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Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less (Business Books) Hardcover – September 24, 2013
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"This is a brilliant canter through the rapid and ever changing world of content marketing."
-JONATHAN MILDENHALL, VP of Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence at Coca-Cola
"Joe Pulizzi may know more about content marketing than any person alive. He proves it in these pages."
-JAY BAER, NYT Best-Selling Author of Youtility
"Listen to this guy. He really understands the new world of marketing."
-DON SCHULTZ, Professor Emeritus at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism
"As Joe shows us in his wonderful Epic Content Marketing, you must unlearn interrupting people with your nonsense. Instead, publish the valuable content they want to consume and are eager to share."
-DAVID MEERMAN SCOTT, bestselling author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR.
"If you truly want to be successful at content marketing, Pulizzi is one of the few who can show you the way."
-MITCH JOEL, President Twist Image
"Joe Pulizzi has made me a content believer!"
-KATHERINE BUTTON BELL, Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Emerson
"Joe Pulizzi is the godfather of our burgeoning profession of Content Marketing. He lays out the objectives, principles and core strategies of our field in a way that's easy-to-understand, inspiring and entertaining."
-JULIE FLEISCHER, Director, Media & Consumer Engagement at Kraft Foods
"For those organizations struggling to create a content marketing program that drives results, Joe delivers. Again."
-ANN HANDLEY, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs
"Epic Content Marketing gives all the details practitioners need without over-complicating."
-PROFESSOR JOANN SCIARRINO, Knight Chair, Digital Advertising and Marketing, UNC Chapel Hill
About the Author
Joe Pulizzi is the "godfather" of content marketing. He's the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Content Marketing World, the largest in-person international content marketing event, and Chief Content Officer magazine. Joe has spoken at more than 200 locations and 10 countries advancing the practice of content marketing. Joe also writes one of the most popular content marketing blogs in the world.
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So what is this thing that the author calls "epic content marketing"? There are six principles:
* Your content must fill an unmet need or answer a question for your customer
* You must deliver your content consistently
* Your content needs to be written in your voice, preferably with some humour
* You need to express an opinion rather than giving a balanced history report
* You must avoid sales speak, as it destroys the value of your content
* You must aim to produce the very best content relating to your content niche
The book goes on to describe how to identify and define your content niche and content marketing mission statement, how to create an editorial calendar and manage the content creation process, different content types and content assets, how to use social media in marketing your stories, other content promotion techniques, and how to measure the impact of your content marketing initiatives.
The author writes in a clear and compelling style, and his advice seems to be very useful to anyone engaged in business but particularly to those with a marketing role. It seems to me that the more that businesses get on the content marketing bandwagon, the harder it will be for anyone to get found amongst all of the content, so there is a big advantage to getting into content marketing as soon as possible.
* It covers content marketing from every angle and for every type of company, so it is comprehensive
* It brings up innovative ideas and strategies that no other book on the subject covers, so its groundbreaking
* The book is absolutely a page-turner, it flows so effortlessly. I finished the book, front to back on a 5-hour plane flight, and I never do that...with any book. That's how good this book is. So, it's easy to read.
* His enthusiasm for content marketing and passion for business "leap" off the page, you can't help but get caught up in Joe's positive energy. So, it's motivational.
* It is written by the "torchbearer" of the industry and one who I continually learn from...Joe Pulizzi, the guy who puts on the best content marketing event of the year, Content Marketing World. So, it's the absolute authority book.
And here are the specific things that I really enjoyed:
* The Foreword by Michael Brenner, VP of Marketing and Content Strategy at SAP. He explained how even a big, well respected company has learned and implemented the finer points of content marketing
* I like how he told his own story about Content Marketing Institute and how they use great content to power their own efforts
* And along those lines, Joe makes the book a personal story, by sharing parts of his private life to illustrate key points as well. He described how his own family uses a mission statement, which he has used to teach his children, and...how much it's made a difference. I like when authors share personal stories, it makes the reading experience more enjoyable.
* He makes a very key point to kick off the book..."your customers don't care about you, your products or your services. They care about themselves"...this is a mistake that so many companies are still making. This is a critically important distinction between companies that are winning and losing the content marketing game.
* Key insights into journalists and how they are changing the content marketing paradigm (ie. Joe mentions that "Journalists are no longer wary of working for non-media companies.")
* He explains a key change that most people have not thought about: the diminishing importance of traditional media outlets. He says "they simply do not have the resources that non-media companies have to compete over the long term". Translation: This means the door is wide open for any company to become the media in their industry.
* The case studies are inspiring: I loved the Legos story, Tesla, Coca-Cola's Content 2020 project, Red Bull and many more
* I loved his "Seven Ways to Take the Media World by Storm" on page 37...this is basically the blue print for your company to become a content marketing powerhouse. The "rent-to-own" strategy was a key learning point for me.
* The emphasis on "Story telling" and how it differs from being simply "content aware" or a "thought leader".
* The idea of focusing on subscription as a key content marketing goal. Very few companies do this now.
* Using Pippity for pop-over services - I'm checking them out this week!
* The idea of setting up "listening posts" to get real time feedback from customers (this is brilliant)
* Great section on Editorial Calendars and their importance to your content marketing success
* I LOVE how he spells out the harsh reality: that most SEO firms and traditional advertising firms don't get content marketing. Reader beware.
So, I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea: This is one of the best business books of the year, period. For all the above reasons and more, you absolutely NEED to get this book. It's quite simply an incredible read for any company, large or small, in any industry. Pick up a copy of Epic Content Marketing...today! You'll love it.
The book, in my opinion, qualifies academically as a primary reading for undergraduate level courses and a supplementary reading for MBA level courses. The recommendation is based on the following:
1) Joe has extensive experience as a marketer and social media influencer for major brands. His company, Content Marketing Institute, is heralded for its leading edge podcasts, blogs and world renown conferences devoted to the subject of content marketing.
2) The book provides a solid case for how content should drive our sales funnel efforts.
3) Using content marketing as the center of a new wave of marketing, Joe effectively captures why storytelling, influence and the development of subscription-based audiences are redefining the way we market ourselves.
4) The book is perfectly organized for a course on content marketing adoption. Starting with the rationale for adopting a content intensive strategy, the book progresses through the content creation process, descriptions of what content works well and how to leverage social media for content exposure. It concludes with the highly demanded subjects of measurement, staffing and content planning.
5) The book has an exhaustive list of examples on the effective use of content by well known brands.
6) Joe’s humorous style turns a dry and detail oriented subject into a fun read. It fits his orange suit persona that can pack an audience at key conferences.