Have you ever gotten a performance review from the powers that be? Have you ever given your own content the same treatment? Understanding where we stand is an important part of content marketing. We need to know what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong before we can decide how we want to proceed. We learn from our past, but it’s not just a personal assessment. We have to ask ourselves what our competitors are doing, what our customers are thinking, and how everyone is interacting with the content we’ve already created. We’re about to take our temperature and if you’re feeling a little lightheaded it’s okay, you’re not alone. You’ve got these content marketing masters – all of whom graced the stage at the 2016 Content Marketing Conference – to help you ace the exam.
The Digital Path to Purchase: From Content to Conversion
Bill Carmody, Trepoint
During a conference packed with actionable tips and ingenious little tricks designed to make content easier and conversion a snap, Bill Carmody’s session stuck out as the one presentation dedicated not to the problems we as content marketers face but rather the culture that inspires those problems in the first place. It was the first time in two days many people had considered the evolution of digital communication from a more humanistic point of view. Yes, we have to optimize for mobile, but why is it that everybody is ditching desktop computers in favor of smartphones and tablets? Carmody believes that we’re all searching for solutions, and that desire for more, better, nicer, cooler, newer, easier, richer, happier lives is what drives audiences into the arms of the brands they grow to love. In the midst of chatter about creating blog teams and analyzing our most important KPI, this was a beautiful moment in which we had the chance to stop, smell the roses, and question our own motives, all of which serves to make us better performing content marketers. And when we all walked out, we strode with purpose, armed with the knowledge necessary for understanding why we do what we do. Pretty cool, right?
Dennis Yu, Blitzmetrics
At the time of this writing, the final outcome of the 2016 NBA Championships is still up for grabs, but at the May 2016 Content Marketing Conference, Dennis Yu put his allegiance to the Golden State Warriors on serious display – so much so that his original talk on the “12 KPIs of Content Marketing” morphed into a full-blown basketball analogy. It was witty, entertaining, informative, and downright mesmerizing, to be honest, demonstrating aptly how someone’s enthusiasm can be contagious. Yu’s main focus was how we turn work into results. How can we measure our successes in real, quantifiable ways? Yu came up with seven key KPI; each of the seven actually consisted of two metrics that contrasted with each other. Action rate is compared to conversion rate, positive feedback compared to negative. The takeaway is that no data exists in a vacuum. To accurately measure our progress, we have to first understand the circumstances in which they were achieved. It really is a life lesson, and whether the Cavs go on to beat Yu’s Warriors or vice versa, those at CMC16 will already have already won, thanks to Yu, his post-season comparison, and the whopping 38-page actionable workbook he gave his audience members to take home.
5 Emerging Technologies That Will Revolutionize Content Marketing
Christopher Bowler, Razorfish
If you had to boil Christopher Bowler’s entire content marketing philosophy down to one word, it would be “technology.” Our world is becoming increasingly digital; even our homes are going online and the Internet of Things exists in reality now, not just in the imaginations of Sci-Fi super nerds. As the senior vice president of Razorfish, a content management and social media marketing agency that does, well, pretty much everything, Bowler is on top of what’s next, and what’s next appears to be centralized systems that streamline the entire path of content performance from conception to far beyond distribution. Humans can’t keep up with the content needs of the global audience without help. From platforms like BuzzSumo that help analyze content by industry to SpredFast, which specializes in trends and topic longevity, when it comes to content marketing these days there really is an app for that, because there’s an app for everything. It’s a promising view of an easier, more organized future, but what does a technologically controlled content stream provide in terms of emotion and connection? Bowler might argue that the former frees us up to concentrate on the latter, but that might be a question best asked of him in person at next year’s Content Marketing Conference.
Content Amplification: Do the Math and Master the Art
David McInnis, Cranberry
When you want everyone at your party to hear your favorite record, you put it on the machine and play it through speakers, but what do you do when your party encompasses the entire world and you’re trying to get your global audience to listen to the written word? Even more importantly, once you get people listening, how do you keep them from turning the dial? In content marketing, we talk about bounce rates, and that was David McInnis’s focus during his session at the 2016 Content Marketing Conference. He first challenged the efficacy of PPC (pay-per-click) metrics. Sure, you can see how many people are clicking through to your site, but you can’t tell how long they’re staying and how much they’re reading. If you have a high bounce rate – people are spring-boarding back out of your site at record speed – it doesn’t matter one whit how many visitors you’re getting overall. The better metric is tCPC (total cost per click). It’s a complicated bunch of calculations and a lot of acronyms to learn but the end product is a great understanding of who is coming to your site, who is staying, and what makes them do what they’re doing. Imagine what you could do with knowledge like that?
5-Star writer Alana M 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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