My colleague, Megan Ouellet, and I had the privilege of attending Content Marketing World 2016 this week in Cleveland, the hometown of the Content Marketing Institute. Content Marketing is a crucial part of moving customers through the sales funnel for B2C and B2B marketers alike, and the tips and insights that were shared were extremely helpful.

If you were unable to attend, here is a high-level recap of notable, recurring themes:

  • Your Content Strategy must connect the dots between business goals, user needs and brand values. It must help your organization to determine editorial, SEO, social media, website tactics and more.
  • Thought Leadership must be a bridge to something you can sell. If there’s not a link to a product it can be confusing – even irritating - to potential customers.
  • Marketers and salespeople must meet inside the buyer’s mind. They must appeal to how potential customers think and make decisions.
  • Visuals are more effective than words.
  • Content should serve to build value outside of the product and services you offer.
  • Your website needs to answer the questions your potential customers are asking. If your site is your mousetrap, your content is the cheese.
  • There is not a need for more content, but rather more strategic use of content you already have. Marketing is impatient, wanting it all and as fast as possible, but Content Marketing winners actually get there by slowing down and being more deliberate and thoughtful.
  • Quality rules over quantity. Content marketers should ultimately be thinking about transactions, rather than popularity, making a useful impression rather than simply increasing impressions.
  • Mediocre content will hurt your brand more than doing nothing at all.