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Content Marketing vs Traditional Marketing - Review of EPIC Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi

What is content marketing all about, you ask?

Content marketing vs traditional marketing is a common discussion among marketing circles.

Businesses all over are jumping into this attraction marketing strategy.

With content marketing, you develop thoughtful content which communicates your business or brand story by solving your audience’s pains and problems instead of self-promotional noise about your product or service.

In Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter, and Win More Customers By Marketing Less, Joe Pulizzi addresses in depth the benefits of content marketing.

He discusses why every brand should consider implementing content marketing into their overall plan.

As someone who found a great deal of value in EPIC Content Marketing: How to Tell A Different Story, Break Through The Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less, I encourage you all to read Joe’s amazing insights.

But for those who want a sneak peak of the takeaways and concepts, this review is for you.


A good story is more powerful than a great product.


The future of marketing is here and content marketing is leading the way.

Businesses who do not know their audience, neglect their message and fail to tell a compelling story will be left in the dust.

On average, you are hit by thousands of marketing messages every day!

You are constantly being asked to consider a product or service.

Your business has to fight through all of the noise to get your message heard by your audience.

This is the fundamental problem of traditional marketing.

Your customers/audience are busy and care about themselves.

Every other business lists how great their product/service us, and if you keep telling the same old feature, your message is going to be ignored.


Content marketing is a new approach that allows you to truly grab the attention of your audience.


There are three distinct levels to content marketing:

  1.  Content awareness – This is the ground level to content marketing. It involves cutting through the noise of generic advertising to increase awareness of your product. It also involves providing content that your potential customers/audience may find interesting, which leads them to considering your products/services.
  2.  Thought leadership – If you want more than just creating awareness, then you’ll need to go a step further and become a thought leader. With this, your business develops content with value beyond the scope of your products/services to establish yourself as an industry expert.
  3.  Storytelling – Storytelling is taking thought leadership to the next level. With this, you provide your customer/audience with an emotional link to your business. You tell a story with a brand message that elicits an emotional response and grabs the customer and audience with an honest and compelling story.

Who is your audience?

Before developing your first piece of content, you will need to know who you are going to speak to. Knowing your audience is an essential ingredient to content marketing. It can aid in finding your niche and in developing a dedicated following. Once you figure out your audience, you can create buyer personas, which will help you determine where to extend your marketing efforts. In order to identify your audience, you’ll need to ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is he/she?
  • How old are they?
  • What is an average day in their life?
  • How much money do they make?
  • Why should they care about your product?

Expert Tip: Knowing your audience will help you discover your content niche and the topics that give your audience value. This knowledge ensures that your content addresses the issues that your audience is concerned about. Additionally, bringing your knowledge of the audience and your value content together will help position yourself and your business as an expert in your industry.


Get your team together.

Now that you understand your audience and know your topics, you need to create the content and assign specific roles to yourself and your team.

  1.  Chief content officer – Oversees all content marketing initiatives and ensures that they are in line with the business’s overall marketing strategy.
  2.  Managing editor – Works with content creators to make sure work is produced on time and edits and schedules the content for publication.
  3.  Content creator – Crafts your content. The content creator could be you, a business partner, or an employee. If you’re short on time, you could also hire a freelancer who is skilled at writing based on your audience and your selected topics and niche.
  4.  Listening officer – Ensures that the content produced has the desired marketing effect and monitors the contents’ response through blog comments or social media.

Expert Tip: Consider utilizing an editorial calendar. Editorial calendars can be used to keep everyone accountable and responsible. Be sure to include a priority list, which will list the content that needs to be re-done and the content currently being produced, and highlight the content topics planned for the future.


Get your content noticed.

With your content strategy and content members/roles in place, now is the perfect time to promote your content.

Social media is key to this process, but finding an approach or channel that would suit your audience is best.

Ideally, it is also best to find or figure out where your specific audience is, so you can share your content on those channels.

Once you have settled on your approach, craft a strategy that allows your content the best chances of being read and shared.

Consider the method of brandscaping (a social media 4-1-1 approach), as created by Andrew M. Davis in his book, Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships:

  1.  4 content from influencers, such as bloggers or media outlets to build relationships with the top personalities in your industry.
  2.  Share 1 piece of your original content.
  3.  Then, share 1 sales piece, such as a coupon, product notice or a press release.

The Power of SEO.

Making your content searchable online by employing search engine optimization, or SEO, is a great supplement to social media. Keywords on your content foster good SEO, which can make your business appear higher in search results. Tools like SEMRush can be used to help determine which keywords you should use to ensure your content is found by people who are searching for it.

Expert Tip: A good rule of thumb is one targeted keyword for every 150-200 words. 


Track, measure, and fine-tune.

The final step to a solid content marketing strategy is evaluating how successful it is.

Content marketing can be measured through the following four metrics:

  1.  Consumption – measured with page views and downloads.
  2.  Sharing – measured with actions such as likes, shares, tweets, pins, and forwards.
  3.  Lead Generation – measured with form completions, subscriptions, and customer conversions.
  4.  Sales – this is the easiest to measure as you’re simply accounting for the money you make.

Conclusion to Content Marketing vs Traditional Marketing.

You need a solid understanding of all four metrics to allow you to accurately review your strategy and improve when necessary.

Tracking and fine tuning your content will help it achieve its fullest potential.

That’s it!

You cannot craft, implement and measure a solid content marketing plan without those strategies.

It’s also good to remember that content marketing is only a piece of your attraction marketing strategy and should not be the only strategy to explore or implement.

Your content helps attract your audience to your business, but they will need the concrete information and sales info to help make the decision and this is where traditional advertising works.

The bottom line: An effective content marketing strategy is not only about producing more content but expertly crafting the right type of content and strategically releasing it to your audience and accurately track for its effectiveness on buzz and sales.

How are you going to apply this to your business?


Again, I invite you to read Joe Pulizzi’s full insights in his book EPIC Content Marketing: How to Tell A Different Story, Break Through The Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less.

My review simply aims to give an overview of his frameworks and concepts.

Content Marketing vs Traditional Marketing - Review of EPIC Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi

You can find Joe Pulizzi’s book on Amazon here.


{Editor's Note: This article is not affiliated with or sponsored by Joe Pulizzi or his book Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break Through the Clutter, and Win More Customers By Marketing Less.} 

Tags: Book Reviews

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Kristoffer Cardona

Kristoffer Cardona

I’m a passionate & creative marketing strategist, a husband and father of three (3) beautiful kids who I live for and who are my main source of inspiration. Currently the Head of Marketing for global lingerie brand Parfait. What's my passion? It’s simply to “Help multiply the profits of businesses through a combination of proven inbound online and offline marketing strategies.”