measure social influence. Really appreciate when you hit that subscription button or that's called the subscribe button, isn't it? Different universe in and out. But also Joke aside? Reviews are the reviews fuel the algorithm, right? You're taking a minute to go onto Apple podcast or Stitcher or podcast addict or overcast or wherever you're listening. This podcast really means the world to me just to give a little review to let other people know about the podcast. So as always, I really appreciate those that have already done that if you haven't, I'd really appreciate a minute of your time. If you felt that this podcast has value. I'll stop there. Hey, until next week, everyone, make it a great virtual social Day. Bye Bye and CYO nada