Content Marketing Gold Rush: How to Unearth Content Gold at Marketing Industry Events

The promise of professional growth. The excitement of striking new connections. The anticipation of hearing and learning from industry legends and up-and-comers. The marketing industry conference and event circuit is an absolute gold mine of opportunity.

What’s one of our favorite ways to strike-it-rich at any industry event? Panning for content gold.

via GIPHY

The Content Marketing gold rush that started roughly a decade ago has content marketers stamping, picking, drilling, and grinding away at content creation so they can break-ground with their audience and fend off the competition. And industry events can be boomtowns, not only allowing you to make the most of your time, budget, and resources—but also ideate, create, amplify, and repurpose compelling content that will resonate with your audiences.

How do you uncover golden content nuggets at industry events? Let’s dig in.

Before the Rush, Put Your Pre-Prospector’s Hat On

Before rushing to golden conference lands, it’s critical to pre-prospect your mission to ensure you have the right information, focus, and tools to unearth content opportunities.

Some of the actions to take here include:

  • Dig up event-related hashtags so you can keep track of what’s happening before, during, and after the event, as well as engage with speakers and attendees. Pay close attention to specific themes or topics being shared. This can be the start of content ideation.
  • Strike a connection with speakers, presenters, and attendees on social media and start to engage with them. This could not only help you land some new friends before the event, but also lay the foundation for amplifying the event-inspired content you create.
  • Survey the schedule of events and pre-select the digging fields (e.g. keynote addresses and breakout sessions) you want to go to. Pay special attention to sessions that have the most promise for helping you grow as a marketer—not simply create content. If a session has the potential to inspire you, it’s likely that you’ll be able to parlay that into great content for your audience, whether they’re fellow marketers or chief technology officers.

Read: 12 Helpful Tips for Effectively Using Social Media at Events

Bonus Nugget

If you thought content gold could only be found when you’re physically at the event, that’s fools gold. Pre-event content creation is a golden opportunity for any marketer.

“Reach out to the conference organizer, sponsors or speakers at the event that represent topics and brands of interest to your community to do pre-conference interviews,” Lee Odden, TopRank Marketing’s CEO and a seasoned conference speaker and prospector, suggests. “A series of interviews can be branded with a common theme and header image to let readers know there’s a connection to a conference.”

The key here? Choosing speakers that align to the topics and brands of interest to your unique community.

[bctt tweet=”Tip for creating #ContentGold around industry events: Reach out to organizers, sponsors, or speakers that represent topics and brands of interest to your community to do pre-conference interviews. @leeodden” username=”toprank”]

Once You Arrive, Stake Your Claim

You’ve arrived in the land of golden content opportunity. You have your content prospecting plan in place. Now it’s time to sharpen your marketing pickaxe and start digging up the field. This is where you stake your content claim.

To break-ground on content mining and creation, we suggest that you:

  • Get to your digging fields early to get a primo spot. This will ensure you can clearly hear and see the presentation, and give you a better photo opportunity. All of this is critical for creating content on the fly.
  • Leverage flakes of speaker and presenter insights to create content gold in real-time. Whether you’re live-blogging or live-tweeting, keep an ear out for inspiring quotes and insights that you can share quickly with your audience. (If you’ve done your pre-prospecting diligence, it should be easy to mention/tag speakers in your social media posts. This will add credibility and make it easier for speakers to engage with and amplify your content.)
  • Participate in Q&A sessions to extract nuggets of insight that can enhance your content. Most speakers try to leave time at the end for audience questions. Use this as an opportunity to ask a specific question that can not only add more depth to your content, but also something that your audience would truly want to know.

Read: 10 Conference Hacks to Help You Crush Marketing Event Attendance

Bonus Nugget

Whether you missed your opportunity to ask a burning question or you’re interested in some one-on-one time with a speaker, take the time before or after their session to introduce yourself. You may just strike gold.

“Many speakers will also share their slides with you (if you ask nicely), which can be a fantastic resource for live blogging or taking information back to your team,” Ashley Zeckman, TopRank Marketing’s Senior Director of Digital Strategy, speaker, and seasoned live-blogger, shares.

[bctt tweet=”Tip for striking #ContentGold at industry events: Many speakers will share their slides with you if you ask nicely, so don’t be shy. @azeckman #ContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

Once the Rush is Over, Take Your Content to Repurposing Boomtown

Think that content gold isn’t possible after a conference has panned out? Guess again. Gold fever can strike again. How? Repurposing.

For starters:

  • Those quotable moments you pushed out via Twitter? Roundup up your favorites and repackage them as a conference wrap-up post. Or leverage one quote that directly speaks to a pain-point, attitude, or question your target audience can identify with, and build almost net-new content around it.
  • That one-on-one question you asked a speaker? Share it out on your social networks and ask for your audience to weigh in, too. (Oh, and then, leverage that UGC for another blog post or two.)
  • Those photos you took? Bring them to life by putting them into a video slideshow and sharing with your network.
  • Those interesting topics or common themes that arose during your networking interactions or learning sessions? Run them through your editorial process to determine whether they’re a fit for your audience, opportunities, and objectives.

Read: 12 Ways to Crush the Competition With Content From Events

Bonus Nugget

Whether you feel a conference produced dust, flakes, or enormous golden content nuggets, don’t underestimate the value of the content that you have gathered.

As I recently shared in a post (which coincidentally covered how to repurpose Content Marketing leftovers … and was inspired by another piece on repurposed content cobbler, which happened to feature one of my favorite conference quotes from Jay Acunzo):

“All content—fresh or seemingly expired—has the potential to be carved into something new and fresh.”

See. Content gold right there.

[bctt tweet=”All content—fresh or seemingly expired—has the potential to be carved into something new and fresh. @CaitlinMBurgess #ContentMarketing #ContentGold” username=”toprank”]

Strike Content Gold at Your Next Event

Seasoned Content Marketing writer or not, industry conferences and events are golden content ideation, creation, amplification, and repurposing opportunities for every marketer.

So, as you saddle up for your next conference, remember that content gold awaits you—if you’re willing to claim it.

Speaking of conferences? TopRank Marketing’s next stop is B2B Marketing Exchange from Feb. 25-27, 2019 in sunny Scottsdale, AZ. Our own Lee Odden will lead a session on leveraging influencers and interactive content to take B2B content from boring to bold. In addition, myself and Ashley Zeckman will be on-hand to learn, connect, and, of course, create content gold.

Will we see you there? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post Content Marketing Gold Rush: How to Unearth Content Gold at Marketing Industry Events appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Client in-housing, competition for talent top digital agency concerns

Marketing Land’s first Digital Agency Survey finds the sector is weathering digital transformation well, but the growth of data-driven marketing has made it clear where they need to hire.

The post Client in-housing, competition for talent top digital agency concerns appeared first on Marketing…

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

How to Use Customer Journey Mapping to Transform Frustration Into Conversion

How to Use Customer Journey Mapping to Transform Frustration Into Conversion

One of the biggest problems faced by businesses and brands is that they see their product from their own perspective; they’re too obsessed with the bells-and-whistles of the backend, and neglect to consider customer experience.

Customer Journey Mapping is fundamentally designed to address that – to give companies the ability to get a customer’s eye view of the user experience and to heed off problems as a result. This has two main benefits for business:

  • Tailoring your UX more for the consumer, giving them a better all-around experience.
  • Losing fewer customers as they engage with your brand (and therefore increasing Profit).

Building a physical Customer Journey Map is important for knowing how your business works, spotting potential weaknesses and allocating resources effectively. It will help you to constantly improve and streamline your customer service, as well as identifying (and removing) weak links.

According to Forbes, there is a critical disconnect in the use of Customer Journey Map, as 63% of marketers believe them to be important, but only 55% of senior marketers do not think their company fully understands their customers’ journey.

Things like bounce rates provide important metrics to quantify a Customer Journey Map, although a true map is broader than just that. It’s important to also consider all channels for your brand. Therefore, a journey map should take into account social media accounts, the function of your website, your app, as well as any email/phone communication you undertake with customers.

Identifying and integrating each of these will streamline your customer service (potentially saving money, but certainly improving customer experience). 

Building a Customer Journey Map doesn’t need to be a complex process, involving external consultants, or multi-page documents. Instead, you need to truly engage and empathize with the customer’s experience through all five stages of engagement with your business:

  • Discover
  • Research
  • Purchase
  • Delivery
  • Aftercare

In creating a Customer Journey Map for your business, there will be some variance on what specifics to include (for example, a service company will require different information than a B2B software company). However, there are five key rules to follow if you are to produce a meaningful and useful template for assessing, then improving your UX.

1. Look from the outside in

As stated above, the danger with any assessment of a business is that those who work in the business are often too close to the ‘coal face’ to see the true nature of a user’s experience. The most important part of creating a Customer Journey Map is thinking like your customers, not like someone who works in the business. This is one of the most obvious, yet the most difficult aspects.

Here is one example of goal setting from a customer’s point of view:

Customer journey mapping - image 1

Image Source: Tandemseven

It’s extremely difficult to forget aspects of your business (such as that new easy order feature on your website) and to approach your brand with fresh eyes. However, this is critical if you are to anticipate a customer’s needs and potential areas of weakness. As this article states, you need to build your customer map for your ideal customer, which may not be the customer type you have at the moment (or may only be one segment of your market).

What this means in practice:

  • Research websites similar to your own. See what they do. You will engage with a customer’s eye view. Then, revisit your own website. See what’s different, what’s the same, what works, what’s easy to find. Count how many clicks it takes you to find a particular piece of information, and compare that with other websites. 

2. Be holistic

When you’re creating a Customer Journey Map it can be easy to ‘segment’ the process. However, in order to truly replicate your customer’s experience, you need to be holistic. For example, if a customer experiences three points of annoyance in the ordering process, they are unlikely to proceed with the purchase. Each of these points of annoyance may seem small when you add them into the map. However, they are cumulative in the customer’s eyes.

This Customer Journey Map shows how detailed and segmented it may be, still holistic.

Customer journey mapping - image 2

Image Source: Chris Risdon  

What this means in practice: 

  • Segment when you’re collecting information (for example by subdividing work between teams). However, when it comes time to display and analyze information, be sure to display the information holistically. This will give you the chance to evaluate and think holistically about your customers. 

3. Identify ‘pain points’

Identifying ‘pain points’ is the core rationale for creating a Customer Journey Map. Find areas where your business is performing below expectations (perhaps where customers are reporting a negative experience or even areas where their experience is neutral). In other words, find out why people are leaving your website. These may not necessarily be where you expect them to be (after all, presumably if you knew where they were, you’d have already removed them).

What this means in practice:

  • Create a line graph of ‘customer satisfaction’ through the process of engaging with your website. Where the line drops below a certain threshold, you’ve found a ‘pain period.’ Another metric you can use is the stage at which potential customers leave your sales funnel. Finding these points is the first stage in addressing them.

Customer journey mapping - image 3

Image Source: Plusnet Community

4. Quantify 

One of the difficulties of creating an effective Customer Journey Map is that you are dealing with fundamentally subjective and often intangible concepts, such as customer emotion, decision-making, and overall perception of your brand. However, you can mitigate these difficulties by using metrics wherever possible, and, once you have your information, by testing and quantifying it. Treat this research as the opportunity to develop a hypothesis; once you’ve done that you can measure whether it’s correct.

Customer journey mapping - image 4

Image Source: Paul Boag

This visual above shows how the Samaritans were able to integrate more social media use into the way they serve their users. The application of a Customer Journey Map for an organization like the Samaritans shows that they are applicable in all forms of institution.

What this means in practice:

  • Take your results and give yourself a set of goals to test (for example, what if we reduce the number of clicks required to order from 5 to 4). Then, make that change and see what impact it has on sales. If your sales increase, further reduce the number of clicks. Eventually, you will reach an optimal number as your customers are fully satisfied with their experience. Then you can move onto a different factor. 

5. Implement

Once you have your results, you need to amend your website, your app, and your overall social media and content strategy to work out how best your customers can enjoy an improved experience. You will need to think in terms of both micro and macro simultaneously. The macro is the overall sense of wellbeing your customer has when they engage with your brand. The micro refers to the tiny details you provide to shape that experience.

What this means in practice:

  • Develop an overall, one sentence strategy for how you want your UX to be (for example, ‘luxury branding with a high premium on customer satisfaction,’ or ‘efficient and intuitive to use.’) Then work through each aspect of your Customer Journey Map and determine how you can make each step better reflect this overall goal. You can look to successful examples from other companies to get a sense of what works.  

Key takeaways

Creating a Customer Journey Map is often easier in the abstract than in practice. Businesses (and customer experiences) are complex, often driven by multiple factors. Remember the following tips to keep on track:

  • Keep it simple. Remember, you are using a macro view to identify micro problems. If it can’t fit on a single sheet of paper, it won’t work as a diagnostic tool.
  • Think like the customer. You need to truly understand how and why a customer interacts with your brand. Don’t rely on what you think your company does – ask the customers. Market research is the first step in a Customer Journey Map.
  • Find the areas you can improve. Define a standard of quality you want to instill in your business. Start by removing the negative parts of a customer’s experience and then turn the ‘neutral’ parts into positives. This is the fundamental reasoning behind a Customer Journey Map, so this goal should supersede all others.

Guest author: Melissa Burns is an independent journalist and business consultant. Marketing, business innovations, and technology are central topics of her articles. She started writing with a single goal of sharing her expertise with other people. Melissa also provides workshops for start-ups and small businesses.

The post How to Use Customer Journey Mapping to Transform Frustration Into Conversion appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.