My current Facebook status update is : “I hugged Kevin Smith. I would be jealous too.” I bet you’re wondering how this relates to content or marketing or Content Marketing. And I’m here to tell you that for me, this image – of me hugging Silent Bob and getting his autograph for my best friend – epitomizes everything that I learned at Content Marketing World 2011.
Here are the top five things that I took away from the conference:
- Decide what you want your brand’s image to be and be true to that in your messaging
- Be passionate and interesting about what you do and say or don’t bother
- Produce content that is shareable
- Distribute content through multiple channels so that people can find it
- If you follow these rules and serve up a steady stream of relevant content at no charge you will almost certainly sell more products and services (whether you are B2C or B2B)
As our wrap up Key Note speaker, Kevin Smith told us his story. It was littered with humor, curse words, quotes from his idols (Wayne Gretzky explained in an interview that he was good at hockey because “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been”), and the truth. In short, he figured out the message he wanted to convey, indentified who he wanted to share it with and then found a way to reach that audience. In his case it is through live and recorded podcasts and his own Internet Radio Station, Smodcast Internet Radio (SIR). In fact he has managed to make over a million dollars selling his movie Red State as a $65 per ticket roadshow without using paid advertising – a true testament to his ability to subsequently “monetize” the myriad of free content he has created.
So how did I end up hugging the man who created some of my favorite movies? I sort of just asked. I got up in a room of over 500 people, walked over the microphone and told him my story. I told him that while he was speaking I was so fascinated that I messaged out to my Facebook friends that I was with Kevin Smith. To which my best friend texted me demanding that I stalk him and make him my friend. Seriously. She actually used the word stalk. I did this at a point in his dialogue where he had just told the audience that we live in a world of negativity and that instead of always thinking “why?” we should ask ourselves “why not?”. So I thought “why not”? After making fun of me slightly he told me to get my stuff and come up to the front. Then after the show his handler took me backstage to meet (read: hug) him. He also wrote my friend Laura a note saying “Laura – where the f*ck were you?!?” and signed it. And by this point in the story I’m sure you can guess what happened next. I told everyone about it. I texted, I posted on Facebook , I tweeted and now I’m writing this blog post (which I will share via Facebook, Twitter, and maybe even a press release if I’m lucky!). I can also assure you that now I would pay $65 without thinking twice to see Red State.
- True to his message? Yes!
- A passionate story? Yes!
- Shareable? Yes!
- Accessible? Yes!
- Able to monetize? Yes!
Content Marketing World 2011 was a reminder that the game is changing. Actually, the game has already changed. And as companies, and people who work at companies, and people who make decisions about marketing and communications at companies, we have some important choices to make.
Thanks Kevin for bringing me some clarity.
Jaime Singley (@jaimesingley) is an Account Manager based out of PR Newswire’s Cleveland office, serving clients in Western PA and Southwest OH.