Content Marketing Strategies Conference Wrap Up


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Last week I attended and presented at the Content Marketing Strategies Conference 2011 up in Oakland, CA. Bill Flitter and put on a great experience by inviting a wide variety of speakers to contribute. The audience was terrific and interactive which made the two days very engaging and memorable.

I’d like to share my presentaton deck, as well as some thoughts and takeaways that I think you’ll find useful:

This conference was right up my alley as many of the speakers were focused on storytelling with content marketing. The following are some sound bytes that really resonated with me on the first day of the event.

Simon Kelly (@kellbags), CEO of Story Worldwide

The future of advertising is “magnetic content.”

Nobody has 30 seconds for interruption but everbody has 30 minutes to spread the stuff they like.

He also stated that we need to shift our view from impressions to engagement. Impressions being the number of views vs. engagement being time spent + next steps taken.

Simon talked about the cycle of paid media > owned media > earned media. Paid media is a never-ending cycle of paying and paying again. Making the transition to owned and earned media will increase your impact and credibility in the marketplace.

Joe Pulizzi (@JuntaJoe), Founder Junta42 and the Content Marketing Institute

Funnily enough, we’ve worked together for years, but this was the first time I met Joe in person. It was also a gift to see him speak in person. Bill continuously referred to Joe as the Godfather of Content Marketing and I’m sharing that tidbit as it made Joe blush, yet there’s a lot of truth in the comparison. (Sorry, Joe! All in good fun.)

It’s not what you sell, but what you stand for.” When’s the last time you actually thought about the marketing story you’re telling from that perspective? Joe illustrated the point by using Gary Vaynerchuk as an example. Gary isn’t selling wine, he’s all about enabling people to understand the wine experience. I don’t think there are many here who could argue with his success with this approach.

Joe shared a number of content marketing mistakes with us – here are a few:

  • Your content has too many goals.
  • Your content is about everything. You need to get “Super Niche.”
  • Good enough is NOT good enough.
  • Lack of a content calendar hampers your efforts.
  • No internal support.

I agree with all of his points, especially the need to get “Super Niche.” That ability to hone in on what really makes your company different and explodes your value is critical to effective content marketing.

Powan Deshpande (@contentcurating), CEO & Founder – Hivefire

I haven’t always been a supporter of content curation. In fact, Powan thinks that I bite, which is probably a fair statement. This said, listening to him talk about the power of curation and the need for marketers with limited resources to employ curation to help them become a valued informational resource for their audiences swayed me…a bit.

I have to say that his five steps and his premise of creating a stream of content that helps your prospects want to engage with it and (as a result) hear from you everyday is a compelling argument in favor of content curation. Plus, he won me over by including the need for marketers to curate their own content.

Powan’s steps include:

  1. Identify a topic with sufficient content (Repeating the idea of Super Niche).
  2. Follow the influencers to find great content.
  3. Choose only the most relevant of that content to share with your audience.
  4. Create the role of a librarian to organize your content – tags, featured, indexed, etc.
  5. Create your own content. (Shouldn’t be last, in my opinion)

And, he emphasized the need for marketers to add the appropriate commentary – which I really like. This gives you the ability to share your expertise and insights along with spreading others’ ideas/content.

Most impressive was that he shared customer testimonials that evidenced a curator using the platform could process 600 articles for curation in a matter of 20 – 30 minutes. Like his customer said, you physically couldn’t do that on your own.

One of the really interesting things that Powan shared was about a study where Google and Yahoo switched interfaces (search results remained with the original provider, only the user interface was different), but people still chose Google. That’s brand trust. The implication being that establishing a curation stream will help you build trust as well, regardless of where the content comes from. Interesting point.

Thanks, Powan – I’m thinking about curation a bit differently now.

Arnie Kuenn (@ArnieK), President of Vertical Measures

Arnie talked about search in relation to content marketing. He emphasized the importance of titles and title tags and shared a number of ideas for how to identify keywords.

He spoke a bit about keyword phrases and indicated that the longer the phrase used, the closer to the end stage of the buying process. How many of you are identifying the longer phrases and taking the appropriate action when prospects use them?

He also shared a Hubspot statistic that found that 79% of companies with a blog have more Twitter followers than companies without one. Another indication that content marketing is driving engagement. In fact, I wonder what people without a blog are Tweeting about that pulls traffic to their web properties???

Sally Falkow (@sallyfalkow), Sr. Fellow – Society for New Communications Research

  • Markets are conversations
  • You are not a censor
  • Find stories that people want to hear
  • Bring people into stories

Sally shared a story about how SAP used conversations to reverse a negative situation. They had a user group that had resorted to posting negative messages about the company because it was the only way they could get the company’s attention. Once SAP engaged with them, 95% of the negativity ceased. Just goes to show you the power of a conversation. Make sure your company is recognizing when people want to engage with you and answering back appropriately.

Luca Penati (@lucapenati), Managing Director, Global Technology Practice, OgilvyPR

Social networks are the new news feeds.

Luca emphasized that we need to create a storyteller culture in the digital age because content is the common thread.

He also provided a new spin on the monarchy theme of content – which I rather like:

  • Content is King
  • Activation is Queen
  • Court is community

The upshot being that leaving your “King” alone is not a wise choice that will help you get results in the kingdom. Very solid point.


I really enjoyed this conference. Kudos to Bill and his team for putting on a great time. There was much more than what I’ve shared here. Hopefully others will post about their experience as well.

Chirpstory compiled the conference Tweets.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee is a B2B Marketing Strategist and the CEO of her firm, Marketing Interactions, Inc. She helps B2B companies with complex sales create and use persona-driven content marketing strategies to turn prospects into buyers and convince customers to stay. Ardath is the author of Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results and eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale. She's also an in-demand industry speaker.


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