Lessons Learned at Content Marketing World
Marketers across the country wait in anticipation all year for Content Marketing World. This multi-day event is jam-packed with keynotes, breakout sessions, and workshops.
This year nine GPOers gathered in Cleveland to learn from some of the best and brightest in the business. From AI-assisted marketing to zero-click approaches, here are the four lessons from Content Marketing World 2022 that we’re excited to share with you.
Human Written Content is Here to Stay
Content marketers have all heard the hype: artificial intelligence is coming to take our jobs. Well — not so fast! Even though AI has come a long way in the past few years, content marketing will require a human touch for the foreseeable future. Though AI can assist marketers with daily tasks, it can’t replace them.
At Content Marketing World, we learned that using AI to create content isn’t as simple and streamlined as it appears — or often marketed. Marketers must teach and train their AI programs first to get the best results. Before you begin the content creation process, you’ll need to provide samples of human-written content that suits your brand voice, tone, and message. You’ll still need to provide topics, key points, and vital facts or information for every piece. Finally, you’ll need to heavily edit and revise your AI-written content to ensure accuracy (and to make it sound like a robot didn’t write it). Using AI is still a lot of work — and potentially even more time-consuming than just creating content yourself.
Go After RAQs, not FAQs
Starting to create your quarterly content calendars? Want to create content that ranks? According to Andrew Davis, your goal shouldn’t be to create more content. Your goal should be to answer more original questions. Davis suggests refraining from answering frequently asked questions and instead focusing on rarely asked questions, or RAQs. (In the SEO world, you may also call these long-tail keyphrases.)
Why? First, frequently asked questions cater to too large of audiences (and they’ve already been answered). Second, FAQs don’t provide room for personalization or segmentation.
Answering rarely-asked questions is the best way to cater to multiple smaller, segmented audiences and deliver outsized results. RAQs leverage the power of top-down promotion, a marketing strategy in which the decision to try a service, buy a product, or support a cause is encouraged at the highest level. It’s essentially shifting your content efforts to spend more time on the ultimate decision-maker.
To help explain top-down promotion, Davis uses the example of a new Content Manager presenting to their CMO about the need for content marketing. The Content Manager knows the CMO will want to know when to expect results, so they Google “how long does it take for content marketing to work,” and see that it takes 6 to 8 months.
The CMO wants to know “why content marketing takes so long” (a query with 0 helpful results) and what needs to happen to speed up the process. A smart Content Manager, focused on getting buy-in from the top-down decision-maker, will get ahead of the question, “why content marketing takes so long.”
To leverage the power of rarely-asked questions, content planners need to know and understand the mindset of the decision-makers for their products/services. Ask yourself: is the ultimate decision-maker in this instance an in-the-weeds doer who needs to know “how to?” Or, is your decision-maker a single mom who needs to know “why” and “when?”
The key takeaway here: get outsized results by answering rarely asked questions from the right decision makers who could purchase your products/services.
The Future of SEO is Low-Click
The shift toward low-click isn’t necessarily recent news — but it should inform how you adjust your content and SEO strategy. During The Future of SEO: Adapting to a New Low-Click Through Rate Reality, we learned how to address some of today’s new SEO challenges.
Rankings may not be changing much, but viewport positioning is. Currently, 92% of searches feature the “People Also Ask” featured snippet, and approximately 2/3 of search queries result in zero clicks. There are other SERP challenges to account for, too. Directories, PR pieces, and marketplaces tend to dominate SERPs — resulting in traffic losses.
Panelists suggested several approaches to keep in mind when creating SEO-focused content.
- Don’t target a keyphrase without the appropriate content type
- Optimize directories using listings management
- “Own” a keyphrase with multiple content types
- Target mixed-intent searches with timely AND evergreen content
- Use site search analytics
Brand Voice is The New Logo
Author and speaker Ann Handly addressed the importance of voice in her keynote speech, “Brand Voice is the New Logo”. Handley emphasized the importance of brand voice as an integral component of crafting brand recognition and posed the question: If your logo fell off, would you recognize you?
Handley asserts that every company and every marketer needs a memorable, relatable voice to build brand affinity, awareness, and loyalty.
According to Handley, a strong brand voice has the power to:
- Demonstrate consumer understanding
- Create competitor separation
- Build consumer trust
- Forge connection
However, a memorable, relatable brand voice isn’t something that you can cultivate overnight.
Creating a brand voice takes time — and effort. Handley took us on a (hilarious) and memorable journey to brand voice.
The Forest of Enchantment
Spend time immersing yourself in content that beckons you, those you’d love to emulate.
The Swamp of Rage
The frustrating piece: determining how other brands create their voice — and examining where your brand is falling short.
The Hall of Mimic
It’s time to put brand voice into practice. During this stage, mimic but don’t copy what brands you admire (or your competitors) are doing.
The Reflecting Pool
Refine your strategy and learn what works for your brand.
The Secret Chamber of Clams
Handley pulls from the comedic world, bringing in the concept of clams. Clams are typically comedic gems. For your brand, clams may take shape as taglines or impactful language that you can reiterate time and time again. Clams can help you create an “insider language” with your consumers.
Need help with your digital strategy? Turn to GPO. From unique product descriptions to local search pages, our proven set of Content Solutions can help simplify the content strategy and creation process.