Joe Pulizzi is the master mind and Chief Content Officer behind Junta42 - the new community site that's all about content marketing and custom publishing for marketers. With their recent posting of the Junta42 Top Blogs list for content marketing insights, and the site formally coming out of beta, I thought it was time we got to know a bit more about what Junta 42 is all about.
What is content marketing?
Joe Pulizzi (JP): Content marketing is the idea that businesses can and should be their own publishers. Technology, as well as significant changes in buyer behavior, has given businesses the opportunity to communicate directly with their customers without going through the media as distributors. Content marketing isn't just any content though...it is the creation of valuable content that meets the informational needs of the target audience. By delivering meaningful content on a continuous basis, businesses are positioned as thought leaders, experts and solutions providers for their customers.
Which marketers does Junta42 aim to bring together?
JP: We are trying to create a place where marketing professionals of all shapes and sizes can learn and interact with other marketers who believe that content marketing should be a significant part of their business model. Junta42 was created out of a frustration of the lack of educational sites around the creation of great business content. There have always been sites out there to help distribute and market, but simply not enough about bringing the content equation together.
Why do these marketers need an application like Junta42?
JP:The biggest complement we've heard from marketers is that they don't feel alone any more. Also, marketing professionals are now saying, "Yes, we've been focusing on content marketing, we just didn't know what to call it." Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that businesses can't market the way they used to. Buyers today are smarter and technology is better. In order to engage our customers, we need to give them information to help make them smarter - to help make their lives better. Businesses can't just sell products anymore, they must provide solid, consistent, educational information.
What's been the return on Junta42 for you so far?
JP: When we launched the site, the plan was to work to create a community around content marketing, and it's all beginning to come together. We wanted to do that first before we launched any "revenue-generating" products. We've turned down advertising to this point as well - it's too important for us right now to just get the community going. Content marketing is just starting to catch on - and we are glad to be a part of it. This practice is just way too important.
Is 'digg for content marketing' an accurate description for Junta42?
JP: Technically, we are probably somewhere between a social media and a business bookmarking site, but "content marketing community" probably best describes it. As we continue to launch new products and initiatives, we'll probably end up looking like more of a media site than anything else.
What makes Junta42 unique? What about alternatives such as vertical groups in diigo, blinklist or simpy, beetoobee, ...?
JP: Those are all good sites and serve different purposes, but we are the only ones that really focus on the practice and evolution of content marketing - how to create it, distribute it, market it, and measure it. We may be close to sites like marketingprofs or even BtoB magazine, we just happen promote the social media aspect of content more.
What does Junta42 offer that these alternatives don't?
JP: Other than the above, it will be the continual focus on just content marketing and nothing else. Those other sites get into all aspects of business information and marketing...we are working to keep a laser focus on business content and the marketing of it as the future of marketing communications.
Why should content marketers and custom publishers engage in Junta42?
JP: We are the only online location that can bring these two business groups together. With the launch of Junta42 Match this spring, marketing professionals will have the only place where they can find the perfect match for their business content needs. For custom publishers, new business is the most challenging part of the business. We believe that Junta42 Match will be the perfect place for custom publishers to find opportunities to help businesses generate the best outcomes from their content marketing initiatives.
How will the Junta42 project be sustainable in the long run?
JP:Junta42 Match will be the revenue component to the business (free to marketing professionals, a paid service for publishers who wish to be a part of the system). Over the next 12 to 18 months we will be launching premium educational initiatives for both marketers and custom publishers, which will continue to grow the business. Other than that, we'll continue to have fun trying new things to solve the challenges of today's marketing professional.
If there's anything else you'd like to know about Junta42, post your questions and I'm sure Joe will be happy to answer them. If you haven't checked it out, now's your chance.
In case you don't have it yet, Joe has also co-written an eBook Get Content, Get Customers, which can be downloaded free from the Junta42 blog - so go get a copy.