9 Content Marketing Tips From Cleveland

Cleveland: It’s not just home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, LeBron James and the Cavs, and one of my favorite speakeasies. It’s also home to Content Marketing World — one of my favorite conferences.

Content is a big dealCleveland: It’s not just home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, LeBron James and the Cavs, and one of my favorite speakeasies. It’s also home to Content Marketing World — one of my favorite conferences.

I missed Content Marketing World this year due to a huge project I took lead on — and if you asked any of the people on my team — that made me super bummed.

But the good news is that my “What Were They Thinking” partner in video antics, Taylor Knight, was able to make the trip and soak up all the glorious content marketing knowledge in the great orange glow within Cleveland’s convention center.

Aside from coming back with a ton of video footage from interviewing some of my content marketing heroes, like Ann Handley and Robert Rose, Taylor also had a bunch of relevant takeaways to share.

So without further adieu, here’s Taylor doing a little Sass Marketing guest blogging about her favorite things from Content Marketing World 2016:

content marketing worldLast week, I had the opportunity to attend Content Marketing World in “The Land” — Cleveland. Thousands gathered to hear the best minds in content marketing speak about their successes, challenges, failures and predictions for the future.

There were so many amazing sessions and keynotes (including Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill and comedian Michael Jr.), so I wanted to share my top three takeaways with everyone who wasn’t able to attend. Here they are:

Takeaway 1: It’s Not the Best … It’s the Best Promoted

Andy Crestodina, principal and strategic director at Orbit Media, shared in his keynote that it’s not the best content that wins, it’s the best promoted content that wins. He said marketers should concentrate on two things to succeed:

1. Original Research
This can be observations you make about a trend, an aggregation of information from other sources or surveys you conduct. “What do people in our industry often say but rarely support? Find the missing stat,” explains Crestodina.

2. Strong Opinions
Your content should take a stand because strong opinions lead to shares. Crestodina suggest marketers answer the following questions to create great content:

  • What do you believe that most people would disagree with?
  • What do you think will happen in the future that people don’t agree with?
  • What questions are people afraid to answer?

Takeaway 2: Slow Down

Ann Handley, chief content officer at MarketingProfs, told marketers to “slow down.” It may be hard to know when to slow down because the norm has been to rush, rush, rush and create as much content as possible. Handley says answer these three questions before creating content:

  1. “So what?” This is a shortcut to empathy and connecting with your audience.
  2. “Wait, what?” This is figuring out the “why” before you even get to that what.
  3. “Does this sustain us?” This can mean either be sustaining you or your brand.

Takeaway 3: Build a Network for Success

Mitch Joel, president of Mirum, gave a keynote titled “Content Is Dead.” This seemed a bit shocking considering we were at Content Marketing World, however, Joel gave the audience great advice.

He told marketers that they should concentrate on building a network, and then the content you produce for that network will succeed. In the future, (when every marketer builds up that network) other changes will happen. Joel says the future of content marketing is:

Augmented Reality + Virtual Reality = The “Next” Platform
Data + Machine Learning + Artificial Intelligence = Actionable Content
Permission + Marketing Automation = Customer Loyalty

Extra, Extra

I couldn’t stop with just three! Here are a few more of my favorite tips and takeaways from Content Marketing World 2016.

• Facebook “views” are counted when someone watches the video for three seconds or more. Measure for longer views and a better sense of engagement. — Chelsea Hunderson, social media marketing manager, HubSpot

• Measure content in real time, then change strategy in real time. Things are constantly changing and they don’t always go according to plan. — Lars Silberbauer, global director of social media and search, LEGO Company Ltd.

• When it comes to content marketing, executive needs to do more than buy in — they need to endorse content marketing. — Deanna Goldasich, CEO, Well Planned Web

• If you want people to share something, you have to know what they want to say, then say it better. — John von Brachel, SVP of content marketing, Bank of America

• A one second delay in page speed can decrease conversions by seven percent. — Arnie Kuenn, CEO, Vertical Measures

• Dates on your blog will make your content look old. — Andy Crestodina, principal and strategic director, Orbit Media

Content Marketing Master ClassAhhhhhhh it sounds like this year’s Content Marketing World was sooooo good as usual!

But guess what? If you’re like me and missed it — and that realization is eating away at your soul … no? Just me? Okay then —guess what? You could attend one of six Content Marketing Master Classes!

The Content Marketing gurus will be touring the country with this 1-day master class, so check out the site to see if there’s one coming to a city near you and sign up! You won’t regret it, AND you’ll have fun!

Author: Melissa Ward

Melissa Ward is the managing editor for Target Marketing, and she has opinions! More importantly, she's a nerd for great copy and design, a disciple of authenticity, and really loves it when marketers get it right.

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