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Content Marketing World: Shifts in technology, customer behaviors enable better content marketing

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Columbus, Ohio—Fundamental shifts in technology and customer behaviors are influencing the ways businesses market their products and services to their audiences, according to author and marketing consultant Mitch Joel, who delivered the keynote address at the Content Marketing Institute's Content Marketing World expo and conference here. While these changes are putting pressure on marketing in general, content marketers are “particularly primed” to take advantage of them, said Joel, president of marketing consultancy Twist Image and author of “Six Pixels of Separation” (Business Plus, 2010). “Marketers have to figure out how to create relevant marketing in a world where you're in direct competition with so many others,” Joel said. “What are you doing to tell a better brand narrative?” Joel cited major trends that enable successful content marketing, including the need to help prospects and customers solve problems and having the opportunity to deliver messages across multiple screens. Most important of all is the power of direct relationships, he said. “You have to give people a reason to connect with you,” Joel said. “It's not about just recreating a press release for a blog post.” Curt Porritt, senior VP-marketing at document management technology company MasterControl Co., stressed the importance of target segmentation in his session, “Crucial Content Elements to Drive Your Marketing.” “Most of our content is industry-specific; but it's also important to have content for customers that's different than for prospects,” Porritt said. “Our customers know us, and they're more interested in a new product module or training class, for example—the new things that are coming up.” The crafting of marketing content was the subject of the session “Applying Company Positioning to the Power of Storytelling in B2B.” Ardath Albee, CEO of content consultancy Marketing Interactions, said problem-solving is at the core of effective content. “If content isn't creating activity to solve a problem or customer pain point, it isn't doing what it needs to do,” Albee said. She said this can be accomplished by establishing the company's position statement and developing solutions surrounding that statement tailored to various customer personas. Albee cited major content mistakes that marketers make, including talking too much about their own company, distributing content across the wrong channels and not addressing “the trouble” customers are having. “Your company's distinct value drives your content themes,” she said. “That allows for a pivot for all your offerings.” Content Marketing World 2012 has attracted 1,005 attendees, up from 631 last year. The conference and expo concludes tomorrow.
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