Customer Reviews: Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less
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on September 19, 2013
Advertising is not dead, but content marketing is the driver that leading companies now use to capture the hearts and minds of their customers, according to Joe Pulizzi in this book. We need to be epic with our content marketing, focusing more on our customers and less on our products; to sell more, we need to be marketing our products less.

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.
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on October 18, 2013
Content marketing is an evolving discipline. It has risen, very quickly, to become the most important tool in the digital marketing tool chest. Joe Pulizzi's new book, Epic Content Marketing, is quite simply, the very best book right now about the topic. I'm a content marketing guy myself, having written a couple of books on the subject and running a content development firm, so I know what's good and what's not. There are so many phenomenal takeaways in this book, I'm not sure where to begin. But before I do that, let me share with you why this is a "must have" book for your company:

* 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, 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! You'll love it.
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on November 26, 2013
There are interesting dynamics playing out in the review section here. Joe's friends and supporters; those who like the book and one who doesn't supported by twenty plus people who found his opinion helpful. If one reads the reviews in order to determine whether or not to buy the book, how does she sort through all of this?

To begin with, John Gibbs, Sarah Mitchell and Jon Wuebben's reviews here are solid and stone cold nail the question: What's this book about?

I have no skin in the game. I don't know Joe and I'm not involved in Content Marketing. My interests are in marketing, storytelling and the art of communication.

So why did I buy Joe's book? Because other authors whose opinions I value, talk highly of Joe's work. Now these authors aren't management and leadership writers, they are Joe's competitors. In Epic Content Marketing, Joe talks about them as well. The fact that these authors are on the same page, squares value for me. It broadens the degree in which I am able to get my mind around Content Marketing and it enriches my overall learning experience. It also speaks volumes of Joe as a businessman, teacher and person. That's why I bought it.
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on September 14, 2013
In his closing address at Content Marketing World 2013, Joe Pulizzi advised more than 1700 content marketers in attendance to "Try". Like so many elements of content marketing, it's a simple concept to understand but difficult to implement. In his new book, Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less, Pulizzi manages to demystify both the art and science of the burgeoning content revolution and give marketers confidence and inspiration. Importantly, he also challenges the reader to get uncomfortable and assume a few risks.

The book is organized into five distinct sections starting with the history of content marketing and moving through strategy, process, implementation and measurement. Suitable for both the seasoned professional and marketing intern, Pulizzi's advice and examples guide the reader through the essentials of a successful content marketing program. Each chapter is summarized with an "Epic Thoughts" section, a helpful recap of the key points of the chapter, along with a comprehensive list of "Epic Resources". Pulizzi also provides online links to additional content and tools throughout the book demonstrating his commitment to being helpful, a principle he endorses as an essential trait of effective content. The final chapter in the book contains several checklists, examples, and prompts to help marketers develop and distribute epic content for their business.

The genius behind Epic Content Marketing is the easy blend of simplicity and complexity in its advice. The reader feels encouraged but also senses Pulizzi expects them to leave their comfort zone. While many business books offer a prescription for success, Pulizzi is throwing down the gauntlet and asking readers to experiment and take chances in order to uncover new and valuable customer stories. Pulizzi advises content marketers to embrace failure, forget about perfection but always move towards producing the very best content in their industry.

Epic Content Marketing stands out in the clutter of marketing books for several reasons. Pulizzi is a talented writer who packs a lot of information into easily digestible chapters. He's loaded each chapter with opinions and advice from expert practitioners, providing numerous case studies and success stories from both large and small organizations. He's generous with his own experience at the Content Marketing Institute giving frank insight into how content marketing has helped his own company to grow. Best of all, he's provided a structured road map that's equally useful for novices and experienced content marketers. His parting advice in this book is to "Be epic", a mandate that seems totally achievable with his help.
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on October 1, 2013
Joe may be the godfather of content marketing, but the tips in this beefed-up pamphlet are pretty thin gruel. Mission statements? Voice-of-Customer? Focus on content quality? Measure results?! Sure, buy a book to learn about all this ... or save your $15 by attending an after-work Social Media Week mixer and listen to that event's guest speaker.

I have a pretty high tolerance for books that are used as business cards--published on the cheap, endorsed by other authors with books or private consultancies to flog, and sold in the back of the room at the author's events or presold as price of attending such events. But this one may be the straw that broke the camel's back. The only conceivable benefit to this book is to arm new arrivals to the content business with talking points that don't sound idiotic. And if that's your goal, to have an executive summary of content marketing, there's better information available free online.
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on September 22, 2013
Only Joe Pulizzi could write Epic Content Marketing, but it's contents can help every marketer in one way or another.

Epic Content Marketing can help you if you're a sales manager, marketing director, or entrepreneur looking for a comprehensive introduction to content marketing, or you're an experienced content marketing professional looking for ways to save time and money while replacing stressful deadlines with smooth-running processes.

Joe Pulizzi's unique perspective comes from years of involvement in creating content resources, such as owned media (i.e., corporate magazines) and magazine inserts for for Fortune 500 corporate clients.

But, at heart, Joe's an entrepreneur and he addresses content issues using the conversational language of small business owners and high-tech start-ups.

Epic Content Marketing consists of 25 chapters, logically organized into 5 sections:

- Part I: Content Marketing--There and Back Again. The first 6 chapters set the stage describing the importance of content marketing to both cash-starved start-ups as well as multinational firms like Coca-Cola, LEGO, Oracle, and Red Bull.

- Part II: Defining Your Niche and Strategy. The next 7 chapters help you define your content marketing objectives. Topics covered include identifying your market's information needs, finding your niche, and writing a content marketing mission statement to guide your efforts.

- Part III: Managing the Content Process. This is the implementation stage, where you begin to replace chaos and stress with process, delegation, and responsibility. Topics include creating an editorial calendar, working with employees and outside resources, and creating a content channel plan. For many, especially those working in corporate environments, these 7 chapters may be the most valuable of all.

- Part IV: Marketing Your Stories. The 3 chapter in this describe how to multiply the impact of your content marketing using social media and alternative promotional techniques, including leveraging the influencers in your field.

- Part V: Making Content Work. It' not enough to create good content, you also have to measure it and sell it to your clients or your C-level executives. The final chapters describing ways to measure the impact of your content marketing and evaluate its ROI (Return on Investment).

The final reason for Epic Content Marketing's unique strengths is that, as founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe has assembled a first-class team of content marketing observers and experts from all levels--from copywriters to corporate executives--whose examples, experiences, ideas, interviews, and perspectives combine to provide an up-to-date encyclopedia of content marketing best practices.
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on November 29, 2014
Joe Pulizzi’s Epic Content Marketing is a primary text read for NSU’s MKT 3605 class in content marketing. Believed by many as THE expert in content marketing, Joe provides a comprehensive instructional guide on how to adopt an effective content driven marketing organization in a growing world of info-besity.

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.
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on January 2, 2016
This was a solid though basic book. I picked this up used locally, because it was cheap and I wanted a refresher on content marketing. Pulizzi is indeed an expert, and he's also an engaging writer. The book was a quick, light read and offered a solid overview of content marketing.

Whether or not you should purchase this book depends on what you're looking for. This is a great introductory book, but it is very much an introductory book. I've worked in the field for a few years, and was familiar with a bulk of what was written. That being said, it did remind me of some things I was glancing over, called into focus a few things I was perhaps not devoting enough attention to, and did offer some fresh points.

If you're looking for an introduction to content marketing, this is a great option. Truthfully, you could probably find most of the content on CMI's website, as some other reviewers have pointed out, but this book organizes it all into one simple narrative and makes it easy to access.

If you're already quite knowledgeable of the content marketing field, you probably won't learn a lot from this book. This is why I say the book might not quite be "epic" (title). For that distinction, it'd need to dig a bit deeper and offer some truly original, unique insights.
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on July 31, 2015
 We live in interesting times.

Marketers have much less of a captive audience to shout at because modern technology helps people avoid unwanted, interruptive marketing messages. So now, instead of interrupting what people are interested in, you have to be what people are interested in. That's why Seth Godin maintains that "Content marketing is the only marketing left."

This book cover the history of content marketing, which is actually a pretty old form of marketing that is now going through a resurgence. It shows you how to define your marketing niche and content strategy. And it walks you step by step through the process of developing content that informs, entertains and compels action. But it also includes how to measure your content marketing in order to improve it. And it has lots of great examples and case studies.

It truly covers the content marketing waterfront.

It's a tour de force. It's ...epic.

And that's why Fortune Magazine named it as one of "Five Must Read Business Books."

If you are new to content marketing or want to read just one book about the topic to get real, smart real fast, this is your book.

And, to listen to an interview with Joe Pulizzi about "Epic Content Marketing," visit
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on April 25, 2016
Really organized, concise and surprisingly scholarly book. I mean that as a compliment. Pulizzi really puts content marketing in a broader social and historical context. One caveat that is also a compliment: This book's a bit different than much of the huckster-ish social media marketing how-to's out there. Pulizzi believes in marketing a true value proposition: IF you've got a truly valuable product or service, THEN epic content marketing can make that business truly take off. If you don't have that, epic content marketing is liable to blow up in your face.
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