This year I was able to attend Content Marketing World, the marketing conference for small-to-medium businesses, agencies and Marketing evangelists around the globe.
I chatted with Buddy Scalera about our previously exchanged tweets, took a selfie and made lunch plans with my idol Ann Handley, enjoyed steak next to a media magnate whose next book is set to disrupt the industry upon it's release this month.
Below are the top takeaways from Content Marketing World:
1. Focus on creating impressions, not counting them.
Marketing is no longer about vanity metrics but the connections we forge with authentic stories.
A like means nothing if it's a subconscious reflexive show of support.
Seek repeated engagement as that is what turns visitors into clients, and if you do it right, clients into brand evangelists. [Mitch Joel]
2. Empower your employees to create experiences on behalf of your brand.
When you're transparent with your employees about your core mission and your expectations regarding the part they play, you build trust, increase engagement and have opened the doors for remarkable results.
Taking it a step further and ask yourself how does the content we create also create an experience employees can also be a part of?
Your employees want to talk about your company, but they need to have a recipe and know how to best tell your story. Be sure to provide it. [Carla Johnson]
3. Stop ignoring email
In a recent Mckinsey & Company's study, it was revealed that email is 40 times more effective in customer acquisition than Facebook and Twitter combined.
For every dollar you invest in email marketing, an average of $38 is generated, a whopping 3,700% ROI. Not one to be ignored. [via @getresponse]
Wondering how to capitalize? This article on how to build your email list via Content Marketing Institute has all of the tools and ideas to help you kickstart your email marketing campaign. [Aaron Orendorff]
4. Consider and include best practices where applicable, but to be great create your own.
These regurgitated tidbits are trusted and true, but it's innovation that sets your brand apart and above others. Be persistent and go your own way authentically. [Jay Acunzo]
5. Start at The Beginning: The Original Purpose Before You Create.
Understand the purpose of your content before you begin creation. Some will inform, others will create transactional experiences.
"It's not the best content that wins -- it's the best promoted content that wins." [Andy Crestodina]
6. Get on board or don't do it all.
20% of you are completely invested in your Content Marketing strategy. Where are the rest of you!?
That 80% are either guilty one of the worst marketing infractions; publishing mediocre content at an inconsistent pace, or none at all.
"Mediocre content will hurt your brand more than doing nothing at all." [Joe Pulizzi]
Those 20% aren't unicorns with massive budgets, but they're the most successful.
They're able to establish and measure the return of their efforts and investment. Most importantly, they understand with distinct clarity what their version of success is.
How are they doing it?
- They're bringing the same message to one defined audience.
- They're bringing that message to their audience uniquely in a way that is authentic and consistent.
- They're bringing value through their content that isn't about their products and services.
Commit to quality, relevant inbound content or get out now.
7. Don't be afraid to flex your podcast muscles.
Podcasts are quickly becoming the most effective way to reach others within your industry.
How do you start? Are you known and will anyone care to listen?
To capture the attention of others create a list of people you know well within your industry that can enhance your brand and bring value to your listeners. [Jay Baer]
8. Reverse engineer the mechanics of your storytelling.
The way into peoples thoughts, inboxes, and not to be crude, but their wallets, is through stories.
To tell a story that will resonate you need to map out your unique knowledge bank and resources (your WHAT) and how you will use both to move your audience in one sole direction (your WHY.)
To do so impactfully, dig deep into your WHY. [Comedian Michael J]
9. Slow it down.
It's not always the first to churn out a post on a hot topic that wins the proverbial viral cookie.
All too often we get caught up in pumping out more and more without grounding our planning and process.
Content Strategists are the ones responsible for grounding and constantly accessing your project. From editorial, SEO, social media, but also UX design, and content engineering.
Working with a professional on your content strategy allows you to hit the brakes and focus on only the most beneficial pieces of content.
Why waste time and money on anything else? [Kristina Halverson]
Want more? Below are a few additional resources on how to create your marketing strategy, connect authentically & scale for growth:
- Melanie Deziel on The Secret to Building a Powerful Digital Brand with Zero Budget
- Roger Parker provides a 3-Step Action Plan with Worksheets for 2 Months of Blog Posts
Looking to take your business to the next level using some of the above mentioned strategies?