10 Things I Learned at Content Marketing World

Content Marketing as defined by Brian Clark, founder of CopyBlogger.com = Giving away information with independent value in order to sell something related.

I’ve spent the past few days emerged in the world of content marketing. Emerged, embedded, tweeted, facebooked, blogged, infographic-ed, video-ed and plugged in. Being immersed in your industry is exciting and also enlightening. My expertise within the content marketing world stems from curation and it was surprising to me that after the first day, content curation was only mentioned 2 times. 2 TIMES! As such an important part of a content marketing strategy, curation wasn’t part of the mainstream conversation…yet. With that said, I’d like to share the 10 Things I Learned at Content Marketing World.

Having spent much of the past few days explaining that content curation is the act of finding, organizing and sharing content I found that the “Organization” piece of the curation process is one of the most important BUT is the most misunderstood. The key to a successful curation strategy is ensuring that your content is categorized and tagged so it’s easy to for your consumers to navigate and for search engines to find.

As defined by Sally Hogshead’s, fascination is intense emotional focus. On average, humans have a 9 second attention span. The opposite occurs when they are fascinated by something. If you can provide engaging content that your consumers are looking for that can fascinate them, you’re golden!

Knowing we have a 9 second attention span, it’s critical to provide a response in real time. Insprised by David Meerman Scotts’ presentation on real time responses, the real time as in NOW! Not tomorrow, not 2 weeks from now after 3 dozen internal revisions and approvals. NOW. With social media, that is possible and super easy to execute and communicate. Twitter, facebook even a quick blog post or blog comment, all are easy ways to provide a real time response to a situation.

During one of the sessions an organization was discussing their content marketing strategy. While most of the points I completely agreed with, one point stood out. The presentation mentioned they were “Playing” with social media. What does that mean, playing? With social media, you are either plugged in or not involved. There is no gray area. If you are plugged in and sharing content, communicating and providing updates in real time, then you will be successful. If you aren’t, then don’t expect a good response. Social media is a black or white. You’re either in or out.

A major theme throughout the conference and is a critical element of content marketing overall is storytelling. Figure out the story you want to tell for your organization and use content (photos, videos, blogs, articles, collateral, tweets etc) to illustrate and communicate that story. Content IS storytelling.

Or word of mouth or as Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing refers to it, the Hub & Spoke model. It’s something we do every day when we share information with our family and friends. If I share a link on my facebook to 150 people, and someone likes it, that gets posted to their facebook page and gets shared with their 150 fifty friends on facebook and so on.

According to Chris Baggott, of Compendium, 80% of blog content is a 1st time visitors aka prospects. Keep that in mind while creating original blog posts and ensure that your content would resonate with your prospects as well as customers.

Which do you think would get a better response, a stock image of a group at a conference table or a photo of your real team at work. It’s ok to show the real human side of your content. As David Meerman Scott states, be human about your content. Ask different individuals within your organization to blog, rather than the marketing or PR team. You never know who may have a great perspective and be able to speak to your audience.

Ask your audience to participate! This is something we marketers talk about all the time, but it really works and I’m not the only one who agrees. I’ve heard it again and again in every session I’ve sat through. Ask your audience for feedback or ask them about what they want to hear or what they want more information on.

You can never have too much content. This concept was also mentioned over and over again. To have too much content is a very good problem to have. This allows you to pick and choose and dare I say it, CURATE and ORGANIZE which content you want to share to tell your story to your audience.

There where many other great takeaways from all the sessions I attended and networking provided. The guys from The Content Marketing Institute put on a fantastically orchestrated event and I’m already looking forward to next year. Great job Joe and Thanks!