The best thing about Content Marketing World (CMW) is being there. That was even more true this year, when enthusiastic marketers, vendors and speakers returned from a tumultuous pandemic in full force for the annual four-day event in Cleveland (and next year in Washington, D.C.). Connecting with these individuals in person after so many years apart made the event feel even more momentous.
The next best thing was the wealth of insights gleaned — both during the scheduled sessions and via corridor conversations. CMW is always an excellent opportunity to network with the talented professionals in our field, especially at the dazzling party thrown at Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Here’s a handful of tips, trends, insights and more we took home with us:
1. The time is now to prepare for a cookie-less world.
When Google announced it would remove third-party cookies from the Chrome browser in 2022, the news created shock waves. Google pushed that deadline to 2024, giving brands more time to devise ways of reaching consumers who use Chrome, the world’s most popular browser. While plans vary depending on brands’ budgets, industry sector and content goals, the bottom line is this: First-party relationships between brands and their consumers are more valuable than ever.
2. Artificial intelligence (AI) applications are more abundant…
The convention floor was bustling with technology companies offering solutions to help with content creation, distribution and recommendation (i.e., “related content”), as well as measuring content performance. AI is powering many of these new tools, speeding up the process of “atomizing” content — that is, ingesting an article or press release and adapting the text for use on other channels, including social, email and more. Writer is one of those solutions, which markets itself as an AI writing platform for teams. And no, AI-generated copy doesn’t sound like it was written by a robot. The Writer technology — among others — is also programmed to learn your brand’s tone and voice.
3. …But there’s always a need for human-made, custom content.
Technology does a great job of automating content production and facilitating team communication, but it takes trained and talented humans to craft a strategy, create content that inspires and informs, and optimize output toward what’s working against program goals. We call this the “art” of content marketing, which works well with, but is not replaced by, the science (i.e., technology solutions).
4. Sunsets are beautiful.
No, this isn’t a plug for taking in the day’s last light from the rooftop cocktail lounge at Marriott’s Metropolitan at the 9 hotel in Cleveland (although don’t pass up a chance to do so). SEO geniuses agree that “sunsetting” older and lesser-quality content is key to operating any content hub. Outdated articles do your brand no favors, as they tend to turn off, rather than engage, your customers. Still, branded hubs stockpile old content, thinking it has SEO value. In truth, the best SEO practice is to implement a protocol around auditing and updating viable content — both in terms of facts and keyword tagging — while sunsetting the rest. (Hint: We can help with that!)
5. We won awards!
Last year, Foundry 360 took home the top prize of Content Marketing Agency of the Year (less than 100 employees). In 2022, this writer was thrilled to be named the Content Marketer of the Year (B2C), while Foundry 360 also won the Best Content Marketing Launch for Paw Print, America’s largest print magazine about dogs and cats that is published in partnership with Mars Petcare, the program’s exclusive launch partner.
As a multi-award-winning content marketing agency (see #5), we provide end-to-end solutions for projects large and small. We are aces at strategy, for instance, helping clients find internal alignment around content-program goals and then creating the processes and protocols needed to get started (or restarted). We also produce everything from high-volume content for clients like Marriott to impactful thought leadership pieces for clients like CVS, as examples. Get in touch here; we’d love to help you too.
Diane di Costanzo was named the 2022 Content Marketer of the Year (B2C). She is the Chief Content Officer and VP/Editorial Director of Foundry 360, the branded content division at Dotdash Meredith. Diane is also the Editor-in-Chief of Millie magazine, has 15 years of content marketing experience, and has worked as an editor, writer and reporter for major media companies and magazines.