7 Things I Learned at Content Marketing World

by Kristin on September 8, 2011

Content Marketing World 2011The past three days I’ve had the great fortune of spending time with some of the greatest content marketers in the world. As someone who never attended a conference before, when I heard about Content Marketing World, I knew it would be the perfect first time conference for me. Of course, it was the first time ANYONE would attend this fantastic event.

I learned so much over the last two days of sessions and I have ideas pouring out of my brain. I wanted to share a few of the key pieces that have stuck out.

Please note: I initially had 12 written out, but keeping in mind what you’ll read in number one I decided to narrow it down. :) There may be more blogs on other topics soon!

1. Our attention spans have changed from 20 minutes to 9 seconds due to web browsing – Sally Hogshead

I’d heard of the “five second rule” (no, not the one where the food is still good after 5 seconds on the floor) where you have five seconds to capture your visitor’s attention, but I didn’t realize how much that had changed due to web browsing. You have 9 seconds to fascinate your potential customer with your brand or content on your blog/website. People used to spend 20 minutes learning about a product or brand, they now spend an average of 9 seconds. Think about that… how are you capturing their attention?

2. Speak Your Customer’s Language, Not Yours

An overall theme that came up in a number of sessions this week was “speaking your customer’s language” instead of your own. This seems like it should be a “duh” point to anyone doing content marketing for a company. Although it is something that has gotten lost in a number of industries as companies try and become “thought leaders” (I think 100% of the people raised their hands in the session when someone asked ‘who is trying to become a ‘thought leader’).  It’s one of the easiest, yet hardest, tasks there is… think how your customer thinks.

3. The business of content marketing is creating a customer who creates a customer – Simon Kelly

It is no secret that social sharing is important to content marketing online these days. Simon Kelly brought up a great point, you are not just creating content for a potential customer… you are creating content for that potential customer to share with another potential customer.

4. Silent Bob is not so silent

I didn’t attend the evening event with Kevin Smith on Wednesday, but the closing keynote with him was awesome. As many said his talk was surprisingly relevant. I’m not sure I actually ever watched Jay and Silent Bob all the way through, but Kevin had a lot to say on the topic of marketing. He was one of the speakers to touch on the aspect of how “giving it away for free” turns into more sales.

He also told his story and how everything started with him getting kicked off of the Southwest Airlines flight. That moment really changed a lot for him and drove him to do the stuff he is today.

Kevin Smith was very funny and a GREAT way to wrap up the week. I do have to wonder, did anyone count the total number of times he dropped the ‘f-bomb’? I lost track :)

5. Giving information away for free will bring in more customers

This was a topic that came up in a number of conversations throughout the week. Both Brian Clark and Michael Stelzner said they essentially founded their blogs (companies) on a whim. They saw a need for a specific type of content and began to create it for FREE.

Through giving this content away for free they began to build a subscriber base and a customer base. As people began to trust them as a “thought leader” through the free content, they were able to grow.

6. No one cares about your product, except for you. – David Meerman Scott

Hands down David’s keynote on Wednesday morning was one of my favorites of the week. Put it this way… I immediately went and bought both of his books for sale after it. David talked about marketing in “real time” and how writing about current events can really drive more attention to your brand and your product.

There was one phrase out of his keynote that has stuck with me for the last 38ish hours is: “look at the second paragraph.”

The basic idea was: when a big news story breaks, write about it and in the second paragraph tie it back to your company/brand in a way that isn’t just describing your product/service. You are not the focus, the news story is. The subtle hint to your brand could drive more customers than a straight press release from your company.

He talked about how he had to get up at 4am and write a blog entry relating to the big news of the CEO of Yahoo! “getting sacked” and the way Yahoo! screwed up their marketing with the second paragraph.

I won’t go into all of the details, but the idea of the second paragraph is really sticking with me right now… I can’t wait to read his books.

7. The color orange can go a long way.

I don’t know if the city of Cleveland has seen that much orange in a long time, and not very much of it had to do with the Browns. Joe Pulizzi and the entire staff at Content Marketing World put on a great event. The fact that they had everything from the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame down to the soap in the hotel restrooms decked out in orange was an amazing task. It truly was a fantastic event. I already have the calendar marked for next year!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

finn September 8, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Good stuff. Good to see you’re rockin’ Thesis. :-).

Kristin Page Good stuff, KAP. How did they get Kevin Smith & David Merriman Scott to spend that much time in Cleveland…on purpose? Yeah, you have to care about them before they care about you (would have told you on Hootsuite

And, tell me you’ve at least seen Clerks?

Reply

Kristin September 9, 2011 at 7:47 am

Finn -
It was great and everyone (Not just Kevin and David) had so much to share!

I think I need to brush up on my movies… :)

Reply

Steve dalton September 9, 2011 at 6:42 am

would love to see a three part series on this topic for Golden Blog!

Reply

Kristin September 9, 2011 at 7:44 am

Steve -
Of course! I have tons of stuff to bring back to share!

Reply

Arnie September 10, 2011 at 8:48 am

Nice summary Kristin. Glad you and I were finally able to chat in person. Leaving Cleveland today (in a downpour), but had a nice 4 days here. Joe and the gang really put on a great conference… Already looking forward to next year.

Reply

Kristin September 10, 2011 at 10:47 am

Arnie-
It was great to finally meet you! Thank you for the great presentation, hour long session next year? :)

Glad you were able to enjoy some time off in Cleveland, even if the midwest is getting poured on! Have a safe flight home and good luck with the rest of your presentations this month.

Reply

Dru September 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Kristin! Fantastic blog with great takeaways!

P.S. I counted 158 ‘f-bombs’ from Kevin Smith, but I think I missed a few.

Reply

Kristin September 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Dru -
That’s great!! I’m sure there were a few missed! Thanks for the number and the comment!

Reply

Katie McCaskey September 15, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Hey, great list! I did a similar wrap-up with “tweet”-sized lessons: http://t.co/Pg1BAVIB Perhaps we’ll meet at next year’s event. :)

Reply

Kristin September 15, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Katie -
Thank you! I will have to check it out!

See you next year!

Reply

Dave Woodson - Northwest Indiana Marketing September 16, 2011 at 8:13 pm

your 2nd point is something that I have always preached when it came to real estate. We all tend to over talk our clients…we baffle them with BS, therefore a confused mind does not buy.

Reply

Kristin September 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Dave -
Yes! that is a huge problem. Everyone has their own way of learning and trying to be too technical winds up with glazed looks. Something we all have to learn how to do!

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: