I have wanted to say that (à la Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls) for years, so many thanks to Joe Pulizzi for scheduling the first annual Content Marketing World conference there last week. (Also, many thanks to him for putting me in the same city with Michael Symon’s Restaurant Lola. If you’re ever in Cleveland – heck, if you’re ever in Ohio – go there and order the Hangar Steak with Pickle Sauce. Your mouth with thank you.)
Culinary coup aside, the three-day event was filled to the brim with meet-and-greets, meals, memorabilia and marketing. So full, in fact, that it has taken me a week to digest it all and start pulling out the best morsels for public consumption. I’ll be delving into these more heavily over the next few weeks for our CMWorld Blog Series, but I’d like to go ahead and give you a taste with five of my favorite takeaways:
- Headlines that contain odd numbers have a 20 percent higher click-through rate than headlines with even ones. Apparently even numbers come across flat and less intriguing than their “sexy” odd counterparts, so shave off (or add) an item to your lists to maximize your clicks. [And see this blog post from Outbrain for the other 4 tips for click-through improvement.]
- If you like a blog, become a stalker. This is one arena where being a stage 5 clinger can be a good thing. Build relationships by engaging with bloggers you like, learn from them about your craft and get on their radar. Bernie Borges counts this as one of his 5 Strategies To Fast Track Your Career Through Content, and while it seems simple, many people don’t take full advantage of the reciprocal nature of the blogosphere. Don’t be one of them.
- Ask yourself the important question: What do you want to be known for? This sentiment was ubiquitous at CMWorld and was echoed everywhere from Content Curation seminars to Kevin Smith‘s Q&A session/stand-up comedy gig. Settle on your goal and chart a clear course to achieve it. You’ll be much more likely to succeed than people who produce content haphazardly and without focus.
- Your website is critical. And it’s just as important as your Facebook page. Gary Spangler, Marketing Manager at DuPont, stressed the fact that you can’t have content on your website that’s a year old if you’re trying to stay relevant in the discussion. “You have to have a voracious appetite for content,” Spangler said. And keeping your content current is the way your audience knows you’re still engaged.
- The time to market your content is now. If something important happens, don’t run your content through a ton of PR people or wait until the morning to push it. David Meeman Scott says that the time to become an asset to your audience is while everyone else is asleep, so make your content relevant by distributing it in real time. And don’t live in fear; one post or tweet – even if it’s not perfect – is not going to bring down your whole organization. But it might just help it catch fire.
So there’s your random sampling from the content marketing buffet for today. Check back next week for more tips, tricks and techniques from the best in the biz. And until then, enjoy this (almost) completely unrelated clip. “These go to 11!”