Conferences and Events

Content Marketing Show 2014: What You Need to Know

On the 17th July 2014, the Content Marketing Show – a free one-day conference full of interesting presentations on every aspect of content marketing – hit London once again. I was lucky enough to attend the event organised by Rough Agenda, along with many other members of the digital marketing crowd.

Below are some of the highlights from the 16 speakers throughout the day, and some key takeaways from their presentations.

Everyone getting into their seats at the beginning of the content marketing show!

Stephen Waddington – Can a brand ever truly be social?

The day started off with Stephen Waddington doing a presentation on whether a brand can truly be social. He mentioned:

  • We are “shifting from mass to personal in the social web” – Users are using platforms such as Snapchat and WhatsApp to connect to different personal networks rather than mass share via Facebook
  • “Content marketing is a means of engaging audiences, not just a function”

He also gave the following advice to brands:

  • Stop trying to ‘newsjack’ on every single irrelevant hashtag and news story; keep it relatable to your brand and audience
  • “When we are at our rawest, people connect at a deeper human level”. If brands are going to be human in their interactions, they must be committed to participating in a conversation, rather than just leaving it at a single post
  • “Social media is human media”. Stop automating your social media posts and messages. These tools take away any human aspects of your brand on social channels

Image source: @adamcranfield

Jasper Martens – Case study: create an inbound marketing strategy in a boring industry

Simply Business’ Jasper Martens took to the stage to talk about creating an inbound marketing strategy in a boring industry, and how Simply Business achieved success (900k visits to its blog every year) in doing so. Here’s what he advised:

  • You should always be consistent with your content
  • To beat the larger brands, target your audience with content before they are consciously looking for your product or service. In Simply Business’ case, they targeted people starting their own businesses with content such as its guide to WordPress for small businesses
  • Use your own data if you have it. Martens gave another Simply Business example: its ‘Our Changing High Street’ research, which received a lot of attention from major newspapers

Image source: @Andrew_Social

Emma Dunn – Why people share stuff

Emma Dunn from Caliber gave us a great roundup of what helps make great content more shareable:

  • People want to share things that make them look cool and/or smart. Make sure your content looks ‘cool’
  • People like sharing things that surprise them and things they think will surprise their friends
  • Emotions such as surprise, anger, fear and amusement will elicit better responses from people
  • Sharing useful information that relates to a specific interest or niche is often more effective than creating content that ‘everyone’ will find useful
  • People have their own ‘online brand’ and want to tell the world about themselves. Help them share it. A great example is FirstChoice’s ‘Conflict of Pinterest’ which tapped into people’s nationality

You can find Emma's slides below

Raph Goldberg – The Hero’s Journey: using archetypes in video marketing & Wes West – Making animation for the web

Both Ralph Goldberg from Tanglewood and Wes West from Torchbox talked about the importance of storytelling in video and animation respectively:

  • Film has evolved to replicate the way we dream: it’s one of the best ways to deliver your message to the human brain
  • Users get bored after 90 seconds: videos should be between 45 – 60 seconds long, and shorter if possible
  • Typically, you only have 10 seconds to get people’s attention
  • Be sure there is a demand for what you are making and answering; know who will be watching your video and why, and then tailor the content to that
  • Storytelling, and in particular the hero’s journey, is one of the best ways of attracting attention. This is especially true if you are using archetypes, which are underlying shared characteristics in a story or character. Brands can use these as a ‘shortcut’ to deliver information

There are example archetypes that existing companies’ use for their own target audiences. Some of the examples given by Ralph included:

  • Market leader – a ‘ruler or sage’
  • Free living – the ‘rebel’
  • Worried anxious – ‘carer/caretaker’

Compared to text, video offers:

  • Four times greater click-through rate
  • A higher retention rate for visual information can reach (65% vs. 10% for text based information)
  • A 53% chance of ranking higher in search engine results due to the a rich snippet and user data such as a lower bounce rate

Image source: @krystianszastok

You can find a blog post about the same subject from the guys at Tanglewood here

Other interesting points from throughout the day include:

  • Write stories using the data available to you and present the data in a cool way
  • Remember offline exists: organise blogger events, offer a unique experience and keep it exclusive
  • Know your audience, but don't forget to produce content for people who already are part of an audience
  • People have their own online brand and want to tell the world about themselves; try to tap into that with your content
  • Only 42% of content marketers have a content marketing strategy
  • Be prepared to adapt: tailor each piece of content to a different audience and in a different format. Don't just rely on branded templates and best practice
  • Think like a journalist: find an angle and create a story

Throughout the day, there were two recurring themes – data and storytelling:

  • Use your data wisely, whether it’s research before producing a piece of content or using existing data (such as customer service questions or your analytics). This will support the entire content marketing process, from creation to reporting
  • Storytelling is key; your brand and its content needs to be relatable and empathetic to the people reading it


Did you attend the event and have some different takeaways from those above? Or do you have any other content marketing tips? Share them below in the comments or tweet us at @FreshEgg.


Check out this great piece of content on the Content Marketing Show itself by Dawn and Alice from