4,000 attendees. 225 speakers. 550 companies. Over the course of 123 hours, the largest content marketing event, Content Marketing World, was held in Cleveland this year, and MSP-C editor Amanda Welshons reports back on what rocked her content world.
Although you probably had multiple favorites, what one session or speaker struck you the most and why?
Amanda Welshons: My favorite was Allen Gannett, CEO and founder of TrackMaven, who said we can take lessons from Taylor Swift on how to be creatively successful. We just have to follow a set of proven principles for our work.
In his session, The Laws of Creativity for Marketers: The Hidden Science of Creative Genius, Gannett explained the power of intentional creativity—that there’s a formula and a process for repeated success. What we may be perceived as creative brilliance may actually be a product of a system:
1. Start with infinite possibilities
2. Use data to reduce ideas
3. Choose the best options with human judgment
4. See the results and iterate
Data + people = success!
Was there a common pain point amongst attendees in terms of content marketing strategy, execution or other industry practices?
AW: I went to a mini-session about how clients can get the most ROI out of their content agency investments. Over half the attendees were from agencies, so clearly there’s room for improvement on both sides. Meaningful questions and discussions included how to set clear expectations of goals, process and roles from the beginning; how to streamline client approvals; how to manage and document changes to work orders; and why it’s so important to nurture client-agency relationships.
After attending Content Marketing World 2016, who would you recommend attend in the future?
AW: Any brand communications manager who's unfamiliar with content marketing; marketers who are in need of creative motivation; and content creators and marketers who strive to be better storytellers, data analysts or industry leaders.
What was the greatest takeaway from the 2016 Content Marketing World conference?
AW: Don’t create just to create. Know your audience. Know their needs. Create and make available what they want.
In 140 characters or less, what would you tweet to sum up #CMWorld?
AW: It’s amazing to see consumer-driven content working for Lego, REI, Monster and Marriott's M Live. So much to soak up and emulate! #CMWorld