No doubt if you were following Content Marketing World on Twitter, you must have been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information coming at you. With 2600+ attendees tweeting, instagramming, blogging, and facebook posting, if you weren’t in attendance, it was a virtual smorgasbord of content to digest. Which is why I waited until I returned to let it all settle in, and to reflect on what I’d learned during this, my first experience at Content Marketing World.
First, we are just getting started. As companies. As an industry. The most compelling message my company, Marketing.AI had at the show was a very simple one, “get rid of your spreadsheets.” I talked with hundreds of attendees during the conference, and in almost every case companies both small and large are capturing the core of their marketing efforts in excel. Oh, and they’re also trying to share their planning in Google calendars too. So if this you, I have a message for you. You are FAR from alone, and there are plenty of people and companies to talk with to tackle your challenges. Not unlike the early days of Pong…start playing! The games are only going to get better.
Second, I think a new element of “Big Data” is finally making itself known, and that element is Strategy, and yes it can be measured, but only if the dots are connected. There are a plethora of solutions to measure impact in numerous channels, including social, web, email, video, etc. These measures are like the Box Office take at the movies, or the AC Nielsen measures of program success (or focus groups, for that matter, as Kevin Spacey alluded to in his Keynote). But the best content, the content that engages over the long term, is the content that tells the best story along a strategically aligned path that ultimately delivers the results that can be measured. But without that strategy, and the core of that story being aligned, content measurement efforts may never significantly move the bar. Connect your strategies, as data elements, to the rest of your content measurement efforts and you will move your company bar.
Third, and I think this was the most refreshing part of the event, is that in-person events are becoming a part of content marketing in and of themselves. It was not too long ago that GoTo meetings, Webex, and Emails, etc. were all going to replace the need for face to face meetings, travel, etc. when in reality, our online content has served to enhance what we can do and learn at a conference like Content Marketing World. The content we consume and embrace as we head in to these events makes for even better conversations, and “meeting of the minds” more quickly than if we’d had these events in isolation. If there’s a prediction I’ll make, it’s that Content Marketing World will see almost double the attendees next year, if casual conversations with “Scouts” for their organizations were any indication (many indicating they would recommend bringing their team next year just to take it all in)!
So if you’d like to continue your own Content Marketing conversation, drop me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for a free trial at our site, and we’ll be sure to follow up.