Expert ITEXPO Panel Addresses Everything Content Marketing

Today may be the last day of ITEXPO Las Vegas 2013, but it’s undoubtedly the most exciting. Not only is Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak addressing one of the most anticipated keynote speeches in ITEXPO history, but right before that, Content Boost took to the stage for a compelling content marketing panel (and offered attendees a delicious breakfast!)

The panel – moderated by our very own Director of Content Marketing, Carrie Schmelkin – brought together an esteemed group of long-time players in the content marketing space, including: Richard Williams, President, Connect2Communications; Mostafa Razzak, Founding Partner, JMR Worldwide; Ilissa Miller, CEO, IMPR; and Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC.

“[Content marketing] is about engaging your advocates and incentivizing them to get your message out,” Razzak explains. “Recruiting followers is a very tough proposition…you have to make it as easy as humanly possible for people to engage.”

This, of course, means offering a multitude of communication channels to customers on a silver platter. “It’s not just about print articles or bylines; it’s about podcasts, it’s about videos, it’s about interviews with your customers. It’s about pushing content to your followers who can then disseminate your [material] as original content,” Razzak says.

Bottom line: It’s not standard advertising – it’s about getting people out there to talk about you.

“Content marketing is not about just throwing something against a wall and hoping it sticks.” Miller says. “You need to create programs that have an overarching goal in mind.” In other words, place unprecedented attention on each piece of communication that you’re developing, and identify how you can leverage each one in different ways to engage different markets. You have to do this thoughtfully, carefully and with a focused effort, Miller says.

So, how do you evolve you story as your business changes? Williams explains that it’s critical to modify your business’ story as your core values shift and change. You have to adapt your messaging based on what’s happening in the market. For smaller fish in the sea, establishing oneself as a thought leader can be an extremely daunting task – especially when there are sharks that have been swimming for years and years.

So, how do you crack the code and become that trusted source for information? “What companies need to do is step outside of their box, express their point of view and make it a unique point of view,” Williams says.

“It’s not just about the box – it’s about outside of the box,” Miller notes. “It’s about being aware of what other tools and opportunities are available and not being afraid to leverage them. It’s okay to be risk-taking as well as risk-averse.”