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4 Lessons from Content Marketing World

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Content Marketing is alive and well and brands who want to survive will learn how to tell a better story.

This past week I had the privilege of attending Content Marketing World and seeing the world premiere of “The Story of Content: Rise of the New Marketing,” which explains how the marketing of the future is all about brands telling stories.

[Watch the full documentary here:]

In the documentary, there were some great stories from B2B companies like General Electric, to B2C companies like Blendtec, who created incredible series of stories that not only have 100,000+ views, but converted those audiences into loyal customers and fans of their brands.

After attending the show, it became clear that every brand has a story to tell and an audience who would connect with that story. Take the Blendtec example, an engineering company who was obsessed with manufacturing a superior product. They were so obsessed they would blend 2×4’s to test them – something that led to becoming a hit Youtube Channel (Will it blend?) where they would blend EVERYTHING, including an iPhone.

[Warning: These videos are addictive, be prepared to spend 5-10 minutes watching a few more]

This was just one of the many incredible examples shared in “The Story of Content: Rise of the New Marketing,” here are 4 other lessons I learned at Content Marketing World.

4 Marketing Lessons from Content Marketing World 2015:

1. Learn to tell a compelling story.

Katrina Craigwell, Director, Global Content & Programming at GE gave a presentation about Visual Storytelling at Scale and how GE is “connecting with audiences around the passion points of science and technology.”

One of the biggest takeaways from the presentation was how GE was bringing storytelling to life in so many unique ways and in doing so connecting with a very targeted audience – people passionate about “science and technology.” They even found a way to engage people with virtual reality to go inside the brain and underwater to deepwater drilling rigs.

Here is an example of their great work from their series “From the Factory Floor:”

2. Don’t obsess over vanity metrics.

Scott Stratten from UnMarketing, gave one of my favorite presentations about the emphasis  put on to vanity metrics and chase for millions of views and creating viral content.

In that chase for viral content, people ‘cut corners’ and often re-post without credit, or blatantly steal content to get likes, shares, re-tweets, pins, etc.

Stratten highlighted how brands often do this to get “reach,” but loose sight of the value of their relationship with their audience so when it comes time to for any type of conversion it often falls flat.

Your video doesn’t have to be viral in front of a million people, just contagious in front of your specific market. Content, connection, engagement. It’s time to separate from the pack of noise. It’s time to UnSell. – Scott Stratten, UnSelling

[Read UnSelling Here]

3. Create content that “informs, entertains, and educates to help solve problems.”

During the Wednesday morning Keynote, Vice President, Global Creative and Content Marketing at Marriott International, shared how they are creating a dedicated division to create an industry leading platform.

“We want to take that same approach as a brand through building engaging content communities through social platforms.” – David Bebee, via

They likened the approach to that of what RedBull and GoPro have created. The studio will be creating a number of original content pieces, including some original series, and web series. You can learn more about the approach right on Marriott’s website here.

While most brands do not have the resources to hire an award winning producer, they do have an opportunity to create engaging content focused to their unique audience, much like Blendtech did.

4. Content Marketing is not going anywhere!

The biggest lesson from this year’s conference was clear – content marketing is not going anywhere. “It has been here since caveman paintings” and judging by the other great examples from emerging brands, content marketing will only continue to gain momentum.

Content Marketing Trend

Content Marketing Google Trend

There are tens of thousands of tools to help manage the all the content, whether that is through social media, your website, or your own thought leadership.

The biggest challenge for brands – creating content that will connect with their audience and allow them to build a valuable relationship.

Where is the opportunity in Content Marketing?

The brands who will win the content battle will be the brands who consistently create authentic content that creates value for their audience and enables a conversation.

The fact is that businesses do not have emotion. Products do not have emotion. Humans do. Humans want to feel something. – Bryan Kramer

[Read “Human to Human” here]

We need to master the need for the Human to Human connection, as Bryan Kramer writes. The brands who embrace that in the way they create their content will succeed.


Doug Foley
Doug Foley is a podcast host, content marketer, and problem solver. He is also the youngest of 7 brothers and sisters, a proud father of 2, and is on a mission to help people find their passion, take action, and build the life they want to live. He frequently writes about entrepreneurship, personal development, and motivation.
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