3 Big Takeaways From Content Marketing World Sydney

sarah mitchell and james lush presenting at content marketing world 2015
Mar 19, 2015
Content Marketing

Did you go to Content Marketing World Sydney? The three-day event wrapped up on Wednesday after delivering workshops and presentations focused on every aspect of content marketing. Notable Australian marketers and brand journalists shared the bill with international experts like Andrew Davis, Arnie Kuenn, Robert Rose, and Geraint Holliman to deliver some of the best thinking and current insight into a discipline finally gaining traction in Australia.

The 2015 Sydney event was the fourth time I’ve attended Content Marketing World. Three clear messages evolved from the conference. It’s worth taking note because much of what was discussed has already proven out in brands across America and Europe. This is what made me sit up and take note.

Get internal support for your strategy

One of the biggest stumbling blocks marketers face is gaining executive support for content marketing. This year we discovered that’s not the last hurdle to running a successful initiative. Nearly every content marketer present, including Bupa and Rockwell Automation, said one of the most important activities they undertook was garnering internal support in the wider company about the strategy behind content marketing. In most cases, this involved:

It makes me wonder if this isn’t partly why small business has been more successful with content marketing than many large brands. Internal support is easier when less people are involved.

Create less content but do a better job

We were fortunate in Perth to get a preview of Geraint Holliman’s presentation on building a content engine. Holliman definitely drew a parallel between early content marketing strategies and 19th-century sweatshops. As a member of the ‘been there, done that’ camp, I wholeheartedly agree. He wasn’t the only one delivering that message. Keynote speaker Andrew Davis urged content marketers to quit spamming their audience with content they don’t want or need. He counseled the audience to find a niche and stick to it.

Chief Strategy Officer for the Content Marketing Institute, Robert Rose, advised marketers to consider the problems of scaling greatness, “You shouldn’t get too granular mapping content to your buyer’s journey. It won’t happen.” Instead, he asked brands to focus on just a few key user experiences and create great content for them.

It’s not about you

One thing’s for sure, content with an inward focus doesn’t work. We drove that message home in our own presentation on storytelling. But no one made the point better than Jesse Desjardins of Tourism Australia. He clearly showed the benefit of making the customer the hero of your story. Tourism Australia receives 1000 photos a day and over 1.9 million pieces of content a year from their audience. Staying on the storytelling theme, he urged marketers to tell great stories but make sure to give your customers stories they can tell on your behalf.

Changing the focus of your stories helps your SEO, too. Arnie Kuenn gave two talks chock-full of practical advice on how to keep the Google happy. He warned the days of gaming Google for search results are over. His overarching theme was the importance of taking cues from your customer’s search habits to create content they want. It’s another example of why telling your own story will always put you in second place.

Where to get help

If it sounds like a lot to take in, don’t worry. We’ve been helping brands across Australia get their content marketing initiatives off the ground. Get in touch for a chat; we’d love to hear from you.


– by Sarah Mitchell