A Few Takeaways from Content Marketing World 2014

Last week, four members of the EnVeritas Group team, including yours truly, headed up to Cleveland to attend Content Marketing World for the third straight year. If you haven’t checked out this conference, you’ll want to make sure you mark it on your calendar and reserve your ticket for 2015 as soon as possible. If you expect to go anywhere in this industry, this is the place to be. Influencers from all walks of the content marketing field are in Content Marketing World
attendance, giving speeches, teaching and otherwise interacting with conference attendees. It really is a can’t miss experience. In the case that you didn’t have a chance to make your way up north to this conference, here are a few takeaways I’d like to highlight.

1. If you aren’t learning, you’re falling behind

When I wasn’t at the EnVeritas Group booth mingling with conference attendees, I could be found listening intently to some great speakers from companies like LinkedIn, General Electric, Kraft and other major brands. While the topics were different, there was one common theme. If you aren’t staying on top of the latest trends, the competition is going to run you over and leave you in the dust.

Each of the presenters discussed innovative ways in which the company that they were representing was using the latest tactics in content marketing to get ahead and gain an advantage on the competition. People’s attention spans are so short these days. They get tired of the same old content really quickly, so be sure to be developing new, creative content for their consumption. Stay ahead of trends and make sure you are aware of the next big thing.

2. Video is critical to content marketing success

If you haven’t heard, video, if done properly, can be a hugely effective content marketing tool. In fact, video has been accused of killing the radio star. I had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by General Electric’s Global Manager of Digital Marketing, Katrina Craigwell, and she really drove home the point of how effective video can be.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “How could video from GE be entertaining and effective?” You’d be surprised. Caldwell showed the audience some really engaging material. They even recruited popular YouTube stars, the Slow Mo Guys, to film a series that highlights GE products in the format of their science show. If you haven’t seen it, check out this video from the Slow Mo Guys.

The videos have received a ton of views. The one above has been viewed more than 418 thousand times. That’s a lot of eyes on your content. This type of material can really help take a boring product like cold spray and turn it into something fun and interesting. The content gets consumed and shared over and over. It really sticks with viewers and keeps them coming back for more, which leads to my next takeaway.

3. Create content that has staying power

Julie Fleischer, Director of Data, Content and Media at Kraft Foods, made a statement during her presentation that really resonated with me. She urged content marketers to “create communications with memory and tell richer, more complex stories.” Why would any company want to waste resources on content that will be viewed once and then never be seen again? It’s just not wise. Unfortunately, it’s common practice.

Fleischer urged those in attendance to stop focusing on putting content out just for the sake of having content on the web. It’s far more effective to create content that will really have an impact on your target audience. Content that will stick with them and will have a timeless nature. The longer your content circulates around the web, the more ROI you get from your investment in its creation.

Content marketing isn’t just about creating the most content. It’s about creating content that is truly valuable to your audience. Think about the future of the content. Where will it be in a week, a month, a year, even 20 years? Will it fade away hours after its release, or will people still be chatting about it and referring to it years down the road? That’s the main goal. Create content with staying power.

Julie Fleischer, Director of Data, Content and Media at Kraft Foods Group speaks to a huge audience at Content Marketing World
Julie Fleischer, Director of Data, Content and Media at Kraft Foods Group speaks to a huge audience at Content Marketing World

In summary

Oh, and I made a new friend while I was at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame!

I learned a lot at Content Marketing World and I had a great time in the process. I really enjoy visiting each year, as it confirms what I already know: Our industry is on the rise, and companies that aren’t paying attention are doomed to fall by the wayside. If you don’t want to be successful as a content marketer, stay away from this event. But, if you really want to excel in this field, Content Marketing World is the place you need to be.

Did you attend Content Marketing World? If so, I would love to read your comments in the section below.

Check out this article to learn about other great marketing conferences. 

Anthony GaenzleDirector of Marketing

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