My colleague, Faith Jones, and I attended SES San Francisco last week. Wedged between an early Tuesday morning flight in and a late Friday flight out, I attended around 24 hours worth of panels, keynotes and roundtables.  I did some other things, too, but that’s for my personal blog! Here are my top 5 takeaways on the state of content marketing:

Octalysis: Complete Gamification Framework | Yu-kai Chou & Gamification
Octalysis by Yu-kai Chou

1 – Actionable Gaming = Future

Want to engage your company’s users in a way that truly changes the world for better? You might want to consider adding actionable gaming to your website like oPower did.  Another fun example of clever, socially focused gamification: Speed Camera Lottery. More motivated by bandwagon than innovation? Gartner reports that 70% of Fortune 500 companies will deploy some type of gamification by the end of 2014.

  • Check out Yu-Kai Chou’s Octalysis for the 8 core drives of gamification (image right).

2 – B2B can be Social

John Lee shared the following stats from Ragan/NASDAQ: 93% of surveyed B2B marketers say they are trying hard on social, but only 5% say they are happy with the results. What most B2B marketers fail to recognize is how code switching applies to social platforms: a B2B’s target audience doesn’t approach social content as corporate people, but as “just people.” So before starting a social campaign:

  • understand the factors that drive your target’s social behavior
  • define and refine conversions with clear ROI
  • be genuine – you have to give users something they can connect to
The New San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
The New San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

3 – Might of Mobile

Just some eye-widening tidbits for the fall:

  • Kelsey Group – mobile search traffic will eclipse desktop search traffic in 2015
  • 1 in 4 – Google already reports that 25% of its searches are mobile-based
  • Intent – Mobile search often revolves around a basic need: Where can I find [product/service] in [location]
  • Google – Reports that mobile search volume doubles every year
  • Bryson Meunier – Offers that 38% of all media consumption happens on smart phones.

4 – Smart Site Architecture is Crucial

Meunier reports that 90% of all media consumption is screen-based. What does that mean for you and your brand’s website? Make certain your site’s information architecture is well organized, is easy to understand and makes key content easily accessible. Leading Info Architect Shari Thurow also throws this tidbit out there: Don’t let somebody try to convince you that a site with mobile responsive design is naturally search-friendly. One definitely doesn’t always equal the other.

Joey goofing with Matt Cutts
Joey goofing with Matt Cutts

5 – Matt Cutts, Nice Guy

Twitter : Interactions 2013-09-12 19-56-32
Matt picked Bama

Google’s Matt Cutts caused quite the stir at SES SF by participating in the morning keynote session on Thursday. He and Patrick Thomas, the search giant’s policy specialist, chatted with the crowd about Google’s decision-making process when it comes down to what to show (and not show) in SERPS, especially when a site’s content is questionable (hate-speak, etc.). The choices are tough, and they often allow the usage to determine what can stay or go. The cool part, though, was Cutts’s making himself available for questions and photos after the session and being a terrific sport all the while.

Joseph K. Hall
VP, Content Marketing

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