The 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!