This was NewsCred's sixth year in Content Marketing World (CMW), and we are fortunate to have grown and evolved alongside the content marketing industry. I've been involved in many content marketing events, but the vibrant and engaged community around CMW has always brought out. This year, I think a lot of content marketers are feeling the pressure of being a content creator, a distributor, and a strategist at a time when the speed and saturation of content is maximum – but we are determined to take up the challenge continue to tell strong and empathic stories.
Here are the trends and learning that have marked me this year by connecting with the participants in the field and joining as many panels and sessions as possible. (This helped NewsCred distribute an extremely strong brew of our local friends to Rising Star).
Formats: Scalability and Content Shape
It's not just the proliferation of channels among content marketers; there are more formats than ever before. It seemed that podcasts, webinars, VR and interactive activities all had several sessions devoted to best practices. And on the traditional side, the rise of printed content and printed content (printed ebooks are just … books?) Was on display in all vendor booths.
Technology makes new types of storytelling, formats and sharing possible every day, more and more at affordable costs with fewer controllers. As Tina Fey said in the closing speech, it would not be surprising if the next Emmy nominee came from a Happy Meal.
But there are still questions about demonstrating return on investment with these higher investment formats. Marketers seemed convinced that they should invest more and more in these formats, but described difficulties with the increased layers of approval, distribution strategies, and the measurement strategies that come with them.
SEO: Everyone knows it's important, but it's still not second nature
As organic search was essential to discovery, the convergence of SEO and content marketing certainly seemed a priority for many CMW participants. There is an impression that content marketers must have SERP skills above average, and there were certainly plenty of partners on the show with solutions.
However, SEO still feels a bit isolated from the daily routines of content marketers. When Children's Health's Courtney Cox asked how many people in the audience knew about Google's response, most participants raised their hands. But there was still confusion about how to get there.
Indeed, referencing is a skill that requires time and investment, along with a technological solution . It is also constantly evolving and rather mysterious as Google's algorithms change. As Elyse Haines, M Director of Marketing at TrueSense Marketing said: " I know what I must do. I do not know how I will find the time. "
Agile: Now a buzzword with many meanings
It seems that the goal of "real time" has been supplanted by the concept of creating agile marketing and marketing teams. But what does this really mean for content marketers? There is no clear consensus.
An agile approach to marketing was mentioned at various sessions of CMW – of "Staying in Control with the Agile Content Marketing Roadmap" to "Adapt Scrum Marketing Practices" to L & # 39; agile marketing help. Our CEO and co-founder, Shafqat Islam, also mentioned this need to work better together, to build trust and agility, in his CMW presentation.
Agile methodology has traditionally been applied primarily to engineering work processes, and I think its zeitgeist appearance across CMW shows that marketers are looking for new ways to work together. We're feeling silos more than ever, whether it's technology, SEO, or distribution.
One participant, a senior director of content marketing, received the following message: "It's so true that we can lead integration efforts in our organizations. We are at the center of all marketing efforts. That's why it's so painful for content marketers that there is no team alignment. "
B2B: Still struggling with the alignment of measurements and sales
B2B sessions have always been well attended and the questions and answers I've heard have been energetic as marketers have tried to personalize the learning of their organizations. However, we still see many introductory slides on the online (and mobile) B2B buyer journey and, overall, the CMW participants still feel that the misalignment of Classic content is always present.
Measurement strategies for B2B content marketing have also sparked a lot of interest this year. Leslie Carruthers, president of Search Guru held a plenary session for one of the first sessions of CMW 2018 on the relatively dry (I say that with love) subject of conversion tracking. Most solutions for content marketers involve the customization of analysis and attribution strategies that are not specifically designed for a content-based multi-channel course.
Empathy: The Secret of Sharable and Meaningful Stories
The rather clinical terms such as "cause marketing" and CSR have been replaced by a more genuine human desire to tell empathic stories. Empathic storytelling was the central theme or foundation of many content marketing programs highlighted at CMW. And it is positioned as a solution (or at least an alternative) to the challenge of content saturation.
Inspiring Speech by Kathleen Diamantakis of @nytimes – "If we are not careful, we will end up with an epidemic of meaninglessness. human beings and as traders can rectify this. "Making content that means something #CMWorld
– Jeff Stehlin (@jstehlin) 6 September 2018
One of CMW's favorite sessions came from the Northwell Health team, who developed a highly empathic content program with The Well . They shared the mission statement of their program and I think it can serve as an excellent North Star to all brands struggling to find purpose and authenticity in their marketing:
In this time of overabundance of information, most of which is inaccurate, useless or even difficult to understand, Northwell Health's mission is to make a difference as an honest, reliable and caring partner. We connect with consumers to provide personalized content that reduces their stress, makes them laugh and ends up feeling more confident and capable in their health care journey.
This is the end of CMW 2018 for NewsCred! Thanks to everyone who came by our stand for a coffee and a demo, we followed with us on the social and attended our session on building better marketing teams.
Jesse Feldman is NewsCred's content marketing director.