10 Pearls of Wisdom from Content Marketing World

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Photo credit: CMWorld via Facebook

Photo credit: CMWorld via Facebook

This time last week, a team of gShifters were packed into a mini van and on our way to Content Marketing World in Cleveland, OH. This year we were the proud sponsors of the Social Media Track, as well as exhibiting in the New Product Expo with the latest tool in our platform, kontextURLs. With such a high level of exposure at the conference, a number of us went down to ensure we could represent!

The added bonus of having more people at Content Marketing World? This little marketer actually got to ATTEND the conference! This is a rare occurrence for me for two reasons. First, I honestly love speaking with people at the booth, getting a sense for the industry from their perspective and telling them about what we’re doing as a company. Secondly, I may harbour some minor control issues over the booth, as my teammates will surely attest. However, this time around, I left everything in their capable hands, hitched up my CMWorld backpack and walked into the opening keynote like an eager kid on her first day of school.


Our Director of Sales, Ryan Crombeen, Sr. Marketing Manager, Crys Wiltshire and CoFounder & Biz Development, Chris Adams.

I set out to learn at Content Marketing World, because even after a decade in marketing, I know I don’t have nearly all the answers.

And learn I did. The conference was packed with incredible keynotes and sessions, with speakers who brought with them a wealth of knowledge in the content marketing space. They touched on strategy, creativity, building, distribution, collaboration, management, measurement and so much more.

I could dive into every session I attended in detail, but you’d be stuck here all day reading. Instead, I’ve curated my favourite quotes from the conference and broken them down for you.

Kristina Halvorsen, CEO of Brain Traffic, talked about the balance between being excited over content and maintaining quality for the customer first. With all the types of content available to us to create and utilize, we can lose sight of what is important. A solid strategy does not involve having content everywhere, but rather ensuring you are adding value to the customer through a defined path.

You are everywhere, but you don’t have to be. Strategy is a decision to take a path, to say no. – @halvorsonTweet this. 


As VP, Global Creative and Content Marketing for Marriott International, David Beebe understands the customer-comes-first mentality and how it applies directly to content marketing. Good marketing today involves engaging your audience and allowing them to connect with you in way which suits them best. We also have to keep in mind well-received content is about the consumer, not the brand.

Consumers control how, where and when they interact with brands. – @davidbeebe Tweet this.

Content marketing is like a 1st date. If you only talk about yourself, there won’t be a 2nd one. – @davidbeebe tweet this.


Jay Baer, President of Convince and Convert, looked at the need to generate a certain volume of content we all face, versus making great content which will stand out and perform. He challenged us to look beyond our competition and increase originality. Lastly, failing all else, Jay told us to build our content with one burning question in mind; Would your mom like this?

Competition – commoditizes – competency. We all know the same tricks and best practices. @jaybaer tweet this.

Does your content pass the mom test? If your mom doesn’t like it, nobody will. – @jaybaer tweet this.


Ian Cleary, Founder of RazorSocial, rounded up a list of his top 15 tools and technologies to help boost the performance of content marketing. As with the theme of the conference, many of these tools looked to improve the quality of the content and how your audience engages with it. Ian touched on how influencers are driving brand awareness and highlighted tools to help identify who those people are.

Influencers are going to become increasingly important as a gateway to your brand – @IanCleary tweet this.


CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, Lee Odden, discussed the need to go beyond great content; to include optimization and influencers. He looked at the integration of these key elements in order increase the exposure and reach of your content. This is a topic near and dear for me, with something I like to call social amplification.

Content isn’t great until people can actually find it. – @LeeOdden tweet this.



“What is content marketing anyways? I likely should have asked that sooner” – John Cleese bringing all the laughter to the end of Day One.

The closing keynote for the day belonged to the incredibly hilarious actor, John Cleese. Content Marketing Institute’s Chief Strategy Officer, Robert Rose, gave an excellent opening introduction where he touched on the business of content and creativity. John Cleese then expanded on creativity, encouraging us to find the time to put aside our analytical minds to unlock our creative potential.

Content is everybody’s job and nobody’s job. – @Robert_Rose tweet this.

Creative thinking in the morning, critical thinking in the afternoon. It makes best use of how your brain works. – @JohnCleese tweet this.

Jeffrey K. Rohrs, CMO of Yext, had us look at ourselves and the career paths we are on as content or digital marketers. He talked about his own journey and how creating great marketing, content or otherwise, involves working closely with the team around you. He focused also on his view of content marketing in his new position amongst the C-Suite and how content marketers can align themselves for success within an organization.

You are in competition with your competition, not your co-workers. – @jkrohrs tweet this.
With dozens of sessions packed into four days, I am positive there were many more key learnings gained from the speakers at Content Marketing World. I can say from the lectures I did take in, I came back to our office full of ideas for how to take our content marketing strategy to the next level and beyond.

Did you attend Content Marketing World and have a specific pearl of wisdom speak to you? Please do share it in the comments below.

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