The Secret Behind Content Marketing Success

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This is a guest post by Carrie Morgan, digital PR consultant at Rock the Status Quo.

You’re building a house. It’s the amazing custom home you’ve dreamed of, you’ve spent thousands of dollars on exotic woods, designer tile, custom cabinets, all of the fantastic bits and pieces that add up to a truly incredible home.

Then you build it on someone else’s land? You spend a fortune, only to risk it on land that someone can arbitrarily sell out from under you? It can be gone in an instant with nothing to show?

Rigggggght. I don’t think so.

Yet we do it every day with company dollars.

We invest company time and dollars to create customized, unique content – only to host it on an asset we don’t own: Facebook, a free blog platform, SlideShare, LinkedIn, an industry ezine, etc.

We create content and build communities that could disappear in a heartbeat, leaving us all in one hot mess.

It’s time to balance the effort so what we create belongs to us. Our audience, our comments, our community.

Joe Pulizzi’s webinar for Cision was, well, epic. And I don’t say that lightly! He is fantastic.

Author of Epic Content Marketing and founder at the Content Marketing Institute, Joe’s the go-to expert for content marketing. He’s done a deep dive into it as a sole discipline in a way few people manage to do, and his words of wisdom are pretty darn smart.

In my opinion, his most memorable quote would make a fantastic T-shirt: “Don’t build your content ship on rented land.”

Don’t you love quotes that help us instantly GET a concept? This one makes sense.

Pulizzi isn’t recommending we NEVER give away our content – by all means, guest blog your heart out! Share, share, share! But share on your own platform. Make sharing content on other people’s assets PART of the strategy, not the entire thing. Focus your energy around something that will benefit you for the long-haul, not the next 24-hours.

Joe’s own Content Marketing Institute is a perfect example. Did he create it out of a purely selfless desire to educate us on how to be more successful content marketers and publicists? No. He did it to fuel product and service sales. Consulting, events, training – CMI is a media platform that brilliantly feeds his business.

So why can’t we do the same thing for our clients or employer? We can. Even small businesses can become their own media company, and publish content housed on their own website or hosted community platforms. It’s doable.

Content marketing is a fantastic way to fill in gaps when landing those media placements are a little slow, and build an owned asset for your client or company that will pay dividends over and over again.

I love content marketing. It’s powerful and it works as a lead generation tool. It’s a fantastic way to build influence and credibility – who doesn’t want that?

There’s a rub, though.

Creating content doesn’t work all by itself. It’s like creating popsicles without a stick, or buying fifty pounds of dog food when you don’t actually own a dog. It just doesn’t make sense all by its lonesome.


  1. Who are you targeting? Why?
  2. What are you trying to accomplish?
  3. What will you be delivering to them?
  4. What outcome are you expecting?
  5. How are you measuring success?

Without addressing these questions within your department and company-wide, your efforts won’t be successful. According to Joe, content should do one of three things: drive sales, save the company money or create sunshine – making customers/prospects happy.

So hop to it. Circle the wagons with the right people in your organization and put on those thinking caps. Define a content marketing strategy that links business objectives to outcomes, and start building an owned platform to host your great content.

After all, if most marketers don’t have a strategy, can you imagine how successful you can be as one of the few who do? You’ll stand out like a Great Dane in a herd of teacup Yorkies.

For more, watch Epic Content Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and host Heidi Sullivan.

A Top 1% influencer, Carrie Morgan is founder of the #PRprochat Twitter chat on first Thursdays, a contributor for some of the largest marketing publications in the world and a senior-level digital PR consultant. Check out her PR blog at or connect on G+

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