Content Marketing World is widely regarded in the industry as the content marketing event to attend each year.
Boasting an enviable line-up of hard-hitting keynote speakers — including the beloved Tina Fey, the dynamic Andrew Davis, The New York Times’ Kathleen Diamantakis, and the conference’s pioneer, Joe Pulizzi — I had some pretty high expectations of what to expect.
This year’s thoughtful agenda offered a staggering 120 breakout sessions, keynote workshops covering all things content related and networking opportunities galore.
Here are a handful of trends and learnings that stood out to me at CMW18.
Engage audiences by telling stories that use ‘The Curiosity Factor’
Marketer extraordinaire Andrew Davis explained to us that audiences are not asking for “snackable” content and that people will make time to consume content they’re interested in.
So, how do you make content that holds people’s attention? Andrew says we need to think like a reality TV editor and engage our audience by creating stories with captivating and impactful content.
The secret to grabbing and holding our audience’s attention is creating curiosity gaps, he said.
“It is the void between what we know, and what we want to know,” he said.
FURTHER READING: A marketer’s guide to the curiosity gap
AI is lit
Whether you realise it or not, artificial intelligence (AI) is already impacting our world in ways that were unimaginable only a few years ago.
In the not-too-distant future, content marketing will be using AI to do things such as create predictive insights to inform content strategy, research blog post ideas, analyse data, create competitive positioning and so much more.
But have no fear; Loren McDonald and Brian Donnelly of IBM assured us the bots are not going to replace us humans just yet. We are still needed to guide the technology. But, it is likely that these tools will become a key driver of change in the next few years.
The importance of a documented content marketing strategy
This is by no means a new concept for content marketers, but this theme was reiterated many times because the majority of content marketers are still not doing it!
Only 38 per cent of respondents to a major new survey said they follow a documented process. (DivvyHQ & TopRank Marketing 2018 Content Planning Report).
If you are looking to get ahead of the curve, here’s CMI’s 16-page guide to creating a documented content strategy.
We’ve got a trust issue
The fact is, your audience wants to trust you. For them to do this, you must be authentic and you must have meaning — and a meaning that resonates with your brand and your desired audience.
Once trust has been established, you become the go-to source for information. Trust has never been such a valuable commodity to brands and, for brands to build and grow their audiences, they need to earn the audience’s trust.
As Robert Rose explained on stage, “Trust is the new player. We have the power to shape beliefs [and] become the trusted source of interesting things.”
Live Note taking with a twist
One of the most enjoyable and unexpected pleasures of CMW18 was watching the talented illustrators over at Kingman Ink create – live – visual notes of some 20 sessions.
These were displayed for all to see in the main conference hall entrance. Check them all out on the Kingman Ink website.
Attending CMW was such a fun, uplifting learning experience. I highly recommend you go if you haven’t been before! The future of content marketing is most certainly orange.
If you want to know more about content marketing, Lush — The Content Agency has a team of experts in Perth, Western Australia, who would be happy to chat about it with you. Get in touch.