WeContent 2019: Key Lessons & Takeaways
Trust, expertise and relevancy were some of the keywords at WeContent 2019. Being useful, not just selling. Being consistent and creating content that is not random, but part of a plan and a series. Last but not least, building communities and experimenting with new technologies.
November 7 was a day packed with great speeches from some of the world’s best content marketing experts. 450+ participants listened, asked questions and enjoyed a day full of lessons and stories to share. Here are some main takeaways from this day.
Sonja Jefferson: The more you help and the less you sell, the more you sell
Sonja Jefferson, author of Valuable Content Marketing and one of the most well-known content marketing experts in the UK, spoke about how to create content that makes your customers act.
- Sales is a content job. Sonja used to send printed articles to prospects to get them to pick up the phone.
- Switch focus from selling to how to do a better job to help others. The more you help and the less you sell, the more you sell.
- Don’t think of how you can sell, but how people buy. Know your users and design your content around their needs.
- Trust leads to relationships which leads to sales. Self-orientation destroys trust.
- You have to engage at the outpost to draw the right people in. Don’t start by selling.
- Customer research is key. Every marketer should talk to at least one customer every week.
- Valuable content is human and has a soul. Write from the ❤.
- Try to give awards to your customers.
- Your aim is to create simple, purposeful, delightful experiences.
- Love your customers and your craft.
Valentin Pintilescu: Building a community is the future of marketing
Valentin Pintilescu, Development Manager LooLoo Kids, the biggest YouTube Channel from Central & Eastern Europe and one of the top ten Worldwide YouTube channels for toddlers, shared lessons about how to build a community.
- Brands are kind of sad and lonely on social media.
- YouTube is the place to be. Why are you not on YouTube?
- By 2021 over 84% of internet consumption will focus on video content; YouTube growth – 124% in the 45-65 group; 68 of people use YouTube to help make purchase decisions. 90-9-1 rule: 1% will create content; 9% will respond; 90% will passively consume.
- The benefits of a community:
- reduces dependency on ads and promotions for sales
- increases customer retention
- creates valuable brand advocates
- great insights & better understanding
- upsell & cross-sell
- People go to YouTube for content, but come back for the sense of community and connection.
- Read the YouTube manual. Nobody reads the manual.
- Be consistent in style (don’t have multiple personalities), structure and rhythm.
- Always on – you have to be there. No one is a fan of public transportation in Bucharest: no one knows when it arrives, if it arrives and how busy it will be.
- There is not perfect video length. It depends what you do.
- Spend time thinking about the tone and voice of your brand. Don’t yell at customers.
- Go for original music, it’s not that expensive.
- Use gamification: badges, rewards, etc.
- Borrow communities from other content creators by working with them.
- Building a community is the future of marketing.
AJ Huisman: Create a culture for content
AJ Huisman is the founder of Y Content, a strategic marketing consultancy company, and the co-founde of Content Marketing Fast Forward, an educational platform for marketers, communication professionals and entrepreneurs. He gave participants tips on how to become B2B content marketing rockstars.
- B2B companies have content gold laying around:
- Multiple stakeholders
- Long sales cycles
- Complex process
- Higher transaction value
- Educated buyers
- Objections to creating content:
- We will give out knowledge away!
- The competition will know our secrets!
- Now our clients can do everything themselves!
- What we give for free, clients are now paying for!
- We can’t afford to have an opinion!
- What makes your content unique: perspective, quality, tone of voice, style.
- How to gain traction: start a pilot – you try new things, at a small scale and with a low budget.
- An event is ideal for a pilot and you can create a lot of content around it: before, during and after.
- Create a culture for content. Gather people in a room and ask them to come up with blog post titles. Explain what a good articles is and scale your content production.
- Stop creating me-me-me content.
- Be a content facilitator
- Be proactive & feed your ideas
- Transform existing content
- Ask & share
- Small editorial team + weekly meetings
- Make a content marketing calendar
Marcus Tober: Expertise, authority, trust
Marcus Tober is a well-known SEO expert and founder of Searchmetrics, a market leader in search and content analytics software. Marcus taught us how to get rid of old SEO habits and embrace the future.
- The road to success in search is hard. Traditional SEO based on content and link-building doesn’t work anymore. There is no simple SEO strategy.
- User-focused SEO based on clients’ needs.
- Google: E.A.T (expetise, authority, trustworthyness) & YMYL (your money your life)
- Google is looking for professional content, written by experts.
- Does it really matter how long content is? No. It depends on the industry.
- Do a Google Lighthouse audit of your website.
- Faster website -> increased conversions.
- There is no guarantee that rules don’t change. Become an expert in your industry and build trust.
Carlijn Postma: Apply the hero’s journey to your customer’s journey
Carlijn Postma is the owner of the Dutch content marketing agency The Post and president of Platform Content. In 2017, she was awarded the title Content Marketing Woman of the Year. She spoke about Binge Marketing, the best scenario for building your brand.
- The hero’s journey applies to almost every movie; it has the same stages and elements
- The hero’s journey is the exact same journey your audience is taking on his personal quest.
- The journey starts in the ordinary world. Your audience is living their lives not waiting for you.
- There’s a call to adventure – something triggers him, intrinsic or external.
- Refusal of the call – there is often resistance that prevent your audience from continuing the journey. What is it?
- Meeting the mentor – who can help the audience? Here is where the expert/influencer comes in.
- Crossing the treshold – the audience is curious and wants to know more.
- Tests, enemies, allies – your audience is looking for more information and similar content.
- Create content that is like a successful tv show.
Jon Wuebben: Put a virtual reality content strategy together
Jon Wuebben is the Founder & CEO of Content Launch, the first complete content marketing platform built for digital marketing agencies & SMB’s. He embarked on the ambitious task of telling us about the future of content marketing.
- How can you transform your content into an experience? People buy experiences.
- The value of the experience lasts
- Doing things makes people happies than having things
- Anticiation of and experience vs. anticipation of a purchase
- Instead of Kotler’s 4P, think of EP2 = engagement, experience, personalization and passion.
- Creativity is on the rise and creative people are gaining a seat at the table.
- Marketing in 2023:
- Brands -> Platforms
- Mass Media -> Memes and movements
- Brand message -> Multi-sensory experiences
- Storytelling through VR. What can your company do with VR?
- Show me the money -> Show me the passion
- Strategy around products -> Adaptive strategy around consumers
- Uninformed guessing -> Real world, data-driven simulations
- Human thinking -> Cognitive enhancement
- Mass market -> Niche explosion
- To do items:
- Put a VR content strategy together
- Determine how to turn your services into experiences
- Build a real partnership with prosumers now
- Connect with influencers in an authentic way
- Put together a 10-year marketing plan (not just 3)
- Hire super creative people and give them a seat at the table
- Use marketing technology
Jay Baer: Content that wins is content that is talkable
Jay Baer is the world’s most inspirational marketing keynote speaker and the trusted advisor to the world’s most iconic brands. His Convince & Convert Media division owns the world’s #1 content marketing blog & the top marketing podcast. Jay talked about how differentiated content turns customers into volunteer marketers.
- Advertising is less effective than ever.
- Any topic you can think of already has a lot of competition – and it’s not getting better.
- Once the very existence of content was enough; that’s not the case anymore.
- The reality is that most content fails, as does most of everything ever created.
- With so much comeptition, content needs amplification to succeed. Your customers must help spread it.
- Have the courage to create content that is different enough that people want to share it. Different is better than better.
- Content that wins is content that is talkable.
- 5 types of talkable content:
- Talkably definitive – create the ultimate resource; don’t just provide some answers, provide all answers.
- Talkably relevant – don’t tell yourself the lie that your customers are too busy; they are too busy when the content is not relevant or specific enough for them to give you their time.
- Talkably useful – helping beats selling.
- Talkably consistent – stop random acts of content creation!
- Talkably unexpected
- For you customers to talk about it, your content needs to be their favorite.
- Create content so useful, people would pay for it.
- Get sales and marketing to work together: smarketing.