I still can’t believe that I am going to Content Marketing World in Cleveland next week. When one of our founders offered to send me earlier this year, I could not believe it. I remember when the email came across asking if I wanted to attend and the feeling of excitement that came over me as I responded with a “heck yes” to the invitation.
Within a few hours, my hotel was booked, my flights were arranged, and I was ready to hit the road to Cleveland, where I would rub shoulders with Content Marketers from all over the world and every vertical.
A Summary of My Professional Life in Content
My career in digital marketing started in the late 2010’s as a member of an email marketing team at a daily deals company, but for nearly a decade before I dabbled in blogging. As an email marketer, I was obsessed with crafting the right message that encouraged clicks. I wrote subject lines and product descriptions, and obsessed over CTA placement and copy. As a blogger, I wanted to tell the right story in order to capture an audience. I thought about blog titles and introductions, and photography. While blogging and email are considerably different marketing tactics, they have a few things in common. Both email and blogging rely heavily on copy to tell a story and encourage users to take an action: make a purchase, subscribe, contact, for example. And they both are a form of content marketing.
The late Nora Ephron believed that everything that happens to you, everything that you learn, everything is a story worth writing about. Everything is copy and copy is content.
After I spent a few years losing sleep over bounce rates and click-through-rates, I decided that I needed more. My career progressed into copywriter, ad writer, staff writer, product blogger, and eventually content strategist. When I started working as a content strategist in late 2012, the role was a new “old” thing. Content Strategist’s had been around for decades, working in the background at Publishing houses and agencies to sort out the content mess that came with birth of the internet. I dived head first into content strategy - learning everything that I could about wireframes, copy, web content, responsive design, SEO, and brand storytelling. I was a sponge that never felt full. Five years later - I am still hungry for more knowledge.
Inbound Marketing Stops the Interruption
Before I became a content marketer, I had no idea what interruption marketing was or that my behavior to it was common. Interruption marketing is essentially when a potential customer has to stop what they’re doing and pay attention to an advertisement. Television commercials, radio spots, telemarketing calls, these are all considered interruptive forms of marketing that almost all of us are unhappy to receive. For example, every time a commercial plays during my favorite TV show, I will turn the volume down.
When content marketing became part of my life, I found that most people (myself included) respond positively to marketing that we have given permission to receive. Blogs, email, product pages that we found in search, and social media are becoming just as important as traditional advertisements. Content is the future of advertising.
Do you want to attend Content Marketing World?
Yes, I do. Why? Because I am still hungry to learn more and I know that at Content Marketing World, I will learn more than I know today.
Here are a few sessions that I am really excited to attend this week in Cleveland. If you see me at one, say hello or follow ion on Twitter.
- Structuring Content for Dynamic Storytelling with Carrie Hane
- Writing Secrets from Productive and Prolific Writers (the Jerks!): How to Create Better Content When No One Has Enough Time with Ann Handley (Content Marketing hero!)
- Content to Community: Leveraging Content to Elevate Your Community - Joint Session
- How to Build a Dominant Media Brand One Day at a Time with Casey Neistat