As the weather cools down, marketing heats up as hundreds of content marketers converge in Cleveland, OH for Content Marketing World (CMW). CMW is an annual conference that brings together the best and brightest in content marketing to share insights, tell stories and learn from one another. This year, LaneTerralever Director of Content, Hannah Tooker (that’s me!), and Senior Content Strategist, Claire Braud were able to head to Cleveland to join in the fun. Bringing back with us an impressive repository of rock ‘n roll facts and a wealth of content marketing knowledge, Claire and I spent the week soaking in the insights to help propel LT and our clients forward.
Work Smarter Not Harder
For so long, content marketers have tried to create hundreds of unique pieces of content across dozens of channels to satisfy an ever-changing landscape of consumers. It doesn’t have to be that way, there are many ways to make the content you dedicate time and resources to go further. Our friends at Convince + Convert spoke at CMW about the importance of content atomization for marketers. Content atomization is a simple way to solve a big problem. Instead of creating dozens of unique pieces of content that dry up time and resources, spend your time on one large piece of content first, think whitepaper, case study, or video. Then, from this large piece of content, create 8 additional pieces of smaller content, think GIF, blog, or social post. This gives you the content you need, without tying up resources again and again to achieve your goals.
Be Picky About Platforms
Another topic of discussion at CMW was platform selection. In the early days of social media and content marketing, the diversity of platforms was a key part of any successful strategy. However, as these platforms evolve, algorithms change and attention spans shorten, being selective about what platforms you focus your attention on is key. These days, finding a highly engaged audience on one platform is 10x better than less engaged audiences across several platforms. Asking yourself a few foundational questions can help you determine if starting up a new platform is right for your brand. First, do you have something meaningful to contribute? Next, can you say it on a platform you’re already on? Then, can you commit to consistency? Going through the process of answering questions like these will help ensure your focus remains in the place you can provide the most value.
Rethink Your Customer Journey
As marketers, we’re constantly told that the path to conversion involves pushing visitors down a funnel. First, get them aware of who you are and then circle them down until they pop out the other side as a loyal customer. But what if we stop thinking of the buying journey as a linear process where we push people to do the things we want them to do, and start approaching it as a relationship where we empower consumers to meet their goals by way of your product or service. The marketing hourglass promotes buying journeys that are built on relationships instead of designed actions. It’s broken down into three main areas:
- Developing Good Rapport - getting your consumer to know, like, and trust who you are as a brand
- Building the Bridge to Success - allowing your customers to try and then buy from you, keep in mind that trying doesn’t always mean a free sample or 30-day trial
- Scale with Your Customers - keeping their business coming by nurturing them with repeat offers and fostering them to become brand evangelists within their circle
By reevaluating how you view the marketing funnel and consumer buying patterns, you’ll allow yourself to properly scale your business to focus on the customers you can impact the most.
[The Marketing Hourglass is a trademarked property of Jantsch Communications, Inc - dba Duct Tape Marketing]
Create an Emotional Connection
We all know that creating a connection with your audience is essential in marketing, but the power of emotional storytelling as a tactic for advertising is not to be undersold. Content marketer extraordinaire, Ann Handley, told the story of her pumpkin spice couches at CMW and illustrated the power that emotionally charged copywriting can hold in an ad. One ad offered up a free, gently used couch, the other told the story of what the buyer might want to use that couch for, illustrating it as a part of their life. This can mean the difference between selling your customers on your product or business and having an advertisement fall flat. Utilizing the best practices below will ensure your stories land with your audience every time.
Overall, one consistent theme emerged from our time at CMW and that is that the customer is what matters most. Through all facets of the customer experience, ensuring that their needs are met with the content they’re seeking, on the channels they want to see it, in the phase of the journey that they're in, in a way that connects with them on a personal level is key. Customers are telling us every day what they want from us as brands, we just have to take the time to listen.
Getting In Touch With LaneTerralever
Need help with your content marketing efforts? Contact LaneTerralever today to get started with an in-depth content audit to uncover what opportunities exist on and off your site.
LaneTerralever is a full service marketing and advertising agency located in Phoenix, AZ that specializes in SEO, Digital Media, Brand Strategy, Public Relations, Website Development, User Experience Design, Content Marketing, and more.