During the third week of March, hundreds of marketers and content professionals converged on San Francisco for what has become one of the go-to content events of the year, The Intelligent Content Conference.
As a speaker at the conference (and a huge fan of the great food provided at every Content Marketing Institute event) I was privileged to attend.
Now, there are plenty of recap posts out there, and I don’t want to bore anyone with details you’ve probably already heard. More importantly, I have to imagine we’re all going to see the very best insights from the conference put into practice across the content marketing space over the next few months, which is much more exciting than a summary.
But, to make sure you get your fix, and to inspire you to join us next year at ICC 2016, here are a few of the best recap posts I’ve found so far, and a few of my own favorite takeaways:
Joe Pulizzi’s Recap
As head of CMI, Joe Pulizzi accepted the “keys to the Intelligent Content kingdom” – quite literally – on the opening day of the conference as Ann Rockley, the founder and chief evangelist of the event for the past seven years, handed him a set of three huge wooden keys labeled with aspects of intelligent content.
After reliving that historic event, Joe’s ICC recap goes on to discuss five key takeaways he pulled from this year’s conference:
- Treat content as a product, not a project.
- Work backward from the experience you want customers to have.
- Structure content – and teams – for intelligent outcomes.
- Instigate change or follow fast (yes, you!).
- Think big; start small.
Buddy Scelera’s Recap
As a presenter in two different sessions, and a well-known and respected thought leader in the content space, I was really impressed to find that no matter how much experience we have, and how many conferences we attend, blogs we subscribe to, and content marketing books we read, the content industry is evolving way too fast for anyone to assume they know it all.
Buddy’s recap of ICC 2015 is a great example of the world class educators who gathered to bestow their knowledge and continue to learn from each other.
Matt Osias’ blow-by-blow recap of one day of the conference in diary-style snippets is both hilarious and insightful.
For a more traditional recap of the event, including some memorable stats, DemandMedia provides these eight key takeaways, including one of my personal favorites about how much your audience remembers from every bit of content they consume.
The Eventifier Tweetpocalypse
Another awesome source for insightful snippets and quotes from the Intelligent Content Conference is Eventifier’s tweet mill, all based around the conference’s official hashtag, #intelcontent.
You’ll find the official tweets from @intelcontent, @CMIcontent, and @JoePulizzi, along with over 3700 tweets from attendees, presenters, and those discussing intelligent content after the fact. It’s a lot to absorb, but common threads and popular quotes stand out well.
My Own Recap
My breakout session was about validating your content via data, and specifically, finding the “hero” in your data – that one nugget that goes out on its “quest” and brings back actionable insight you can use to improve your content and your brand.
The audience response was positive, and a lot of folks took notes, tweeted about it, and generally confirmed that it went well, which is always awesome. But, as usual, I feel like I learned just as much if not more from the experience, so it was a win-win all around.
Beyond my own presentation, there were a few other key items I took away from ICC 2015 that I know are going to make their way into my daily work with SPROUT’s clients:
- Inspire intelligent experiences. I believe it was Robert Rose who said it, and the point is simple but vitally important: the audience we’re trying to reach is not stupid or gullible. They’re not going to be satisfied with a mediocre effort or a huge quantity of low quality content. They want to have positive, intelligent, satisfying experiences, and it’s our job as marketers to make that happen.
- People will only remember 10% of your content. While we may spend hours, or even weeks, crafting a spectacular piece of content, the limits of the human mind combined with the constant distraction this world creates mean that only a tiny portion of that content will stick with them and potentially create action. So, if we’re going to be smart and effective with our content, we need to consciously and strategically decide which 10% we want them to remember, and guide them to do so.
I would recommend ICC to anyone looking to sharpen their content strategy and marketing skills. If you attended, drop me a line in the comments, I’d like to know what you thought too!