The content planning process starts well before fingertips begin to tap on the home keys. How we view our audience, organize our content creation teams, and position our brands helps to frame our entire content marketing strategy, whether we like it or not. There is no one great and magical way to ensure you’re planning properly, which is why the 2016 Content Marketing Conference featured an entire track dedicated to inspiring ideas from leading industry experts. From scaling your blog subscriptions to learning how to share, there were plenty of opinions ready to be examined, absorbed, and put to good use.
How to Accelerate the Growth of Your Business Blog
Anum Hussain, Hubspot
If you weren’t already familiar with Anum Hussain before seeing her speak at the Content Marketing Conference, you could still reasonably expect a hefty dose of knowledge from someone working at a content megalith like Hubspot. You wouldn’t be disappointed. Hussain jumped straight into the architecture behind great blog strategy, breaking the early portion of the planning process down into three essential building blocks: understanding your target audience, creating posts that help boost traffic, and finding ways to blow up your number of blog descriptions. A general understand of those three things is, according to Hussain, the foundation of pretty much everything else, but it’s the actionable tips she shared that showed attendees how a little foresight could turn their sadly dormant blogs into hives of activity.
Humans are, by nature, fickle people. From our favorite bands to employment opportunities to reality TV, what has us collectively enthralled one minute can easily be tossed by the wayside the next if we aren’t thoroughly and consistently entertained. For content marketers, the key to encouraging both blog and brand loyalty may well be agile marketing. Whereas traditional content marketing generally relies on handful of creative types working independently, researching, writing, posting, and then hitting repeat, agile marketing uses the exponential power of a united team to run “sprints,” testing the value measurements of team members’ talents, individual tasks, and the efficacy of the project as a whole. It’s short and intense bursts of creativity and planning that lead to greater productivity in less time – in the words of Amanda Fryrear, “the Big Bang of content planning.”
How to 10x Your Content Team’s Productivity
Hana Abaza, Uberflip
When 92 percent of marketers declare themselves to be productive and yet 90 percent of marketers regularly confess to working evenings and weekends, we’re either surveying some of the most prolific content creators on the planet or something’s amiss. Uberflip’s Hana Abaza is a proponent and reevaluating not just how we’re spending our time but also what we’re spending it on. Are we sacrificing quality for the sake of quantity? Are we being authentic to our brands? Are we inundating consumers with email after boring email filled with substandard content? By hiring multitalented people who can handle a variety of tasks and making them feel valued, we streamline our in-house processes and open up the creativity floodgates. That’s how we begin turning out content that is important and interesting instead of content that just is.
What’s Next: Tactics for the Peer-to-Peer Economy
Jon Wuebben, Content Launch
Jon Wuebben isn’t a fortune teller, but his keen interest in the future of content marketing and ability to pinpoint the trends poised to impact the next generation of content creation is almost superhuman. That or he’s just really, really good at what he does. Either way, Wuebben identified eight trends that he believes will significantly impact the new peer-to-peer economy: mobile capability and optimization, brand transparency, high-quality content, user-generated content, social media marketing, branding, personalized and data-driven marketing, and increasingly effective (and accurate) metrics. It’s a fascinating list that acts as a step-by-step guide for content marketers looking to plan ahead and plan better. Regardless of industry, company size, or even the changing landscape of “mega trends” such as urbanization, social dynamics, connectivity and convergence, and the technological evolution of health, wellness, and energy, breaking down a content plan (and your overall marketing strategy, really) according to those same eight trends mentioned above will give you an actionable blueprint capable of delivering you to the pinnacle of success. Where does the peer-to-peer and sharing stuff come in? Wuebben encourages brands to view customers not as one-time purchasers but as people with whom they can develop long-lasting relationships. Once that potential value is established, the entire dynamic changes and we as business owners are more likely to create content plans based on not only share longevity but a shared desire to do and be good. And isn’t that something worth working towards?
Panel – How to Craft a Global Content Strategy
From smoke signals to carrier pigeons to telegrams to multi-household switchboards, the technological evolution of global communication has had a long and storied history. We’ve retired our bird messengers and upgraded to smartphones, connecting people in the far corners of the globe with remarkable reliability and speed. What does that have to do with content planning or content strategy in general? Well, pretty much everything. With greater global connectivity comes in an increased need for content marketers to understand what people in different countries raised in different cultures with uniquely traditional values expect from their content. We can translate words, but how do we translate a brand’s emotion into a universally attractive campaign? It’s a tricky question and the content marketers who figure out the answer are going to be valuable commodities indeed.
Keynote – Shareology: How Sharing Powers the Human Economy
Bryan Kramer, PureMatter
Are we, as content marketers, trustworthy? Or are we just trying to draw in traffic and covert consumers into customers at any cost? That’s the premise Bryan Kramer based his keynote on, and it was enough of a discomfiting idea to make everyone sit up straight and take a little extra notice as he began discussing the idea of authenticity and giving to get. By sharing bits of ourselves in our content and being “real,” we establish a subtle yet ever-strengthening rapport with our audience. Best of all, being genuine and embracing both the humor and heart behind our own imperfections makes use relatable, and all people really want is to “get” and be “gotten.” So, are content marketers trustworthy? Only if we want to be, and only if we want to be really, really good at our jobs.
5-Star writer Alana M is has spent her adult life discovering the world as an award-winning professional musician, sommelier, trained chef, and social media guru.
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