Wednesday 21 March 2018

How Much Do You Open Your Kimono?

Provocative title, but alas not one I can take credit for.

It was the theme of an excellent presentation by content marketing specialists Jay Baer and Joe Pulizzi at the recent BlogWorld LA 2011 event (pictured below).

The gist of the pair’s presentation was this: Does ‘thought leadership’ cannablize your ability to monetize what you know? 

The two Js walked us through six stages of content marketing strategy:

 STAGE ONE – Closed Kimono

  • No real online thought leadership presence. 
  • The pros for this = zero time investment; cons = limited exposure in search, reduced ability to build influence online.

STAGE TWO – What Happens in Vegas

  • Thought leadership content distributed only via micro platforms such as LinkedIn answers, Twitter news, blog comments, Quora answers etc.

STAGE THREE – Quid Pro Quo

  • Selling thought leadership in the form of ebooks, how-to packages etc.
  • The free information you give away needs to be “best of breed” otherwise people won’t pay for products.
  • Process looks something like this: (a) free newsletter to build your list, (b) create and give away free sample reports that in turn promote the newsletter and more free reports, (c) sales pitches leading to paid content i.e. a detailed ‘how-to’ report that people can buy.
  • Example given was copywriter and internet marketing strategist, Bob Bly.

STAGE FOUR – Give Me Your Number

  • Lead-gated thought leadership (i.e. people have to give details in order to access free content).
  • Enables companies to measure the impact of content creation and distribution (decentralized within the company).
  • Example given was email marketing software company ExactTarget.

STAGE FIVE – Peek-a-boo

  • Giving away what you know in the form of valuable content, but not the process.
  • Example given was Openview Venture Partners, a company where 90 per cent of employees blog; it has an in-house studio for audio and video production, employs a full-time journalist.
  • The company integrates its blog into Openview Labs, a full technology resource site.

STAGE SIX – Full Monty

  • This stage basically involves “giving it all away”, including the ‘secret sauce’.
  • Creating and distributing content that’s not only relevant to your business and industry, but also outside your core category.
  • Example given was automated lead generated services company Eloqua, whose goal it is to cast its content far and wide, all free and unencumbered by ‘lead gates’ its site.
  • According to Joe and Jay, Eloqua focuses on reaching the 85 per cent of people who don’t know the company versus the 15 per cent that do.



    Joe and Jay (pictured left – source) have put together a testing plan for how much content your business should give away – check it out here.

    Jay is the co-author of the book The NOW Revolution and blogs at Convince and Convert; Joe is the ao-author of Managing Content Marketing (the Real-World Guide for Creating Passionate Subscribers to Your Brand) and blogs at Junta 42.

    On Twitter: Jay – @jaybaer; Joe – @juntajoe.


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