An Insider's Look at Content Marketing World 2019

Content is king. As digital marketers, this phrase has been branded into our brains since the beginning of organic efforts. Even though this phrase holds truth, I believe that it’s time for a new slogan when it comes to content. So, in 2019 what exactly is content?

  • Content is art.
  • Content is validating pieces of work.
  • Content is telling the right story.
  • Content solves problems.
  • Content drives action and attraction.
  • Content inspires.

This list could really go on and on, but as digital marketers in the content realm, we’re constantly striving to put out information that the consumers need. We’re focusing less on creating content and more on creating art! After attending Content Marketing World 2019 #CMWorld, in Cleveland, I stepped away with more knowledge, more ideas, and more inspiration to fuel the fire! In this blog, I will discuss a few talks that truly stood out to me as well as action items to help any brand grow through the art of storytelling.

“Amazing isn’t about being loud or flashy or outrageous. It’s about creating, distributing, and promoting content that solves a business problem or educates or inspires. It’s about being visible, approachable, and human. It’s about being consistent, relevant, and trustworthy. For marketers today, there’s nothing more important than earning trust and building a loyal audience.” - Content Marketing World 2019

7 Content Marketing Laws - Joe Pulizzi

The first keynote speaker of Content Marketing World 2019’s first full day was Joe Pulizzi. As the founder of Content Marketing Institute, Pulizzi not only knows what he’s talking about when it comes to content marketing, but he’s extremely passionate about getting his findings out to the public in an effort to create great content by teaching others. During Pulizzi’s keynote talk, he really set the stage and the expectations for CMW 2019 by discussing his 7 laws of content marketing. I believe that without his insights, I would not be fully prepared for what was to come from the conference. Here’s what he had to say:

  1. “The Law of They Have No Clue What You Are Doing” - Let’s be honest, sometimes the people you report to have no clue what you’re doing. If you’re currently working in a digital marketing role within an agency, it’s important to first sell your strategy internally. Make sure everyone knows what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what the payoff can look like. Always assure that your strategy has consistency, differentiation, value, and patience.
  2. “The Law of Self-Sustainment” - Self-sustaining is the ability to maintain itself once commenced. When applying this to marketing, you must first look at the content you are proposing and ask yourself, is this a sustainable piece that can build direct revenue? Great work will deliver value.
  3. “The Failed Startup Law” - Buy before you build. Think outside the box when building a startup. Seek out opportunities as well as the art of content acquisition in an effort to start with a strong foundation for your brand.
  4. “The Law of Ryan Seacrest” - We can’t all be Ryan Seacrest and do multiple things really well, spreading yourself across multiple projects at once. The Law of Ryan Seacrest simply means, do one great thing with your content marketing. Start learning where you should focus your time and kill off what’s not working. Once you’ve built a loyal audience with your work, then it’s time to start diversifying your content.
  5. “The Law of the Content One-Night Stand” - Continue to create consistent content and give your content time to take organic form before trying to sell. Better content creates better customers who stay longer.
  6. “The Law of Cyprus” - This law refers to the Bank of Cyprus and how depositors lost a percentage of their savings after that money was converted into bank shares in an effort to get this troubled business back to health. When putting this law into content marketing terms, it means to prepare for the end of social and how your brand and business can survive without it. Use your already established land to build your subscribers and turn them into loyal customers.
  7. “The Marketing Pushover Law” - Everyone has their own agenda when it comes to content, and at times there are too many cooks in the kitchen. The client wants to put more product specific mentions in the blog, the sales team wants you to just start creating content without a proper strategy, and the account director wants to do podcasts, videos, and blogs all at once. The content marketing law is just learning how to say no. You’ve put in the time and you’ve created the strategy, now is the time to stick to your guns!

No More Best Practices - Wil Reynolds

The next session that really made an impact on my overall conference experience was Wil Reynolds, of Seer Interactive. He explained how to use big data to help better predict the value of content. As an organic digital marketer, one of the biggest challenges I face is showing the value of content. Because content and SEO are long-term investments, it’s hard to show the true value of its work and its presence. To start his presentation, Reynolds stated, “Data is the new oil, but it’s about the tools you use to get that oil.”

In an effort to find the value of our content, we have to ask ourselves, how data-driven is our content strategy? A better way to create a data driven strategy is to pay closer attention to the keyword selection process.

  • How many keywords are you analyzing before you strategize?
  • How many competitors are you comparing your business to?
  • How many keywords are you looking at per page?
  • How much content are you producing?

When it comes to keyword research, we have so much information to use all at once that we tend to narrow it down based on trial and error. But Reynolds is saying that there’s a way to look at it all, to make the most informed decisions about your content strategies. Something that we tend to do as SEO Strategists is look at keywords with the highest search volume. If there’s a high search volume, then your content has more of a chance of being seen. Based on this reasoning, we tend to eliminate the low-search-volume keywords first. But what are we missing with these single-click queries? How can we use those keywords that are being ignored because the search volume is too low? It’s time to go after these; it’s time to find the diamond in the rough!

It’s essential to think outside of the box and avoid falling into a best practice pothole! To do this, we must get better at combining PPC and SEO data, we must begin tracking ALL competitors, and we must look at content produced compared to conversions produced. Let’s drill things down and only find the unique content. Reynolds has one more question for us in the digital marketing realm, “What are you going to do differently tomorrow?”

To better understand exactly how Reynolds is finding the value in content by looking at all the big data available, subscribe to the Seer Interactive YouTube channel. After watching just one of his sessions, you will be truly inspired to do more!

Creating & Publishing Authority Building SEO Blogs - Julia McCoy & Jason Schemmel

The last session that really stood out to me as a content marketing expert was delivered by Julia McCoy and Jason Schemmel. Both experts in content and social, they delivered some amazing action items and strategies that you can incorporate into your business’s content. To start, the main goal behind this content creating presentation was to determine what growth-focused content means. The answer, great content produces real and tangible website growth. So how do we begin to create this?

Let’s start with the What. What type of content does your brand represent and produce? What type of content does the consumer need? What is authority building content? What is your next profitable idea? Enter The 3-Bucket Topic Strategy model. Creating a profitable topic idea is first fueled by keyword research along with customer topic discovery. Once you have your content topics in mind, it’s time to start assigning them to a bucket. And the beauty behind this strategy, we don’t have to be afraid of trashing the ideas that don’t fit into the buckets!

  • Bucket 1 - SEO Rankings
  • Bucket 2 - Sales & Connections
  • Bucket 3 - Brand Awareness

After you’ve narrowed down your ideation to only the best topics for your brand, it’s time to start acting and begin creating those authority-building blogs. This is the nuts and bolts of your efforts and it’s important to pay attention to detail during this stage. In an effort to do this, McCoy explained her 5-Point Structure of a well-written blog.

  1. Headline - Grab the attention of your audience from the get-go.
  2. Intro (100-150 words) - Explain what the reader will get from this blog. Keep it short and sweet to keep the reader’s attention.
  3. Core (headers, visuals, facts) - Not only should you remember the proper structure of a blog for SEO purposes, but here is where you show your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) on the topic. Provide statistics, insert links to your findings, and use to-the-point sentences.
  4. Conclusion - Offer a recap of your writing in an effort to further connect with your reader. This section of your blog is a great place to ask questions that inspire action.
  5. CTA - End it with a call-to-action. Give readers the opportunity to reach the next stage, whether that’s a raised level of awareness or the possibility of converting depending on the business model.

Finally, after you’ve written your content, where will you publish it and where will it live? Your website is your “content house” and the most important focus when it comes to organic publications. All other channels like social media, podcasts, and guest blogs should come second. McCoy likes to think of these channels as roads to your content house. Once it’s all said and done, the true formula to authority building SEO content is this, Quality + Consistency = Success.

All in all, good content shines through, and Julia McCoy knows how to write great content! For more inspiration and findings from McCoy, check out Express Writers and discover your authority content marketing source.

Throughout the course of two days in Cleveland, there was an abundance of knowledge shared. And if I were to talk about each and every one of those sessions, this blog would never end! To summarize my experience, here are a few additional words of wisdom that really stuck with me after the conference: