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Content Marketing Round-Up: Highlights from Day 2 of #cmworld

The first full day of Content Marketing World was a success! With five tracks, there was just too much content marketing goodness floating around. If you missed a session, this post details some some takeaways to keep you in the know. A huge thank you to my CMI writers, who have been gathering all of this info:

Before we dig in, check check out this video with some of the highlights of the day. As Joe mentioned, a lot of people don’t know what CMI is all about, so you’ll also get an inside look into the organization.

We Are Content Marketing from On Scene Digital Printing on Vimeo.

B2B track

Crucial Content Elements to Drive Your Marketing
Curt Porritt

  • Traditional marketing involves campaigns where marketers push out messages. Content marketing is not about pushing or shouting. As a content marketer, your job is no longer to force yourself in front of people. Instead, you should position yourself where your audience naturally goes.
  • Find out what interests your target market — even if it is something that seems boring to everyone else. Providing your audience members with content that they find valuable can lead to increased loyalty, sales opportunities, and improved branding.
  • The biggest multimedia mistakes are making people fill out a form to watch a video and not including a call to action at the end of a video. Make sure that your videos play on demand and you have some way for viewers to follow up after they watch a video (such as opting in for a related white paper).

Applying Company Positioning to Power Storytelling in B2B
Ardath Albee

  • Every story must include a hero (the buyer), a villain (the buyer’s pain points or obstacles), and a mentor (the vendor who provides the solution or education to the buyer).
  • It is not always necessary to keep creating new stories; if the existing stories continue to address buyers’ pain points, perhaps all they need is a refresh or an update.
  • It’s better to be the best across a few channels than to be mediocre across all channels.

How SAS Finds and Promotes Thought Leaders to Drive a B2B Community
Waynette Tubbs

There are five steps to finding and developing a thought leader (defined as someone with expertise or knowledge who can influence your audience to take action):

  1. Define the profile of your ideal thought leader so you can find relevant influencers.
  2. Subscribe to blogs of interest, attend conferences, luncheons, etc., and connect with authors/speakers via social media or in person. Don’t overlook in-house candidates.
  3. Know what you’re going to offer them and get in return. Will they be guest posting on your blog? Will you need to pay for speaking engagements or byline articles and papers?
  4. Develop a converged media plan to get wide exposure for thought leaders and reuse their content across multiple channels. Keep thought leaders engaged and make them aware of when their content will publish so they can then promote it through their own channels.
  5. Reach out regularly to these thought leaders, comment on their blogs, and suggest possible venues for new content.

Managing Global, Multi-Lingual Content on a Large Scale
Pam Didner

  • B2B companies should fit the following information on one slide:
    • Their biggest global marketing objective
    • The top one or two products they want to prioritize for their global marketing
    • Their target audience
    • The core aspects of their communications strategy
  • Limiting this information to one slide makes it easy to share with anyone in the company and maintain a consistent global message.
  • A big part of deciding which topics to cover on your blog involves understanding your target audience’s concerns. Since your audience may have a range of concerns, you need to evaluate each concern and prioritize which ones to cover. Although all of the concerns may be valid, you may not have a story to tell about each one.

B2C track

Don’t Bore Me: How Kraft Foods Mines Consumer Insights to Create Content that’s Always Spot On, Right Now, and Never Ever Boring
Julie Fleisher

  • One key to Kraft’s content marketing success is marrying the idea of utility (usefulness) to a layer of consumer life experience. By using a flexible yet highly filtered/segmented content planning map, Kraft blends behavioral and attitudinal data with seasonal influences and brand priorities to develop content that’s useful, timely, and on-trend.
  • Kraft uses a concise content marketing mission-type statement to set the tone and expectations for digital content. Surprise — product sales isn’t the first ingredient in that statement (it’s “meal solutions”)!

The 4 Critical Content Steps for Targeting Consumers with Content Marketing
Brice Bay and Sean Murphy

  • As part of an overarching enterprise strategy, content marketing is only sustainable when time and energy have gone into developing internal processes that fit within a brand’s culture, and when resources (people) are deeply versed in the objectives, specific goals, and have knowledge of the end user (reader).

Best Practices in Healthcare and Financial Content Marketing

  • Creating content in both of these areas is an issue of trust.
    • External — Your audience believes you have the authority and knowledge, so your content cannot be thinly veiled sales material. One way to do this is to use bylines and known thought leaders.
    • Internal — This can be a battle. Staff and management believe you can tell the story without giving away too much information and staying within regulatory boundaries. One way to get around this is to have a solid internal process of review.
  • In both healthcare and financial services, consumers are more likely to trust providers than third-party sources like newspapers and magazines.

The Gift Economy: Content as Social Currency
Mark Bonchek

  • In a market economy, the obligation between two parties is settled when the transaction is complete. In a gift economy, the exchange creates an obligation rooted in the concept of reciprocity and goodwill. It necessitates mutual involvement and vesting.
  • Brands should find the rituals, activities, and interests that create the social currency connecting your brand to your consumers. For Kraft, that’s recipes. For the Grateful Dead, it was the ability for concertgoers to record the live shows.

Social media track

Cut the Bull — Blog with a Purpose and Drive Your Business
Jason Falls

  • Figure out WHY you’re blogging. Keep asking until you come down to a measurable reason. Once you figure that out, then answer HOW.
  • If you aren’t tracking sales, revenue, or cost savings in Google Analytics (using goals!) with blogging, you are blogging as a hobby, not for business.
  • Your job as a content marketer is to 1) make epic content, 2) make it easy to share, and 3) present clear calls to action.

Putting Social to Work: How to Rapidly Grow Your Fans, Your Prestige and Your Business
Michael Stelzner 

  • Become a publisher. Old school forced you to pay someone else for coverage (press, ads, etc.). Now you have the ability to decrease costs and own your own content.
  • Integrate your content with social. Make it easy for people to share your content.
  • Build a community on existing social networks. And when you tap that out, build your own community onsite with the help of devs so you can have full control of your fans.

Understanding the New World of Klout, Social Sharing, and Social Influence Marketing
Mark Schaefer

  • One can’t rely on Klout (or PeerIndex or Opinions) to measure full influence; at best, Klout can only measure a small sliver of influence.
  • Content that moves through a network is a legitimate source of power and influence.
  • There’s more than content behind every social media success story. The content must be able to move systematically, mindfully, purposefully. Your content must be compelling to move through your network and beyond your network.
  • To create content that’s shareable and “moves”, it has to be “RITE” — relevant, interesting, timely, and entertaining. Of these, the most difficult is “entertaining”.

Defending Your Content Marketing & Social Media to the C-Level: Two Proven Strategies
Brian Massey and Jenny Magic

  • Don’t drown C-Level in data. People respond to emotions, not hard data.
  • Paint a story using “personas,” turning your customers into damsels in distress and your competitors into the arch villain. This allows you to set your company up as the hero.
  • Use data to paint this story. Using metrics in Analytics to create persons (such as # pages visited vs. time on site) and useful tools to evaluate competitors and prove they are smarter, have seemingly endless resources, and are hell bent on dominating the world (market).

Small business track

Transforming Your Small Business into a Content Powerhouse
C.C. Chapman

  • Every small business must have a strategy. Be strategic about what you are doing, what content you are creating, and what you are spending on. Don’t say you have no money for content marketing or content creation and then spend lots on a Yellow Pages ad. (Love that one!)
  • What is unique about you? What is your story, why do you do what you do? Figure this out and how to tell your story through content.
  • If you use a stock photo on your website you should be smacked. Take pictures of your employees!
  • 3 things anyone can write about:
    • People: Start with the people in your company and see what they’re good at. Also – talk to other people, if they say you’re great, it’s much better than if you’re saying it.
    • Places: Local content is so important. When someone is in your town, whether they live there or are visiting, they should  be able to find information about your products and services.
    • Passions: What do you love to do that makes you unique? It’s easy and you have them. People want to read about what you enjoy, and people buy from businesses they feel a connection to.

Customer Stories: How to Unlock an Abundance of New Content
Deana Goldasich

  • Your customers can tell your story better than you ever will. Prospects will listen to other customers more than they’ll listen to you.
  • Position the customer, not your brand — make the customer the hero, make them and their story relatable and relevant.
  • Think like a reporter, not a writer, when you plan the interviews, and make sure that the person who conducts the interviews is not someone from the front lines or customer side (i.e., sales, customer service, etc.). It should be someone not too close to the customer.
  • Prepare to listen and, in the interview, facilitate do not interrogate.
  • A single customer story can fuel a lot of content — case studies, blog posts, testimonials, infographics, email, white papers, etc.

From 0 to 150,000+ Subscribers. Uncovering Copyblogger’s Content Marketing Model
Brian Clark and Sonia Simone

  • Content for content’s sake doesn’t get you anywhere. Create content for a defined audience. Be yourself and take a position.
  • Social is about publicity. Facebook isn’t your home base, it’s a tool for promoting content.
  • Think about your second customer — your passionate, engaged reader who has their own web audience and tweets you, links to you, talks you up, and shares your content.
  • The biggest mistake people make in social media is that they just talk and don’t listen. All of the answers you need are in your market — listen to them.
  • Be authentic, real, and human. The worst thing a small company can do is try to look big. Big companies, like Coke, are trying to humanize themselves and look small.

Content Marketing as Your Public Relations
Heather Whaling

  • It’s a fast-changing world. Kodak was a powerhouse for decades but didn’t evolve; it’s now mostly gone. By contrast, the upstart Instagram is huge. PR people need to keep up with changes such as this. Don’t send out news releases about your new website, for example. Act smarter.
  • Using social media to promote the Columbus Marathon included reaching out to the city’s runners, who like runners everywhere love to talk about (and compare) their run times. Getting them to share online about this, and provide tips on running a marathon, did a lot to convince the city’s would-be runners that if they train right and smart, they too could run a half or whole marathon, and with a respectable time. 

Content marketing integration track

Brandscaping: The Secret to Unlocking Bigger Content Marketing Budgets and Driving Faster Results
Andrew Davis

  • If you want to raise awareness, buy ads. If you want to increase demand, create content.
  • Everyone has an audience. Some other company has your next customer as their current customer. Brandscaping allows you to group your audience with other brands to come up with content that creates interest in your products or services. In brandscaping, partnership is “the secret sauce”.
  • Just because there’s more information available doesn’t mean the audience can consume more information; in every case, quality of content is more important than quantity. This is where the opportunity lies.
  • Traditional advertising involved buying time and space. These quickly go away. Investing in content allows you to build assets that you can continue to reuse and repurpose.

Get Video LIVE: Everything a Content Marketer Needs to Know About Succeeding with Video
Todd Wheatland

  • Successful videos have humor, shock value, or the unexpected and a behind-the-scenes feel.
  • Use the mullet strategy for videos: business up front and party in the back!

The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing Metrics
Jay Baer

  • Know why you are doing content. Outline your goals before trying to create content because the type of content you make and the metrics you use to measure rely on the answer to “why.”
  • Map content to the buyer’s purchasing cycle and map metrics to content type.
  • Know what types of metrics are best for different goals. Four types: consumption metrics, sharing metrics, lead gen metrics, sales metrics. Consumption metrics should never be the only metric you’re looking at in content marketing, and social metrics are overvalued because it’s public — everyone can see if your content did well on social media!

Game Strategy Techniques for Content Marketing
Russell Sparkman

  • Gamification of content is the application of game mechanics and dynamics to non-game activities.
  • We know that content marketing is about being relevant, educational, entertaining, and compelling. However when game strategy is added, the content becomes fun, deepens engagement, converts more people to customers.
  • 5 key components to game strategy are intrigue, reward, status, community, and challenge.
  • Astonishing statistics:
    • Average game player is 33 years old
    • 94% of girls under 18 participate in games
    • 40% of gamers are women
    • 407 million hours are spent by Americans per month on games
    • Companies will invest $1.6 billion on gamification by 2015

You can also read CMI’s coverage of the keynotes:

Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments!