Content Marketing World recap: Future trends & speaking tips

Content Marketing World recap: Future trends & speaking tips
Written by: Karl Sakas

Karl Sakas speaking at Content Marketing World 2016

Want to keep up with the latest trends in content marketing? Here are my top takeaways from Content Marketing World (CMW) 2016—specifically focusing on keynote speakers Andrew Davis, Kristina Halvorson, Rand Fishkin, and Robert Rose, plus an excellent lunch & learn by speaking coach Tamsen Webster.

I moderated the first four speakers in the Future Content Keynotes track (see above), which focused on the future of content marketing. Below, I’ve shared my top takeaways on content marketing, inbound branding, and speaking approach from all five.

Andrew Davis photoAndrew Davis

Founder, Monumental Shift (@DrewDavisHere)

TALK: Killer Content: How brilliant brands create less content and deliver bigger success

Takeaway: “Fill a Content Hole—create content your audience doesn’t know they need, but when they see it, they love it!”

Takeaway: The power of framing what the audience should expect: “This isn’t a ‘how-to’ presentation. It’s a ‘how-to-think’ presentation.”

Kristina HalvorsonKristina Halvorson

CEO, Brain Traffic (@halvorson)

TALK: Content Strategy: Clarity, Constraints, and Common Sense

Takeaway: Answer three questions before creating your content: Why? For whom? What next?

Takeaway: Don’t innovate. IMPROVE.

Rand Fishkin headshotRand Fishkin

Wizard of Moz (@randfish)

TALK: The Worst Advice Marketing Ever Gave to Content

Takeaway: “At Moz, we observe folks visiting our site ~8X on average, before they take a free trial of our software.” In contrast, immediate conversions (via PPC) don’t stick around as long.

Takeaway: “A lot of content marketing advice is self-serving; suffers from survivorship bias; applies in some fields, but not others; works for only some flywheels; and only helps if you’re an early adopter.”

Robert Rose headshotRobert Rose

Chief Content Adviser, Content Marketing Institute (@Robert_Rose)

TALK: Content Marketing is Broken – Here’s How to Fix It and Tie It to Real Business Results

Takeaway: “Tell me how you measure me and I will tell you how I will behave. If you measure me in an illogical way… do not complain about illogical behavior. –Eli Goldratt”

Takeaway: Presentation matters—Robert presented his advice as a comic book parable based on the Hero’s Journey. This was very effective (although not everyone could pull that off, on both narrative and visuals).

Tamsen Webster headshotTamsen Webster

Speaking Coach (@tamadear)

TALK: Speaking: Content’s Last Frontier (How to sell from the stage…without “selling from the stage”)

Takeaway: You can’t (effectively) sell a product or service from the stage—but you can sell an IDEA.

Takeaway: If your audience isn’t ready to take action, focus your content on WHY. If they’re ready to take action, focus your content on HOW. If they’re somewhere in between, focus on WHAT NOW.

Takeaway: Bridge the gap from Goal to Action, by sharing the Problem, persuading the audience about the key Idea, and reviewing the Change they’ll need to make.

What Are Your Top Takeaways?

I enjoyed my first visit to Cleveland! Content Marketing World is a fun intro to the city, and I’m looking forward to returning to explore further.

Like excellent cocktails? Be sure to visit the Velvet Tango Room in Cleveland—expensive but worth it.

Question: What were your top takeaways from Content Marketing World 2016?

Image credits: Photos courtesy of the five speakers

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