September 11, 2015
/ by Maria Materise
Content Marketing World may be at a close, but that doesn’t mean our work is over. With so much great knowledge and insights, conference attendees walked away with more than they bargained for.
Over two short days, Content Marketing World brought the industry’s leading content marketing professionals together to learn, share and have fun with content. More than 3,500 people attended the conference held in Cleveland, Ohio.
The challenge now is to take what the conference has taught, and to apply it to your own marketing strategy. Here are five key takeaways from Content Marketing World:
Every day more and more people are producing, creating and distributing content. That means it’s becoming more difficult to make your voice heard. So what sets you apart? Jay Baer says passion can be a difference-maker.
“Are you making content, or are you making a difference?” Jay asked in his keynote speech. With passion for their work, marketers can create content that will excite, entertain and make people act.
Joe Pulizzi echoed his words as he closed the conference, saying content marketers have a unique opportunity to effect change in the world.
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In order to effect change, content marketers need to know how to do content creation that produces effective and moving pieces. In his breakout session, Jay Acunzo, the co-founder of Boston Content, attributed success in content marketing to a marriage of quality and quantity.
In working, we are often asked to favor one over the other, sacrificing both in the process. Jay argued that true prolific writers and content creators are able to find a balance between both quality and quantity and as a result, create good content consistently.
John Cleese’s words on accessing our creative side to create brilliant content from his day one closing keynote speech carried through to day two. Several speakers referenced his discussion of the hare brain vs. the tortoise mind, encouraging everyone to open their minds to access the creative, “tortoise” side.
The idea of opening up one’s creative side played right into comedy writer Tim Washer’s breakout session, as he discussed ways to incorporate comedy into marketing. Once you’re in a creative state, you need to work to stay in that state, he says.
He also argued that all brands can use comedy in their marketing; they just have to find the right opportunity and the right voice.
To make your voice heard, you need to be doing something different. Think outside of promoting your product, and try establishing your brand in a new and interesting way. You want to spark interest in your brand, not just your product.
Former journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran opened day two of the conference by sharing the story of his unique journey from war correspondent to a Starbucks partnership. In collaboration with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, Rajiv wrote a book that helped bring awareness to war veterans. In this venture, Starbucks did not plug their product or try to increase sales; instead, they focused on establishing a positive brand image to boost their reputation.
If there was one message that ran through all of Content Marketing World, it was to start taking risks.
“Good things happen to those who take risks,” Jay Acunzo says. Risks may not always work well or turn into great content, but if you play it safe, you won’t achieve anything great.
“The biggest missed opportunity in content is playing it safe,” says Ann Handley, chief content officer of MarketingProfs.
Ann encouraged everyone to be bigger and bolder with their content. When you go bigger and bolder, you tell your customers who you are in a more authentic way. Your customers crave authenticity and if you show them your brand’s personality, they will be more likely to become fans.
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Featured Image: Martin Fisch (Creative Commons)
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