On Friday 8th November I attended the third Content Marketing Show, held at the Institute of Education very close to London’s Russell Square. The conference took place in a huge lecture theatre that was reminiscent of being back at university, many moons ago!

It was a day packed full with information. There were 16 speakers who each presented about a different facet of content marketing. To summarise the day, without writing a 2000 word essay, I’ve picked out my seven key learnings.

Hannah Smith

Throwing S**t Against the Wall and Analysing What Sticks…
Create content people will love
If one of your content marketing goals is to get people to share your content, you need to create things that people will love. It’s the only way it’s going to get seen. To make something lovable you need to understand your target audience first. Hannah suggested surveys and focus groups as key methods of research.

Lauren Pope

Why Content Needs Strategy
Content strategy gives you a formula for creating great content time and time again
Lauren said that if you approach content without strategy, you’re setting yourself up for failure. She gave us an insight into the strategy model that they use at Brilliant Noise, which revolves around purpose, principles, platforms, processes, people and performance.

Jon Norris

A 1950s Approach to Content Strategy
1950s approach to marketing - post its on a whiteboard as an editorial workflow
Jon talked about how in the last 1000 years there have basically only been 4 technical innovations in writing, first the quill, then the printing press, the typewriter and the personal computer. Nowadays the innovations are all software rather than hardware based. The issue with this is that many of these operate in silos, resulting in extra time and effort. His solution to all this? Post-It notes on a whiteboard. Each Post-It relates to an individual task. If anyone in the business needs to know where any piece of content is within the editorial workflow they simply need to look at the board. Simple, huh?

Simon Banoub

Twitter Tips from OptaJoe
Play the long game. Don't start getting twitchy when you have 8 followers after 2 weeks. Patience.

It takes time to build up a genuine following on social media. It can be hard to explain this to senior management who aren’t involved in marketing but you need to play the long game. Results don’t happen overnight.

Kieran Flanagan

Inbound Marketing – The Art of Not Sucking
Aim for remarkable content
There is so much content in existence on the ol’ interweb that you need to create something remarkable. Or as Kieran put it, “Create content that adds value, solves a pain point, or just entertains.” To not suck you need to understand your audience and get in front of as many eyeballs as possible through promotion.

Kester Ford

Amplify or Die!
Content is the fire, social media is the gasoline - Jay Baer
Kester told us that we are competing against everyone. There is enough information in the world that it would take around 27,000,000 years to read it all! So you need to amplify your content or no-one’s going to find it. He talked about the importance of social media and using influencers to reach the right people.

Sarah Howard

Don’t Forget About Long Form Content
Long-form content is your friend - key takeaways

Sarah told us that long form content is “super worthwhile” because, amongst other reasons, it elevates the writer to thought-leader level, and reduces bounce rates. Long form content should be thought of as an investment, with many satellite pieces stemming from the one concept. For example, if you write a whitepaper, why not hold a webinar to discuss it? You can then publish the presentation on Slideshare, create multiple blog posts around smaller topics mentioned within the whitepaper, and use your research to create an infographic.

It was a great but tiring day and I wrote A LOT of notes! I hope to be able to use what I’ve learnt in the future for both client and SGM content. Did you go to the Content Marketing Show this November? What did you think?