5 Lessons from Content Marketing World 2013

content marketing world 2013

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Quality content isn’t enough anymore. If we had to describe the pulse of the marketing industry, which was on full display last week in Cleveland at the Content Marketing World 2013 conference, it would be the concept of pushing yourself a bit further than ever before. In industry influencer Doug Kessler’s talk at the show, he stated that the biggest challenge in the marketing industry was “an over-reliance on competent, professional, well-made, on-strategy content.” Wait, what?

Unfortunately, quality web copywriting just isn’t as novel as it used to be. Thanks to an increasingly talented workforce and amazing options like content marketing outsourcing services, the challenge for companies isn’t just getting their hands on a blog to publish. It’s getting their hands on content which can differentiate, connect with consumers, and help their company meet strategic goals. The idea is a lot to mull over, so we’ve curated some more fabulous lessons to help you reach the next level:

1. Do Something Remarkable

One of the best – and perhaps even most surefire – ways to create a piece of content that emotionally moves people is to capture something amazing. Or as Marketo’s Maggie Jones who attended Content Marketing World 2013 puts it “1. Do something remarkable, and 2) document yourself doing it.” One of the most-lauded pieces of content at the show was Nike’s “The Girl Effect” campaign, shown below for inspiration:

2. Think Like a Sports Coach

Increasingly, content marketers with a few years’ experience are finding themselves in leadership positions as their companies dedicate more funds toward inbound marketing and hiring content creators. Danny Denhard, a marketer at a well-known voucher company, discussed building a rock star content team at Content Marketing World 2013 by exclusively using football analogies (that’s soccer for our American readers). Here’s the gist of the staff qualities you should hire to succeed:

  • Goalkeeper: Attention-to-detail, agility.
  • Fullback: Strong, athletic, and intelligent.
  • Midfielders: Tenacity and team support.
  • Attacking Midfield: Graphic design, creativity, and boldness.
  • Strikers: Go-getters, attackers.

Even if your organization lacks the funds to hire a full football squad of content marketers, consider the qualities you possess and lack to deliver better-rounded results.

3. Start Iterating

You think your B2B company’s product or services are boring? Dan Fielder of Sticky Content doesn’t think so. Just to emphasize that it’s truly possible to create valuable information day in and day out in virtually any industry, Fielder pointed to Louis E. Page – a 120 year-old mesh and fencing distributor with one of the best blogs on the block.

How do they do it? One of the best tips Fielder shared at Content Marketing World 2013 was iterating. Think of traditional marketing campaigns – often, advertisers would work hard to get an idea just right, and then distribute it in mass quantities on billboards, print ads, radio, and television. Treat your inbound marketing strategy the same way – create a blog post, video, social media posts, and guest post around each bright idea you have to save time and make the most of your concepts.

4. Don’t Think International

Is your company trying to attract buyers who speak more than one language, or live in more than one country? Eric Ingrand, VP of Marketing at Enveritas Group made a pretty compelling argument at Content Marketing World 2013 that international is the wrong approach. You’ve got to think multi-cultural, instead. This means you can’t just translate your content into another language – you’ve got to translate concepts, values, and references to match. Attracting an international audience requires a content marketer with the cultural knowledge and sensitivity to understand your buyer personas in that particular time zone.

5. Take What’s Yours

Asking for backlinks. It’s enough to make even the boldest marketers squirm in their seats. However, Paul May, founder of Buzzstream made a case at Content Marketing World 2013 that it’s a best practice for earning the SEO credit you deserve. Will your efforts to request a link from a total stranger have great results? Unlikely, which is why your inbound marketing efforts should be coupled with relationship-building initiatives. Here are May’s recommendations for reclaiming the links your blog deserves:

  • Harvest: Reach out to people who mention your company, product, or blog but don’t credit the source with a polite request for a backlink.
  • Plant Seeds: Network and build relationships with individuals who link to blogs that are similar to your own.
  • Dream Big: Every blogger dreams of earning backlinks from high-authority blogs. Craft a careful strategy to gain notice from the big fish in your industry

What are the best advanced lessons you learned at Content Marketing World 2013, or in other research in the past few weeks? Share in the comments, we’d love to know!

Image credit: Marketo