Joe Pulizzi Breaks Down Content Marketing World 2017 Key Takeaways


Joe is known throughout the industry as the godfather of content marketing and with his success it's easy to see why.

His company, Content Marketing Institute, is the leading education and training organization for content marketing.

CMI also hosts the world's largest in-person content marketing event: Content Marketing World.

Today, Joe breaks down all the key takeaways from CM World 2017. He talks about hot topics and how to thrive in the content marketing field.

Look for Joe at the next CMI event decked-out in orange.


Content Marketing World

Joe launched the first Content Marketing world back in 2011. He set his expectations pretty low hoping about 100 people would show up.

Well, 600 people ended up attending the event.

This year, over 3,500 people from 50 countries attended CM World to learn about effective content marketing strategies. Over 200 speakers from around the world came to educate people.

It wasn't all business. There was plenty of dancing, food, drinks, and networking, too.

Who Attended?

Joe says lots of companies want to deliver valuable and relevant content to customers on a consistent basis but aren't sure how to execute this task.

That's why folks from all kinds of industries attend CM World. The majority of attendees include people working on blogs, podcasts, and print media, but anyone working in public relations or communications can benefit from this event. Lots of marketing officials in senior positions also attend looking for ways to implement new content marketing strategies and tactics.

The audience mostly consists of "do-ers" looking to communicate directly with their own audience and see profitable behavior.

All Businesses Must Think of Themselves as Media Companies

Joe says the best way to build an audience is by thinking of yourself as a media company no matter which industry.

Whether your business is retail, law, real estate, or anything else, you need to deliver valuable and relevant information to your customers.

Joe says companies should find new routes for monetizing their audience that go beyond just selling products and services such as paid events, sponsorships, and webinars.

After all, the largest media company in the electronics company isn't a media company at all but rather a retail business called Arrow Electronics: the Amazon of electronic components.

Control is completely in the consumer's hands. If companies don't create consistent, regular, relevant, interesting, and valuable content, customers won't care. You'll get ignored.

All businesses should think and act like media companies without monetizing like media companies.

Building a Targeted Audience and Creating Relevant Content

No matter the industry, you want to build loyalty and trust so your audience produces profitable behavior.

Joe says a lot of companies make a big mistake when developing their content strategy: they create content for a broad audience.

Without narrowing down your audience, you'll never be able to create relevant content and your audience won't care about you.

Start out by figuring out what kind of problems your customers face. Talk to customers and your sales team. After you have that information, you can create content to help them solve these problems.

Once you've demonstrated your knowledge and authority as an industry leader, your audience will be more likely to exhibit profitable behavior.

Become a great storyteller. Create content that evokes emotions and leaves a deep impact on people's lives. Joe says the best kind of content helps people get a better job or live a better life. Tug at the heartstrings a bit!

Make sure to stay unique and set yourself apart from your competitors.

Delivering Content to the Right Audience

In the beginning, Joe recommends spending about 50% of your energy and resources on creating content and the other 50% on promoting that content to your target audience. It's vital to put effort into your content marketing strategy along with your actual content.

Of course, certain methods work better than others. It is important to make sure companies remain in control of their audience.


Joe sees a lot of businesses dabbling in video but not taking it seriously enough. This is a huge mistake.

He points to the example of Jenny Doan. She founded Missouri Star Quilting with a minimal budget and a YouTube channel. Now her company is the largest employer in the city of Hamilton and her channel has over 200,000 subscribers.

Joe says lots of companies upload multiple videos in one sitting or don't properly engage the audience. He says it is important to deliver consistent videos to a specific audience.

Social Media and Technology

There are a lot of great tools out there for workflow, calendaring, algorithms, automation, and so much more.

While these are great for developing leverage, Joe doesn't recommend relying on these methods for your content marketing strategy.

Instead, focus on one need or challenge and then figure out how to incorporate technology to help you overcome that challenge. Cutting-edge technology is pretty irrelevant if you aren't creating valuable content.

Joe also cautions relying on social media for generating your audience. Why? You aren't in control: Facebook is and they want to monetize you. Paying for your own audience isn't a sustainable marketing strategy.


Joe says the best way to build (and keep) your audience is by building subscribers.

Get them to subscribe to multiple newsletters and content. With subscriptions, you're in complete control of your audience.

But don't sell them anything yet! Build authority and trust first.

Joe waited until he had over 10,000 subscribers before launching a magazine, webinar series, and other paid events.

What's Next for Content Marketing?

Love it or hate it, corporate media isn't going away.

In fact, since large corporations have the budgets to invest, Joe expects to see a lot of mergers and acquisitions over the next few years.

He says this could drastically change the content marketing landscape and everyone should prepare for this.

Joe Pulizzi just released his fifth book, Killing Marketing, which is available on Amazon.


About Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is founder of Content Marketing Institute, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World.  Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council.   Joe’s fourth book Content Inc. was just released.  His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange.