Stop Making eBooks & Other Takeaways From Content Marketing World 2014

Stop Making eBooks & Other Takeaways From Content Marketing World 2014

September 18, 2014 by Holly Rollins

CMIworldOk, so commanding you to stop creating eBooks might be a little drastic. They are quality pieces of content in the right context. I may be riding a little high still from our recent trip to Cleveland for Content Marketing World, but I will explain that statement in just a bit.

Every year since the conference’s inception, the EnVeritas Group team has sent a select, lucky group of team members to attend the ultimate content marketing event. This year (and last) I was fortunate enough to be among the team that was in attendance. Through conversations with attendees and sitting in on presentations, I’ve returned to Greenville a little more prepared to tackle the challenges of my role. For those of you who were not as fortunate, I would like to pass along a few tidbits of knowledge that I brought home with me. Here are a few takeaways from Content Marketing World 2014.

1. Stop creating eBooks

There’s that crazy statement again. People love eBooks, and they can be really valuable, right? Definitely! It’s not that this form of content needs to go away completely. The point is that your marketing team needs to consider other types of content.

Jay Acunzo, Director of Platform and Community for NextView Ventures, urged those in attendance at his presentation to rethink the value of the content they produce as it relates to what it offers those that consume it. Instead of sending out another eBook that requires a significant amount of time to consume, why not send out something like a PowerPoint template that actually saves time. Think about adding new items like this to your newsletter and other campaigns. Trust me, people will appreciate it.

We are all super busy in our roles as content marketers, so why not help save someone time. It’s a good way to get your content shared and encourage your audience to stick around for more.

 2. B2B doesn’t have to be boring

Katrina Craigwell of General Electric engaged her audience with video content produced by GE. Rather than producing boring spec sheets and other documents that no one wants to read, Craigwell and the GE team made the company’s products fun and engaging.

She and the team reached out to popular YouTube stars to create a variety video series about their products and other aspects of the company. They connected with audio engineers to produce a really cool music video using sounds that occur during the everyday production of GE products. They really got creative with some material that might otherwise have come across pretty boring to their audience. As a result, the content that they’ve created has enjoyed millions of views and other interaction across the web. So the lesson here is, just because you are in the B2B sector, it doesn’t mean you have to settle for boring content.

 3. People want to know more about content marketing

I had the pleasure of chatting with a lot of really great people while I was hanging out at our exhibition table. What I found is that companies are really interested in learning more about content and what it can do for them. Companies from all types of industries sent team members to the conference to gather information and bring it back to the office. They were all really eager to learn, and there seemed to be a real urge to get educated.

What does this mean? It means that us content marketers have a duty to produce content that educates. We need to share our knowledge. After all, producing content that helps others is the whole concept behind what we do, right?

Those are just a few takeaways I have from the conference, but before I let you go, I just want to add one more.

4. Cleveland really does rock

This is not totally related to the conference, but the city of Cleveland has a bad reputation, and I want to take this opportunity to dispel any myths that this city isn’t worth visiting. If you’ve never been here, you need to check it out. I had a chance to tour a number of different parts of the city, and it’s got really great character. From the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, to the overly optimistic Browns fans, the city of Cleveland was the perfect setting for Content Marketing World. I really look forward to attending next year. The video and photos that I took were some of the best content that I consumed the entire time. I definitely recommend a trip to this misunderstood city.

And why not make that visit next year around the beginning of September. If you are in the content marketing field, the beginning of September 2015 will mark next year’s edition of Content Marketing World. Don’t miss it!