Content Marketing World: Lessons from the experts

giraffe in front of sydney harbour bridge
Mar 24, 2015
Content Marketing

Having left Content Marketing World Sydney with content overload and bursting with advice and knowledge, I’ve taken away many ideas on how to succeed in content marketing. As well as discovering what I should be doing, I also found it fascinating learning what not to do.

The speakers were firm believers in content marketing and held strong opinions on what works well and what to avoid (and there were a few interesting contradictions!) I enjoyed seeing them cringe in annoyance when describing their personal bug-bears followed by a plea to the audience to avoid them in their content journey.

Here are a few of my favourite lessons on what not to do:

Don’t create silos

Robert Rose was very passionate about his hatred of this particular buzzword when exclaiming, “Silos suck!” It’s hard to avoid the separation of different teams when each has their own agenda and focus, but as Robert said previously,

Silos suck, but content can unify

Without communication between these areas, the company can easily become segregated. Obviously it’s not ideal because we’re an industry of communicators. Content becomes the tendon holding the production muscle to the solid bone of the documented content marketing strategy. (Robert also spoke about the power of the analogy).

Don’t confuse Google

Arnie Kuenn talked extensively on the importance of keeping a healthy relationship with Google,

If you confuse Google, you will lose.”

Creating content is only one step of the content marketing recipe. If your search optimisation is not thorough and factual, you will upset the powers that be at Google. Throughout the event presenters stressed  the importance of being a trustworthy brand. Jonathan Crossfield highlighted this when presenting on the importance of being honest with your SEO:

Don’t lose credibility due to shonky stats.”

headshot of Jonathon Crossfield


Don’t become a factory

Geraint Holliman spoke about the dangers of building a content factory – spitting out the same content lacking in originality and value.

Don’t build a factory…we live in an opt-in world.”


The consumer has the prerogative to be selective with what content they choose. Why would you want a Robin Reliant when you could have a Porsche? (Unless you are Delboy!) A common theme throughout Content Marketing World was we should be focussing on quality over quantity; we shouldn’t fall into a habit of mass-producing, but creating authentic content that gets heard above the noise.

Don’t be fake

I enjoyed listening to Tim Reid share his secrets for making a successful podcast.

Personality is the secret sauce.”

Timbo spoke about the importance of staying truthful when recording a podcast and how you shouldn’t change the way you behave or the way you speak. I can relate to this in my line of work through the people I interview. I find it fascinating how people can behave one way in conversation, but put a microphone or camera in front of them and they will totally change personalities. My mum is guilty for having a ‘phone voice’, adopting the Queen’s English and sounding like she is addressing a crowd of peasants surrounding her castle.

It’s all about the people

Unfortunately it seems to be an unconscious behaviour and is sometimes hard to control. I liked Tim’s point of staying true to who you are. Jesse Desjardin highlighted the importance of personality:

Content isn’t enough today….it’s the people around the content.”

So as well as taking away practical actions in how to succeed in content marketing, I’ve learned many lessons on what to avoid. The opinions at Content Marketing World varied widely. It offered an eye-opening perspective on the business of content marketing through the diverse and charismatic people it attracts.

If you would like to find out more about what to do and what to avoid when it comes to content marketing, why not drop us a line? We’ve been working in this space long enough to know what works but also what doesn’t.