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Content Marketing Round-Up: Highlights from Day 3 of #cmworld

The last day of Content Marketing World was even more packed than the previous days, with 30 breakout sessions, 6 “shotgun sessions” and 2 keynote presentations. While much of the learning took place outside the session room, here are highlights from each of the sessions. You can also read additional coverage that was posted about the event.

Again, a huge thank you to all of my writers who covered the sessions!

Content strategy track

Getting Buy-in On Your Content Project
Laura Creekmore

  • Lots of different tongs to communicate in different ways is content marketing.
  • Trying to share information and building trust with customers.
  • Strategy is building a case, planning your work.
  • Buy-in is needed so the organization believes in what you’re doing. And it helps to overcome obstacles.
  • Understand where budget breaks, objections are coming from.
  • Content bridges gaps.
  • Need to provide experience to customers and help fulfill the promise to the customers.
  • Why do you need a CM plan? Need to measure — not just easy-to-measure things — but deeper, more insightful things such as things that show a direct relation to revenue.
  • Measure to reduce the amount of uncertainty. Don’t measure all the way through to the answer. Reduce enough uncertainty to reduce the fog and see what’s the right thing to do.

How to Organize Your Content Marketing Plan
Laura Creekmore

  • If you’re not the only one sharing the message, you’re going to need a style guide for content creators and talking points for sales teams.
  • All of your content needs review. If you have content out there for a long time, it’s waiting to bite you in the butt. You don’t want to embarrass your organization with content that is out of date.
  • You have to schedule your content. It’s a reality in business today.  You don’t want to look like you’re out of touch with your customers.  It’s preventable, and you want to look like a human. You have to keep the human control.

Content Marketing: How to Transform Your Organization/Culture for Content Success
Michael Brenner

  • In an organization, we are all content marketers. Content isn’t a marketing issue, it’s a business issue.
  • There is more pressure than ever to create content. Some stats about why:
    • 90 percent of email is never opened; 99.5 percent of email doesn’t produce even a single click.
    • Buyers wait until they have completed 60 to 80 percent of their research before reaching out to vendors.
  • How to get the message across to executives:
    • The (marketing) world has changed.
    • Your marketing sucks.
    • We are boring the customer to death.
    • We are attracting early-stage buyers with content.
    • Get a mobile plan.
    • Pilot a content marketing destination.
    • Become a publisher.
  • The secret is that this stuff isn’t that hard!

Leveraging Data to Drive Your Content Plan Without Being Creepy
Margot Bloomstein

  • Google reveals data and has multiple tools to know what you like, etc.
  • Make sure what is done with knowledge is helpful, wanted by user.
  • Make sure it’s efficient and convenient.
  • Try to get opt-in for data gathering.
  • Don’t exploit everything you know about the consumer; push out in smaller bits; pace yourself.
  • Push when you know it’s appropriate.
  • Let users see their own data, based on their other purchases, interests, etc.

Content Marketing Success/Horror Stories from Three Big Brands

  • Twitter should have a disclaimer that your tweets don’t represent your company.
  • Take the experience and turn it into a story. Get real user experience from a first-hand experience.
  • Know what’s important to your audience and make it meaningful to them.
  • Always stay true to your brand purpose.
  • Listen to your audience because they have the best ideas. Enable storytelling.

Thinking Outside the Content Marketing Strategy Trap
Scott Abel

  • Content marketing and content strategy are treated like synonyms, but they are not. Being exact does not help us make the business case. They’re not even close to being synonyms.
  • Content strategy is a repeatable system that governs the management of the content throughout the entire content life cycle. It spells out a plan to leverage your business assets to achieve goals.
  • What do content strategists do? Manage the cost of value. They are business consultants who deal with content. They are concerned with authoring, management, and delivery.

Content creation and optimization

Finding the Right Stories for Your Brand
Dan Grantham

  • Your content can be peripheral to what you do, but it must be something you can address credibly. For example, in its drive to serve more small businesses, American Express develops content on how to succeed with a small business. It brings in external “experts” with credibility, and this expands the range of topics your readers will “allow” you to address.
  • To understand your customers’ questions and concerns, start with your salespeople. They have stories and case studies that they use in customer sales conversations and presentations, and these can be used for content marketing. Also, talk with your customer service people, as they can point to problems and issues, helping generate how-to content of tips and best practices.

How to Create Epic Content that is True to Your Brand AND Drives Business
Ann Handley

  • Set your goals before trying to create content.
  • Always tell your story by having a strong and consistent voice.

Your Career in Content is More Valuable than Stocks, Bonds and Real Estate
Bernie Borges

  • The overall theme is that your content is your currency. Think of building your content assets as you would a financial portfolio. It’s an investment strategy. Embrace your content portfolio as a tangible asset. Promote these tangible assets.
  • In the movie “The Graduate,” the one word was “Plastics.” Today the one word is “Content.”
  • If you are going to create and manage a corporate blog, it makes sense to create and manage a personal blog to paint the total picture of who you are. To promote your personal brand is to create a new tangible asset for your portfolio — YOU!
  • “Businesses don’t create content; people do.”

How to Sell Your Content Marketing Investment to the VP of Sales
Mike Sweeney

  • Salespeople know about content; they know it works but they secretly like it. They will not admit it.
  • “Invest in content marketing before you invest in salespeople. They will need the content to close the sale.”
  • Content enables the sales team to communicate effectively.
  • Consumers will not engage with a sales person until they are 60 percent of the way down the funnel. What gets them down the funnel? Content!
Getting the Choir to Sing: Selling and Developing the Process for Content Marketing INSIDE the Organization
Robert Rose
  • When processes and methods no longer yield results, it’s time to resist the pull of inertia. Inside organizations, we have to stop expecting different results from the same old broken routine. Business innovation only happens when accepted norms get questioned, when someone brave tires of thinking linearly in terms of “can be done” and “isn’t allowed,” by designing solutions not confined to commonly accepted parameters. Keeping the status quo is no longer good enough to stay competitive in business.
  • It can be a challenge to institutionalize change throughout an organization or subsets of people. And it’s unrealistic to expect sustained shifts in employee attitudes and behaviors when a new corporate agenda or priority is simply pushed top-down or mandated. A much more effective approach to initiating change is to spend time identifying internal champions and involve them in developing the project or idea. Make the investment in developing the idea with company leaders, those most affected by the new change, or strategic organizational allies — they’ll carry the mantle for you.

Optimize and Socialize for Better Content Marketing
Lee Odden

  • Search isn’t about robots, pandas or penguins: Consider the customer experience as you optimize your content for better visibility.
  • Use metrics to refine your content: It’s a continuous process and one that requires data analysis. Use insights and analytics to see what you must do to refine your content.
  • Things to remember to optimize your content marketing:
    • Consider how your audience will find your content.
    • Look at what formats work best.
  • Find out what will make them take action!

Social media track

Building Your Internal Publishing Department for Content/Social Success
Brody Dorland and Jayme Thomason

  • Become a publisher. Restructuring your company like a publisher, with an “editors” hierarchy structure, will set you up for content success.
  • Don’t shotgun, plan like a publisher. Creating an editorial calendar and having real-time tools/systems in place to collaborate on everything from idea generation to execution will set you up for success.
  • It’s not real if it’s not on paper. Put process on paper visually, showing the work flow of publishing content and showing how different departments/teams/”editors” work together.

Twitter Will Win — And With the Right Plan of Attack, So Will You
Nate Riggs

  • People are engaged with active media like Twitter while consuming passive media like TV.
  • Twitter now influences media and is increasingly a source of breaking news.
  • Twitter is a broadcasting network. Use these tools to build your own broadcasting network with Twitter:
    • SocialBro is an inexpensive tool for building insights into your market and audience.
    • Simply Measured helps you understand how competitors are influencing the online conversation.
    • Hashtracker shows what conversations are trending and who is participating.
    • CrowdBooster gives global insights into content performance, including impact of individual tweets.
    • HootSuite helps share content and measure impact.
    • LIRT is a mobile app that enables near-frictionless sharing. For example, check into a conference session via a mobile app and your Facebook and Twitter accounts are automatically updated.
    • Click to Tweet entices and makes it easy for readers to promote your content; e.g., your blog posts.
    • SocialFlow plugs into your blog/site and scans your Twitter followers to determine what they’re talking about. It then reorders your posts automatically so you’re in line with what’s trending and then Tweets about the “new” post. Also sends you an email so you can decide if you want to feature the post, for example. 

The Content Opportunity that is Google+
Arnie Kuenn

  1. Hangouts are an easy way to leverage G+. By having hangouts externally, or broadcasting live hangouts of, say, thought leaders, you can leverage G+ as a unique content creation platform and engage your followers.
  2. Use circles to your advantage. Segment followers into different circles, such as customers, thought leaders, vendors/partners, personas, and conduct targeted campaigns for each.

How to Use IGs and Visual Storytelling to Drive Demand Generation
Maria Pergolino

  • Visual is the content of the future. We are drowning in text and consumers love visualizations that they can easily skim and share.
  • Play with different types of visual content and what topics are best for each medium. There are a lot of visual formats (infographics, photos, video, visual note taking, memes) and a lot of platforms that you can use to leverage these media (Facebook, Slideshare, Pinterest, YouTube).

Scalable Content Strategies for Facebook and LinkedIn
Amy Porterfield

  • Content and social media marketing are a match made in heaven. You should use social to leverage your content so your readers and new audiences find your content.
  • Set up your Facebook campaigns for success. Focus on engagement (so you are seen in the feeds!), use images in all posts (to ensure you are seen in feeds), and don’t underestimate Facebook ads as a great way to promote end-of-funnel content pieces.
  • Set up your LinkedIn campaigns for success. Make sure you target these three areas: all updates, LinkedIn Today, and groups (it gives you direct email access!).

How to Develop Amazing Audio and Podcast Content Marketing
Pamela Muldoon

  • Record everything, including blog posts, presentations, brainstorming, and subject matter expert interviews. Not everyone is a writer, but everyone talks. Transcribe it to get what was really said!
  • Podcasting is a content player! Mobile devices ensure audio can be listened to anytime, anywhere.
  • Audio is loved more any other marketing tool. It needs to be relevant, fun, and educational.
  • Corporations can be radio broadcasters. The Pillsbury Doughboy will eventually have his own podcast!

Multi-channel content strategy track

For the Love of ___: Leverage All the Channels Available to You
Arjun Basu

  • Your buyers are platform agnostic but marketers tend to get trapped in the digital silo.
  • Content is an ecosystem and all platforms are interdependent. If you remove one platform or create content in silos, the entire ecosystem collapses. Avoid this by focusing on your buyers’ journeys and how they consume content, and then set up your ecosystem accordingly.
  • No matter what you sell, you are in the service business by serving your customers. Content is part of that service.

Mobile and Tablet Content Distribution
John Foley

  • Activities in #mobile users, including email, search, and Facebook, are the highest, online shopping on the rise.
  • There is a big difference between mobile-ready and mobile-optimized.
  • Ask yourself how you will acquire data from your mobile audience. Is it easy to read, quick to load, and easy to interact with?
  • How do you integrate others’ content? QR, NFC, and mobile apps. 

10 Email Secrets that Will Help Drive Your Business
Jeff Rohrs

  •  77 percent of people prefer to receive content via email according to the 2012 Channel Preference Survey.
  • Email is social media’s secret weapon. All retention notifications happen through email.
  • Email is top choice for permission-based promotions becasuse email is a relationship medium.
  • Remember to have the “email it” button in addition to the share icons so folks can share one to one.

Content Marketing Strategy Without Print? Who are You Kidding?
Nenad Senic

  • Print isn’t dead — custom-published magazines are bigger than ever. Even people who use tablets prefer to absorb this kind of content in print. One of the keys, especially for younger people, is to make the content good — but also free. Some companies generate such great content in their magazines that they can sell advertising space to support the project financially.
  • The ultimate online company — Google — has launched its own quarterly magazine, available online but in print as well to a select list.

Why You’re Missing Out on Slideshare
Joe Chernov and Todd Wheatland

  • Slideshare has an influential community, creates business results and has valuable data.
  • “If data’s sexy, Slideshare Analytics deserves recurring role on “True Blood.”
  • Slideshare analytics is worth the $19/month, especially for marketers.
  • Never use a mandatory lead gen form on Slideshare.
  • People on Slideshare are looking for business content.

The 3 Super S’s for Succesful Content Marketing: Syndication, Search and Social
Michael Pranikoff

  • Focus on content creation process – lay good foundation, how can the content be viewed, accessed most easily?
  • Create content that your audience will want to share and participate with (will keep it high on search results).
  • Give your content the best opportunity to be found organically (focus on content creation with proactive messaging so the content moves).

Content discovery track

Demand Generation/Creating Content that Converts and Shortens the Sales Cycle (B2B)
Rachel Foster

  • Create content for more than one audience: Depending on their goals, you will want to create different types of content. What about the CEO, the IT director, or finance department?
  • Craft different content for different stages of the sales cycle: Look at where they are in the sales cycle and use specific content for each phase to keep them moving to a conversion.
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks: Traditional thinking in organizations might hold to “it’s always been that way” thinking. Don’t be afraid to take a chance and try something that might greatly increase the success of your marketing efforts.

From 0 to 60: How a VC Company Integrated Content into the Entire Organization
Amanda Maksymiw and Kevin Cain

  • To meet OpenView’s marketing goals to increase brand differentiation and awareness, enhance support for their portfolio companies, and engage other businesses, they decided to evolve into a content factory. They started by launching a corporate blog, followed by an e-newsletter, and then they moved to publishing e-Books and reports.
  • All employees tasked with writing content were provided with a clear understanding of what constitutes great content – it must be timely and relevant, pays attention to what’s going on in the industry, touches what competitors are doing, and resonates with the audience.
  • To keep the reader engaged, content presentation needs to be searchable, vibrant, interactive, visual, and it must motivate the audience to do what you want them to do.
  • To “operate at full throttle,” it takes the right people, in the right roles, given the right responsibilities. Also critical factors are employing the right tools — an editorial calendar, process documents, style guide, and a content management system. Finally, track and measure progress.
  • The results: 600 percent increased traffic to their website; 45,000 monthly hits; collaboration with 100 influencers on 300 pieces of content.

How to Turn Your Blog Posts into an Amazon Best-Selling eBook
Jim Kukral

  • Everyone needs to have a book. In future, it will be more and more rarely a printed book.
  • Don’t let your blog stay a blog. Combine your posts, with editing, to create a book.
  • Start the book by researching effective titles — using Google analytical tools to discover the keywords you must include, and use Amazon to find similar titles you can derive your title from.
  • Commission an artist for less than $500 to prepare a cover for the book — print this out and pin it over your desk to motivate you to work on the book.
  • The point of a book is to drive sales and leads, gain publicity, secure speaking gigs. In niche publishing, it’s rare to sell enough copies to earn big money from it. 

Integration and Content Curation from Multiple Sources into One Perfect Hub
Chris Baggott

  • Blogs need to be every company’s content hub. All content is blog worthy.
  • The truth about blogs is most traffic comes from first-time viewers (80 to 90 percent). Your blogs talk to people who don’t know you; chances are they got to your site because they did a search and they found you. This is why it’s important to always include a call to action.
  • When planning content distribution, think of the pinball analogy: the ball is your customer, and you want your customer to hit your content at every touch point.
  • The content graveyard is where content goes to die. Typically, that’s in the brains of employees when they don’t take the time to write about valuable information that is important to others.
  • Some sources for content that most companies already have are newsletters (for example, how to build a list is good content that could go into a blog), information emails (curate them), and social media (for example, use Twitter to solicit and deliver content)
  • Use customer stories to power your content marketing, but to do this effectively, you have to ask the right questions.

How IBM’s Content Strategy Got into Google News and Sent Traffic Soaring
Leslie Reiser and Tom Gerace

  • Average shelf life of content is 16 hours. Today, you need to be connecting with your customers multiple times a day.
  • Tips on how to become the most interesting brand in the world
    • Be in the right places – Search is the primary method for info discovery; surpasses print, radio, tv.
    • With the right people – Brands can tap different content creators – experts, influencers, enthusiasts. Identify who has the knowledge you want to share.
    • Have extraordinary experiences – There are great rewards to be reaped when search and content connect; we need to play by Google’s rules; it ranks as the #1 SEO; quality content will build SEO ranking every time.
    • Have something interesting to say – Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about what fascinates your audience.
  • IBM’s content strategy:
    • Take inventory of what content you have; ensure it is shareworthy, relevant to audience.
    • Not a siloed program but broader program that runs across the organization.
    • Parsed the content and called it the rule of 8, that is, 8-week content are evergreen; 8-hour content are twitter-feeds or posts that influencers make; 8-minute content could be responses to something in the news.
    • Make sure you have the right channel with the right context to address the issue.
    • Leverage unbiased voices; create news content that addresses tech needs of audience, tier-based on reach, influence, and objective.
    • Publish everywhere (use as many social media channels as possible).
  • The Nirvana state is seeing others sharing your article to their network.

Content Discovery: Strategies and Tactics to Make Sure Your Content is Found

  • We’re split on what is most important: creating great content or creating a great distribution channel.
  • The one attribute all content needs to be shareable is to be engaging. And some identifiers of engaging content are beautiful and selfless.