When was the last time you had your mind blown? You expect to have your thinking challenged and absorb a big whack of inspiration when you attend Content Marketing World. The 2015 Sydney event wrapped this week and it didn’t disappoint. Here are the top mind blowers from the three-day conference.
Yep, you read that right. Arnie Kuenn admitted to being just as surprised because, for the first time in 15 years, Google announced the change before it happened. According to Kuenn, Google will start penalising websites if they aren’t mobile friendly. It’s more complicated than that but your time is up. If your site doesn’t render well on a range of digital devices, expect your organic rankings to suffer. Mind blown.
Jonathon Crossfield’s presentation design
Jonathan’s presentation was a dream for writers. Titled, The Art of Persuasive Content: Three Ingredients and Five Steps to Better Content, the discussion was a brainy riff on rhetoric, drawing on the teachings of ancient philosophers and great orators. The visuals were presented in a comic book theme Jonathan designed himself. The combination of classic teachings and pop culture made it instantly memorable and raised the bar for presentations. It says a lot about the respect Jonathan Crossfield has for his audience that he would invest so much time and energy to make the topic look great. Mind blown.
Joe Pulizzi’s 4:1:1 formula for social sharing
Who isn’t struggling with finding the perfect algorithm for social sharing? Pulizzi shared his methodology for growing a social audience, one that’s been honed over years of social activity at the Content Marketing Institute. In short, the sweet spot for social sharing is:
- 4 posts curated from your top 10 industry influencers (make sure you tag them)
- 1 post with your own content
- 1 post with a sales message
It’s as simple as that. Mind blown.
Jordana Borensztajn’s formula for injecting humour into your content
Every public speaker knows the toughest gig is right after lunch. When you only have 20 minutes, it’s even harder. Jordana wowed the crowd with a romp about creativity and how to be funnier with your content. Her Power of Three formula made it all seem incredibly easy. Essentially, make a list of three things and go ‘off road’ on the final item. I’m paraphrasing from memory but Jordana’s example was:
How to start your own business
- Prepare a business plan
- Prepare a strategy
- Prepare to never sleep again
It’s such a simple concept and I’m totally confident I can pull it off. Mind blown.
Creating a content engine
As a survivor of the ‘publish every day, be on all channels, never stop’ era of content marketing, Geraint Holliman’s presentation on building a content marketing engine was a revelation. He reminded us that we were meant to be producing great content, not operating with an industrial revolution factory mentality. (Actually, I think I operated more like an 18th-century sweatshop.) It was permission from one of the content marketing veterans to slow down, focus on quality and do a better job with every piece you produce. Mind blown.
Customer experience doesn’t rule, yet
Robert Rose is due to release his next book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing. His keynote presentation was a history lesson in marketing, clearly outlining that we’ve all been stuck far too long in relationship marketing. His observation that we haven’t even really begun to understand how to use the Internet or operate in the digital space was a wake-up call for marketers focused on ‘engagement’. According to Rose, our obligation is to design experiences that inspire, inform, entertain and deliver differentiated value to customers. He’s right. Mind blown.
Quest for the perfect meat loaf
Speaking of customer experience, Andrew Davis left us exhausted, delighted and enlightened with a somewhat farcical quest for the perfect meatloaf. We all know customer behavior has changed, but no one has ever illustrated it the way Davis did (or expended so much energy doing so). The thing that really resonated with me was his advice to stop worrying about popular metrics like click through rates and web traffic. Instead, he urged us all to focus our attention on who is opting out of our subscriber lists and why. How much sense does that make? Mind blown.
Journalists have arrived
Last year I complained that agencies were wrecking the joint. This year, it’s apparent traditional journalists have finally cottoned on to the opportunities present in content marketing. I think this can be an incredibly good turn of events as long as they leave the cattiness and rivalry often found in media organisations behind. Also, understanding editorial and being a good writer are not the same as content marketing. We need the valuable skills journalists bring to marketing, but they need to respect that there’s still a learning curve to be successful in the marketing part of content marketing. This isn’t so much a mind-blowing realisation but it’s something to watch.
As I get ready to board a plane back to Perth, these are the impressions blowing gaping holes in my content marketing circuitry. I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you want to sit down and gab about content marketing, get in touch. I’m buzzing on the back of this conference.
What’s blowing your mind about content marketing lately?
Image credit: Jonathan Crossfield