I spent the past two days at the Content Marketing Strategies conference. It was held at the beautiful and stately Claremont Hotel Club & Spa in Berkeley, California. The conference was organized by dlvr.it and there were many fabulous speakers.

Here are some my takeaways from an amazing first day of the conference:

  • Putting a label with the content hashtag and wireless settings on the back of each attendee badge is a brilliant idea. Whenever I needed to connect a new device (iPhone, iPad, MacBook), all I had to do was look at my tag. Note to self…
  • A big challenge for content marketing professionals is preparing content for global audiences. This was stated a few times. But, no one really talked about the challenges and any solutions. I think this is an extremely important topic and I am going to continue talking about it.
  • Content marketing is like being vegan. You need to be all in. (I guess you can’t be a little bit vegan, can you?)
  • 77% of internet users do not engage with online ads. It is important to change from push marketing (where content is simply pushed to the reader) to pull marketing (where the reader actually engages with the content). Unfortunately, there are often obstacles such as corporate culture or the big old organization chart.
  • The key to attracting and retaining customers lies in the stories that you tell. Stories can be entertaining, educational, or provide utility. Content that provides utility are things that help someone perform a task, such as a mortgage calculator.
  • Charmin created a utility called Sit or Squat to help people find and rate public restrooms. I am not joking. There’s even an app for that.
  • Content audits are an important first step in developing a useful content strategy.
  • There is a new C-level executive called a Chief Content Officer. The role of a Chief Content officer is  to “oversee all marketing content initiatives, both internal and external, across multiple platforms and formats to drive sales, engagement, retention, leads and positive customer behavior” (Thanks to Joe Pulizzi and the Content Marketing Institute for the definition.)
  • Reuse and repurpose content for a greater impact – just like turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving.
  • Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should do it – create and publish content, that is. Before you create and publish any content, ask yourself why you are doing it, what is your mission?
  • Silos exist in the content creation realm. Too many people creating in silos and not communicating. This is the same problem as the silos that exist between content creators and translators.
  • Storytelling is extremely important. The company with the best story wins. However, do not attempt to create content unless you have the knowledge and authority to communicate it. An example of great story telling and brand content marketing is the Green Giant blog from General Mills.
  • The more content you have, the more likely it is you will get customers from your website. You must create content, curate content, reuse content, and repurpose content. Content, content, content!
  • To be really successful at content curation, you need to think beyond your own brand, include content from your competitor, and not shy away from controversial topics.
  • Bill Gates coined the phrase “Content is King” in 1997. Al Gore created the internet (okay, that’s not true.).
  • Clynton Taylor of Jump Associates makes the most amazing visual notes when people speak. And then publishes them immediately. How does he do that?
  • Tatiana Natzke of Social Tribe created a fabulous Prezi that highlights day one of the conference through tweets.

 

Val Swisher
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