Kevin Spacey caps off 2014 Content Marketing World

Advertising is dead!  Sorry, Don Draper.  Content Marketing is king now, and any business interested in touching their target consumer better get with the program. But what is content marketing and how do you do it?

For those answers, we turn to 2014 Content Marketing World going on yesterday and today at the Cleveland Convention Center. In its most basic form, content marketing is using stories across multiple channels to raise awareness of your brand, elevate its reputation and retain customers.

While Content Marketing can certainly work hand-in-hand with advertising, and Julie Fleischer from Kraft insists that it should, people continue to be moved to action more by a good story about your brand than by a slick ad for your brand.

With that in mind, let’s catch some major takeaways from the speakers at this year’s event.

Kevin Spacey – actor & producer – final Keynote presenter

Kevin Spacey

The story is everything. Stay true to your brand and to your voice.  Audiences will respond to that authenticity with enthusiasm and passion. Always deliver value to your audience. Remember that audiences care more about the content and less about the platform.

Joe Pulizzi – founder of Content Marketing  Institute

Joe Pulizzi

For content marketing to be ultimately successful, you need to write down your strategy and monitor its success using multiple metrics.

Andrew Davis – author of Brandscaping

Andrew Davis

Brilliant storytellers create a sudden urge to act, and four tips to create that moment are: 1) Build suspense, 2) Foster aspiration, 3) Drive empathy and 4) Harness emotion.

Julie Fleischer –Director of Data + Content + Media at Kraft Foods

Julie Fleischer

Quality content invites the consumer in and positions them to engage with your brand

Ann Handley – co-author Content Rules

Ann Handley,

To get viewers, the content marketer needs to: 1) Demonstrate empathy, 2) Focus on relevant and inspirational content and 3) Focus on useful content available when the consumer needs it.

Gini Dietrich – author of Spin Sucks

Gini-Dietrich

When trying to create regular content for your blog, considers Lists and Ranked Lists.  They are easy to create and people love to read them.

Brian Clark & Jerod Morris – Copyblogger.com

Brian Clark & Jerod Morris from Copyblogger

Your email list is your biggest asset and the way to get additional subscribers is to offer them something of value – preferably for free.

David G. Jones – John Deere’s The Furrow Magazine

David G. Jones

Their avid readers appreciate that the content of their magazine has always been totally free of corporate promotion.  Only corporate mention is on the advertising pages.

Jon Loomer – JonLoomer.com

Jon Loomer

You can turn your fans into profits with Facebook ads, they are more relevant now than ever before, but it takes some intelligent planning to do them correctly.

Todd Wheatland – author of The Marketers Guide to SlideShare

Todd-Wheatland

As LinkedIn becomes more of a “publisher” and less of a “resume warehouse”, the opportunity to connect with even consumer clients is better now than ever.  Consider using Company Pages and Showcase Pages to set off your content.

Mark Schaefer – author of The Tao of Twitter

Mark Schaefer

Twitter is the easiest way to start building one-on-one relationships – which is the first step in building business relationships.  Concentrate on being authentically helpful instead of trying to “sell something. Smart interactions on Twitter will lead people to your content. Nothing says ‘Love’ like a Retweet.”

Scott Stratten – author of QR Codes Kill Kittens & UnMarketing

Scott Stratten

You’re the brand and branding happens in real time.  Answer bad social media immediately and with transparency.  A quick, well-done reply can immediately diffuse your worst critic.

Tim Washer – Social video producer and Comedy writer

Tim Washer

Get in the right space and you can be creative – you just need to be in the right frame of mind. Shift your focus from what you want to say to what the audience wants to hear. The more specific the story is, the more universal it becomes.