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Purna Virji, of LinkedIn, on Content Marketing best practices in the age of AI

I had a lively and delightful conversation with Purna Virji, whose day job is Principal Consultant for LinkedIn’s Content Solutions team, to discuss content marketing and also her new book: “High-Impact Content Marketing: Strategies to Make Your Content Intentional, Engaging and Effective.”  Purna, like myself, will be attending the Brighton SEO Conference that’s happening this week in San Diego.

Our discussion was free-ranging and covered many aspects of content marketing and thought leadership. I wanted to query Purna on the catalyst for writing her book, and explore some of the major themes within it, including the proposition that “to succeed in the highly competitive creator economy of today and the future, content marketers need to rethink their approach or go the way of the dinosaurs.”

Purna breaks down content marketing strategy into its three core areas: understanding the business, ideal customers, and building a strategy that balances key messages and distribution channels. She has some great advice for brands whose content marketing efforts may be restrained by the need to metaphorically “herd cats” within the organization.

We discuss the role of executives and salespeople in the effort to build organizational thought leadership, and Purna strongly suggesting that such an endeavor not be limited to the C-Suite; instead it can and should include front-line folks such as sales representatives. She advises that it’s best to begin building thought leadership by starting with a limited number of active and passionate employees and working out from there.

Purna has some excellent advice for anyone seeking to create audience-resonant content from trade shows or other events. She, like myself, agrees that repurposing content for different channels and contexts is a useful tactic that can maximum content impact, and provides examples as to how this is best done.

Purna has been following the AI revolution from a content marketing perspective for some time, and she’s clearly optimistic about what lies ahead but also believes that one should not become overly enamored by the technology itself. She notes that “what I’m getting super-excited about overall is just an emphasis on being human, and what makes people tick and how marketers are increasingly looking at building communities and nurturing people within them. And yes, it’s so weird to say that in the age of AI, and AI is amazing. Look, I’ve been talking about AI for years, because when I was at Microsoft, when Cortana, and voice search, and all of that was happening. We’ve seen the power of what AI can do to empower the human, which is really the key.”

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