After a 28-hour flight that landed us in Cleveland, Ohio we certainly felt a little worse for wear, albeit excited about the prospect of spending time with our fellow content marketeers from around the planet. My good mate, Joe Pulizzi, resplendent in orange was a picture of calm before the event.
At a conference aptly named ‘Content Marketing World’ (#cmworld if you want to get the insider information from twitter), you certainly expect the content to be very good and for the bar to be set pretty high. The keynote, “The Power of Story” from ex Crispin CD, Sally Hogshead didn’t disappoint. Sally Hogshead ran us through a myriad of stories and case studies that had affected her and implored us to stand out or don’t bother! Her talk stood out and she left a lasting impression on the audience with her tales of the power of fascination.
The event was a highlights-reel for anyone in the industry who has ever had the challenge of ‘educating the marketplace’. From David Meerman Scott through to Jae Baer and Simon Kelly, we got a feel for what strategies they were using to set up their clients for success. It was also an eye-opener to listen to the cavalcade of brands that are using content marketing “shoulder-to-shoulder with traditional media” to get results. The brands included IBM, Dell, DuPont, HP, Luxottica and Intel to name a few. Here was evidence of the power of content marketing and the brands that have reaped the rewards.
One of the highlights was the interview session with Michael Stelzner from SocialMediaExaminer and Brian Clark from Copyblogger.com. These guys were open about how they have used content to grow their respective businesses. They also talked about the processes and work required to develop and build a content rich business and the metrics they use to determine whether it was a successful article or not.
The other speaker to stand out was Lee Odden from TopRank who I think could have talked for weeks about the convergence of SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing. He talked about the fact that optimised content was the key for social media.
However, the highlight of the event were the people, all openly discussing the ‘hows’, ‘whys’ and ‘whens’ with competitors, colleagues, clients and potentials. It was an eye-opener to see how far the market has come in the US with over 650 turning up. I’ve had a bet that the number will be doubled next year!