My CM World takeaways

About a month ago, boy was I excited when I stepped off the plane in Cleveland Ohio, on my way to the amazing Content Marketing World. After over a year of listening to the PNR podcast, I was finally about to get up close and see what it was all about.

So while this blog post may be a month late I’m determined to share my key takeaways with you.

    1. Audiences are at the heart of what we do

At a time when people are being bombarded with messages and online content, it’s important to remember that now more than ever, they are in control. They are able to pick and choose what they see and the only content they look at is that which interests them. This is why it’s so important to be able to identify your audience, which in turn allows us to know how and which stories to tell them, and build loyalty. Once identified, ask yourself “how can I help them”?

Why is this of interest? Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in the basic definition of PR (marketing, comms…) and see our primary objective as selling products. But at a time when traditional advertising methods are being challenged and digital is the number 1 place to reach our customers, it’s important to remember how to speak to them amidst this information overload. Movements are not built without audiences.

And as a colleague of mine pointed out, this is also why analytics are so powerful and crucial to our work. We are fortunate enough to have access to swaths of data, so let’s do our best to harness it!

2. Be passionate

Who hasn’t got stuck in the day to day of their job before? Sometimes it’s easy to forget the bigger purpose of what we’re doing as we’re stuck in our to do list. But passion is what drives ambitious ideas and ultimately, success. As one keynote speaker after the other came on stage (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Casey Neistat, Linda Boff) passion shone through as a driving force behind their work.

Why is this of interest? Thinking about today’s successful YouTubers or bloggers for example, a lot of them say they simply started out as a hobby. They created content on a topic that was of interest to them and they were passionate about, which eventually lead to their success. It’s important to consider that developing content or campaigns just “for the sake of it” will probably not generate much success.

Think about it: if you’re trying to sell or market something you don’t fully believe in or aren’t passionate about, it will show. On the other hand, great passion can drive great thinking & creativity.

3. It’s all about the experience

Those guys at CM World sure know how to put on a show! I was completely blown away by the awesomeness of it all. Sure I don’t go to many conferences, but as I was constantly in awe of the event, it got me thinking – the experience is really the sum of all parts.

Why is this of interest? You can have a great product or brand, fantastic content and charismatic leaders, and people will be interested… But what brings it all together is the experience you create for them, that will make them want to come back for more. Content Marketing World was more than just a conference, it was people with similar beliefs coming together, it was passion being shared, it was inspiration for all of us to go back and re-inject into our work.

And that’s how all customers want to feel, don’t you think? As we develop campaigns and think of how to best communicate with our audiences, we should constantly be asking ourselves: “how can we give them the best possible experience”?

So thanks CM World it was a total blast, and I hope to be back next year

*This was originally written as a newsletter for a client and has been adapted for this blog post 

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