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What We’re Grateful We Learned about Content Marketing

To everyone in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving! At this time of year, it’s impossible not to look back and think of everything we are grateful for. While we all feel tremendously blessed to have our family and friends, we also all genuinely love what we do, who we meet, and how much we learn every day.

So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, the team at the Content Marketing Institute shares what we’re grateful that we learned about content marketing this year.

Our goal at the Content Marketing Institute has always been to advance the practice of content marketing. This year, I’m thankful to the many brands out there that are sincerely pushing innovation in their organizations around the creation and distribution of content. Specifically, I’m thankful to Coca-Cola and Content 2020. I’m thankful for Red Bull Media House. I’m thankful to B2B companies that are pushing the envelope, like SAS, Kelly Services, Caterpillar, Konecranes and so many more. 2013 is the year we will see true integration happen between content marketing and traditional media… and these companies are leading the way. Thank you!

Joe Pulizzi | @juntajoe

I am grateful that content marketing is proving to be such a viable cog in the marketing mix and has served as a catalyst — which can best be articulated in a phrase I use often: “Wow, how times have changed.” Fourteen years ago, I was a starry-eyed, unmarried journalist with dreams of newspaper ink, bylines, and chasing the scoop. Today, now married and celebrating my son Benjamin’s second week on Earth, I see some of today’s most talented journalists overcoming the struggles of the newspaper industry and shining brightly on behalf of the world’s biggest brands — opportunities that I never considered in journalism school. Truly, I am thankful that the future of brand journalism is bright and limitless.

Peter Loibl | @PeterLoibl

This year, I am grateful to have learned that there is incredible growth and excitement surrounding the use of content marketing. Nothing stands out to me more than the success of our Content Marketing World events. It’s amazingly gratifying to see so many professionals from around the world, from so many different industries, gathering to discuss their various content marketing strategies and tactics. Everyone (both speakers and attendees) brings so much to the table, that I am constantly astounded!

Additionally, I am incredibly grateful for all of the fine folks whom I have met at our events and now call friends. The best to you all, and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Joseph Kalinowski | @ringo66

What I am grateful I learned about content marketing this year comes in the form of a blog post. One of the questions I get asked the most is, “Can you give me some examples of great content marketing efforts?” So I am constantly referring (for myself, and for our CMI audience) to the post on 100 Inspirational, Educational, and Just-Plain-Cool Content Marketing Examples. It discusses campaigns from companies of various sizes and industries, gives a global perspective on content marketing from around the world, and demonstrates best practices usage for a wide range of communication channels, media, and platforms. The post always inspires me or has the answers I am looking for!

Pam Kozelka | @pamkozelka

There are so many things I am grateful for learning this year, but the most important may be the value of having a team to develop content. Over this past year, our editorial team has expanded. No one can be an expert on everything surrounding content creation, so now we have people who help with writing, logic editing, proofreading, SEO, and even our titles. While it takes more coordination to have additional people involved, the content is stronger, and we have backups in case anyone is out. That said, a huge thanks to Jodi Harris, Lisa Higgs, Tracy Gold, Mark Sherbin, and Anna Ritchie, who have all been instrumental in not only developing our content but also in teaching me how to better manage the editorial process.

Michele Linn | @michelelinn

I am grateful for this great new opportunity to work with the content marketing brain trust. Being on the outside looking in for a few years, I frequently read CMI blog posts and applied some of my learnings to my clients. To be part of the team for the last two months has already been an awesome experience. One main item I learned earlier this year is how SlideShare is an untapped network, at least in my years of social and digital marketing from a B2C perspective. I’ve already finished Todd Wheatland’s book and am diving into old blog posts too!

Cathy McPhillips | @cmcphillips

I’m grateful for two things related to CMI this year. The first is, of course, the amazing, generous, and extraordinarily smart people that I get to work with on a day-to-day basis. Any time you get to work with people as focused on fun as the CMI team is — that’s when “work” stops being “work.” The second, is the absolutely amazing content marketing being done by brands of all sizes. This year, in particular, I’ve seen such extraordinary and emotionally connected stories coming out of the most surprising places. Let no one say that they lack the ability to tell powerful, impactful stories. Everyone has the capability. I’m just so thankful that I get to be witness to it.

Robert Rose | @Robert_Rose

I’m grateful to know a bunch of really smart marketers who are humble enough to admit they know only a small slice of the whole content marketing universe — and are willing to ask lots of questions in order to keep learning every day. Most content marketers seem to share the same quandary I do: New technologies and tactics seem to roll around each week, and keeping up is nearly impossible. My new mantra is this: Be totally unafraid to ask very basic questions. Chances are good your peers have the same questions you do.

Clare McDermott | @soloportfolio

I am thankful to have attended Content Marketing World where I met so many talented people, from editors to CMOs, and everyone in between. Content Marketers are an exciting group of people and are truly passionate about what they do. When you get a thousand of them in a room together there is an energy that is inspiring. There were some key takeaways I was able to apply to my own role at CMI to drive traffic to our webinars. I’ve been very thankful for that.

Angela Vannucci

Something I’m thankful I learned about content marketing this year is that it is an equalizer in the marketing game. Small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to get a head start have the same chance as the big budget players to tell a compelling story that makes an impact on their target audience.

This year, we’ve seen tremendous content marketing efforts from household names (like Coca-Cola) and industry giants (like Agilent). But we’ve also seen moving stories from local businesses (like Caine’s Arcade) and nonprofit groups (like the Arigato video made by Japanese tsunami survivors) that are powerful motivators for taking a desired action — making a purchase, supporting a child’s dream, helping someone in need across the world, or whatever the goal might be.

No matter who you are or what message you are looking to get across, content marketing engages in a way that few other marketing tactics can.

Jodi Harris | @Joderama

I’m grateful for all I have learned working with the CMI team and our fantastic CMI Books authors. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to spend my days with. Oh, did I mention the opportunity to learn from the industry’s brightest minds at Content Marketing World, the most amazing marketing event on the planet? Good times!

Lisa Murton Beets | @LisaBeets

I am thankful for being part of the inaugural Content Marketing Institute’s Orange Awards. As project manager, I was on the front lines of seeing all the wonderful and creative submissions coming in. The ideas, the far-reaching campaigns, the inspirational thought leaders, all really gave me something to think about. I was so excited when each new submission came in and couldn’t wait to delve into it — it was like Christmas morning over and over again. Not that one can ever see it all, but I was genuinely surprised at all I learned through the process. I’m thankful for this year’s experience and can’t wait for next year’s!

Laura Kozak | @lalakoz

I am thankful for our brilliant CMI authors. As CMI Books’ marketing manager, I am not personally responsible for the creation of our great content, so it’s our authors who do the most complicated part of my job for me. But I am even more grateful to have learned that “marketing” is just as important as “content” in content marketing. Even if you produce the most miraculous, knock-your-socks-off content, if you fail to promote it, you might as well have never written it in the first place.

Shelly Koenig | @ShellyKoenig76

What are you grateful that you have learned this year about content marketing? Let us know in the comments.

And Happy Thanksgiving!