CMWorld speakers urge marketers to create more purposeful content

Ann Handley’s message to Content Marketing World 2016 attendees: Slow down.

“Marketing is impatient,” said Handley, chief content officer at MarketingProfs, in her keynote address. “In everything we do, we feel that we have to do it faster – we want more leads, we want more sales, we want more followers and comments and likes. And we want it as fast as possible.”

But that is the wrong philosophy, Handley said. “We need to be more thoughtful.” 

So what’s the best way to slow down? Handley urged marketers to ask themselves three questions to traverse the path to content marketing greatness in 2017: So what? Wait what? And does this sustain us? 

Asking “So what?” can help marketers understand their content from their customer’s perspective. If they craft content from that empathetic angle, marketers may develop ideas that never occurred to them, but that resonate deeply with their customers.

“Wait what?” allows marketers to take a step back and ask themselves why they’re doing what they’re doing, while pondering “Does this sustain us?” enables them to think longterm about their companies – and themselves. 

“Are you proud of what you’re creating? Does it feed your soul,” Handley asked. 

Handley wasn’t alone in delivering the message that marketers need to be more deliberate in their content plans.

In her CMW session "How to Use Content to Maximize the B2B Buying Process (Buyer’s Journey),” Ardath Albee said marketers are creating more content these days, but not all of it is useful from a customer standpoint.

“Every piece of content has to have a purpose,” said Albee, CEO of Marketing Interactions. “Content should solve a problem or address an issue your buyers care about.”

Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group, echoed that sentiment in his session “A Content Formula for Complex B2B Organizations.” He added that creating content that connects with customers can convince the C-suite to invest more in content marketing efforts.

“What’s the easiest way to find budget for content marketing? Stop creating content no one wants,” he said.​