Great conferences can be frustrating.
They inspire you, cram your brain with creative ideas and “ah-ha!” moments, jam your wallet with the biz cards of new friends, expand your waistline and kill your per diem. (That’s the fun part.) Then it’s time for goodbyes, the hassles of travel, playing catch up at the office and wondering where all that momentum went.
If, like me, you’ve been trying to keep up with the flood of valuable insights from Content Marketing World 2012, here’s a cheat sheet to help you out. It’s a mashup of highlights from fellow attendees, blog posts that stood out, and a couple bonus links for your listening pleasure.
My top takeaway? The “Either you rock or you suck” idea from Ann Handley‘s session on Epic Content. Let’s face it, there is So.Much.Stuff. in the content stream these days, it’s overwhelming everyone, so you truly have to raise your game to keep competing for your customers’ fractured attention spans.
“Rock or Suck” might be the new “Just Do It” — and this event surely rocked, so let’s get to some more nuggets …
A Six-Pack of Attendee Feedback
I got some sharp responses to the question: “What was your favorite takeaway idea from Content Marketing World?”
It’s not an exact quote, but as Brian Clark of Copyblogger put it, “It’s Content Marketing, not just content. Each piece of content should have a purpose and belong to a portion of the sales funnel.”
— Kyle Akerman
Like all good conferences, CM World offered attendees both philosophical and practical lessons. From the 10,000-foot view, my key take-away was the need for simpler, more transparent marketing in an arena that’s getting more complex all the time. Mitch Joel and Marcus Sheridan addressed this.
According to Mitch, today’s marketers face this choice: utility or death. In a transitional and tumultuous time in our industry, in time when we have the power to build direct relationships with consumers, we must create content that people want and use. Otherwise, we perish.
That parallels Marcus’s success story, which I believe revolves around usability. I loved it when Marcus explained his core view of content marketing: “They ask. You answer.” What could be simpler, more useful and more transparent than that? He added, “We’re in an age of transparent marketing. If you’re willing to be transparent, you’ll be successful.”
— Jen Carroll
I heard this from several presenters, but mainly Marcus Sheridan and Chris Baggott: Use the expertise of your employees to answer questions that your potential readers/customers have. They won’t be searching for your company name, but for a problem they’re trying to solve.
— Taryn Fitzpatrick
Andrew Davis showed us how to unleash the power of partnerships. Working with partners you can actually increase demand for a product category with valuable content. Co-presenters Jenny Magic and Brian Massey reminded us to think of prospects as personas who are “damsels in distress.” Brian took it one step further, by encouraging us to identify and diagnose our competitors as “evil geniuses” who are well-funded, smart, and EVIL!
— Josh Miles
For me, it was a few points from the keynote by Marcus Sheridan: Content is in front of your nose. Answer the questions your customers are asking. It’s not sexy, but it’s what’s needed. Ask your customers questions to create content you can summarize and share. And within your organization, you already pay people to answer questions, so have those people create the content.
— Nick Kellet
Really too many to mention, but when you hear people like Joe Chernov from Eloqua and Todd Wheatland from Kelly Outsourcing and Consulting sing the praises of SlideShare you would be crazy not to take notice. Definitely planning on taking a deep dive into how we can use SlideShare as a content distribution channel and lead generation source. I also got a lot of takeaways from the incredible Jay Baer, who talked a lot about metrics and gave some real good examples that we can put into action right away.
— Rob Yoegel
Editor’s Choice: Quick-Read, Actionable, Idea-Packed Posts
Still Want MOAR? Check These Out
The list above was not intended to be 100% comprehensive, it’s a “Cheat Sheet” after all, so if you’re looking for that, be sure to check out the updated list of Content Marketing World 2012 Resources from the Content Marketing Institute team.
Agree? Disagree? What did I miss? Share your thoughts and/or tell me I’m nuts in the comments!
P.S. Thanks to Joe Pulizzi and the CMI team for creating a seriously valuable event. Rock on!