5 Things we Learned at the Content Marketing Show 2014

On Thursday we were fortunate enough to attend the Content Marketing Show where our very own John Rooney and Rebecca Dudley feasted on the collective knowledge of some of the industry’s best and brightest… and Pick ‘n’ Mix. So much Pick ‘n’ Mix.

So as we look over the day’s collective note-taking, our unintelligible scrawling piling up like the diaries of a mad man, we ponder what it is it that we learned. Well, this.

Let’s Get Social

It was all about social media at CMS this year. Okay so no one actually said that specifically, but it seemed to be a common theme. Not just about creating great content but about creating content that people want to share.

I know what you’re thinking:

“Oh. THANKS Creare I didn’t realise I wasn’t SUPPPOSED to keep making content that sucked and that no one wanted to share.” Well hold your horses, because Emma Dunn, Content Strategist at Caliber explained why people share content – and it’s all to do with emotions.

First and foremost, people like to share things that make them look good, and a great example of this was a photo shared on the Facebook feed of ‘I F***ing Love Science’:

Its Loaded Not Afraid to Use it

It received nearly 28k shares, and why? Because people who shared it could boast of their intelligence to their friends and family.

Content that cements someone’s identity or says something about them is also fantastic – and you only have to take a look at the home page of BuzzFeed to see just how popular those personality quizzes are, as well as the content that goes along the lines of “28 things only someone from [wherever] will understand”.

We also heard how eliciting an emotion is the key, with fear, amusement, surprise and anger much more effective than contentment or sadness in terms of triggering engagement.

It’s all about Video


It is estimated that by 2018, 79% of content marketers will be using video marketing, while currently 53% of page 1 results contain a video element, so it is perhaps unsurprising that CMS 2014 saw two video-centric talks: Raph Goldberg talking about using archetypes in video marketing and Wes West discussing making animations for the web.

The idea of using specific archetypes within your video content to target different industries was particularly interesting, as well as the use of the ‘Hero’s Journey’: call to adventure, death, return.


Measurement is as Important as Creation

As content marketers we’ve probably all been guilty of it at one time or another. We’ll spend hours creating a great piece of content, set it live and then sit back and put our feet up feeling, very smug with ourselves indeed.


Except the journey isn’t supposed to end there. Idio’s Andrew Davies gave a great talk titled ‘How Do You Measure Content Marketing? The $44bn Question’. Not only is it essential to keep tabs on how your content performs to ensure you’re not just wasting hundreds or even thousands of pounds on content that doesn’t achieve your aims, but the data you acquire from measuring it can help to inform you of other interests your readers have to expand the breadth of content you can produce.

This is where Idio’s service was meant to come in, however there are plenty of methods for finding out what your target market is interested in, by creating something as simple as an interest survey that they can fill in after engaging with your content, or checking out the Facebook profiles of the people who liked and shared your posts to see what else might resonate with them.

Using Data to Tell a Story

Targeting people’s emotions was a key theme of CMS 2014, but then so was its polar opposite – cold, hard data.

Johary Rafidison talked about how to use data within your content strategy while demonstrating the merits of two pieces of software, Gephi and Carto DB, while Andrew Tipp’s fantastic presentation on ‘Why Thinking like a Poker Player will Make You a Better Content Marketer’ suggested that your content marketing efforts should always be data-led.

To sum it up, Johary said to “trust what people do, not what they say”, which is why it is so important to analyse data over anecdotal evidence.

Don’t touch that guy who doesn’t want to be touched.

This won’t mean an awful lot if you didn’t attend the Content Marketing Show on Thursday, but for those who did, you may well have seen the guy get ejected before the thing even started, who despite not being man-handled out of the building, was really adamant that the very patient security guard was indeed man-handling him out of the building.

Dont Touch me

The current rumour is that he got upset when told that guest blogging was no longer a legitimate link-building tactic – the poor guy.*

* May be unfounded.