Disclaimer: There will be more than one post related to CMWorld

Truth be told, I’m still going through my notes from Content Marketing World. The notes I took in addition to all of the tweets I sent out during the week. I may have gone a little overboard on Twitter, but there were so many great insights! As a writer and strategist, I’m naturally planning out content themes around the sessions I attended so look out for those in the upcoming weeks. (Oh and subscribe to my email newsletter!)

For this post, I wanted to focus on the major takeaways from the conference, the ones that haven’t stopped bouncing around my brain.

The current state of content marketing

Joe Pulizzi always kicks off the week by reminding us of the stats. The most important stat Joe shared was that only 20% of global enterprise marketers are committed to their content marketing approach.

The fact of the matter is, we’re still not all in.

The current state of content marketing is “meh.”

It’s easy for those of us who feel like we’re all in to say “It’s not my fault. There are too many obstacles in my company. I can’t break down the silos.”

This is definitely a constant and common struggle for us, but can we truly say we’re “all in” if we’re not doing everything we can to break down those silos?

It’s time for us to be selfish

Think about a typical day as a content marketer. How many times do you get sidetracked with last minute requests, and tasks that derail you from your goals? As a solo consultant who’s worked with small businesses and start-ups in the past, I know that’s all too common.

We wear multiple hats for the good of the company but what good is it doing to our content marketing efforts?

How can we be “all in” if we’re not spending 100% of our time focusing on aligning our content marketing strategy and execution with business goals?

We have to focus. We have to educate. We have to be the one to break down the barriers.

We need to change how we talk about content marketing

Ask your sales team what they think content marketing is. What would they say? Do they really understand what you do? How content benefits them?

Probably not, because when we talk about content marketing, we use marketing terms.

Guys, my eyes start glazing over when I start hearing too many marketing terms.

Let’s keep the buzzwords in our pants, get out of our own echo chamber, and start being straightforward.

I did love Marcus Sheridan‘s comment about having sales teams attending marketing conferences, and vice versa.

Slow and steady wins the race

As the great scholar Ferris Bueller says, “life moves pretty fast,” and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to content marketing. There’s an immense pressure for us to succeed quickly, especially when we have to keep up with the speed of social media.

According to the brilliant Ann Handley, there’s “value in slowing down and being deliberate at the right moments.” We need to ask these three questions when creating content:

  • So what? AKA the best empathy hack. Just like we have to keep answering a 5-year-old down their “but why?” spiral, we have to be willing to answer the “because” for our customers. What’s the value we’re creating for them with our content?
  • Wait what? According to Ann, we “over-index the hustle and under-index the prep.” Let’s slow down and align with the why of our content creation.
  • Does this sustain us? Don’t make the mistake of choosing speed over sustainability. Can your current pace help sustain your brand and your team? Take your long-term goals into consideration and slow down to make a lasting impression.

What were some of your favorite takeaways from the conference?  


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