Sign from Content Marketing World 2018

Content marketing is about, first and foremost, people.

That point was the subtext of many presentations on the first day of Content Marketing World 2018, taking place this week in Cleveland. It’s not about your brand or your business (overtly). It’s about how you can help people: your customers or potential customers. Understanding who they are, where they are in their journey, and what help you can provide them are the things content marketers need to master in order to build an audience.

A keynote speaker, Andrew Davis, noted that content marketers — or any marketers — cannot buy attention from people. Attention must be earned over time, or with something really compelling. He urged us to ask if the content creates tension with our audience that builds over time. Are we giving away the answer to our company’s solution in the first 10 seconds of a video, or are we building a story that makes people want to find out more? Which would you rather watch?

Speaker Andy Crestodina reminded us of the different expectations people have depending on which medium they are interacting with. Someone at a keyboard typing into a search engine expects results. Someone swiping through social media is more receptive to something unexpected and intriguing. How are you gearing your content for these different experiences and giving people what they want?

Trust, not surprisingly, is a big theme. Along with building attention, building trust with your audience is critical. Providing the right and truthful information, in the right place, and in the right amount builds trust. Don’t overload them with too much content, and don’t sell them at every turn. Build trust, and the business will follow.

More to come from Content Marketing World, but if you keep in mind that people should be the center of your content marketing efforts, you will increase your chance of success immeasurably.