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5 key takeaways from day 1 of the iMedia Content Summit

5 key takeaways from day 1 of the iMedia Content Summit Jacqueline Lisk
The iMedia Content Summit in Huntington Beach, California (a terrible place, really… don’t you pity the attendees?) features speakers from leading brands, publishers and agencies.  A few notable takeaways from the event so far include:

1.  Effective content is emotional.

Brands know their stories need to be engaging and relevant, but they often forget about the importance of emotional connectivity, explained Christopher Cox, senior manager of global digital marketing for The Hershey Company.  The point was reaffirmed by the Intel/Sharethrough case study on creating and distributing meaningful content, which examined the successful and poignant “Intel for Change” campaign.

2. “Digital marketing is dead.”

Well, not exactly, but as Procter & Gamble’s Global Brand Building Officer Marc Pritchard famously explained in an article for Business Insider, and as Cox reminded us in his keynote presentation, it’s still just marketing.  Don’t be distracted by shiny objects, be it the latest social media platform or the newest Silicon Valley start-up.  Focus on the marketing basics.  Know your audience, and know what you want that audience to do.

3.  Don’t be afraid of user-generated content.

Your fans can be your biggest evangelists.  Encourage their candid discussions and work with your team to figure out how to best leverage their feedback—the good stuff and the bad.  Yes, it can mean relinquishing some control, but the upside is worth it.  Additionally, use their interactions to customize your marketing tactics.  According to the experts on “The Future of the Consumer Experience on Social Media” Panel, customized marketing towards well-understood audiences is the future.

4.  Too much of a good thing can be bad.

Just because you’ve invested in real-time and content marketing doesn’t mean you need to create content constantly.  Quality matters.  Don’t risk overloading your audience, and avoid “speaking” (Tweeting, publishing, etc.) when you don’t have something to say.  Amanda Mahan, creative director at The Clorox Company, captured this perfectly as she recalled being inundated by brands congratulating Jared Leto on his Oscar in her Twitter feed last night.  How many times do you need to read that?  Is that really bringing value to the reader, or the brand?

5.  Mobile is where it’s at.

We know this, but it bears repeating: it’s all about the mobile phone.  The average US internet user is spending 2 hours and 21 minutes a day on the internet, according to recent stats from eMarketer.  The average smartphone owner checks his or phone 100 to 150 times a day!  It’s time to get your mobile strategy in place, which means forgoing the debunked mobile banner ad and embracing native advertising.

Editor's note: This blog post was originally published here.

Jacqueline is a journalist, editor and consultant who specializes in content marketing. She believes brand journalism can be high-quality journalism and has helped some of the world’s leading companies create and execute their content...

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