Sam’s top takeaways from Content Marketing World 2018

Last week I had the pleasure of attending #CMWorld in Cleveland where I got to meet new friends, tear up at Dewitt Jones’ keynote, and cram my head with more information than I could contain. Needlessly to say, it was an insightful, inspiring week in Cleveland. People say, “Cleveland Rocks!”, I’m not so sure about that but I had a good time in the city.

From listening to Tina Fey talk about how she gets past writer’s block to being educated on the need for more engaging long-form content, Content Marketing World was full of information and ideas. Here are a few of my top takeaways:

Long-form is still a thing! People have been saying that our audience has the attention span of a goldfish but during @Drewdavisishere’s keynote on Wednesday, we talked about how in order to keep our audiences engaged we need to make sure they stay curious throughout the content we are delivering. Long-form content doesn’t have to be boring long e-books but instead can be a series of insights compiled together in an engaging infographic e-book. You just have to keep your readers interested. A few notes on that:

  • Create a curiosity gap = Make a gap between what your audience knows and what they are seeking to know.
  • Add payoff or value to your content = This is a given but make the tension proportional to the pay off. (Same goes for giveaways)
  • Tease and threaten = Tease your audience with what they want to know and then ‘threaten’ to take it away in order to capture and hold attention.
  • Make it matter = Make sure your readers know what you are trying to accomplish with your piece of content upfront.

Use your customers to help create content. During @jaybaer’s “Talk Triggers: How killer content create conversations and clone customers” he discussed ways to create a conversation around your brand and this session really stuck out to me. I can’t wait for this book to come in the mail! Here are a few highlights from this session:

  • The best stories are about what you do and not what you have to say.
  • Give your customers a story to tell them remember it, promote it, repeat it.
  • The 4 requirements of engaging content: Remarkable, Repeatable, Reasonable, Relevant.

Documenting your strategy goes a long way. I know this one seems pretty second nature but when we talked about documenting it, we dug into who needed to have visibility in the strategy documentation and how other teams in the company benefit from knowing the strategy. When your organization is empowered to live and breathe the strategy, it makes buy-in from their teams so much easier and allows the content to feel connected to every one involved. 

Learned so much more than just these key takeaways and I’ll be following up with some additional blogs about some of my learning from the conference from my perspective. Stay tuned for more to come. 

Party on. Ambushed.




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