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Today, I took myself off to the big smoke and dropped by the Content Marketing Show. I make it all sound so effortless, but I’ve actually been really generous, and compiled a set of tips from some of the thought leaders and professionals in the content marketing industry in order to help you improve your very own content marketing strategy.

So here they are…enjoy! (I’ve made a couple of edits to the post since I first published it, hence why the number of tips keep changing!)

Danny Denhard, @dannydenhard, “The Sir Alex Ferguson way of building the best (content) team


1. Big project? Pick 2 -3 people with the right qualities/attributes over a larger team to get it done well

2. Pick a Goalkeeper – someone who will protect your projects legally, with great attention to detail

3. Full backs – teams need to be full of these agile, strong people

4. Centrebacks – These people are leaders. They lead from the front and they’re great communicators

5. Midfield workhorse – these people do the ‘ugly’ jobs. Fill your team with these tenacious people, who don’t worry about what they do

6. Strikers – Goal driven. Your team will need only one of these, as their independence will see your project to a conclusive end. These are social media types

7. Natural Born Leader – If your team doesn’t have one of these, your team will struggle to see a project through

8. Know when to swap people in, rotate your squad to keep ideas fresh

Laura Edwards, @LauraHelen, How to create content that people want”

9. Get niche: casting a wide net to snare bigger audiences doesn’t work anymore

10. Research your demographic really well. Use software tools like Heat, Viral etc, from

11. If you’re focusing on follower growth – choose one social media platform to focus on

12. The execution of sharing is skewed. Offer audiences a reason to share, a reason to follow

13. Make your message easy to share

Dan Fielder, @danfielder “Developing an editorial mind-set in a non-editorial business”

Unfortunately, Dan’s slides are not yet available, so until Dan ‘sorts it out’ *said in a terrible attempt at a cockney accent*, I’ve provided some notes…

14. Find your content sweet spot: your domain expertise against what your users want to hear

15. Being niche is good for longtail keywords and traffic

16. Answer user’s questions, even if it is dull, you’re of great importance to someone who needs an answer to something

17. Sign up to every possible information source to help you generate ideas – even the competition

18. A modest business blog editorial calendar can have a massive ROI. Start with small quick wins

19. Keep to a list of digital genres/content structures so that you’re not re-inventing the wheel every time you create something

20. Create a super template that will work in different applications e.g a homepage teaser could become a “tweet”

21. Be a generous brand: shower prospects with news and info to build trust and confidence. Practice random acts of content kindness

Ben Redford, @bredford2 “Robots, gumballs and Marxism”

Unfortunately, my most favourite speaker of the evening (well, it’s a toss-up between Ben and Luke Lewis from BuzzFeed) hasn’t yet provided any slides like the mad scientist that he is. I imagine he’s been too busy making robots out of some sort of ephemera to even think about uploading his presentation, so on this occasion, he can be forgiven. Here are my notes though. I didn’t make too many as I was too enthralled…

22. Connecting physical stuff to the web is awesome, and it will get people talking. If something physical is connected to a platform eg. Instagram, you’ll get more people talking. This is in particular reference to his awesome creation Olly – a smelly robot

23. Expose the means of the production of what you’re doing, you’ll get trust and attention

24. The story of the process is interesting, sometimes more so than the product

Will Koch, works at LinkedIn, Lightening talk: “How to use LinkedIn for Content Marketing”

I’ve scoured the web and not been able to find Will’s slides either, unfortunately. Maybe the digital marketers do not want us to know the coveted secrets of digital marketing success? But never fear – I have notes:

25. Social networks can influence people in the decision making process, Will Koch,

26. LinkedIn is a trusted, efficient, relevant and accessible platform. It will guide a buyer’s decision making process

27. LinkedIn can help you build a phased approach with distributing your content

28. Use LinkedIn as a content targeting unit – seed out your content to various authoritative groups

Tony Samio works at @Caliberi “Great content marketing is about great story telling”

Tony also hasn’t uploaded a slideshare yet. I noticed that the Caliber-I stand had stocked up on an insane amount of pix ‘n’ mix sweets, so maybe Mr Samios has fallen into a sugary induced coma and forgot to share his awesome fairy tale style prezi.

Here are my notes:

29. Great story commandment: Make me care, aesthetically and intelligently. He shared on of Google’s own advertisements that perfectly captures this:

30. Stories can change thoughts and feelings. Stories can make people do “crazy” things.

31. The audience should not feel sold to, they should feel destined to a desired action

Simon Penson, @simonpenson “Make data your friend”

32. Let data lead your content strategy

33. The tool LSI expands your keyword strategy laterally, broadening your idea creation

34. Google ad planner allows you to delve deeper into your audience demographic

35. Google Consumer Survery: qualitative data

36. Google’s public data: Aggregates statistical data searches

37. Google’s Realtime Insights Finder: This will help you find the right tools for data search

38. Use Analytics Custom Reports: Validates Custom Reports

39. Search data helps, but the future is social data

Sarah Howard, @SarahGHoward “What is the right mix of content?”

40. Planning a content mix? Perform a website content audit. Take a content inventory. Put it into a table, from Content should support all the services you offer to funnel prospects through the buying process

41. Top conversion paths in Analytics helps you to see what’s performing well

Pak Hou Cheung, @PAKHOUCHEUNG “Selling the content marketing story”

Haven’t been able to find Mr Cheung’s slides, but I took the best bits away from his talk:

42. Instead of chasing the algorithm, develop your strategy by revisiting your goal,

43. Leverage your brand by building hundreds of customer reviews to attain that social proof

44. Retain clients by building relationships: go the extra mile by having weekly catchups

Amanda Poole-Connor, @AJPooleco “Making video work for your brand”

Can’t find any slides from Amanda yet – but Amanda’s talk solely focused upon creating video content to build your brand. She mentioned that some brands have created video content from modest budgets of £1.7k up to £7.5k dependent upon post-production requirements.

45. “Brands are 50 times more likely to appear on first page of results if you embed a video” source – YouTube.

Amanda gave an example of a recent video campaign that TNR, of which she is the MD, created for Natwest to incentivise kids to re-design the beloved collectable pigs sent out to savers in the early 90s. Here’s the video:

Justin Taylor, @JustinGraphitas “Putting the conversion into context”

46. Look beyond the social shares and start commoditizing the content that you produce

47. Understand your audience. Hang out in forums and create personas

48. Use your audience’s language

49. Concentrate on headlines: 5x as many people read headlines as read body

50. Anchor products into content. This will stop click-backs and will funnel conversions

51. Add in graphical devices to maintain interest eg. upselling similar products with different specs below advertsied product on a webpage

Matt Roberts, @Linkdex_Matt “Raising the Quality Bar using the smarter Content Framework”

Matt shared with the room how he had used “SMART” in acronym form to work as a quality assuarance guide to make sure that your content isn’t just OK. •

  • S -Specific, significant, shareable
  • M -Measureable, meaningful, memorable
  • A -Appropriate, ambitious, aligned
  • R -Relevant, results-driven, resonant
  • T -Timely, targeted, trackable
  • E -Engaging, enjoyable, evergreen
  • R -Rewarding, reaching

The Linkdex team also teamed up with 3 Door Digital to create – a place for people to acknowledge and share great content.

Ed Bussey, @ed_bussey “7 content marketing tips for ecommerce”

I also haven’t been able to locate Ed’s presentation at this moment in time, but here are my notes from his lightening talk:

52. Customers first – SEO second! Don’t create content just to appease Google

53. Be consistently on brand. Ad hoc content which differs in tone and voice creates a terrible user experience along the buyer’s journey

54. Someone should be responsible for your brand’s writing – particularly language and style

55. Measure and optimize: Multivariant test content to drive objectives

Paul May, @paulmay “Advanced content promotion strategies and tactics”

I really enjoyed Paul May’s visual explanation of a once alien concept to me, “Chunking” (Google it, it will make more sense) but alas, there are not slides to be found. I hope my notes will suffice:

56. The old outreach model/process is broken

57. Reach out to people in a way that is personalized and scalable

58. Start by segmenting your “content market” – use an email tool

59. Leverage the easier to acquire mentions and links to help get the more difficult ones

60. Commit to relationship building prior to outreach – give something before you get something. Retweet their content first

61. Automate low-level tasks, eg. collecting metrics and activity across different projects

62. Try “chunking”. Chunk up to find other categories to cover, and chunk down for specifics for audiences

63. Use Google trends to help with “chunking”

64. Outreach order of operations – harvesting to demand generation

65. Reach out to people that have written about you but not linked to you first

66. For big content prospects, start following them and put them on lists – this will help with content promotion/outreach later on as you already have the relationship with them

67. Instead of outright asking for a link, ask “do you think this is something you could share with your readers?”. It’s more persuasive and you’re giving them something

68. Open an outreach email with a line that says why something is relevant

Jo Kerr, @gambollingsylp “If I had a content planner – content planning 101”

Possibly the tallest speaker – and definitely the most generous – but yet to find Jo’s presentation online. Here are her tips:

69. Meet face-to-face : Get everyone’s content ideas together all in one room

70. Be aware of national holidays to be aware of the audience’s state of mind around the time that you’ll be posting

71. Take your content planner around the entire organization to make sure you meet all business objectives, big and small

72. Trust your editor, in a sort of strict, Devil Wears Prada kind of way, but also open to change

73. Plan ahead and be spontaneous – content plan on an annual, monthly and drop in session basis

Luke Lewis, @lukelewis “How to grow social media communities”

The previous editor of NME, and now UK editor of BuzzFeed, this was the talk that I was most looking forward to. Here are Luke’s tips:

74. Choose your metric eg. clickthroughs, on-page engagement…vanity…to help you identify your audience

75. Choosing your metric will help you choose your platform for marketing your content

76. For Twitter: if it worked once tweet it again, use photos, be relentless, use analytics and be geeky

77. Exploit big events and react in real time

78. Planned spontaneity – two versions of an article to meet two different outcomes

79. Cut-through – an emotive hook eg. nostalgia. Trigger for social sharing

80. Tap into people’s passions – tweet about rock star’s birthdays, current hit programmes

81. Feedback = Editorial: Use a comment to create a blog post. You’re directly addressing the user’s requirements


NB. These have been compiled on the day, and at the time of writing, some speakers had not yet published their slides (The ones that I could find have now been added in 03/06/2013. Please contact me, if you spot any errors!