Orange is the New Black, and Other Insights From Content Marketing World


Cleveland in early September: hot, humid, sticky…and awash in orange. As Content Marketing World took place last week, the event’s signature color made its way onto taxi ads and banners, as well as hats, ties and socks worn downtown.

More than 3,500 of us came together at #CMWorld for an event focused on the value of multi-platform storytelling to drive brand awareness and engagement. Talks came from brands like Lego and Marriott, and everyone showed up for the closing Q&A keynote with Mark Hamill of Star Wars fame.

#CMWorld brought to light some of the best content marketing that brands are doing today. Here are some insights I gathered from the show:

Content + marketing is not content marketing
Content marketing is much more than content and marketing. It is about creating useful content your audience will actually want to consume, engage with and share.

In other words, brands are being tested for their generosity. And the brand that gives away the most helpful and relevant content wins by inspiring engagement and loyalty from its audience. So what type of content seems to resonate best? Strong opinions and new research.

If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there to hear it . . .
Does it actually make a sound? No, and the same goes for your content! You can develop and publish as much great content as you want, but if it doesn’t draw attention from your audience, the effort is wasted.

So take the leap by making the investment to promote some of your best content. The goal is developing a larger audience that your brand can educate, influence, communicate with and potentially draw to your product. It may take time and resources, but making the effort to be heard is well worth the cost, considering the alternative.

The force is with you, but only when you are passionate
Learn from the Jedi: presence and passion are important to success. At its heart, any content you develop should ultimately speak to the soul and purpose of your company.

The benefit is having material your audience can relate to in a way that matters in the long run, and to help ensure it will remain relevant to your brand. Too many B2B businesses still struggle with creating engaging content, and doing so consistently. The latest research shows that only 29 percent of B2Bs are successful in this regard—a figure that should be much higher!

Orange is (really!) the new black
Content marketing truly is the future of marketing. From a PR perspective, journalists are covering more and more beats today than ever before. The result is the creation of new gaps and opportunities where companies can step in to inform target audiences on topics that matter most to them. If done correctly, the audiences are hungry to hear it.

In the end, content marketing is all about providing useful material that your audience actually wants and can benefit from. Imagine what that can do for your brand?