It’s that time of the year again … marketing professionals are returning to the office from summer vacations and trading long lunches on a patio for a quick bite in front of the computer.

Since it can be hard to make the transition from relaxation to a regular work schedule, I was lucky to have jumpstarted my fall with an amazing week at Content Marketing World. The event attracted over 1,000 marketing professionals from around the world who gathered in Columbus to learn how to use content to increase their brand awareness, attract leads and improve relationships with customers. I also had the opportunity to present on how to use content to generate leads and shorten the B2B sales cycle.

Here are the top ten insights that I gained at Content Marketing World. Most of these pertain to B2B marketing and some are just fun:

1.  Find out what topics interest your target market – even if everyone else finds these topics boring. Providing your audience with content that they find valuable can lead to increased loyalty, sales opportunities and improved branding (Chris Porritt, Senior Vice President of Marketing, MasterControl).

2.  The biggest video marketing mistakes are making people complete a form to watch a video and not including a call to action at the end of a video. Make sure that your videos play on demand and that viewers can take action after they watch a video, such as opting-in for a white paper (Chris Porritt, Senior Vice President of Marketing, MasterControl).

3.  If the content is good and formatted for the web, it’s okay to write long blog posts. The Social Media Examiner publishes 1,000 – 3,000-word posts. However, they make each post sharable. The opening paragraphs are short, the headlines are compelling, and each post uses bold text strategically (Michael Stelzner, CEO, Social Media Examiner).

4.  Join Google+ for improved SEO. When you claim your website and blog on Google+, Google will immediately improve your rankings (Michael Stelzner, CEO, Social Media Examiner).

5.  Court industry-thought leaders to get them to provide content for your blog. When developing relationships with thought leaders, find out what they want and offer to help them. With many thought leaders, this is exposure or publicity. If you provide them with something of value in return, they will be more likely to write for your blog (Waynette Tubbs, Managing Editor, SAS).

6.  Rick Springfield is still rocking. My speaker’s gift from the Content Marketing World team was an autographed Rick Springfield album. How cool is that? The 63-year-old rocker brought the house down.

7.  Streamline your message. B2B companies should fit the following information on one slide:

      • Your biggest global marketing objective
      • The top one or two products you want to prioritize for your global marketing
      • A short description of your target audience
      • The core aspects of your communications strategy

Limiting this information to one slide makes it easy to share with anyone in the company and maintain a consistent global message (Pam Didner, Global Integrated Marketing Manager, Intel Corp.).

8.  Measure your “return on interesting”. When determining the success of its content, SAP measures its “return on interesting”. This group of measures and social metrics lets SAP know if its target audience is engaging with its             content (Michael Brenner, Senior Director Integrated Marketing & Content Strategy, SAP).

9.  SlideShare is an underrated, yet awesome, B2B marketing tool. SlideShare attracts business people who are looking for business content. Plus, content on SlideShare often ranks higher on Google than the same content on your website. Start using SlideShare to attract more B2B leads (Joe Chernov, VP of Content Marketing, Eloqua and Todd Wheatland, VP – Head of Thought Leadership & Marketing, Kelly Services).

10.  Content marketers are very similar to one of my other communities – Lindy Hoppers (swing dancers). They both stay up late to party and then wake up early the next morning to attend workshops.

 

Content Marketing World was a huge event with about five sessions happening at the same time, so my top-ten list only covers a fraction of the gems that came out of the conference. For more information, check out the Content Marketing Institute’s recap of each session.

Did you attend Content Marketing World? If so, what did you take away from the event? If you didn’t attend, what else would you add to this list? Feel free to share your comments below.

 

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