05 May 5 Lessons You May Have Learned at CMC 2017

The Thoughtlight team joined many marketing professionals at the Content Marketing Conference in April of this year! We gained a lot of insight about how to be more successful with our content marketing strategies. Here's our summary:


    Ann Handley, the CCO of MarketingProfs, laid down the law of how she sees a successful brand campaign with an engaging first keynote of the day on Thursday. We all know that there is no perfect and easy solution to create a great campaign ”“ but if there’s anything to definitely keep in mind, it’s the 3 B’s: big, bold, and brave.

    She gave us many different examples, from non-profits to a brand of can koozies, so what did they all have in common? They set themselves apart from their competitors. Their companies’ brand and tone of voice were consistent in every piece of content they put out. The creative ads make an impact on the viewers while answering that classic question of “Why is this important to me?”. While your content needs to be consistent with your brand, you have to make it different from the rest of the noise consumers are constantly being fed. How can you do that? Whether you pick a controversial idea that will grab the audience, or something that is trending in social media ”“ your content needs to be unique to what your brand wants to represent.


    It’s a natural instinct for people to trust the opinion of someone they know or like ”“ and this is especially true when it comes to how people view brands. Did you know that celebrities like Kim Kardashian will get paid thousands of dollars for a single Instagram ad or even something as simple as a tweet? Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Marketing explains that people who are influential can incite action among consumers.

    Whether it is a famous celebrity, an industry expert, or a well-known blogger with a loyal following ”“ having connections with influencers can help leverage your company as a brand among others. In order to make this as strong of a tool as possible, the relationship between the influencer and the brand needs to be beneficial. Create a community and have everyone collaborate on what they’re interested in and have a following in. Not only will the campaign come across as more genuine, but it will also be more successful in reaching the right audience. Always put their links within the content, by doing this you can even add benefit to your SEO efforts as well!


    This seems simple enough ”“ after all, aren’t we all trying to get on that first search page on Google? There are so many factors in getting to that first page, so it was great to hear Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder of Orbit Media Studios, be able to wrap up all marketers goals into bigger picture terms. If your website is the mousetrap, the content should be considered the cheese. His tip for making valuable content was to do the research beforehand ”“ make a list of keywords to use within your content itself (not just in the SEO). This will add that information that the consumers are really looking for while enhancing the post all around.

    Another great point Andy made was that you need to make sure your customers understand the return they will receive from their investment. This holds true whether it is a product, service, or even their time on the website. If there is information on your page that may lead them to ask a question, it is more efficient to put the answer right there within the content rather than making them go to a FAQs page. Overall, always make sure there is evidence to why your business is the best in as many ways as possible ”“ content, testimonials, links, etc. ”“ so that you can be the best answer.


    Creating successful content can often feel like a game of luck, but us marketers can even turn to science to help us have the odds in our favor. Nancy Harhut, the CCO at Wilde Agency, gave us some really great insight on how to use the human brain and its tendencies to our advantage. There are words that increase readership ”“ “new”, “free”, and “secret” trigger a sense of urgency and importance that grabs the audience’s attention. Using easy to understand language will make the audience more confident in the information presented. Similarly, numbers and statistics can stand out from the text and will stick in the reader’s mind. Studies show that odd numbers, and multiples of 10 perform the best!

    You can even enhance the design of your content by understanding what the brain can interpret. Color pictures have been shown to be shared on social media more often, while black and white pictures allow the brain to focus on the main details of the picture. Everything that makes up your content can be strategically created to get the most out of your potential consumers.


    With all the information the internet holds, it is the unfortunate truth that not every piece of content your company puts out will be a huge success. In fact, many campaigns with huge budgets and big talent still seem to fall flat. But, what Larry Kim ”“ WordStream founder and Unicorn enthusiast ”“ explained is that every once and a while your efforts will pay off and there will be a “Unicorn” among the rest of the “Donkeys”. Simply put ”“ you will make a piece of content that finally is a hit.

    So what next? The answer is not to pat yourself on the back and move on to the next piece on your editorial calendar. You need to nurture that so called Unicorn. If you already have evidence this was a very successful blog post, the content could also be a very successful infographic or webinar. Or from another angle, why bother spending money on new content or advertising new content that could still fall flat. Invest a little bit more of the budget into something more promising, like the beloved Unicorn, and allow it to reach new audiences.

Curious to know more of what you might have missed at CMC 2017? Check out their website!

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