Content Discontent – The Jolt! from ckwrites 10.15.2014

Despite the proliferation of content marketing specialists, content marketing still presents a significant opportunity for event marketing agencies. When given a chance, I argue that event marketing is one of the birthplaces of content marketing – especially case studies and other forms of customer success stories. Here are 5 stories about individuals and teams who are not content with average content.

If you want the thirty second lift on this whole post, it’s that the best content brings value and insight to the reader. It’s about them, not you or your client.

The Anatomy of Content Marketing for Ad Agency New Business

This article from agency business development guru Michael Gass, provides an excellent framework for understanding how to use content marketing effectively.

The core of your content strategy should be to consistently deliver beneficial information to prospective clients.

But what is that? Gass suggests that your content marketing strategy should be built around topics that appeal to your target audience and differentiate you from your competitors.

I recommend a niche blog. It provides agencies with the perfect platform to build awareness and a positioning of expertise that is appealing to a specific target audience. It also allows them to have a clear point of differentiation from their competition.

He points to Sheehy + Associates, a small advertising agency in Louisville, KY. Their primary target audience are big retail chains who are constantly opening new stores. As their expertise is in grand openings and new store starts, they built their content around the idea of The Store Starters: Marketing Resources for Great Grand Openings.

The post concludes with three specific recommendations. The first one is:

Prospects are also looking for expertise. If you want to be positioned as an expert, you must write.

‘We Always Give People a Path Into Our Technology’: Inside IBM’s Incredible Content Marketing

Few companies have as many stories to tell and campaigns to leverage as IBM. From “I’m an IBMer” to “Smarter Planet” to “Watson,” to the recent triumph at the US Open, IBM has helped to define the content marketing space. I was fascinated by this quote from a presentation by Ann Rubin, IBM’s VP of branded content and global creative:

IBM isn’t a nimble company. But if we tell our story very simply and be relevant and timely about it, we can create a lot of value.

The case study of from South by Southwest is a classic example of bringing the possibilities to life. Using Watson, they created the #IBMfoodtruck.

Together with chefs from the Institute of Culinary Education, Watson came up with crazy recipes like Baltic apple pie, Austrian chocolate burrito, and Vietnamese apple kebab. Using specific parameters and input from the chefs, Watson would find an appealing ingredient and offer it up as part of the recipe.

In order to include its Twitter followers in the insanity, IBM began asking them to tweet-reply which ingredient they wanted to see used. The company then reused the recipes and event content created on its Tumblr, and created several close-up videos with the chefs showing how the final recipe decisions were made.

This is a solid article with a lot of excellent examples.

The Interview: Karen Quintos, CMO & SVP, Dell

As you would expect, Dell comes at this from a completely different point of view based on their heritage as the first direct-to-customer IT company. Over time they have evolved from a PC company to an end-to-end IT provider. Explaining this shift and demonstrating the benefits has led them to a more traditional case study approach. Said Quintos:

…We have found that customer storytelling is the best way to demonstrate this shift in the brand. A few years ago, we invested in extensive customer research, and we consistently heard across all segments the desire to learn how Dell enabled their customer outcomes. That led us to a new articulation of our brand promise–giving our customers “The Power to Do More.”  Over the past couple of years we have celebrated customer achievements and how technology helps them grow and thrive.

The article does a great job of chronicling the evolution of Dell’s use of social media to support their narrative.

So let’s say you are inspired, or at least a bit curious, about how to put it all to work. Here are two things that might help.

Content Strategy for Agencies

This is a free PDF offered by, which makes tools to support and manage the website content development process.There position is that:

There is a symbiotic relationship between content and design. One cannot thrive without the other.

If you take the time to understand your content’s goals, target audience, format, source, structure, volume, frequency, quality, ownership …
… you will make smarter strategic, functional, user experience, visual design, and business decisions.

In essence, the rush to get to design approval without thoroughly understanding the content leads to problems when the design has to actually present the content which is what the whole exercise is about.

A lot of this is common sense that can also be applied to the production of event marketing tools and event content.

35 Kinds of Content Discovery Tools

This is one of those unbelievably rich resources you bookmark, put in Evernote, print out and other use every technique you know to make it possible to find it later. Curated by Robin Good, this page is divided into 35 categories ranging from News Discovery Apps which includes news360, a story search engine and ends with his personal list of Top Content Curators beginning with Maria Popova of Brain Pickings where the lead story today is Happy Birthday Nietzche.

Something for everybody and then some.