Innovation Blog

It’s a huge week in Cleveland, and it’s not about the start of the Cleveland Brown’s football season. It’s about a hard-working content gridiron grinder. He’s one of the hardest working people in the content marketing game, and he’s about to have one of his biggest weeks of the year right here in The Land.

I’m talking about Joe Kalinowski. 

Joe is the long-time creative director at Content Marketing World. This 5-ft., 6-in. ball of energy took a chance on himself and left the stable income of his magazine publishing job to join the Content Marketing World starting lineup. While guys like Joe Pulizzi and Rob Rose get most of the credit, it was the behind the scenes people like Joe Kalinowski that helped put the content marketing movement on the map.

How did he do it? Let’s break down his content marketing game day tape and find out.

For the better part of eight years, Joe has religiously published a Facebook post every Friday morning that is required reading for content marketers.  His “Man Cave Message” is always online before 6AM, and by 7AM there are dozens of comments, shares, and likes to his message. 

Joe Kalinowski holding up a paper that says Unity.

Joe’s tool-of-choice is a Sharpie and a 5×8 piece of paper. His one- or two-word message is conveyed to his audience in a black & white photo with Joe holding the paper while sitting in his man cave. Under the photo is a detailed message about why he chose the words and what they mean to him.  Sometimes the words are silly, but oftentimes the words are poignant, forcing you to slow down and think.  I know every Friday at 6AM that I will start my day with a message that will make me reflect. 

As marketers we can learn a lot from people like Joe Kalinowski. Here’s his playbook:

1. Consistency – As an audience member, I know that every Friday I will see a message. I know how it will be delivered, when, and where.  The “What” is the content.  How many of us can say we look forward to a Facebook post at 6AM?  Do we have a plan for consistently getting content to the people that matter?

2. Point of View – Joe does not apologize for his point of view.  He does not try to be all things to all people. I highly doubt his posts are for you or me.  He writes because he has something to share. When he makes you think–he has won!  Does your content clearly articulate your point of view?

3. Brand Awareness – Everyone knows Joe works from his house in his Man Cave. They know about his dogs, his wife, and his daughters.  They know about his love of classic action figures, the Steelers, and his parents.  Joe has created a brand by being authentic. When you think of how you position your brand, is it just a bunch of words, or do you clearly know how you want your customers to feel about your products or services? 

4. Say Something – Just when I think I know everything about Joe, he finds something that happened in his life that makes for an interesting post.  It’s what keeps me coming back every Friday. When I write marketing copy, I sometimes go to the tried-and-true buzz-word language to fill the space and convey the features and benefits. That’s when I have to stop myself, remember that it’s not about filling the space, it’s about saying something that matters. Ask yourself: How can using a different approach help you break through the clutter, the wordiness, or the mundane copy of a first draft? Are there people we can follow to help inspire us to be better storytellers of our brands, products, or services?

That’s where we come in. The Babcox team of content marketers can help you tell your story in an authentic and compelling way to reach more prospects and to help keep clients engaged with your brand. Are you having this conversation internally with your teams and think you may need some help?  Drop me an email or give me a call and let’s talk about a content strategy to help you win today. 

Randy Loeser joined Babcox Media in 2013 as publisher of Tire Review and was later given additional responsibilities as the Director of Digital Media and Group Publisher of Engine Builder. In 2018, Randy transitioned into the role of Group Publisher of Content Services to provide creative and custom content solutions to our clients. Randy has worked for several national B2B publishers in a variety of roles, including publisher, business development, marketing and internet products management. Randy is a 1995 graduate of John Carroll University. Connect with Randy by email or call (330) 670-1234 ext. 285.

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