By Georgia Galanoudis, managing director, Imprint
Last week, Imprint had the pleasure of attending one of the content industry’s biggest events, Confab Central in Minneapolis. We got to hear amazing talks from content strategy’s top thinkers, doers, and teachers from organizations like Facebook, Google, Cornell University and more, and walked away inspired and reminded about what an exciting thing it is to be in content marketing. Here are a few of those standout reminders and takeaways:
Takeaway #1 – Content marketers realize the power of design and brand
I loved the playful and consistent branding the Confab team brought to their event. This was reflected in all communication channels including the in-person experience complete with 6-foot rocket! The branding, I was told by more than one attendee, was what caught their eye and pushed them over the edge to make this event their main event pick of the year — kudos to the Confab team for recognizing the critical role brand design and communications plays in creating and inviting audiences into an experience.
Takeaway #2 – Content marketers are a passionate and supportive community
There was a distinct “friends and family” feeling to the event. Most of the presenters have been in the trenches, as their audience members currently are, and they feel your pain. There was part practical advice, part commiseration and part rallying cry. For young content strategists, or those isolated within companies trying to go it alone, this is the conference for you.
Takeaway #3 – Content marketers need to translate and interpret for the C-suite
For content strategists talking to content strategists, boy are the conversations easy! And these conversations naturally gravitate to the minutiae of either what keeps us up at night or our excitement around the latest taxonomy breakthrough. But try taking that talk to the C-Suite and we’re doomed. A running theme was how to educate content strategists to not talk like content strategist and to translate the details into what upper management really cares about – from what I observed it’s a work in progress.
Takeaway #4 – Content marketers understand the importance of left brain, right brain
The modern content strategists are like the consumer marketers of old. Individuals that are a rare breed combining the creativity that comes from deep consumer empathy and understanding with a rigorous and disciplined “follow the data” mantra. This somewhat nerdy and quirky combination was well represented and celebrated. I certainly felt at home.
Takeaway #5 – Content marketers is a constantly evolving and magical journey
Not unlike other conferences I’ve attended, the level of knowledge and expertise varies greatly. Confab was no exception. This, now, mainstream marketing tactic of content marketing is still evolving and every company or individual is in varying stages of adoption and comprehension. The programming and conversations reflected this diversity – covering everything from picking a CMS to using consumer journey mapping to prioritize your content matrix.
At close of the event, not only did we walk away with significant learnings about what is up-and-coming in the content industry, but more importantly we all left feeling a sense of community in this industry knowing that we are all in it together and have the same end goal of increasing the awareness around the significance of content in the marketing world today.