15 Insightful and Inspiring Quotes from Content Marketing World 2018

September 9, 2018

Content Marketing World Quotes

The best conference sessions are like the best content marketing: They both provide useful information and are captivating at the same time. At Content Marketing World in Cleveland last week, there were three keynote sessions that stood out for delivering both insight and entertainment.  

  • Tina Fey, the former "Saturday Night Live" head writer and creator of “30 Rock,” and “Mean Girls,” was the closing keynote at Content Marketing World. In a highly entertaining and wide ranging Q&A, Fey shared the names of actors she’d like to work with (Laura Dern, Laurie Metcalf, and Oprah Winfrey) and who she’d like to have play her in a movie (Megan Mullally). Fey also commiserated with the content creators in the audience: “People who write for a living know writing is the worst,” she said. “Printing is fun. Hitting command P is fun. Everything before command P is a nightmare.”
  • In his keynote, Andrew Davis, author of “Brandscaping,” talked about how to grab and hold an audience’s attention. But he did more than talk about it. He demonstrated how to do it by bringing a brown mystery box on stage but using a variety of stratagems to postpone revealing the contents until near the end of his session. He also showed two examples of videos that a) showed watermelons exploding and b) illustrated how to create tension (or how to not create tension). One showed a watermelon, with an explosive inserted, blowing up in slow motion. That video lasted about 75 seconds, including replay, and attracted almost 105,000 views. The other featured two Buzzfeed editors creating exquisite suspense by placing rubber band after rubber band around a watermelon until it exploded. That video took almost 45 minutes and garnered more than 880,000 views on YouTube. The moral: create tension in your storytelling to compel your audience to watch.  
  • Dewitt Jones, a National Geographic photographer, delivered a remarkable speech about creativity and how to be open to inspiration. His talk, punctuated by his breathtaking photos, demonstrated for content marketers how to work at your craft and how to be open to artistic inspiration. For instance, he showed how he passed up a field of yellow dandelions, telling himself he would return later to get a shot with better lighting. When he returned, however, the dandelions had turned to white “puffballs.” Jones used the opportunity to get a different shot: a perspective from the ground looking up to the sky, with the dandelion gone to seed illuminated by the sun so that it was almost glowing. “There is no one right answer when it comes to creativity,” Jones said.   

But these three weren’t the only speakers at Content Marketing World who were delivering actionable information combined with entertainment. Here are 15 quotes that encapsulated the lessons that content marketers can apply for the next year while we await another dose of inspiration from next year’s Content Marketing World.

Some sessions framed the challenges facing content marketers

99.999349 percent of people trying to rank for lead gen strategies failed. The mathematical reality is that the deck is stacked against us. — Tom Martin, Founder, Converse Digital
The good thing about being a marketer in 2018 is that we have dozens and dozens of channels to choose from. The bad thing about being a marketer in 2018 is that we have dozens and dozens of channels. — Megan Golden, Group Manager, LinkedIn

Other sessions asked content marketers to think big

If you go into your CMO with your content marketing plan, and it’s accepted the first time, you’re not thinking big enough. — Joe Pulizzi, Co-Founder, The Orange Effect Foundation
Quit blaming the goldfish. Our audience is capable of paying attention as long as we grab and hold their attention. — Davis
We’re getting small talk instead of really memorable conversations. — Kathleen Diamantakis, Managing Director-Strategy, T Brand at The New York Times
All this effort to make our content shorter has actually eliminated every element that makes it interesting. — Davis
There are no mistakes, only gifts. — Tim Washer, Founder, Ridiculous Media (sharing a one of the rules of improvisational comedy)

Still other sessions focused on providing actionable insights

(The goal for content marketers should be) to build an engaged audience in a niche market.— Derek Flanzraich, CEO, Greatist
What we are after on LinkedIn is to have more conversations with our prospects. — Viveka Von Rosen, Co-Founder, Vengreso
(Your video) doesn’t have to be epic. Sometimes the smaller, slice-of-life stories are the most powerful. — Denise Roberts McKee, COO, About Face Media
Think like a reality TV editor. — Davis 
Pop-over ads always work. They are consistently reliable for increasing conversions, especially if you are trying to build a list. So you should not dismiss them. — Brian Massey, Managing Partner, Conversion Sciences

And some sessions urged marketers to think about the humanity of their audience

There are only so many kinds of explosions you do on film, so you have to keep going back to humanity and what connects us together. — Tina Fey
Email is the only place where people (not algorithms) are in charge. — Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs
Propinquity: the greater the physical or psychological proximity between people, the greater chance that they will form friendships or romantic relationships. If you want to build a relationship with a prospect, you need to be constantly bumping into them. — Martin

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Kylee Lessard contributed to this post.

Photo: Content Marketing Institute