The conference was held in Cleveland on September 9 through the 13th, and I was lucky enough to be among the 1,750 people from 40 nations to hear hometown hero Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute at this third annual conference.
content marketing is not focused on selling,
but on simply communicating with customers and prospects. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing information that makes the buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that, if a business delivers consistent, ongoing and valuable information to buyers, these buyers will ultimately reward you with their business and their loyalty.
Content marketing isn't new. The first practitioner was the John Deere Company. Back in 1895 John Deere launched a magazine that provided information to farmers on how to become more profitable. The magazine, considered the first custom publication, is still in circulation, reaching 1.5 million readers in 40 countries in 12 different languages! That's the power of content marketing. And, why is content marketing having such a Big Moment today? With the rise of online choices to purchase, content marketing removes the clutter from the buying decision and gives the buyer a chance to get to know more about a potential purchase to buy. Through a business' website, social media, print collateral, email and video marketing, content marketing delivers honest, helpful, and factual information to help the consumer make a wise choice.
My Big "Aha" Moment at the conference was learning that 60 to 70 percent of the purchase decision is made before a sales person is contacted! And this hold true for business-to-business and business-to-consumer purchases. So, the content you put out there is really, really important (monitoring what is said about your products and your company is also important). Consistency is also important. Your messages should be connected, engaging and compelling. They should be honest and offer real, valuable information at all touch points, to help the buyer make a decision. Finally, I learned that pages with video draw two to three times more people than those without.
That said, here's a video that explains the Coca-Cola Content 2020 Initiative on Coca-Cola's emerging content marketing strategy as they transition from one-way messaging via advertising excellence to content marketing excellence that makes their marketing content optimized for audience interaction (customers, partners, employees, enthusiasts, stakeholders, etc.) It's amazing to watch, and is an excellent example of content marketing in theory and in practice.
Content marketing may not be new, but it is more relevant today than ever before. After attending this conference, I can see why it should be a critical part in any marketer's toolbox.
So about “Captain Kirk”…. The highlight of the conference for me may have been when I had a “moment” with Keynote Speaker, William Shatner. During the Q&A portion I asked him a question and relayed to him a true story about how he used to be in a reoccurring dream of mine – after taking me out for pizza he would walk with me through the halls of my high school and everyone thought I was so cool because I was with William Shatner! (It was your classic high school revenge dream).
Just another example of the fact that everyone has a story (AKA “content”) to share!
If you want details on that or more info about content marketing, feel free to call me at 440.250.2243, email me at email@example.com or tweet me @KaseyCrabtree.
Always happy to share!