Cutting through the marketing clutter

WHEN JOE Pulizzi talks about using online content to reposition brands, marketers tend to listen.

He is one of the founders of the content marketing movement, having launched the Content Marketing Institute in the US in 2007.

In a world where social media dominates consumers’ lives, Pulizzi’s opinions on the power of content are among the most respected in the marketing industry. In fact, his evangelistic views on brand storytelling have attracted 114,000 followers on Twitter and, along with his books, have earned him the nickname the “Godfather” of content.

“The brands that cut through the marketing clutter online and engage consumers this year will be those who can tell a different story to different audiences using remarkable content experiences,” says Pulizzi. “This will be true whether the content is paid for or not.”

He says sponsored content is still in its infancy and that there are plenty of opportunities for brands that invest wisely. “It is only in the past few years that media companies have opened up opportunities for brands to create content on their platforms. Companies such as [US current affairs magazine] The Atlantic and BuzzFeed now drive the majority of their revenues from social.”

He says that more content being produced does not mean fewer opportunities for marketers. “If you are talking about content marketing programmes driven by brands (outside of media sites), there is always room for helpful, valuable and relevant content targeted to an audience. This will never change.”

Pulizzi says marketers should avoid campaigns and invest instead in ongoing content programmes. “There has always been too much content from brands for people to actually consume in a day. Their job is to become relevant and gain attention, and good content marketing can help with that.”

He does worry that too many marketers are impatient and demand an early return from their investment in content. “For some brands content marketing won’t work because they are not prepared to wait, they don’t invest enough or they tell the same story to different audiences. The most innovative organisations will have a content marketing strategy for 2017 – unfortunately, most companies will not.”