photo: courtesy of @Ekaterina Walter

Does attending the same conference for 6 years straight begin to get old? The answer is NO. I had the rare privilege of speaking at the Content Marketing World (@CMWorld) every year since its inception. Fun concerts, mingling with old friends and new, awesome keynotes and 150 know-how sessions… What’s not to like?

Whenever I attend the conference, I hear unique insights and I always think about how they will apply to B2B, enterprises or business marketers who do content marketing across regions.

So, here are my 3 favorite takeaways from this year’s conference. 

1. My favorite Content Marketing World keynotes

“In content marketing, you are either all in or all out.” 

This is Joe Pulizzi’s opening keynote message. I agree with it all-heartedly, but how do you go all in when you need to work with multiple teams across regions who may not be all in? The best way to go all-in is to have senior executives commit budget and resources. The financial backing will kick off the momentum.  Once the momentum starts, you need to keep the buzz going by meeting with the teams on a regular basis.

Let me re-phrase Joe’s quote for B2B corporate content marketers: “In content marketing, B2B companies can only go all in with senior executive financial support and regular communications within the team.”  Of course, this applies to small businesses as well.

“We look for organic amplification before we look for paid media spend.”

I enjoyed Lars Silberbauer’s Lego speech very much. Lars, based in London, is responsible for Lego’s global social media and search. With its large user-base (FB with 11.6M fans and Youtube channel with 1B views per year), Lego will run several different campaigns on social media channels, then closely monitor their traction and buzz. If it does well, they will strategically place paid budget to further propel its reach.

Again, I agree with that when your user-base is big and you can see significant differences between different campaigns. When your user-base is small, you may not be able to see the statistically significant difference among the campaigns you run. In that case, you need to work hard to increase your user-base through continuous organic outreach with solid content marketing efforts and coupled with paid efforts.

For Lego, it makes sense that organic is the primary channel and paid is secondary. However, it doesn’t apply to all companies. When your user-base is small or your organic engagement is not working well, paid may be your primary channel. Here is the truth: most companies won’t talk about how much money they spend on paid to build up their user-base. Please be cognizant that paid trumps organic in some cases. Let me re-phrase the quote for B2B corporate content marketers: “We look for paid media spend and organic amplification.” The re-phrase also applies to small businesses, since their paid efforts usually are AdWord and FB ad buys.

“If you don’t have people in your blog posts, you aren’t optimized for social.” 

This is the biggest take-away from Andy Crestodina who received the highest speaking score last year and was invited to do a keynote this year. His keynote presentation was fantastic!  He discussed how content marketing couples with SEO to drive traffic and conversions. I walked away from his keynote feeling that I need to be an SEO expert in order to be a great content marketer.

B2B corporate content marketers will write blogs or create content specifically about their products, services and industries. They don’t often include other “people” such as industry experts, customers or even their social media followers in their content. Andy stressed that it’s important to mention them and make them part of your content. Then, mention their names when you syndicate your content out to social media channels. It’s a win-win!  You showcase them, they help you amplify your content. His quote is perfect for B2B corporate content marketer. His quote also inspired me to include my favorite tweets from this event. He is right – I need to include more people in my blog posts.

2. Enjoy the following selection of awesome tweets and don’t stop there. I’ve made a selection of some great #CMWorld articles.

3. There’s so much great content out there, but these are my favorites, and hopefully this roundup of #CMWorld articles will keep you entertained and informed.

The Worst Lessons Marketing Ever Taught Content by @randfish

The Revolution Begins: Highlights from Content Marketing World 2016 via @Upwork

20 Tweetable Takeaways from Content Marketing World 2016 #cmworld by @MarilynECox via @HeinzMarketing

#CMWorld 2016: Nine things to know about the Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland this week  by @janetcho via @clevelanddotcom

The Road to Content Marketing Success by @amandatodo

20 Quotes That Defined Content Marketing World 2016 via @LinkedInMktg

Content Marketing Is Growing Up: 5 Takeaways from Content Marketing World via @LinkedInMktg

Conversation Starters With The Experts at Content Marketing World by @mitchellhall via @curata

In the end it’s obvious: content marketing is an imperative and it connects businesses, but it does so much more – it connects people.

Till next time and the next Content Marketing World.

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