Follow-up: WeContent 2019 (2019.11.07, Grand Entertainment – Băneasa Shopping City)

WeContent 2019, one of the best content marketing conferences in Europe, brought us world-renowned speakers and two days of great content, inspiration, and stories to share.

The event took place at Grand Entertainment (Băneasa Shopping City), between 7-8 November 2019. I talk below about the first day of the event.

At WeContent one can meet top international specialists and find out how to have a successful content strategy.

Below, my notes and photos from the event.

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Jon Burkhart – Opening remarks
By Jon Burkhart Author, Content Strategist, Keynote Speaker

Sonja Jefferson – How to create content that makes your customers act
By Sonja Jefferson Author, Content Strategist, Keynote Speaker

Help, don’t sell, talk, don’t yell, show, don’t tell.

People in the marketing field should talk more to the final client.

The more you help them (the less you sell), it turns into more sales.

The content that wins is content with the soul.

Put your customer’s needs on #1 place.

Help – do not sell.

Give knowledge away generously.

Focus on a niche.

Tell a good story.

Commit to quality.

Write from a heart.

How to create a community with a low budget? Create a persona, build relationships. Be clear about the niche that you’ve got. Connect one YouTube channel from Romania.

with your niche. Bring them together.

Word of mouth is about giving your clients the microphone.

You need to balance quantitative with qualitative listening. In a 20-minute call, you need to ask people some questions. This will give you a lot of input. Record them, use their words in the marketing materials create. Listen to the questions they put. All starts with questioning, not assumptions.

Valentin Pintilescu – Don’t create content, create a community
By Valentin Pintilescu Development Manager @ LooLoo Kids & TraLaLa

Sometimes, brands have a sad presence on social media. On another hand, people are happy. There’s a disconnect.

By 2021, over 84% of Internet consumption will focus on video content.

YouTube: 46-65 age group has a  124% increase.

68% of people use YouTube to form a better purchase decision.

TraLaLa – number

Your audience – who you talk to.

Your community – who talks to you.

90% consume content – 9% respond – 1% create.

YouTube community benefits – great insights & better understanding.

People go to YouTube for content, but they come back for community and connection.

Style: unboxing, how-t videos, product reviews, testimonials, interviews.

Main idea: how do I solve my fans’ problems?

For the attention grabber, you will only get 2-6 seconds.

The perfect size of the video does not exist. You should create them based on what you need to say, not about what you think works best on YouTube.

It’s not very expensive to create your own music effects.

A community takes about 1 year to create.

It’s important to have a cadence of publishing, to respond to comments, and always on the same style.

Put your trust in YouTube and Romanian content creators.

Building strong communities may be the future of marketing.

His favorite YouTuber is Mircea Bravo.

AJ Huisman – How to Fast Forward yourself in becoming a B2B Content Marketing Rockstar
By AJ Huisman AJ Husiman Founder @ Y Content

B2B = boring to boring.

B2B companies have content gold laying around:

– Multiple stakeholders.

– Long sales cycle.

– Complex Processes.

– Higher transaction value.

– Educated buyers.

Know -> Like -> Trust -> Relationship -> Loyalty.

Be the best answer to your customer’s problems.

You can ask your clients „What do you think of me?” and consider putting this online.

Start small – new thinks, small scale, low risk, low budget.

 AnswerThePublic.com

Create a culture for producing content.

Look at what the people search on your web site for. Look at the search terms and create content for their questions.

Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. (quote Joe Palazzi)

Question to ask an expert who is delaying creating content for you – Who else from the company can create an article at the same level as you?

You should make a content marketing calendar.

A lot of the companies are all about them. There should be an overlap between what you want to see, and what the clients need.

Distribution is important, but often overlooked.

– Post + amplify (Buffer)

– Re-post

– Re-purpose

– Re-imagine

– Facilitate „spreading the word”

You should be involving juniors in creating content. Aim for flexible help, outside experts. Let tech help you to scale. You need guidance and self-service.

Employees are very important to creating content. They should feel like they are all content creators, not just employees. He created at some point an internal newsletter (inside the company). Also, he asked a person with a background in writing to draft a first chapter of a book, and then he got other people in the company to complete the eBook.

LinkedIn worked best for a lot of B2B company, but it depends.

By creating valuable content, you can build trust, relationship, loyal clients.

Marcus Tober – Get rid of old SEO habits and embrace the future
By Marcus Tober Founder @ Searchmetrics

People believe SEO still like it used to be.

John Muller says you should just create great content, and you will get results.

A lot of results were different after RankBrain – a Machine Learning implementation straight into the algorithm.

Traditional SEO: content, links, optimizing.

Now: user-focused SEO, how it should be, based on the needs.

You need to understand E.A.T. (expertise, authority, trust).

Y.M.Y.L. – your money, your life. The results affect very deeply a person. For example – headache symptoms. These kinds of searches have large attention from Google.

EAT + YMYL have been added to guidelines for google raters.

Design and UX principles are important, also, for SEO purposes. The user needs to find answers quickly, and design/UX principles help him get those.

Users will appreciate quicker loading pages.

A combination of UX / Technology used / Business – they all impact SEO.

There’s a negative correlation between the number of words and rankings – this is specific for healthcare niche.

There’s a correlation between the first meaningful paint with results – the faster a website displays something for the user, the more likely that web site will have high rankings on Google.

You need to present your content more beautiful; you can have your website load faster – these matter for SEO.

You can perform Lighthouse tests on your Chrome browser.

The most successful websites use minified CSS. Same for JS. (JavaScript)

Every second of a faster loading website, the conversion rate goes up by around 10%.

Blockbuster – the largest video chain in the US. They’ve discussed introducing streaming services, but they were making revenues also from late fees, so they decided they wouldn’t go into video streaming.

You should GZIp your HTML.

It doesn’t matter how many DOM nodes you have, but how fast you make your website load.

Top 10 average – 1,692 words. On another hand, there are some industries that seek more content – Financial planning, cars (2,500). But other industries, like camping or furniture, require less words (7-800).

YouTube ranking in Google itself is high.

Takeaways:

#1 There is no simple SEO strategy anymore.

(in markets like ours, Google might have some difficulties in using NLP)

#2 Combine SEO & Content marketing efforts with product development.

#3 The customer is the key to good rankings. Listen to them.

#4 Become the authority/expert in your field.

How to integrate Project Management / Business into SEO – Define KPIs with weekly / monthly KPIs. Also, take the most important landing pages and define keyword – create simple reports for them.

Closing remarks

Customer problem:

  1. Do I actually care?
  2. Is it real or fake?
  3. Can I binge it?

Website: https://www.instagram.com/insta_repeat/

Do toddlers ask 73 questions per day?

AnswerThePublic / BuzzSumo

Da Vinci’s firecracker questions:

  1. Question your assumptions;
  2. Challenge your beliefs;
  3. Reconsider prevailing wisdom;
  4. Ask Why?
  5. Ask Why Not?

Consider creating a special moment for the last interaction a client has with your web site.

Carlijn Postma – Binge Marketing, the best scenario for building your brand
By Carlijn Postma Owner The Post

Netflix shows end with a cliffhanger at the end. A good tip is not to look at a full episode, where, at the last moment, you are attracted to look at the next one, but, instead, look at an episode and the first 8 minutes of the next episode.

Netflix shows are a good example of content marketing.

There’s a difference between a target group (who would you like to have as clients), and an audience (who your actual clients are).

You should create content in series/episodes and so on.

Also, you should focus on mutual interests.

Joseph Campbell – The hero’s journey.

A lot of the movies have a mentor/coach.

The hero’s journey is the exact same journey your audience is taking on their personal quest.

Your audience has some fears, which you must try and solve.

There might be too much content creation today on the market. Take it one step at a time. A single episode at a time. Not too much at once. Make your audience eager to watch the next episode. Never end your stories.

Jon Wuebben – The future of content marketing. Staying ahead of the game
By Jon Wuebben CEO, ContentLaunch | Author I Marketing Keynote Speaker

Prosumer – producer, and consumer. We comment, we share, we promote. Motivated to seek challenges & discover new perspectives. Enabled by Web 2.0. Open source revolution (Linux, Wikipedia). Prosumers = new market segments.

The convergence of company & customers – well-executed customer-led marketing conversations.

Megatrends:

– Connectivity & convergence;

– Innovating to zero;

– Smart is the new green;

– Health, wellness & well being;

– Sharing economy.

People will buy experiences in the future. Why?

– The value of experiences lasts.

– Doing things makes people happier than having things.

– The anticipation of experience vs. anticipation of a purchase.

– „-ingin” experiences by adding value to goods by adding services to the things we buy.

– Holographic experiences.

– Bass Pro Shops, REI, Pike Place Fish Market.

People buy experiences.

The most desired skills for leaders of the future is creativity. Creativity is never a commodity. Creativity and innovation are linked. New aptitudes. Book – A whole New Mind – The 6 Senses (by Daniel Pink).

Creativity rising: Design / Story / Symphony / Empathy / Play / Meaning.

From the 4P’s of Marketing to EP2: Engagement, Experiences, Personalization, Passion.

Having passion as a content marketer shines through. We know it, we see it – it’s right in front of us.

Marketing in 2023:

– From brands to platforms;

– From mass media to memes and movements;

– From brand messages to multi-sensory experiences;

– Storytelling and audience connection through virtual reality;

– From a pricing/benefits concern, to „Show me the genuine passion for what you’re pitching”;

– From strategic planning based around products/services to adaptive strategy based around customers;

– From uninformed guessing to real-world, data-driven simulations;

– From human thinking to cognitive enhancement;

– From the mass market to niche explosion.

Rainforest cafe – sounds from the nature, fog – you go there for the experience.

Marketing in 2030:

– Computers everywhere or a ubiquitous Internet in the air around us;

– Augmented, immersive experiences;

– Artificial marketing intelligence;

– Widespread Internet of Things (IoT).

We will surely lose some jobs / industries, but new ones will be created.

Technology impact:

– IoT (Internet of Things);

– Big data;

– 3D printing;

– Marketing technology (marketing automation, content marketing platforms, CRM, Analytics.

Read Alvin Toffler for hints on the future.

The marketing potential of IoT:

– Easy exchange of sales data;

– Smarter CRM – Instantenous customer analysis;

– Devices that know you’re dying;

– Predictive social media;

– 100% CTR (Click-Through-Rate).

Perhaps we need a new name for digital marketing: Immersive-Augmented Experiences or Augmenting.

4 recommended books:

Entering the Shift Age: The End of the Information Age and the New Era of Transformation: Houle, David;

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future;

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think (Exponential Technology Series): Diamandis, Peter H., Kotler, Steven;

The Experience Economy, Updated Edition: Pine II, B. Joseph, Gilmore, James H..

How to use VR in B2B – let’s say you’re IBM. Maybe you do an event where you bring people to your headquarters, talk to them, what are your opinions, and then you put on the goggles, show them products, software, new development. Make it something like a focus group.

Jay Baer – How differentiated content turns customers into volunteer marketers
By Jay Baer President Convince & Convert

Advertising is a tax, paid by the unremarkable – Robert Stephens

Just answer every customer question – Marcus Sheridan

Content marketing is not new anymore. Every specific topic has a tremendous amount of competition, and competition never gets less.

With so much competition, content needs amplification to succeed.

Social media ad spend went up 20%.

Facebook convinced us all that we need to give them money for our content to reach an audience.

Shitty content with a paid budget is still shitty – Gary Vaynerchuk

Romanian phrase: „Umbli cu cioara vopsită”.

(you are trying to fool someone)

Does not content not become advertising once you pay to spread it?

To succeed with content, your customers must help it spread. But this doesn’t happen very often, most content fails.

Most of everything that gets created fails.

A very small percentage of books make money.

91% of the music on Spotify gets very little listening.

Same is Lame – you should try something new, always.

We must have the courage not only to create content but to create content that is different. This content needs to be shared.

Different is better – Sally Hogshead

Content that wins is content that is talkable. There are 5 types of it:

– Talkably definitive; if you are going to give answers, give all the answers; average blog post length increased 52% in the recent timeframe; the difference between short and long blog posts: 175% (long brings better results); people want to have answers to their questions; if you’re going to answer a question, answer it thoroughly; a person wrote a 63 eBook on how to sell the house on yourself, even if that person was a real estate person; that eBook is his number one sales reference; that eBook works because it’s the ultimate guide; that’s the ultimately definitive guide;

– Talkably relevant; for your customers to talk about it, your content needs to be their absolute favorite content in the world; if it’s nobody’s content, it’s not relevant enough; we all tell ourselves the same lie – „we’re too busy to do X”; what customers actually mean with this is „it’s not important enough to allocate time resources to it”; relevancy is the killer app; consumers are 91% more likely to buy from businesses who give them relevant information; LooLoo Kids – they know who they are and they don’t deviate from this; you’re much better being #1 for a small number of people than being just OK for a larger audience;

– Talkably useful; fundamentally, helping always beats selling; you need to create content so useful, people would pay for it; this is a great test to take home; there’s a book „Utility”; if you create a podcast which is very useful, people will get that you’re good at the subject you talk about, although you may not mention this specifically; Hilton Suggests on Twitter does help people for free; why? Because helping beats selling;

– Talkably consistent; you should stop random acts of content; think like television and create shows; each show has: the same target audience, the same format, the same production, the same distribution/amplification, and the same calls-to-action; it’s the same cast / setting, it’s at the same time; your audience can find it; 2 minutes video work better; shorter is better in video marketing; example: marketing on the fly – video creation on travels; go to www.onthefly.expert and do binge watching;

– Talkably unexpected; people don’t talk about good, they talk about different;

Seth Godin – content marketing is the only marketing left;

Content marketing is given, not bought.

Give your audiences so different, it becomes the story.

Customers today have less brand loyalty. Also, younger people have less brand loyalty.

Book: Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins: Schaefer, Mark W.: 9780578419862: Amazon.com: Books.

Some of your content must be talkable. You need to create something that creates a movement.

Content is not free. Every hour you spend on content, you could have spent on something else. You better have a good answer to: „How much money could we have got by doing something else?”.

Customer service is a part of the customer experience.

The people who don’t like are your most important customers. Praise is massively overrated. It doesn’t teach you anything, although it’s good for the good. It doesn’t make you any better. What makes you better as a business professional or person is negative feedback and criticism. You should embrace complaints, instead of what most people do – tolerate them, at best. You need to give people the opportunity to give feedback.

In order to get less complaints, you need, at first, to get more complaints. First, ask for feedback, a lot, put lots of emphasis on it. Once you start getting feedback, you will continue getting it.

Sales + marketing = Smarketing. There is a significant increase for companies who have a good collaboration between sales and marketing.

Jon Burkhart – Special closing note
By Jon Burkhart Author, Content Strategist, Keynote Speaker

Other coverage:

Event description (via):

WHY ATTEND?
Learn valuable lessons from world-renowned speakers
Get actionable insights and take your marketing strategy to the next level
Network with 450+ content creators and marketers
Enjoy two days full of great content, inspiration and fun
Be part of a community that creates and values quality content
WHO SHOULD PARTICIPATE?
Content creators looking to stay up to date with the latest trends
Entrepreneurs wanting to craft efficient content marketing strategies
Marketers willing to learn proven tactics from top international experts
Bloggers, vloggers and influencers who want to wow their audiences
Communication specialists who know that content is king

Jon Burkhart and Carlijn Postma

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