12 posts categorized "Events" Feed

January 30 Content Chat Recap: How to Collaborate with Influencers So Your Next Event is a Raging Success

Nicole FB #ContentChat (1)

January 30 Content Chat Recap: How to Collaborate with Influencers So Your Next Event is a Raging Success

This week #ContentChat was joined by events PR pro Nicole Rodrigues who shared her experience in working with influencers to amplify live events.

Q1: What is the benefit of partnering with influencers for in-person events?

Continue reading "January 30 Content Chat Recap: How to Collaborate with Influencers So Your Next Event is a Raging Success" »

Why I'm Attending my Third Content Marketing World (and You Should Too!)

In just two short weeks, I’ll be in Cleveland taking part in my third Content Marketing World in as many years. With so many conferences, many in more glamorous locations, what keeps me coming back for more? In one word: community.
Throughout the year, I get to check in with the Content Marketing World community through the Tuesday morning (my time) #CMworld twitter chats. I love seeing the familiar faces each week, and enjoy have a place to catch up on what’s new on content marketing and hear from my peers as to what’s working. I leave every week with a number of ideas to put into practice for myself and my clients.
But I have to say, although I look forward to kicking off my Tuesday mornings each week with the chat, nothing beats having a week of content marketing immersion in Cleveland at the conference. That’s my time to focus 100% on learning more about content marketing and connecting in person with the awesome folks I’ve gotten to know through twitter. 
I will admit I’m more than a little sad that I won’t be having Brandie McCallum by my side this year though. She was absolutely the best conference buddy I’ve ever had. It’s hard to believe that was our first time meeting in person because she instantly felt like an old friend. That’s the power of the  #CMworld community for you.
I’m charging my backup power supplies, packing my Hello Kitty notebook, and prepping my Evernote notebooks (more here on how I prep for the conference). How are you getting ready for Content Marketing World? Can’t wait to see you there
P.S. If you're attending the conference, add yourself to my Content Marketing World 2015 list.ly to connect with other attendees and speakers.

My 10 Key Takeaways from Content Marketing World 2014


Last year, I headed out to Content Marketing World as a self-employed content marketing consultant, eager to connect with other content marketers working with technology start-ups on creating effective content marketing organizations. This year  I was back on the plane to Cleveland for the conference, but this time as a client-side marketer, building a global content marketing infrastructure for my employer, the business planning and execution platform Anaplan. What’s amazing about the conference we regulars refer to by its weekly twitter chat hashtag #CMworld is the conference had just as much value to me in both of these roles.

A few of the highlights for me included:

  • Meeting so many twitter folks IRL
  • Sharing my content curation presentation in a packed lunch session
  • Spending a day in the Tech/Software Lab soaking up great content from some amazing content marketers
  • Kevin Spacey’s awesome closing keynote
  • Walking the exhibit hall and getting a first-hand look at a diverse selection of content marketing tools
  • Picking up Ann Handley’s book Everybody Writes hot off the presses!

I did a ton of live tweeting, and sharing others’ comments and insights on twitter throughout the week. Here are 10 of my favorites of those takeaways from the twitterverse:

  • Of effective content marketers 54% document their content strategy; only 11% of ineffective do 
  • Want demonstrable ROI from your content? Focus on the MOI! (Moment of Inspiration) via  Andrew Davis
  • Secrets to creating MOI? #1 Build suspense. #2 Foster aspiration. #3 Drive empathy. #4 Harness emotion. 
  • Gini Dietrich shared a simple and useful content hub structure by Andy Crestodina, as a strategy for breaking through online content clutter and getting your content found
  • Smartling shared an interesting infographic on the meaning of numbers world-wide, which definitely gave me pause as a global marketer
  • Content marketing lesson from @Buzzfeed? Spend 20% of your time on the title. It's important! 
  • PR 20/20’s Paul Roetzer shared a free toolkit to help assess the skills and skills gaps for your content marketing team
  • Kingman Ink was out in full force, taking amazing visual notes, like this one from REI’s session 
  • "The audience doesn't care about the platform they care about the content.” Kevin Spacey, truth telling in his closing keynote 
  • 57% of IT pros surveyed by LinkedIn knowingly giving false lead form data
  • What were some of your big takeaways? 

P.S. During Andrew Davis' opening keynote, he shared a few highlights from the Caine's Arcade short film. It’s a great story. If you haven’t seen it, take a coffee break and watch it here:  

3 Quick Tips for Making the Most of Content Marketing World 2014

Welcome to Cleveland

It's  Monday and I'm in Cleveland so that can only mean 1 thing: It's time for Content Marketing World 2014!

This time last year, when I headed out to Content Marketing World, I'd just embarked on taking a year to work as an independent content marketing and social media consultant. The conference had amazing content, gave me a number of great takeaways, and inspired a number of great conversations with other content marketers in more than the usual 140 characters (shoutout to the weekly #cmworld twitter chat!)

I'm back this year, in a completely different capacity. Not only am I back in a full time staff role (Head of Social Media and Content Marketing) for a global business planning and execution Cloud-based startup, Anaplan, I'm also presenting a lunchtime session on content curation. And I have a big fat list of twitter chat peeps I hope to run into (which was part of the inspiration for creating this crowd-sourced listly of CMworld conference attendees.)

After a fab lunch at Urban Farmer a stone's throw from the convention center, I'm getting myself setup for two days worth of learning, ideation and note taking, and thought I'd share my tactics for making the most of the conference.

#1 Make sure you know who you want to meet, and make it a priority to do so!

I have to give a hat tip to Brandie McCallum for getting me to make my personal list ahead of time. Of course, having the conference speakers and attendees listly going helped in actually compiling my personal must-meet list. It doesn't matter where this list lives, as long as you can carry it with you. In my case, since I am an introvert and wanted to see if I could be personally introduced to a few folks, I put mine in a note in a shared Evernote notebook. Which brings me to the next point...

#2 Setup a note taking system.

For best results, you want to have all your notes in one place, whether that means your orange Content Marketing World notebook or a digital file. I'm setting up my session notes in that shared Evernote Notebook so I can easily share them w/my team back in the office after the conference. I'll be taking down my notes via my laptop but with my iPad mini also at hand. I'll use the iPad for snapping photos I want to share and for keeping an open mind map file to track ideas that will inevitably come to me as a results of being at the event.

#3 Use a tool to make livetweeting easier.

I typically use Hootsuite as my dashboard for livetweeting because I can easily keep an eye on the other tweets going in the conference stream, any replies sent to me, and my sent tweets, all in the same dashboard tab, side by side. This helps me easily keep tabs on what others in my session are sharing. That way, I can amplify other POVs, and save on some typing to boot!

For those of you who were at Content Marketing World last year, what are some of your tips for making the most of the event? Let me know on twitter and in the comments.

Join Me at Content Marketing World 2014 and Move Beyond Storytelling

CM World image
As a huge fan of the work the folks at the Content Marketing Institute have been doing, and a former attendee, I'm positively thrilled to share that I'm speaking at Content Marketing World 2014 in September. This year's installment of the content marketing industry's premiere conference, with a Beyond Sotrytelling theme, will be held September 8-11 at the Cleveland Ocnvention Center. 

I'll be presenting one of Wednesday's lunch sessions, focused on how to  create a streamlined, efficient content curation process that integrates with your content marketing strategy.

If you're not familiar with the event, Content Marketing World brings together 2,500+ content marketing professionals, for a week of networking and knowledge-sharing. Starting off with deep-dives on a number of topics, the event also inclues a 2-day conference packed with content marketing sessions, and ends with a day of industry-specific workshops. I'm attending the tech industry workshop since I'm focused on working with technology startups define their content strategy and effectively execute against it. 

I found attending the event last year to give me great actionable takeaways, which helped me focus my content marketing strategies for 2014. I also learned about a number of tools I hadn't used before, that helped me better identify and interact with the influencers I need to have sharing my clients' content. And perhaps most importantly, I connected with a ton of amazing marketers who are just as passionate and enthusiastic about the potential of content marketing as I am. 

If you need to make the case for attending to your boss, you might want to point out that not only will you return from the conference brimming with new ideas and resources your entire team can put to use, that knowledge will help you bridge the often-lamented marketing skills gap while the professional development it provides you with will help bolster your employee engagement.

And if all that isn't enough-- they've got master storyteller Kevin Spacey as the closing keynote. And you won't want to miss out on that! And if you register between now and May 31, and tweet @cmicontent that you've registered, they'll tweet you back with a free Starbucks coffee, and enter you into a contest to win a front row seat to that closing keynote. And you won't want to miss out on that, now will you?

Hope to see you there!

P.S. if you register to attend Content Marketing World through this affiliate link, you'll be contributing to my #cmworld travel fund.

Social Media Marketing World 2014 Opening Session Highlights

From the opening keynote where Michael Stelzner previewed stats from forthcoming research to the closing session with Steve Farber on leadership, the first day of Social Media Marketing World rocked.

Starting with that keynote, networking was center stage. Recognizing that many folks struggle with effective networking, the opening session got everyone up and talking to new people, and gave great examples of questions to help attendees quickly connect in a more meaningful way than asking "What do you do?"

New Social Media Marketing Research


Although we didn't get a copy of the latest Social Media Examiner survey results to take home, Stelzner did give us a peek at some of the key themes, which influenced how the conference clustered session tracks. Key findings that were shared include:

  • Top benefits of social media are increased exposure and increased web traffic
  • 70% of marketers plan to increase their use of visual content this year
  • However, 58% say written content is their most important type of content.
  • Podcasts ID'd as an untapped tool for building brand fanatics. Expecting to see surge in podcast listening as Apple Play and other car + smartphone interfaces become more ubiquitous over the next year.

How to Get Involved with Social Media Examiner and Next Year's Conference

Before Stelzner let us loose to dive into more networking and education sessions, he also went over the below slide, which details who to talk to on site at the conference if you're interested in getting involved with their blog or next year's conference. Why don't more conferences do this??

I hope the Social Media Marketing World crew writes a blog post that walks through their housekeeping slides. Unlike the often bland slides that rotate onscreen before general sessions at other conferences, these were actually full of interesting and useful information. Definitely gave me ideas to share and put to use on my future special events projects.

Social Media Marketing World 2014

View of San Diego's waterfront from my room at the Hyatt Grand Manchester
View of San Diego's waterfront from my room at the Hyatt Grand Manchester
I'm spending the next two days soaking up the latest tips and trends in social media at Social Media Marketing World. So watch this space and my twitter feed for my highlights from the event.
My personalized SMMW14 badge
My personalized SMMW14 badge
Unsurprisingly, networking is a big focus at this event. There's a significant amount of agenda time designated for the purpose, a networking lounge, and your badges even get into the action. Upon check-in, you receive a sheet of stickers you can use to personalize your badge to reflect your areas of professional interest. Love this idea and hope to see more conferences doing something similar. My only regret is that I lacked a hello kitty sticker to add some personal bling to my badge.
This year, to make sure I keep track of all the folks who are tweeting about the conference, I'm collecting them all in a list.ly to crowd source an attendee list to help folks connect with other social media enthusiasts. If you're attending the event, add your twitter handle to the list!

Social Media Marketing World 2014 Attendees
View more lists from Erika
Not at the event but still want to get in on the action? Follow #SMMW14 on twitter. Watch out though-- I suspect the tweets will be flying fast and furious for the enxt few days.

Highlights from the iFabbo 2013 Social Media Conference

image from distilleryimage0.ak.instagram.com

I had a blast spending yesterday at the iFabbo Social Media Conference (disclosure: I was comped attendance at the event).

A more formal summary of some of the interesting things I learned will be here shortly. Until then, here's my Storify wrap-up of the twitter highlights from the event, after the jump. Enjoy!

Continue reading "Highlights from the iFabbo 2013 Social Media Conference" »

4 Actionable Insights and Trends from Content Marketing World

my collection of list.ly Content Marketing trading cards from Content Marketing World 2013

I returned from Content Marketing World revved up about content marketing, and with some serious inspiration from all the great examples shared in the sessions I attended. Here are a few of the key insights I gleaned from the two days of sessions, and some trends to keep an eye on.

Key Insights

  1. Content marketing strategy often neglected in favor of random acts of content.
    In his opening welcome keynote, Joe Pulizzi shared a few nuggets from new Content Marketing Institute research, noting that content marketers cite producing more content and engaging content as two of their top challenges. He went on to share that over 50% do not have a documented content strategy. Having documented content strategy and executed against it successfully, I can assure you those challenges are definitely a lot easier to tackle with a clearly defined strategy in place.
  2. Buyer personas aren't useful without insight into the buyer's journey.
    Buyer personas are often crammed full of demographic data, noted Buyer Persona Institute's Adele Revella, but don't include clear insights into what business conditions triggered looking for a solution, what outcomes will define success, or what this buyer's role is in the decision-making process and what resources they'll need to convince the other stakeholders to go with your solution. Make sure you are focusing your personas on modeling a buying decision you are trying to influence, not on a hypothetical person's likes and dislikes.
  3. The power of big brands is slipping.
    Don E. Schultz of Northwestern University noted that brand preference is decreasing ~1.6% annually past 10 years, while the percent of consumers saying they have no preference for a  brand in surveyed categories is increasing ~1.4% annually. So what's eroding brands? Recession? Product proliferation & commoditization? Growth of online shopping? No, media fragmentation. The rise of social has created fragmented audiences who expect brands to reach them with personalized, targeted content, not a one-size-fits-all message. Brands need to evolve their messaging and marketing strategy to reflect this.
  4. The content marketing honeymoon period is over.
    Your organizational leadership is expecting you to show ROI to justify your content marketing budget. It's a balancing act to make sure you still have room for brand awareness and Youtility as well -- if all your content is focused on demand generation, your customers will tune you out in the sea of personalized, more interesting content competing for their limited attention. In this vein, Jon Weubben's session gave insight into how to use your content dashboard to compare channel performance to see where you have traction, identify which content producers inspire the most engagement(and have them create more of your content) and evaluate which content has generated the most activity to spot keyword trends. 

Trends to Keep an Eye On

  1. Youtility has definitely struck a chord with content marketers.
    For the uninitiated, Youtility is the concept of creating marketing that is truly, inherently useful, not just self-serving, sales focused content. Examples of this include the Hilton Suggests twitter account offering up answers to travelers' questions about key Hilton cities; Lowes How To video series, and the Columbia knot app.  What problem can you solve for your customers with your marketing content? If you haven't heard Jay Baer speak on the topic, or if you have and want a deeper dive, check out his new book Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype
  2. By 2017 CMOs will outspend CIOs on IT
     What are they buying? According to Joe Chernov, content creation tools like Uberflip and Percolate, distribution tools like Little Bird, Influitive and Papershare. Scott Abel's session additionally made the case for investing in automated translation and transcription tools and component content management to help scale your content while keeping it consistent across its many implementations. 
  3. Visual content is everywhere, you just need to be open to finding it.
    Marketers can get hung up on budget, logisitics and other concerns and feel like visual content is out of reach. Or that their topic is too boring to lend itself to visual content. Multiple speakers gave great examples of low budget video, crowd-sourced visuals and other low-cost and fast to implement ways to add visual interest to your content mix. The conference itself had a great example of visual content by way of Kelly Kingman's visual sketchnotes of the keynote sessions, like this one she did for William Shatner's presentation:
For more perspectives on the key takeaways from this event, check out the list.ly of articles about Content Marketing World 2013.