The annual Content Marketing World in Cleveland, known as “the biggest content event”, attracted more than 4,000 marketing professionals from around the world to learn from speakers and exhibitors, share experiences, and take advantage of networking. Like many others, we were there from September 5th to 6th to exchange ideas with colleagues and to attend discussions about a constantly evolving industry.
Michelle Garrett of Meltwater was able to ask some of the specialists about their conclusions and we have compiled some answers here as they give a good summary of the event.
“It is becoming increasingly important that public relations and content marketing teams work proactively together to achieve the greatest impact”, says Dominic Garcia, Senior Director of Content Marketing, Druva.
“One example is research where the full potential of the project can only be realized if you have an integrated plan. It also extends to the brand – assuming that all content is a representation of the brand, you begin to realize that everything a content team produces should meet the same standards of quality and messaging as PR activities.”
“One of the biggest challenges with content is how to stand out from the crowd to create something compelling and memorable that is worth sharing”, said Fran Merlie, executive editor, GREGORY FCA. “Almost every speaker I‘ve heard has mentioned the possibilities of doing this. Andrew Davis has remixed a boring case study video like a reality TV editor and added curiosity and excitement. Ann Handley talked about how every email newsletter needs a sign – a sign that makes it clear that the newsletter is just for you. Jay Acunzo called on everyone to question conventional wisdom and best practice and find their own answers. It is still difficult to stand out, but if you focus on what makes your business unique and improve your voice, you can make it happen.”
“What is interesting is that PR people have been satisfied designers from the start”, says Stacey Vaselaney, president of SLV Public Relations. “What has changed is the way people consume content today, and understanding this ever-changing landscape of consumption is critical to the effectiveness of my work. I particularly enjoyed hearing Andrew Davis talk about the ‘Curiosity Factor’ and its role in maintaining your audience’s attention.”
“I think the industry has been struggling with the difficulty of creating content for years, but this year I have noticed a change”, said Kristen Hicks, an Austin, Texas-based author and content marketer. “Creating great content is still important, but they have become so competitive that it does not make much sense to create them unless you have a promotion plan. A good promotional plan must focus on building relationships with people who can expand your reach and expand your content for a wider audience. It is not easy, but influencer marketing is the most effective and authentic strategy to promote your content that I know of.”
“There was a talk that everyone will talk about for weeks and months. The ‘curiosity factor’ that questioned the notion that ‘snackable content’ is what every content consumer wants”, said LaDonna LaGuerre, Director of Content Marketing at Bright Horizons. “I wouldn‘t say that this was the case with long content, but it was absolutely a plea to the marketing specialists to create more excitement, more drama … to work within the ‘Curiosity Gap’ to attract the attention of their audience. Andrew Davis presented an unintuitive approach to creating unforgettable, compelling content that people want to see, read and consume. Let us be honest: Isn’t that why we all came to Cleveland? If only there had been this talk, I would fly away and be satisfied.”
Kim Moseman, Digital Content and Marketing Coordinator at Crews Control, said that one of Lee Odden’s favorite moments at her workshop on optimizing, socializing, and publishing B2B content was when Lee said: “If you want to be the media, be the media.”