5 Key Takeaways From Content Marketing World 2012

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Posted: September 10, 2012 | B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at this year’s Content Marketing World conference which wrapped last week in Columbus, OH. This is the mecca for content and social media marketing, and on hand were the superstars of the industry from across the country and around the world. Content marketing experts such as Ann Handley, Michael Brenner, and CC Chapman were in attendance along with social media experts like Jason Falls, Jay Baer and Amy Porterfield to name a few.

Here are my key takeaways from the event:

1. Only 36% of Businesses Believe That Their Content Marketing is Effective. 

CMI founder Joe Pulizzi previewed the 2013 Content Marketing Benchmark Report citing the report’s highlights:

Photo Courtesy of Content Marketing World

  • 54% of businesses plan to increase spending on content marketing over the next 12 months.
  • Businesses are still struggling to find a process that works and to gain C-level buy in.
  • The biggest challenge content marketers face is producing enough content, followed closely by producing the kind of content that engages.
  • The other two major challenges are lack of budget and buy in.

2. There are Five Massive Movements That Have Changed Marketing Forever.

Author and content marketing advocate Mitch Joel delivered an incredibly inspiring keynote, focusing on the five movements that are keeping marketers on their toes.

  • The Power of Direct Relationships - You no longer need a newspaper to share your message. You can create the content yourself. As a business, ask yourself if you are truly building these direct relationships.
  • Have Sex with Data – Move beyond customer intimacy and get right to the good stuff. Customers are not looking for advertising, what they want is a personal experience that is highly targeted and relevant.
  • Be Useful or Die - Create utility by creating something that people really want/need to use. It begs the question, can brands shift from being narcissistic to utilitarian?
  • Passive media vs active media – TV, radio and newspapers are passive media while Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are active media. The real value of any platform is when you get active with it. Create content that people will engage with and that will lead to a conversation. Focus on making your messaging as shareable and findable as possible.
  • One Screen World – We talk about the four screen world: TV, mobile devices, computer, and tablets when the only screen that matters is the one that is in front of your consumers. Ask yourself what you are going to do to make your connections more valuable?

3. The Most Powerful Thing in Content Marketing is the Brand Narrative.

What is your business doing to tell a better brand narrative? When it comes to content marketing it’s important to tell your story in different ways and connect the pieces across several marketing channels. Ask yourself, is this something I would pay for? If the answer is yes, then you are creating compelling content.

4. Content is the Best Form of Marketing When it is Put Together in an Integrated Plan.

Photo Courtesy of Content Marketing World

Copyblogger’s Brian Clark said it best, “Creating content for content’s sake doesn’t get you anywhere, thats where the marketing comes in.” The goal of your content is to attract people over time. Repurpose and adapt your content to support every element of your marketing mix. Marketing automation plays a major role in disseminating your content to your most important channels such as emails and events. Social media exposure drives natural links and boosts rankings as Google pays more attention to social signals instead of keyword placement.

5. If You Are Not Measuring the Results of Your Content Marketing You Are Not Going to be Successful.

SAP’s Michael Brenner had an incredibly insightful session about choosing the right metrics for measuring the success of your content marketing. He suggestst the following metrics as essential points to measure:

  • Percent of search traffic from non-branded keywords – A measure of how well you capture early stage buyers and influencers.
  • Percent of leads from inbound sources –  A measure of how well your content is generating leads.
  • Percent of early stage content – A measure of how much early stage content your business is producing.

Brenner finished off his session with the three goals for a successful content marketing strategy; reach, engagement, and conversion.

These are my main takeaways from a fantastic few days of all things content marketing. Joe Pulizzi and company really know how to put on a conference that is incredibly informative and inspiring without losing the element of fun and creativity.

Were you at Content Marketing World? What are your main takeaways?

Related Resources

  • http://blog.junta42.com/ Joe Pulizzi

    Nice wrap up Jason. It was great seeing you as always my friend!

  • http://twitter.com/hunterboyle Hunter Boyle

    Hey Jason,

    Thanks for a great wrap-up post. There were so many good sessions it was impossible to get to all of them, but one idea that really stood out for me was the use of visual storytelling — be it photos, video, presentations, or even cartoons, as your colleague Maria Pergolino highlighted in her excellent presentation on this subject.

    Content has so much potential beyond words, and today marketers really need to capitalize on those other options. That, and have some fun while doing things a little differently. (Example: We tried to use all of the above with http://www.emailcampaignconfessions.com)

    Looking forward to seeing more cool content from the Marketo team. Cheers!

  • http://twitter.com/JasonMillerCA Jason Miller

    I have to say it was my favorite conference of the year! It was like hanging out with rock stars all week, content marketing rock stars that is. And Rick Springfield was, in the words of Ann Handley, “EPIC!”

  • http://twitter.com/JasonMillerCA Jason Miller

    I have to say it was my favorite conference of the year! It was like hanging out with rock stars all week, content marketing rock stars that is. And Rick Springfield was, in the words of Ann Handley, “EPIC!”

  • http://twitter.com/JasonMillerCA Jason Miller

    Thanks for the comment Hunter. Just checked out the Email Campaign Confessions. Very clever! And I absolutely agree with you about visual content, it’s no longer the future, it’s here and time to take advantage.

    Keep an eye out for an announcement on Wednesday for a new content piece from Marketo : )

  • http://twitter.com/JasonMillerCA Jason Miller

    Thanks for the comment Hunter. Just checked out the Email Campaign Confessions. Very clever! And I absolutely agree with you about visual content, it’s no longer the future, it’s here and time to take advantage.

    Keep an eye out for an announcement on Wednesday for a new content piece from Marketo : )

  • Tom Bishop

    I have to agree – it was like hanging out with rock stars. What a tremendous event with so much to learn. Even better, the sessions confirmed that a lot of what we’re doing is on the right track.

  • http://twitter.com/andydalg Andrew Dalglish

    Thanks for sharing these
    highlights Jason – really interesting.

    The findings from the
    Content Marketing Benchmark provide food for thought.

    It’s amazing that only one
    third of businesses find their content marketing to be effective. In other
    words, two thirds find it ineffective. Begs the question of why they bother!?

    Or guess a more positive
    question would be how they can boost effectiveness? It struck me that the
    answer might be in the top two challenges reported – producing enough content
    and producing engaging content. Perhaps quantity is being pursued at the
    expense of quality? Maybe more is less when it comes to content.

    Also found the planned
    increase in investment interesting – seems there’s little doubt content has
    become king. This echoes a study we conduct amongst the UK’s B2B marketing
    community (report here: http://www.circle-research.com/b2b-barometer/) which finds that 75% of B2B marketers plan to move
    closer towards a content based marketing approach in the next 12 months.

    Thanks again,

    Andrew

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  • Kenny Schwimmer

    Measuring the success of your content is very important and I really appreciate the fifth point in the post. It has a simple and very effective technique of tracking the success of your content.

  • http://twitter.com/ianmcleary Ian Cleary

    Hey Hunter, I agree. I’m going to experiment with different forms of content. I loved the info doodles. Surely there’s a package that can help with these? I couldn’t find them.

    Thanks Jason for a great round up. It was one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended.
    Ian

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  • http://twitter.com/phswiss Philip Schweizer

    Great article, thanks!

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Jason Miller is Senior Manager of Content Marketing at LinkedIn. Previously, Jason was Senior Manager of Social Media at Marketo and focused on optimizing social for lead generation and driving revenue. He is a regular contributor to leading marketing blogs such as Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, and Marketing Profs.

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5 Key Takeaways From Content Marketing World 2012

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