The Behind-The-Scenes Look at Content Marketing World’s Success


Guest post by Russell Sparkman.

At last week’s hugely successful premier of Content Marketing World I heard the following refrain repeated numerous times:

“This is amazing attendance for a first time event!”

With over 600 attendees, and 65 speakers, the event was truly remarkable for a first time out. And in Cleveland, no less!

But, honestly, should this success be all that surprising?

It shouldn’t be. Indeed, the success of the event itself is a testament to the fact that effective content marketing builds awareness, trust and leads to new business.

Here’s a quick rundown of the content marketing tactics and activities that Content Marketing World founder Joe Pulizzi and his team have deployed over the years, culminating in the fantastic turnout for last week’s Content Marketing World.

Getting the Ground Game Started

Joe, and co-author Newt Barrett, didn’t just put a stake in the ground as the thought leaders in content marketing. They created the genre. They did that by co-authoring the original authoritative book on the subject, Get Content, Get Customers, in late 2007.

The book has since sold more than 10,000 copies over two editions, and is available in multiple languages.

As I’ve heard Joe advise others, this was the first step in getting his own “content marketing ground game going.”

Keeping the Content Marketing Promise

Joe has said that content marketing is a promise to the prospect or client. By that he’s referring to creating and sticking to a consistent content publishing schedule.

Joe is certainly one to practice what he preaches. He has published over 500 blog posts weekly since 2007.

And how many times has he missed his weekly publishing schedule?

“Never,” says Joe. Now, that’s keeping a promise.

Content Marketing Means More Than Publishing

Online content is great for building awareness. But actually meeting and speaking with people is still important for building relationships, establishing trust and sealing deals.

Since 2007 Joe has shared his content by presenting at over 200 conferences and participating in 100 online webinars, in the States and in Europe.

Create, then Curate

Having created a solid foundation based on original content creation, Joe and his team launched the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) in early 2010 to expand the depth and breadth of their coverage of content marketing via content curation.

The fact that Joe and his team added curated content to a reputation and brand well established by the creation of original content is not insignificant. Content creation established thought leadership first, then content curation enhanced it.

The thought leadership established by Joe and his team, and the relationship building that’s grown from it, has resulted in a dedicated following of colleagues eagerly willing to be associated with the CMI brand as contributors.

The Institute now has 90 content marketing expert bloggers and has published well over 370 blog posts, essentially one post per day since CMI launched. Since each contributor averages thousands of followers of their own this form of content curation created a tremendous word-of-mouth ripple effect of awareness about Content Marketing World during the past 10 months.

eBooks, Case Studies and Slideshare

In addition to the book, blogs and conference speaking, Joe and team has produced 6 ebooks, 4 case studies and has published more than 100 presentations to Slideshare, garnering over 100,000 views on just the Slideshare site, alone.

The Color Orange

All of the above activities would be significant, in their own right. But in addition to creating substantive content, Joe and his team have consistently packaged their content in great design, substantially contributing to the creation of a trusted brand. And orange is now firmly established as the color of content!

Looking Forward to 2012

All of the above content marketing activities have taken a tremendous amount of hard work, faith and commitment. But the return-on-investment and return-on-engagement were evident everywhere, it seemed, in the uplifting environment of last week’s conference.

So, what does Joe have in store between now and Content Marketing World 2012?

“For 2012, we’ll be focused on two things: consistency with what we are currently doing, and new launches,” says Joe.

This means posting every day on the CMI site, quarterly publication of Chief Content Officer, as well as the weekly newsletter and creation of the B2B content marketing research report, Joe explains.

The Behind-The-Scenes Look at Content Marketing World’s Success post courtesy of author Russell Sparkman from Fusionspark Media.

Can’t wait for Content Marketing World 2012?  Be sure to also check out the 2nd Annual Content Marketing Retreat, January 26-27, 2012.  Click here for more information.