6 Themes to Watch and 8 Speakers to Catch at This Year’s Content Marketing World

Content marketing fanatics from all over the world will be converging on Cleveland in a few weeks for this year’s Content Marketing World conference, Sept. 3-6.

A review of the sessions and speaker lineup shows once again the care that goes into planning such a packed agenda. The program is so strong, in fact, you may have trouble choosing which sessions to attend.

After taking a closer look, I’m here to help with a few tips on sessions you should star in your CMWorld app.

Eight Stellar Speakers Not To Miss

1) Ian Cleary: It’s always exciting to see that Ian is speaking. He’s one of the best, each time providing lots of great tips and takeaways you can immediately plug into your processes. I recommended his session to multiple attendees last year, and they all raved about how much they got out of it. Not only that but Ian is one of the nicest folks you’ll ever meet.

Session: Weds., Sept. 4 at 11:20 a.m.: A Strategic Step-By-Step Approach to Drive More Traffic and Conversions From Your Existing Content

2) Ann Handley: CMWorld wouldn’t be complete without Ann. People gravitate to her for her wisdom but also her style – engaging and fun. She always shares nuggets of goodness that you carry with you until the next time you’re lucky enough to hear her speak.

Session: Weds., Sept. 4 at 3:05 p.m.: What Do We Want? CONTENT. When Do We Want It? ASAP. Your Strategic Approach to Sane + Sustainable Success

3) Brian Fanzo: Brian is building his reputation as one of the most sought after speakers around.  I’m excited to hear him present on the topic of how to tell your authentic story and be more relatable.

Session: Thurs., Sept. 5 at 10:15 a.m.: Press The Damn Button: How To Stand-Out From the Bad News and Fake News On Social Media

4) Jonathan Kranz: I had never heard Jonathan speak until last year’s CMWorld – and he left an impression. Because I often write for clients in “boring” B2B industries like industrial, manufacturing and technology, I’m always on the edge of my seat when a speaker can provide tips on how to make that content more compelling. Jonathan does just that.

Session: Thurs., Sept. 5 at 2:50 p.m.: Heavenly Creation: Content Creation Secrets of the Angels

5) Marcus Sheridan: One of the most dynamic speakers today, Marcus is speaking on what organizations need to focus on to build a successful content marketing team. Are you just getting it done? Or are you doing it right?

Session: Thurs., Sept. 5 at 11:20 a.m.: The Perfect Content Marketing Organization: 7 Essential Qualities of the World’s Most Successful Content Marketing Companies

6) Scott Monty: I believe in newsletters. I always recommend that clients who don’t have one start one. Scott could write a book on how to produce a newsletter that people watch their inboxes for, based on his hugely successful newsletter, The Full Monty. Grab a seat at his session on how to curate content to build your audience.

Session: Weds., Sept. 4 at 3:05 p.m.: Curate Your Way to More Subscribers

7) Christopher Penn: I’m such a fan of Chris. Why? If you go to his session, you’ll understand. Not only is he one of the smartest people around, but he also shares his knowledge of AI in a way that makes it relevant to everyone in communications. Be sure to get your note-taking fingers ready for his session.

Session: Thurs., Sept. 5 at 11:20 a.m.: How AI Will Change Content Marketing Forever

8) Heidi Cohen: If you haven’t seen Heidi speak, buckle your seatbelt. She generously doles out practical tips and advice on how to promote your content – because if you create a piece of content that no one knows about, guess what? It doesn’t mean much.

Session: Weds., Sept. 4 at 10:15 a.m.: The Continuous Content Distribution Playbook: How To Keep Your Best Content Visible and Viable While Saving Your Sanity

Six Notable Themes to Watch

1) Industrial marketing: This is an industry that gets short shrift, in my opinion. It presents an opportunity for today’s marketers, as many of these companies desperately NEED our help in addressing an evolving market. More and more of the buyers in this industry are younger – and they’re looking online for information. This is a change from the old ways of selling, when these businesses relied on customer loyalty and printed manuals to win the business. To satisfy the needs of today’s industrial buyers and win them over, you need a digital strategy. How refreshing to see an entire workshop on Friday devoted to this underserved industry.

Session: Friday, Sept. 6 at 10:00 a.m.: Industrial Marketing Summit

2) Freelancing: It thrilled my soul to see that Carmen Hill’s presenting a session on how to bring freelancers into the fold. If you’re not already factoring freelancers into your strategy, first, why not? And second, you should try it. Carmen will give tips and advice on how to successfully bring freelancers into the mix to accomplish more.

Session: Thurs., Sept. 5 at 12:20 p.m.: Headroom Without Head Count: The Best Way to Add Freelancers to Your Content Team

3) Integration of PR and content: It also made me happy to see a session on the integration of content and public relations – something I preach daily. You’ll get more out of both if you can successfully integrate the two.

Session: Thurs., Sept. 5 at 10:15 a.m.: How to Integrate Content Marketing With TV Commercials, PR, and Sponsorships

4) Research: Research is one of the most under-utilized approaches in content marketing and PR. If you want to learn more about how it can be a powerful way to achieve your goals, be sure to catch this panel of heavy hitters including Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media and Michele Linn of Mantis Research.

Session: Weds., Sept. 4 at 12:25 p.m.: Asking the Right Questions: How to Use Original Research for Valuable Content That Drives Business Results

5) Community: If you aren’t paying attention to the importance of building a community around your brand, cause or organization, now’s the time. It can be one of your most powerful and valuable assets for content creation and getting the word out about your products and services – not to mention that your community may come to your defense if you’re attacked on social media. With presenters like Erika Heald, founder of #ContentChat, and Dennis Shiao, who’s created a thriving community using Meetup, you’ll learn how to build and care for your community.

Session: Fri., Sept. 6 at 9:00 a.m.: Community Rx: The Proper Care and Feeding for a Highly Successful Online Community

6) Storytelling: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the sessions I’m moderating are in the storytelling track. Storytelling is incredibly important throughout content marketing and has been a cornerstone of PR since the beginning. If you can paint a picture for your audience, a picture that makes them want more, you’ll be winning across the board.

Sessions: Fri., Sept. 6 at 8:00 a.m.: Guardians of Content Vol 1: How to Scale B2B Influencer Content to Save the Galaxy – with Ashley Zeckman (Sr. Director of Digital Strategy, TopRank Marketing)

Fri., Sept. 6 at 9:00 a.m.: Binge Marketing: The Best Scenario for Building Your Brand with Carlijn Postma (Content Marketing Specialist, Owner, The Post)

See You in Cleveland?

With a lineup like this, you’ll have to agree that you won’t want to miss CMWorld. Not able to make it? Follow me on Twitter @PRisUs as I tweet along.

Content Marketing World is coming up in Cleveland Sept. 3-6.

If you need help crafting or promoting content for your business, get in touch.

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