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Content Inc., written by Joe Pulizzi, is one of my favorite books of all time. So, I wanted to see what his newer book, Killing Marketing was all about.
I am clearly not the target audience for this book, as indicated by the opening chapters, which I found to be a snooze fest. But I got exactly what I was looking for in the middle chapters, which made the book worthwhile.
Here are my book notes – what I found most compelling and applicable to me in Killing Marketing.
Focus on Your Audience & Their Problem, Not on Yourself
The book tells the story of #FlipMyFunnel, which I was not familiar with. The key point that I was reminded of is to focus on your audience and not on yourself. This will likely be reflected in the Music Entrepreneur HQ initiatives moving forward.
Conferences can be Profitable
It seems obvious, I suppose, but the people I’ve talked to in the music industry were basically using conferences as a loss leader. But Content Marketing World is an incredibly profitable arm of Content Marketing Institute. I guess, in many ways, it comes down to your target audience, the product and what they’re willing to pay for it.
Revenue Streams for Publishing Companies
I do think of Music Entrepreneur HQ as a publishing company of sorts, as most of my work revolves around scripting and writing.
Authors Pulizzi and Rose indicate that the main direct revenue streams for publishing companies are:
- Advertising and sponsorships
- Conferences and events
- Premium content offerings
The book gets into a detailed explanation of each, most of which was obvious.
What I found interesting was that there are basically three types of premium content offerings – direct-for-sale products, funded content purchased on demand and syndicated content opportunities.
Direct-for-sale products are the most obvious – eBooks, audio programs, courses and other info products would all fall under this category.
Funded content purchases are content you create that’s bought by others. I didn’t realize that this was an opportunity and one I’m going to be paying more attention to moving forward.
Syndicated content is when your content is syndicated to other sites for a fee. Generally, I’ve been syndicating content for free, and didn’t know you could tap into this as a revenue stream.
I can certainly think of other revenue streams one could take advantage of but since CMI is a multimillion-dollar company, I better take their word for it.
The Audience is the Asset
Content blindness comes from focusing on the content rather than the audience. The content isn’t the asset. The audience is! Content is the means to get to your audience.
This would suggest that the most efficient model is creating the minimum amount of content with the maximum amount of resources. I couldn’t agree more.
Businesses should have one mission and one audience. Again, I believe this wholeheartedly.
The book talks about James Altucher, who makes it his goal to identify massive pain points his audience can relate to and then talk about how he attempted to recover from them. I love that. I’m going to be stealing that from you, James!
Qualities That Make an E-Newsletter Successful
Successful e-newsletters are consistent (published at the promised time every single time), valuable and exclusive (they feature unique content). Great model.
The Three-Legged Stool
It’s an old concept but it still works, no matter how pervasive our digital lives become. If you aren’t getting the results you want with digital, incorporate print and events too. That’s your three-legged stool – digital, print and events.
The book also touches on the idea of “experience business”, something I’ve been talking about for years (maybe I got it from another Pulizzi book). The idea is that you can create more value for your audience by creating experiences for them.
I discovered that pilot programs within a business should last at least 12 months. You must have a goal or vision of how the business will be different after the fact. You must also have agreed-upon metrics that help you determine when to keep it or cut it. I’m doing this from now on.
Commitment level determines content marketing success.
Get busy living or get busy dying – The Shawshank Redemption
Rose states that commitment and flexibility can both be a virtue in business. Sometimes you need to stay committed to generate results. Sometimes you need to stay flexible to pivot when opportunities present themselves.
The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do. – Michael Porter