Highlights from Content Marketing World 2011
This week I had two “first” experiences. I visited Cleveland for the first time. While I was there I had the honor (and enjoyment) of speaking to students at Cleveland State University. Todd Wheatland and I spoke about careers in content marketing. My other first was attending the inaugural Content Marketing World event. I’m thrilled for my friend and colleague, Joe Pulizzi, founder of Junta42 and Content Marketing Institute for organizing this first rate event. To say it was awesome doesn’t describe it. The speakers, the content, the conversations, and yes the food, were all incredible. Over 600 content marketing professionals attended from 13 countries. As if that wasn’t enough, the pre-conference social event was a private party held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
It’s difficult to summarize everything I learned in one blog post. But, I’ll offer some of the more memorable take-aways.
Content Marketing is Mainstream
The first take-away for me is the realization that content marketing has really arrived. Joe Pulizzi is well recognized as the Godfather of Content Marketing. He points out that businesses have used content marketing for decades without calling it content marketing. But, the realization that buyers engage with relevant and compelling content more effectively than advertising messages is finally recognized by businesses across all industries. In Joe’s opening remarks he points out some statistics that can’t be ignored:
- B2B marketers allocate approximately 26% of their total marketing budgets to content marketing initiatives.
- 51% of B2B marketers plan to increase their spend in content marketing over the next 12 months.
Joe goes on to say that “content marketing is like using a new muscle.” Marketers need to harness it and keep it “in shape” across all marketing initiatives.
CMW had two opening keynote presenters, Sally Hogshead and David Meerman Scott. Both are authors and well recognized for their own content and achievements as content marketing strategists. Here are just a few highlights from their keynote presentations.
The Power of Story
Give more meaning to your content with emotional triggers….It doesn’t matter if your content is the best if people aren’t listening. It’s about creating a relationship that is captivating….If you don’t have the biggest budget, you have to be the most fascinating. Fascination is an intense emotional focus. Sally also presented the 7 triggers to fascinate.
Real-Time Content Marketing
David Meerman Scott
Most companies are good at planning for next quarter and next year. But, few companies operate efficiently in the present, in the now. Every organization needs a Chief Real Time Officer to plan for NOW!….Social media are tools….Real-time is a mindset….When a story is told in real time, become the “second paragraph” to the story.
Transforming a Large Organization into a Content Machine
Todd Wheatland: Kelly Services
In the context of his B2B content marketing presentation Todd Wheatland of Kelly Services shared tips on how to use Slideshare (among many other tips). Slideshare provides “visual merchandising” of your PowerPoint content….Reformat white papers into a horizontal format and upload to Slideshare…..Experiment with calls-to-action in Slideshare for lead conversions….Every piece of content must have an internal spokesperson….Use infographics to make your content “beautiful.”
Build a Better Buyer Experience With Content
Ardath Albee shared that 47% of B2B buyers take more time to do research before making a purchase….More people are involved in the buying cycle than in years past….Content is marketing currency….Develop content for the buyer’s experience and content for your sales process. They are not the same.
How Your Content Impacts Your Career and Your Brand
Bernie Borges: Find and Convert
Yours truly spoke on how to apply a content strategy to improve your career. My session was attended by a mix of corporate marketers and consultants and agency professionals. I offered a five point strategy for individual career advancement. I also encouraged corporate marketers to share these strategies with internal employees to inspire them to contribute content.
- Think like a triathlete
- Develop your personal brand
- Commit to at least two content assets
- Become a “stalker” (follow relevant people)
- Be a storyteller
To all Find and Convert clients and future Find and Convert clients, I urge you to plan and budget for Content Marketing World 2012 in Columbus, OH. The 2012 dates are September 4 – 6. I hope to see you there.