Although Content Marketing World just drew to a close this past weekend, there was no shortage of knowledge from 225 speakers including directors and marketing leaders that gathered for sessions at the two-day conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Attendees walked away with a great deal of fresh strategies to start implementing at their own companies.
Now the challenge at hand, is taking all of that knowledge and putting it to use. Here are four key takeaways from Content Marketing World that resonated with us:
DEFINE your content marketing strategy
In the content marketing world, a common theme seems be present: content vs the consumer.
CEO of Brain Traffic, Kristina Halvorson, who has worked with clients Whole Foods, UnitedHealthcare, Etsy, Angie’s List, etc., stressed the importance of determining a strategy for your brand. More content does not always equal more successful content. It's always important to ask the "why" behind the initiative: take a moment to reflect on what you are trying to accomplish (and how this directly aligns with your brand's strategy) before going full-steam ahead on tactics.
In her presentation, she presents a side by side comparison of a core strategy from 2012...
...to a core strategy of today. Notice the changes.
Determine the one thing that your company does, and stick to that. Try to connect to your ideal consumer. Halvorson also briefed the audience on the tactical and legacy challenges that B2C marketers face.
Every brand is their own media company
In his keynote session, VP, Global Creative and Content Marketing for Marriott International, David Beebe discussed how everyone has become their own media company. Beebe also provided attendees with an inside look at Marriott International's strategy and execution of its global creative and content studio, in the popular presentation: Publish or Perish.
He also provided a few examples of touch points that Marriott uses for their content marketing.
David stressed that if buyers feel like they know and like you, it will provide more incentive for them to buy from you.
Do the unexpected
To make people pay attention, you must do something different, captivating. Spark interest in your brand, not just your product. Former Washington Post journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran opened up day two discussing his unique journey from war correspondent to a Starbucks partnership.
In order to boost their reputation, Starbucks focused on building a positive brand image. In collaboration with CEO Howard Schultz, Rajiv wrote a book to promote veteran awareness called, For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice. He mentions that "hiring veterans isn't charity, it's good business." He says that all the best stories stem from the characters involved. Serve these with purpose, find the topic that would resonate most with your leadership and (secondarily) positively impact your bottom line.
Be daring: Add humor to your content
Recent stats show that 75 percent of all B2B marketers are people. “For those of you that think comedy won’t work for your brand, ask yourself: will it work for your customers?" says comedy writer/producer Tim Washer. During his session: Improv Rules for Creating Award-Winning Content, where he gave his own personal rules for creating captivating content, fueled by the power of laughter. No matter what industry your client is in, their customers like to laugh--experiment with this some more in your upcoming production projects and see what happens.
In such a short weekend, attendees now have so many different tools and techniques to add to their tool belts. Now is the time to take out those tools and put them to use. Until Content Marketing World 2016...