CMI’s Joe Pulizzi on Why Mixing Your Media Could Be a Terrible Idea

Be everywhere – seems for most marketers the game these days is to cover as many media channels as possible.  Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute relates a recent conversation he had with an Australian marketer who was taking a mixed approach to his content strategy. He was creating all sorts of different content to promote his brand, including blogging, audio podcasts and video casts. While it sounded like great fun, Pulizzi thought, it probably wasn’t the best way to go about building an audience.

“I’ve been a media historian for almost 20 years news,” Pulizzi explains in this Content Inc. audio clip. “In almost every situation where a loyal community audience was nurtured, it did not happen with mixed media.”

He notes that Huffington Post started as a blog and gained brand recognition there. The New York Times began by becoming known for printing a quality newspaper.  The TedTalk series never started out as a multi-media experience but focused on producing outstanding in-person events.

These successful media brands all started with one content type, leveraging that one platform in which they chose to excel. The success of the expanded media brand came later.

“Each of these brands became great at doing one thing in one particular way for an audience,” Pulizzi notes. “Then, once they built an audience, they diversified into other media.”

Pulizzi notes that even with the plethora of social media channels now available – and the prevailing mandate to be on as many as possible – this idea of excelling in one platform first has not changed. Once you’ve got the audience, sure, branch out to a new channel as appropriate.  But if you’re still working to build a solid audience, diversification is probably a big waste of time.

Focus on what you do, be consistent and predictable, he urges.

So, what are you good at? What does your existing audience know you for? Do more of that.