9 Content Marketing World Sessions You Don't Want to Miss

Blog Post
August 27, 2018


Photo Credit: Heiki Young on Medium

Joe Pulizzi in his over-the-top orange suits. Content marketing legends like Ann Handley and Jay Baer. And of course, Tina FeyWho wouldn't want to see Tina Fey?

These are just a few of the (marketing) celebs I'm hoping to run into at next week's Content Marketing World Conference and Expo. When I attended CMWorld a few years ago, it was already drawing a crowd of about 2,500 people. This year is expected to be over 4,000, so there are sure to be plenty of bright, shiny faces to see and minds to connect with in Cleveland.

I look forward to serendipitous encounters, like that time I offered to share my cab to the airport with the other attendee waiting on the curb. We chatted the entire way to the airport and traded contact info. I later found out that my cab mate, Tim Washer, was actually kind of a big deal in the marketing world. I'm looking forward to seeing him again to discuss B2B video marketing and hearing some of the comedic interviews he'll be doing at the event.

On top of collecting some autographs for my marketing library, there's also the learning. So much learning to be done. To assuage some of my current content pain points, I'm most interested in learning about topics like innovative content formats, improving content distribution and measuring ROI.

To that end, here are the sessions I'm looking forward to the most at Content Marketing World 2018.

1. Break the Wheel: Stories and Ideas for Being Better than Best Practices

Speaker: Jay Acunzo (Founder, Unthinkable Media)

I heard Jay speak during the last CMWorld I attended and followed his prior organization, Boston Content. I'm psyched to hear him present ideas on innovating beyond content best practices. Instead of "glomming onto the latest trends," Jay promises to teach attendees how to be exceptional—to "bridge the gap between meh and amazing." Specifically, we'll learn:

  • Why best practices hold us back from doing our best work.
  • How to think differently about building your career and business.
  • Adopt the mental disciplines that empower the world's top creators.

2. Creating Less Content Through Intelligence

Speaker: Carlos Hidalgo (CEO, VisumCx)

This talk caught my eye because we're constantly striving to better measure the value of our content. This can be particularly tough for our team, as we consider "return on attention" to be the most important metric to measure—in other words, our audience must get some return for the attention they spend on our content. I'm interested to hear what Carlos has to offer in terms of how to apply intelligence to my content strategy and how to define the proper KPIs to measure content performance. He promises that "The result will be less content with better and measurable results." I'm looking forward to his case studies.

3. The Competitive Edge: How to Create a Unique Content Spin in a World of Copycats

Speaker: Andrew and Pete. (Founders, Andrew and Pete)

Andrew and Pete say they'll give me a "firm kick-up the backside" when it comes to challenging my creativity. They explain: "In a world where content is in abundance, getting noticed is becoming harder and harder, and if you're just playing 'follow the leader' you're always going to be one step behind." I'm looking forward to learning about their framework for thinking of remarkable ideas and their process for guaranteeing an idea will deliver results.

4. If you are not Podcasting you are a Fracking Moron

Speaker: Rob Walch (VP Podcaster Relations, Libsyn)

I've been considering starting a podcast for Harte Hanks. Let's see if Rob can convince me to do so in this session. Stay tuned. (Also, I couldn't ignore a session with "Fracking Moron" in the title.)

5. A Content Promotion Framework with Actionable Tips to Optimize Results from your Content Marketing

Speaker: Ian Cleary (Founder, RazorSocial)

This one sounds pretty much perfect for helping me to get some answers around my content distribution pain point. Ian will "outline a content promotion step-by-step framework to follow for the promotion of all content. He will also share practical tips for each step of the framework." Said framework is promised to help me to drive better results of my content marketing through more effective content promotion.

6. The Secret 3 Steps for Content Amplification and Distribution Success

Speaker: Heidi Cohen (CCO, Actionable Marketing Guide)

"When content leaders like Jay Baer and Content Marketing Institute reduce their publication frequency, it's a signal that creating more content isn't the answer to drive measurable results." Heidi says that to succeed, I need to get more mileage from each content effort by improving amplification and distribution—apparently, I should be focusing about 80% of my efforts on distribution. Wowza! I'm eagerly awaiting her suggestions for ongoing distribution tactics to keep content visible over time.

7. Start Showing Your Content Marketing ROI Today

Speaker: Michael Brenner (Keynote Speaker, Author and CEO, Marketing Insider Group)

It's hard enough to show marketing ROI, let alone content marketing ROI. But Michael Brenner—one of my Twitter favorites—explains that all of us can start demonstrating return on content investments now. He promises formulas and calculations that will help with building content business cases ad measuring ROI in business terms.

8. Tired of Vanity KPIs? Discover How Adobe Ties Content to B2B Deals for Real ROI Measurement

Speakers: Mark Boothe (Head of Social, Adobe), Sam Fonoimoana (Founder, Stoke), Laurie Lohner (Managing Partner, Stoke)

YES! Mark, Sam and Laurie will be explaining how to "stitch your CRM data to web analytics for the unvarnished truth about how your content contributes to revenue." They also promise the following takeaways:

  • Learn from Adobe’s journey of working with content ROI data and the impact it’s had on their strategy.
  • Discover how you can tie your online content to leads, sales pipeline, and offline deals.
  • Learn how to justify your content marketing budget in the dollar-figure language the C-suite is fluent in.
  • Find out what you need to link marketing analytics and CRM tools.
  • See how data can give you insights to develop a content strategy for the entire customer journey.

9. Talk Triggers: How Killer Content Creates Conversation and Clones Customers

Speaker: Jay Baer (President, Convince & Convert) 

Bonus! This one doesn't relate to my pain points, but I can't miss Jay Baer. He poses this question: If you care about word of mouth for your business, why don't you have a plan to create chatter? In this presentation, he outlines why we need to offer a differentiated, "talkable" customer experience that compels conversation. "Same is lame," and we'll have to be different to stand out. 

So, there you have it. Hope to see you at one or more of these sessions—say hello if you decide to join! I'd love to talk content shop.

Hungry for some content thought leadership now? Check out some of my other pieces: