The Atlanta Content Strategy Meetup is an active group that has been very well received by the Atlanta web geek community. The group is quickly growing a reputation for lively meetings and Tuesday’s presentation and discussion was no exception.
Joe Pulizzi, author of Get Content Get Customers, presented at the Atlanta Content Strategy Meetup last night. There were some great takeaways from the presentation as well as the discussion afterward. The audience was very savvy and included successful local content strategists like Colleen Jones and Richard Sheffield. Below are some of the main ideas discussed during the session:
- The most successful content connects your brand to a higher purpose
- Having a strong point of view helps make a brand stand out
- There will be people who don’t like it, and if everyone likes it, you might be doing it wrong.
- Own your category Or Create A New One – (A concept initially put forth by The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing as astutely pointed out by the ubiquitous Mike Schinkel)
- Reach out to people – sometimes you have to reach out, sometimes you have to ask for an email or phone number – sometimes you have to be social!
I find the point about having a strong point of view particularly interesting. It seems that in corporate culture and rule by committee every content effort moves toward sanitary and homogenized content. I know that they mean well, but sanitized homogeneous content also subtly alienates everyone all at once.
Standing behind your unique point of view, on the other hand, is a trust building mechanism. It gives an edge to the content and makes it more likely that people who share your perspective will share your content.
Old Marketing vs. New
The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. – Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks
I was able to ask Joe after his presentation about his experience with the barriers within the corporate organization to the idea of content strategy. A big part of what he is trying to do is to reach out to the traditional CMO or Marketing Executive – to let them know that things have changed, that broadcast media is not going to cut it and media buys will soon exist only to support your marketing initiatives rather than forming the foundation.
This is very similar to the task we run into continually in search marketing so I asked him whether he thought it was a matter of being more persuasive and making a better business case or moving on until you find the CMO who is ready to hear it.
He said that in his experience there are plenty of organizations who are just not ready for this yet. In many cases the best you might be able to do is just push them in the right direction. Everyone wants Social Media but few recognize that a strong content strategy is the basis of strong social media. As local PR expert Julie Squires says, it’s all about the content. My favorite quote of the night was that Social Media without a strong content strategy is like eating butter by itself. I put together this chart that might be useful to make the case for strong fresh content.