As I prepare to attend the Content Marketing World conference next week, I’m filled with anticipation for what lays ahead, both for the companies attending and for the industry as a whole. By now, many businesses have caught on to content marketing as a trend, making this an exciting time to speak with the leaders in the industry.
Last year focused primarily on how to create meaningful content leading me to believe this year will be all about sharing that content in a creative and revolutionary way. Since so many businesses rely on old-school ways of pushing content to readers (inbound methods), there needs to be a concentrated shift in our focus – directly to the power of outbound marketing. We need to re-boot our thinking caps and remember that we should be driving people to our messaging; not our websites. Hopefully some of the presenters will address this perspective.
I also imagine that there will be much discussion on the topic of content marketing professionals; i.e. those specifically dedicated to managing the content marketing strategies and execution. With the advent of social media and more companies recognizing the importance of sincere engagement with their audiences, the need for a person to manage this area of marketing has become vital. In a report conducted by the Altimeter Group, researcher Rebecca Leib addresses what happens when those positions don’t exist:
“Organizations are not structured to act in concert with regard to content. This lack of orchestration results in duplicative efforts that waste time and money while producing inconsistent messaging. Simultaneous rapid growth in channels and platforms require an ever-greater degree of internal harmony, as well as new skills and strategies around content.”
In addition to adding community managers to marketing teams, we’re now seeing positions created for content marketing managers and directors of digital content. Defining these roles for executives that want to add positions to their teams would be a helpful and valuable subject to explore.
Finally, for those who remain concentrated on lead generation and sales, proving the ROI of content marketing will undoubtedly be a hot topic of conversation at the conference. Once you produce compelling content to share and secure strategists to leverage that content, you’ll need to have a plan for proving its worth.
Likes and follows on social media channels are valuable, but to really measure how your content is reaching and engaging with your audience, you’ll want to dig deeper into your results. Sure, the quantity of people you reach is something to consider, but the quality of how they’re responding to the messaging is even more crucial. Whether they share the content with others in their own network, take action by joining the conversation, or better yet, sign up to use or purchase the service or product being promoted, regularly evaluating those metrics of success should be a no-brainer.
I look forward to finding out if my predictions for the event will be on point and hope to be introduced to new ideas that will surprise me.