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Content Marketing World 2011 Takeaways

 

Content Marketing World

Check out our booth at last week's Content Marketing World!

Well, marketers—Content Marketing World 2011 is officially in the books.  What did we learn?  That over 600 marketing professionals from 18 countries are interested in content marketing.  Check.  That content marketing can turn businesses into storytelling factories.  Check.  That Joe Pulizzi is not afraid to wear orange sneakers.  Check, most definitely.

But mostly, what I learned at Content Marketing World 2011 is this:  that businesses both large and small are catching on to the fact that marketing is rapidly evolving.  It’s becoming a way to engage with customers rather than to talk at them.   The Internet has made it possible for people to get their own information, often in real time.  Not only that, but they have a lot of choices.  So, anyone trying to market their products and services— through either online or offline methods—must find a way to draw those people to them.

How?  The theme of storytelling wove like a thread through the whole program.  Regina Brett, Pulitzer Prize-nominated columnist at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, gave a talk titled “Emotion and Storytelling: Growing Your Small Business/Non-Profit by Pulling the Heart Strings”.  What does this title tell you?  Consumers want to know why they should buy from you.  Telling them stories makes it real for them.  What are the buyer’s pain points?  What are their challenges?  What interests them?  Identify and speak to those points, challenges and interests.

You don’t have to even mention your product or service.  Why?  Because your stories drive the emotions that ultimately lead to the sale. 

Internet marketing guru David Meerman Scott talked about “real time content marketing”.  Did you know that you have only minutes or even seconds to react to events happening in the world?  When the CEO of Yahoo was fired, people on the front lines of social media knew practically as it happened.  When Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast of the U.S., residents were tweeting every detail as it happened.  They told the story in real time.

If your business is not operating in real time, it’s getting left out of the conversation.

Thom Ruhe, Director of Entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, discussed how non-profits can become newsrooms that keep the public and board members informed about the social impact of their work.  Content and its distribution can also tell the success stories that inspire and encourage donors and investors to give.

Barbaro Gago, Director of Strategy at Left Brain DGA, offered paid and free ways to distribute content online.  If you think you need a big marketing budget to market your content, think again.  Your story can be told in many ways and in many forms—simply and economically

There’s so much more to talk about, but I think you get the picture.  Content Marketing World 2011 was a success, largely because it has opened doors for discussion about the many ways marketers can use content to tell their story, to engage with their customers and grow their businesses.

So, what’s your story? 

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