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The Latest in Marketing and Technology from ContentTECH Summit 2019

Over the past two days, I’ve been lucky enough to represent Reload Media at ContentTECH Summit in San Diego. Previously called Intelligent Content Conference, ContentTECH Summit this year was rebranded and boasted a killer line-up of industry experts talking all about how marketing technology and content marketing intersect.

The two days were jam-packed full of the hottest Martech trends and tips for enterprise-level content strategy and development; and we got to hear from thought leaders such as Robert Rose, Carmen Simon, Andy Crestodina, Randy Frisch, Chris Penn and Joe Lazauskas – not to mention brands such as Hello Fresh, LinkedIn, Red Hat, Cleveland Clinic and Autodesk! Phew!

As always, we want you to benefit from our learnings – so here’s my top takeaways from ContentTECH 2019:

 

Make Data-Driven Content Decisions

Being primarily a Content Martech conference, it’s no surprise that the importance of data was a big focus over the two days.

As Andy Crestodina eloquently summarised, research has shown that “1 in 3 marketers don’t know what tactics have the biggest impact.” Why? Because a lot of the time, we lack the fundamental performance tracking on our content pieces.

This, combined with the fact that 5% of content gets 90% of the attention, is why having a solid understanding of your content performance is so critical; and why you need to be making data-driven decisions to guide future strategy.

Look at things such as which content pieces are contributing to revenue generation, and how these intersect together as a part of a content journey in your sales funnel to really understand which pieces are not only driving engagement, but business impact as well.

This is where metadata strategies also come into play – another hot topic from the conference. Metadata is basically tags that can be applied to content to allow for large-scale content management within organisations. Having your content tagged by type, topic or audience can then also allow you to engage in more insightful performance analysis in a much more efficient way.

 

Content Councils Are The Way Forward

Another key trend that emerged over the course of the two days was the concept of ‘Content Councils’ – where representatives from across the entire business (think sales, marketing, content, operations, and customer support) all join together on a regular basis to map out content priorities and strategies that will support overarching business objectives.

Content is no longer just the responsibility of the content team – the more integrated the process can be throughout the business, the more successful content strategies have shown to be. Companies like Autodesk have seen massive improvement in content success by moving from a decentralised content model to a hybrid model (whereby there is a lot more alignment in content strategy and production across all areas of the business).

 

Neuroscience Should Feed Into Content Strategy

We all know stories in the world of content and branding are important (I reported this as a key takeout from Content Marketing World 2018!) and the ‘how’ to make it happen (create a curiosity gap to keep your audience engaged) – but the why has been somewhat elusive, with the exception of collective market research findings.

But no longer! I am happy to report I now have an excuse to use the phrase “because, science!”… well, neuroscience, if you’re being picky!

A fantastic talk by Memzy’s Carmen Simon showed us the empirical research around neuroscience and content marketing activities. Our key takeout was that ‘working memory’ is one of the most critical things to consider when crafting content that ‘sticks’. This means we need to be careful not to overload our audience’s brain with too many new things – there needs to be an element of familiarity in order to maximise working memory and message recall in the long-term. According to Contently’s Joe Lazauskas, this is where storytelling plays a critical role in helping us communicate messages in an audience-centric way.

LinkedIn’s Meg Golden also supported this when she said, “as marketers, we’re obsessed with newness… but newness isn’t what sells, it’s what scares”. As she explained, only 1 in 5 new ad campaigns outperform old campaigns (at least in the case of LinkedIn), so Meg’s approach was to analyse previous content performance and focus on their hero ‘blockbuster’ pieces as the centre of their content strategy.

 

Content Personalisation Critical

More of a trend than an insight, there was a lot of talk about enterprises moving toward an Account Based Marketing (ABM) approach to content development and sales; basically flipping the sales funnel on its head by focusing more time and effort into a curated selection of leads, rather than creating generic content that appeals to the masses, but is less useful.

This is where the idea of the value behind content personalisation really shone through. The majority of B2B content remains underutilised in the majority of enterprises, mostly due to the blanket approach to content development no longer working (the argument here being that we are so bombarded with content these days, that generic content just no longer keeps our attention). Enter the need for content personalisation.

By crafting personalised content for individual accounts (like in an ABM model) and doing this in a strategic, modular way, businesses can create personalised content that over time becomes more and more scalable (there is, however, an initial resource investment required until content inventories are built).

And those are the key takeouts from ContentTECH Summit 2019! There was of course a whole range of other fascinating learnings and insights – if you’d like to find out more about anything mentioned here, just get in touch HERE!

 

Sarah Hutcheon

Content Portfolio Manager

Sarah Hutcheon is a Digital Marketing Consultant at Reload, specialising in SEO, Mobile Strategy, Website Usability and Email Automation. She has a passion for trying out new tactics and exploring new, innovative ways to help her clients achieve their digital…