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Epic Content Marketing: Get Your Content Marketing Strategy Together

Build you content marketing strategy with Epic content Marketing [1]Epic Content Marketing [2] is the new book by Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi [3]), founder of the Content Marketing Institute.

Content marketing is a powerful strategy today for getting new customers, building loyalty with existing customers, getting found online, branding and much more.

If you are looking for a nuts and bolts guide for marketing through content, look no further than Epic Content Marketing.

This is a book that can help you come up with a well-thought out strategy for employing content marketing.  But it goes well beyond strategy.  It does a masterful job of helping you line up the tactics you will need to execute your content marketing.  And that’s what I love most about Epic Content Marketing.  It’s got equal focus on the “why” for doing content marketing — the strategy — and the “who, what, when, where and how” — the tactics and execution.

Help for Your Content Marketing Strategy

The book follows a logical layout.

It starts with about 50 pages giving you a brief history of content marketing and the business case for content marketing.  For instance, there’s an engaging story about John Deere and its use of content marketing. The company’s been using content marketing since the late 19th century. But most of the examples are much more recent.  And the focus is not on history, but on how content marketing can help your business.

From there it quickly gets into how to define your content marketing niche, and how to establish your content marketing mission and strategy. This part is excellent because there are terrific examples (including screenshots) to draw on.  Unlike with some books that spend a lot of time discussing grand concepts using $40 words, all concepts in the book are laid out in everyday language that is easy to follow and understand.

The most useful part of the book in my view is the part about managing the content process.  This part contains about 100 pages laying out in detail how to create and/or find content.  It gives you insider tips  — such as how to hire the right people and agencies to execute content marketing strategies. You’ll get nuts and bolts guidance on how to plan out your work, including spreadsheets and lists to use.

Next up is a section about how social media fits in with content marketing. Pulizzi writes,

“Social media promotion is critical to online content marketing success today. No content marketing strategy is complete without a strong social media strategy.”

And that is what this section, called “Marketing Your Stories,”  aims to give you. It covers specific social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and more.  This section is not as detailed as the earlier sections — in part because each social network itself requires a specific strategy.  But if you’re confused by all the social networks out there, and want to put it all in perspective, this section is a good starting point.  You will need more, but it helps bring your social media promotion strategy into focus.

The final section of about 20 pages is all about measuring your content marketing strategy.  This is a very helpful section with lists of key performance indicators to track.  It helps you with advice on how to calculate the return on your content marketing, along with exact formulae.

There’s even an interesting section at the end on how to bring it all together with a visual content marketing plan (and image included).

While you may be able to find many articles on the Web about content marketing, the beauty of this book is that it puts it all together in one place. You get a cohesive approach to creating and executing your content marketing strategy.  That is very hard to get just from reading articles here, there and everywhere.

This is a book that primarily targets corporate readers — i.e., marketers in large corporations.  For instance, there is some fascinating information about how to get buy-in for investing in content marketing in your organization.  There is even advice on how to sell it internally.

And many of the case studies and examples are of very large corporations. Some of them will be out of your league when it comes to establishing a budget or staffing for a content marketing program.

But don’t let that stop you from reading this book as an entrepreneur or small business owner or marketing person.  Because then you would miss out on lots of helpful advice about setting up and executing a successful content marketing program that in fact is directly applicable to smaller enterprises.  Content marketing in some ways is a great equalizer.  It’s equally within reach of small businesses and even solo entrepreneurs, along with large corporations.

Pick up Epic Content Marketing [2] and you can maximize your efforts, regardless of your company’s size.