Content Comes Home: What We Learned from #CMWorld 2017

Katelyn Holbrook is Senior Vice President at Version 2.0 Communications. Follow her on Twitter, @KatelynEHenry.


There are two things we know well at Boston Content: a good time and good content.

So when Content Marketing World, the world’s biggest content marketing event, hit Cleveland last week, it was no surprise that the Boston Content community was well represented among the 4,000 marketers, writers, designers, SEO experts, producers and executives, among others, in attendance.

Though the star-studded lineup of speakers included actor-turned-producer/writer/creator Joseph Gordon-Levitt, GE CMO Linda Boff and Boston Content’s own founding father Jay Acunzo, we looked to the members of our community — the people who may work around the corner from you and struggle with the same issues — to give us the their key takeaway from the event.

Here’s what we learned:

  • "The good news is that content marketing is really hot. The bad news is that everyone is doing it. Amid all the advice about SEO, catchy titles, social media promotion, and attribution, too many people are missing what it really takes to stand out: an original point of view, and actual knowledge of the topic. What I learned from CM World is that it's not enough to write what you know -- you need to do the work to make sure what you know, and what you write, is based on unique experiences." – Josh Bernoff, Author, "Writing Without Bullshit” (@jbernoff)

  • “It’s no longer a question of whether to do content marketing, it is now about how to do it better. Establishing a platform to measure the performance of content through data and analytics is the next challenge. Whether it’s driving revenue, building brand awareness or creating customer loyalty, the ability to define and measure success will solidify the role of content marketing in any organization.” – Jessica Rose, Marketing Communications Manager, Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. (@Jalee27)   

  • "I'm coming back from Content Marketing World with a renewed motivation to build our editorial strategy not around what has worked for other brands but around makes our brand and our publication unique. I was really taken by both Jay Acunzo and Caroline Nuttall's sessions — they both spoke about our reflexive tendency to accept so-called "best practices" and crowd into the same real estate with our content without questioning why we're doing it. There's so much more room to be creative with our content, and when the barriers to entry are low, we have space to experiment and see what engages our audience. Why are we trying to occupy the same crowded spaces as our competitors when there's a whole world of original content to explore?" – Rachel Haberman, Content Marketing Manager, Skyword and Managing Editor, The Content Standard (@RachelHHaberman)

  • “My biggest takeaway is video, Video, VIDEO! I realized that I should just do more video and not worry about it being perfect. I also realized that webinars can be considered videos and are only second to direct sales engagement and that I should be doing more of them. And that one's YouTube channel should be optimized for SEO with more relevant and frequent videos. – Charu Gupta, Director, Content Strategy & Marketing at In Crowd, Inc. (@charugupta)

  • “The biggest thing I took away from content marketing world was that people are still talking about millennials as a huge shift in the workforce. Sure, millennials want immediate feedback, career flexibility, and care about social issues, but who doesn’t? It’s not a separate generation that is changing how we work, it’s everyone’s expectations shifting with the advancement of technology. Whatever thinking you are applying to this generation you should apply to all your employees.” – Mike Wood, Social Marketing Manager, Globoforce (@mikewoodtweets)

  • Content Marketing World introduced me to different metrics I can use at each stage of my buyer’s journey to prove Content ROI. The ‘ROI question’ is a tough one to answer, but if you outline engagement metrics that make sense for your audience at each stage of their journey – then the picture starts to become clearer. – Jess Marble, Marketing Manager, Care@Work by (@Jess_Marble)

Did you attend Content Marketing World this year? Let us know your favorite takeaway in the comments below!