We recently joined a few thousand content marketers in Cleveland at Content Marketing Institute’s annual event, Content Marketing World. The takeaway: it’s time for marketers to focus on content distribution and measurement. Content creation and storytelling will always be part of the strategy, but they’re no longer enough.
Many speakers and panelists reiterated time and time again how important it is to instate an ongoing and measurable content program to ensure results – whether that’s brand lift, lead generation, social engagement or another KPI. Here are some snippets of what we heard:
Don’t discount paid distribution: Chad Zimmerman, the co-founder of STACK, stressed the importance of using Outbrain, Taboola, Facebook and other social channels to distribute content and testing performance across each channel. He reassured many audience members that were hesitant about adopting paid distribution campaigns, saying that this doesn’t negatively impact SEO. In fact, STACK saw a 40 percent increase in search referrals.
Set goals and measure: Julie Fleischer, Kraft’s director of data, content and media, pushed the need for measurement and goal tracking. She talked about how marketers need to look at historical data to better inform themselves during the content creation process. If marketers can discern which stories, told to which audiences, shared on which platforms generate the best results, they will be better able to optimize their content strategy and meet their goals.
Lead readers on a journey: This theme surfaced throughout the conference. Kirk Cheyfitz, co-CEO of Story Worldwide, tapped his experience as a former journalist to teach content marketers how research and in-depth reporting help lead to stories that can truly define a brand. Content is so much more than a means to educating readers: it helps brands create an entire journey through different pieces that culminates in the expression of a brand’s most core values. Instead of one-off articles or posts, marketers need to think about how content connects and devise a content retargeting strategy to build a narrative with readers.
As was clear with the sophistication of the audience, content marketing has been a part of marketing programs for quite some time. It’s growing up now, and it’s time to start treating it as a valued piece of the marketing landscape. That starts with setting goals, measuring performance and determining if content is driving ROI.
Did you attend Content Marketing World? Share your favorite takeaways with us @SimpleReach.
About Evan Rodgers
Evan Rodgers is a Content Analyst at SimpleReach. His background in journalism and economics gives him a bookish vibe, but make no mistake, his Twitter account (@evanrodgers) tells the real story.View all posts by Evan Rodgers »