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3 Slides that made the Content Marketing Show Worthwhile

Content Marketing Show

5th November saw the arrival of the Content Marketing Show to the Brighton Dome. Once again, Kelvin and his team put on a great show packed full of excellent ideas. With that in mind, my efforts to condense a full day of talks into three slides doesn't do justice to the overall quality of the speakers, but we are all short on time so here are the three bits of gold dust that I feel should be taken away from the event!

Mapping associations with your product and brand

The show kicked off with an absolute ripsnorter from Mark Johnstone, the VP of Creative at Distilled. The Topic of the presentation was on “How to Produce Better Content Ideas” and focused on brainstorming techniques and processes which help to clarify your client’s USP and the customers’ interests. 

Mark showed a worked example of how he maps associations when in the initial stages of creating a content marketing strategy. Using Dove as an example, the audience were shown how the mind could jump from “bubbles” to “bird” or from “pond” to “power”. The key takeaway at this point was the fact that the connections didn’t need to make sense at this point. The more connections and tangents you have to explore, the easier it will be to pick the most effective way to proceed.

Taking Digital Offline
The second slide is another from Mark Johnstone but the point it makes was one that was repeated throughout the day. The value of making physical notes (post-it notes, whiteboards, sketchpads etc.) should not be underestimated when trying to reveal the core essence of a content strategy. At Big, a couple of teams use shoeboxes and record cards as an alternative to post-its. This allows them to quickly scribble ideas down and organise them. Unlike the humble post-it note, record cards can survive transport if you want to take them to a client meeting and the ideas can be reused and reviewed when you come back to brainstorm for that client. Another tip I would like to add is the value of taking time away from your desk and office to work through your ideas. At Big we are lucky enough to have a quiet park nearby which we can all go to if we need headspace. Another great tip I can share is to organise meetings where you take a walk round the block. Not only do you sneak a little bit of exercise, walking is also proven to improve collaboration and your ability to focus on a single task.
Why people Favourite Tweets

The third slide is taken from Dr Max Wilson’s talk on his research into Twitter behaviours Why People Favourite Tweets. There were several interesting points that could be gleaned from his presentation, mainly around what constitutes a likely-to-be-retweeted tweet. Apparently you should avoid using positive emoticons, definitely include a question mark and be an ‘informer’ rather than a ‘meformer’. Tweeting about something purely to promote yourself is less effective than creating social media content that informs and interests others. Or you could just include a picture of a kitten – guaranteed attention. He also touched on the use of social media by brands, especially in the sense of them ‘mimicking’ their audience. Examples included Mirror Football using plenty of football banter in their tweets to mimic their followers’ language and create posts that feel fluid and part of that community, rather than standing out with overly formal language – known as accommodation theory.

Honourable Mentions

As well as the above slides, there are two further honourable mentions of presentations that stood out. Simon Willis also stood out – his final talk of the day was about the 21st century agency, and how traditional advertising and marketing principles need to combine with those of content (specifically production) in order to create an effective strategy and output.

Nadia Barmada from Getty Images did a great talk on how visual content is changing. She highlighted work like Channel 4’s Meet the Superhumans campaign around the Paralympics and Banana Republic’s use of a gay couple in their advertising as examples of content that is truly authentic – which may have to deal with controversy, but in turn evokes deeper engagement.

Ultimately, our trip down to Brighton provided us with plenty of thought-provoking moments, as well as lots of new and inspiring pieces of content as showcased by the speakers (as well as the obligatory mention of Red Bull).