Fathom content writers attended Content Marketing World 2013 here in Cleveland, the city we call home. The event, founded and hosted by Content Marketing Institute and Joe Pulizzi, revealed great insights for content marketers. From William Shatner’s appearance to tips from Don Schultz (“the father of integrated marketing”), our writers’ key takeaways, including mine, are below:
Haley Hite, Copywriter / Online PR Specialist
When it comes to content marketing, which is more influential in the long-run – content that sells, or content that helps?
Buyers are taking longer to make decisions, making content marketing a bigger and more powerful part of online marketing. According to Jay Baer, one of the keynote speakers at CMW, it all comes down to Youtility: creating content so useful that someone would theoretically pay for it.
To use content marketing successfully, it’s time to worry less about selling better and worry more about teaching better. In the wise words of Baer, if you sell something with your content, you make a customer for a day. If you help someone with your content, you make a customer for life. Which would you rather have?
Your company can practice Youtility by first figuring out what your audience cares about through keyword research and social media research. Work with paid advertising to align your efforts. Lastly, spend as much time promoting your content as creating it. Use social media to promote Youtility first, your company second. Creating useful content is a process, not a project, and it’s all about giving your audience something that adds value to their lives.
Rob Hosler, Technical Writer / Online PR Specialist
What content should I be creating? What topics do my customers actually care about? And, how do I get my customers to share and engage with the content I create? For me, these were the main questions being addressed at this year’s Content Marketing World in Cleveland.
Whether it was the folks from PTC offering insights on what works in B2B blogging or it was Tim Washer from Cisco sharing his thoughts on creating engaging video content, the underlying theme everyone seemed to address was how to create content that resonates with customers.
For many companies, this means a dramatic shift from the way they currently go about creating content. Instead of putting together marketing pieces, filled with hard sells and product differentiators, today’s content marketers have to become storytellers. They have to be willing to share stories and cultivate news that relate to their customer, even if those stories do not directly relate to a company product or service.
Francesca Luppino, Copywriter / Online PR Specialist
I write primarily for education clients, and I had a few questions going into CMW:
- How do I write content that I know students are interested in?
- How do I get everyone onboard with creative content ideas?
- How do I get my content discovered?
And CMW did its job. The answer to every question is to tell the stories that matter.
After all, we’re competing with the entire Internet, here. That includes best friends on Facebook, parents in email, and all the techniques students use to procrastinate on their actual work.
We need to “cut through the noise,” as Tim Washer suggests we do with humor, stories of failure and stories of invention. These three types of content, even if they’re not directly related to your company, are what make you human to someone who doesn’t know you. They build real connections and tell the story that people care about.
Once you have content that matters, your clients or bosses will get on board with your ideas. In a Russel Sparkman session, I learned that content has to be explained it in terms they understand. This might mean replacing new terms like “content marketing” with “good communication.” And the getting discovered part? Share, share, share – and Sarah Skerik says to make sure it’s in front of the right people. If the content matters, it will do its job.
What were your key takeaways from CMW 2013? Or maybe you have related content tips. Share them below.