Where Is Content Marketing Headed?


Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR

Content Marketing World recently wrapped its 10th annual event. According to Stephanie Stahl, General Manager at Content Marketing Institute being a successful content marketer in the future will require being more interesting, more helpful and more truthful. Being more, she explained, won’t necessarily mean more work. Instead, she says it will require a shift in mindset.  For those of us who work in digital PR, content marketing is vital.

Here are some novel and noteworthy suggestions that came out of the event.

Be a Visionary

Author and keynote speaker Andrew Davis challenged participants to be more provocative and migrate from being experts to visionaries. “Ask a question that Google cannot answer,” he added. Davis said visionaries create legacies while experts create lists, and content marketers must be willing to discard methods that don’t work, and discover new and provoking ideas that resonate and stick. For those who aren’t yet in positions to effect change, Davis recommended that they become provocateurs and stir up the pot to stimulate more thought. Either way, Davis said content marketers must keep pursuing new ideas until they find ones that stick.

Be a Truth Teller

In a world seeking legitimacy, being truthful is necessary. That was the message delivered by veteran speaker, blogger and best-selling author Luvvie Ajayi Jones. She challenged participants to use their voices to speak the truth before their bosses, clients, their communities and especially for those who don’t have the floor or a forum.

Jay Baer of the digital marketing consulting firm Convince & Consult added to Jones’ remarks, saying that telling the truth not only requires courage, but that courage is also a main component of content. He called audiences the new algorithm and cited courageous content as the new road for recruiting fans.

Be Memorable

The founder of Find the Red Thread, Tamren Webster, had a slightly different take and said people remember ideas and not content. Webster urged participants to deliver ideas that follow the four “R’s.” Are they relevant, repeatable, remarkable and resilient?

Be More Purposeful

Folavo Lasaki, the founder of Striped Elephant, challenged the audience to look deeper if their company isn’t concerned about anything except profits. She added that today’s audience cares about a brand’s interests and that profits will also feel those effects. Microsoft Advertising released results of a recent survey showing that 72% of respondents will support brands that have authentic ads. Its Head of Multicultural and Inclusive Marketing, MJ Depalma, was another presenter and added that brands that don’t state and support their values can expect to see customers switching or boycotting them because of their position on certain societal issues.

Be More Inclusive

Not only does this mean putting customers first, but it also means being advocates for diversity. That was the message from Sydni Craig-Hart, CEO of Smart Simple Marketing. She added that as content marketers, they all have the opportunity to show up for the audiences they serve and to be daily diversity advocates.

Marketer Alexei Orlov added all marketing needs to fit and make sense together – Orlov believes all pieces have to intertwine.

Be the Story

The co-founder and CMO of Content Monsta, A. Lee Judge, probably summed things up best when he told participants that what nourishes consumers best of all is content that meets the need for human connection. He encouraged everyone to be messengers of knowledge, be encouraging, be inspiring, and mostly, be content.

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