Where should you go for information when you want to know more about content marketing? One of the leading evangelists for content marketing, Joe Pulizzi, suggests that one of the best places is the Content Marketing Institute, an organisation that he co-founded to advance the practice of content marketing. Its website is full of useful resources and tips and tricks, as well as advice from experts, and a thriving community discussing ideas.
The background to the Content Marketing Institute
There are a lot of useful resources out there about content marketing. But somehow, the founders of the Content Marketing Institute discovered, people were still coming to them with lots of questions about the subject, and seeking content marketing education. The Content Marketing Institute, together with the Content Marketing World conference and the monthly Chief Content Officer Magazine, was the response.
So what does the Content Marketing Institute offer, in practical terms? As you would probably expect, there is plenty of great content there, aimed at everyone interested in content marketing from those just starting out to the Chief Content Officer. There are guides for those new to content marketing, to help them get started, and some basic definitions of content marketing. The site also provides a detailed content marketing framework, which outlines seven essential steps to a good content marketing strategy and programme. If you’re the sort of person who finds it easiest to understand what to do with some practical examples, then there are case studies and an e-book of 100 content marketing examples. And if you’re a content leader, then there is Chief Content Officer magazine.
Finally, the Content Marketing Institute also offers consultancy services. Led by Robert Rose, a strategist, this arm provides detailed advice tailored to the organisation concerned, to help it to meet its content marketing challenges.
Content marketing in action
The blog is a great example of content marketing in itself. Updated every day with new content by multiple different authors, you’re likely to find new and thought-provoking stuff whenever you look. Whether you’re interested in opinions from thought leaders in the field or hints and tips from experts, you’ll find something to grab your attention. In one week alone, new content has included:
- Ideas of how to map your content to maximise its impact. This article includes a lovely infographic—because a picture can tell a thousand words—setting out the five steps in content mapping using the article itself as an example.
- A menu of ‘tools, tips and takeaways’ on that staple of the content manager’s armoury, the editorial calendar. This is curated content from previous articles in the Content Marketing Institute blog itself.
- A report of a discussion with Andy Crestodina, co-founder and strategic director at Orbit Media Studios, a web design firm based in Chicago, sharing his views on how to get a greater return on your content.
- Results from a recent piece of research by the Institute on the state of content marketing in Australia. It turns out that Australian content marketers feel that they are less effective than before, but that the documentation of a content marketing strategy may provide a possible solution.
Perhaps one of the most interesting articles is one by Joe Pulizzi himself, taking on the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ had published an article about content marketing, but defining it as ‘native advertising’, instead of what it genuinely is. Pulizzi took this up in the blog, setting out a definition of content marketing, and explaining what’s different from native advertising. A note at the top updates the article with the news that the WSJ writer had called him the morning after the article’s publication to discuss the definitions. It’s a very good example of thought leadership in action, saying something because it needs to be said. It’s also a good demonstration of the value and importance of engaging in conversations and listening to what’s said, from both protagonists.
Leadership in action
The Content Marketing Institute has been operating for six years, and has made considerable progress in that time towards its ambition of advancing content marketing. However, with an aim like that, there is always more that can be done. Those interested in content marketing would do well to take a look at the site, and consider signing up for its regular email updates on content. There are certainly plenty of insights available there, and content marketing leadership in action. It’s very much a case of watch and learn.