If I see one more orange colored clothing accessory or food item I may be sick, but prior to that, I will think of Content Marketing World. Among the orange shoes, suits and snack foods, was a wealth of information on content marketing. In addition to the keynote speeches and breakout sessions, they even offered an opportunity to speak to some of the most notable names in content marketing one-on-one.
So, what did we learn at the prestigious event, in addition to the fact that they still make the orange fizz candy of my youth and that the writer of “Cleveland Rocks” has very likely never set foot in Cleveland? Plenty! Here are the top takeaways from our trip to “the Best Location in the Nation.”
1. Marketing is NOT a Department.
This was probably one of the biggest and most prominent themes of the conference. While content marketing may begin with the department, don’t limit yourself to the team. There is hidden talent at the company and you need to find it. Hold training events on blog writing and social media and see who comes out of the woodwork. You may be surprised that the guy you dubbed the Dungeons and Dragons king is actually a tenth level editor.
2. Create a Newsroom.
In order to crank out content like a newspaper, you have to act like one. Assign an editor to manage the theme and space of the blog or other content vehicles and have “freelance writers” submit their stories. The days of forgiveness over typos and bad writing are gone, content on blogs and other mediums needs to be clean and professional, no matter what the tone and style. So, have every post go through an editor to ensure it is ready to be published, fits the theme and stays on message.
3. The Opposite of Helpful is Harmful
Is the content useful? Does it get the right message across? Is it the right content for the right person at the right time? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you are wasting time, effort and, potentially, diluting your story. You are selling the company’s back story through your content and it has to be a unified message. Every piece of content has got to be on point.
4. Not Everyone’s a Writer- but they do have ideas!
“It’s not about you. It’s about your audience.” While we all have ideas, not all of us excel at writing them down in an exciting and engaging way. Does that mean we ditch the individuals who are full of great ideas for their lack of talent at the keyboard? No, but it does mean we need to be honest with ourselves and recognize it. Not everyone is cut out to contribute content directly but that’s why the team has writers. Pass the ideas off and let them put it together in the best way for the good of the team and your goals.
5. A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Words
And, finally… if there is one piece of advice that came through loud and clear, use images in your content! Be creative and find ways to incorporate all kinds of images into your work. Video, Gifs, Memes, Slideshares are all great ways of getting more eyeballs to your work!
I have to say this is one of the better conferences I have attended in quite awhile. A very special thank you to Steve Keifer and Tania Almond for making this happen:) Can’t wait to go back next year!