The day Content Marketing World blew my mind
Recently, I wrote about what I’m doing to rock the Google ranking for Copywrite Matters (up the top of page 1, for reals) and it’s all down to content marketing. I love the concept of generously sharing my knowledge and experience across a variety of online channels. Customers love it. Potential customers love it. Google loves it. It’s win-win-win.
In that post I shared what I’ve been doing but Content Marketing World really opened the door to what’s possible with content marketing.
Content Marketing World is a yearly event run by the Content Marketing Institute. It’s usually run in Cleveland (USA) but this year they popped an extra event on the calendar, packed their bags and came down under.
Here are some moments that blew my mind, just a little.
Make it better.
Jay Baer, author of the Convince and Convert blog, presented two sessions and he seriously rocked it. His first session, “Youtility: Why smart companies are helping, not selling”, talked about creating marketing so useful that people will line up to pay for it.
My big moments in this session were that personal and professional lives, and social media feeds, have merged so your business is competing with baby photos, friends’ birthdays and family holidays.
That really puts the pressure on, doesn’t it? Not to produce more content but to produce better content. Content that real people are genuinely interested in. Jay said, “Skip the marketing BS and traffic in truth.”
Julie Fleisher from Kraft Foods reiterated this point, saying that Kraft Foods focus on creating content that people want to hang on to.
Make it fit.
In Jay’s later session on measuring ROI, he talked about making sure you match the right content to the right person at the right time. Ayal Steiner, from Outbrain, added in his session, “Content Engagement: The key to a winning strategy”, that you also need to know which device your audience prefers at different times because mobile is changing everything!
Jonathon Crossfield, writer and content marketer, expanded on this idea of matching content in his session, “Tips to build an audience: Lessons from the nightclub dance floor”, when he talked about the importance of using content marketing to guide people through your sales process, not to sell to them. Later that afternoon we heard from Ray Kloss, from SAP, who highlighted that the purchasing process is a lot more like snakes and ladders than linear steps and that our content needs to accommodate that.
So far, I think my own content creation has been quite haphazard so I’m definitely going to work on this area of matching my content to different segments of my audience and really thinking about how they want to read/watch/listen on Monday morning as opposed to Wednesday nights and the weekend.
Ray also talked about the importance of delight. In fact, Ray and Todd Wheatland, from Kelly Services both reminded everyone to spend time creating ‘cool stuff’ to spark and sustain interest. Who doesn’t like sharing cool stuff, right?
You’d think all the presenters had got together and synchronised their messages but it goes to show that the core of successful marketing is relevant value.
Make it free?
I think this is an area that a lot of business owners struggle with. Some more traditionally minded business owners struggle with the idea of even sharing their knowledge on a blog let alone creating ebooks and more to give away.
But a consistent theme across presentations was that businesses should be putting their best stuff out there and make it FREE.
Free? Yep. They didn’t mean ‘free in exchange for people’s email addresses’. They meant totally ungated free. Joe Pulizzi (from the Content Marketing Institute) and Jonathon Crossfield both highlighted this with Jonathon throwing out the statistic that ungated content (with no barriers to access) will get shared 20 to 50 times more.
And with more shares, you have the potential to build a larger audience.
How do you feel about this? Great theory, I know, but do you (or would you) do it in practice? Create your best content ever then let it fly, asking nothing in return?
And then my brain shut down.
There was more, so much more, but these are just some of the moments that made my brain go PING. Moments that will change the way I create content for Copywrite Matters.
For a whole bunch of different statistics and conference nuggets I recommend you read Sarah Mitchell’s fantastic conference summary. I had the pleasure of hanging out with Sarah across the two days and she’s one smart cookie.
I’d love to know what you think. Did I tell you anything new? Or is that old hat?
The Copy Detective