When Dr. Patsi Krakoff first heard Joe Pulizzi use the term “content marketing” years ago, it “stuck immediately, because it explained what I’d been doing for my clients since 1999,” she says.
These days the term peppers Krakoff’s site, Writing on the Web, where she offers posts on tasks and tips, how to engage readers, business blogging, and how to get readers to take action.
Over the years, Krakoff has worked with executive coaches and other professional service providers who traditionally don’t advertise. “Their marketing has always been about content, building credibility and trust through articles, e-newsletters, and blogs,” she notes.
With a background in journalism and psychology, Krakoff puts both disciplines to use in her work. “In order to reach out and connect with someone—in words, on the screen—you’ve got to understand human nature,” she says. “What makes people interested? What gets their attention? What are their problems and pain points? What motivates them. What makes them click?”
The “4 E’s”
Krakoff advises writers and communicators to write for the “4 E’s”: educate, entertain, engage, and enrich the lives of your readers. She suggests that professionals across all industries should create a marketing/brand strategy that is memorable in each of these four domains.
Krakoff believes successful content marketing campaigns require consistency, frequency, variety, and quality. “You can’t say what everybody else is saying,” she warns. “You need to stand out in a sea of information.”
Krakoff recognizes that not all businesses can commit the time and energy required to communicate effectively. “Many of my clients are good writers and some have published books. But they outsource their web content because they don’t have time. Now, with social media and videos, which also have to be updated, there’s just too much to do if you want a successful online content strategy,” she says.
If content marketing seems daunting, Krakoff recommends simplifying the process by boiling it down to some fairly straightforward steps: get found online, get known, and get clients.
“By having quality content—optimized for the keywords people use to search in your field—and interesting, compelling information that people love to read,” she advises.
For specifics on how to successfully implement that advice into your own content marketing efforts, Krakoff also recommends Pulizzi’s list of “10 Content Marketing Books to Help Sell the C-Level.”