Welcome to the Funnel: a Book Review

Jason Miller on Content Marketing

Dude.

No, Dude. Totally check this out:

There are a lot of books on content marketing and even more on social media marketing.

There are four — no five — no six — things I really, really like about Jason Miller’s recent addition to the genre, Welcome to the Funnel: Proven Tactics to Turn Your Social and Content Marketing up to 11:

1) It’s from a guy who does this for a living.

A surprising amount of writing about the new kind of marketing has been written by people who don’t actually practice it. Jason Miller practices it every day, as the head of global content and social initiatives for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. And he doesn’t just do it, he does it well, consistently hitting home run content that people want to eat and share and eat some more.

The book is a practitioner’s book — a stark contrast to the speculations of the theorists. It helps the reader do this stuff right and avoid the tempting things that look cool but end up sucking.

2) It doesn’t show off — it serves the reader.

As a writer too-often guilty of showing off, I know how easy it is to push one’s way ‘on screen’, in front of your content. Jason doesn’t do this. He’s here to help — not to glorify himself — and that’s a hugely likeable thing to do.

There are 22 short chapters on content, eight on social and five on bringing it all together. Chapters like ‘The Blogging Food Groups’ and ‘The Importance of Going Visual’ give you what they promise: solid advice on the issues marketers need to understand right now.

3) It’s rock & roll.

Jason is just as well known for his night job: as a blogger and photographer of (usually heavy metal) rock bands. Check out his stuff at Rock & Roll Cocktail. His front-row seats must have deadened his hearing but it’s also added an edge to his thinking about marketing.

Each chapter of the book starts with an illustration of a rocker (by Fiverr) and a quote by a marketer or a rocker or both. You’d think Jason would exhaust the parallels between rock & roll and marketing but it’s a surprisingly rich metaphor.

I even (almost) forgive him Chapter 26’s opener: Lionel Ritchie saying “Hello, is it leads you’re looking for?”.

4) There’ a reference to Spinal Tap in the sub-title.

This makes Jason the David St Hubbins of marketing (named after the patron saint of quality footwear), which is something I wanted to be but now have to settle for being Nigel Tufnel.

5) It’s packed with examples.

For such a short book (156 pages) Welcome to the Funnel has more real-world examples than a raisin cake has raisins. Jason shows you the workings behind LinkedIn’s most successful content as well as examples from Marketo (his job just before LinkedIn) and across a lot of different markets.

6) He’s a writer’s content marketer.

The title of Chapter 2 sums it up: “If your writing sucks, so will your content.”

Amen.

In short, this book doesn’t belong on your shelf of content marketing books. It belongs on your desk. Between the mouse and the can of beer.

(Insert devil horns hand gesture here and attempt that face rockers make when they’re… rocking.)

Comments

Bought it. Read it (in an afternoon with lots of tea). Liked it a lot.

It has now been ‘borrowed’ by somebody. But I will get it back.

The fact that he has a ‘back story’ is what makes this book tick. That in itself is a good lesson to content marketers – have a reason to even be there and, if you can’t underpin your content with absolute subject matter credibility, having an interesting back-story helps.

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