Whether you were intently watching all the talks at Content & Beyond this year, missed a couple of them, or missed the event completely, there’s no need to test your memory or feel the FOMO... okay well, there might be a bit of FOMO.  

Content & Beyond: Uniting content and web teams for exceptional marketing was a true success, seeing thousands of marketers from all around the world log in to hear what the experts had to say.  

Disclaimer: It was juicy.  

Here are the 7 key takeaways from the event – but if the FOMO is strong, you can head straight to the Content & Beyond recordings: 

1) Uniting your content and web teams can – and will – elevate your marketing efforts, like *woah* 

Say hello to our keynote speakers: Shafqat Islam, CMO at Optimizely, and Deborah Breines, AVP, Enterprise Integrated Marketing at Travelers. They’re two industry veterans who have been instrumental in pioneering content marketing and championing a close partnership between content and digital teams. Why? Because it works. It works real good, actually.   

Collaboration is every company’s key to success, and in this talk, you’ll discover the importance (and benefits) of:  

  • Thorough market research and really knowing your target audience  
  • Providing *actual* value to your users through content  
  • Establishing trust with those that read or watch your content  
  • Setting reasonable intentions for each page to perfect your user journey 
  • Creating stand-out content that educates and resonates 

Seems like there’s a common theme right? Yep, as Shaf poetically recites: 

“Don’t just fall in love with your content, fall in love with your audience first.” 

With a mutual understanding of your target audience between both the content and digital team, you can understand end goals for each and every campaign, and strategize together. 

Hear how the experts worked their magic and overcame (/sometimes still overcome) the barriers that can come with cross-functional marketing, seeing seriously impressive marketing results.If more lead generation, SERP domination, rocketing website numbers, and rising conversion rates – you know, all the good stuff – sounds fun to you, check out the full talk. 

➡️ Watch on-demand 

2) Performance tracking is... lacking, but measurement frameworks are the answer 

🚨 Watch this talk with caution: Contains some seriously sexy stats. 

Knotch is a content intelligence platform that enables companies to drive better results via content which means the team has sifted through a lot of content and data.

With this data, it’s clear that content is – or at least, can be – an effective growth driver. For example, it’s proven that 85% of the buyer’s journey happens before they talk to a sales rep; content provides a means of self-education and nurture to move them down that funnel.  

But yes, there’s a catch. 

58% of content out there provides little to no value to customers, meaning some of you are working harder for... well, not much. And guess what? 90% of enterprise marketers agree that their organization doesn’t measure content performance accurately. 

The answer: Assess your content efficiency with a measurement framework and start optimizing.

Without performance tracking, it’s impossible to see spot what’s working, what’s not, and what could do with a little bit of an update.   

See how that measurement framework of yours should look by watching the full 20-min talk now. 

➡️ Watch on-demand 

3) Integrated campaigns are about to change up your content offering and results 

As game pieces are to chess, content is critical to campaigns – without it, you can’t engage your target audience, and without your target audience, well... eek.  

In this talk, Phyllis Davidson, Forrester VP and Principal Analyst reveals the secrets of using integrated marketing strategies to optimize your content planning and execution.  

She hits us with the hard truth of content short-sightedness (we’ve all been there) where sales want new leads, we create a campaign for new leads, the leads start to run dry, so the cycle starts again.  

This only leads to:  

  • Time and hard work being wasted 
  • Forgotten content that has a lot of value to it 
  • Stop-start campaigns across the marketing team 
  • A pretty/very confusing customer journey 
  • Difficulties in execution and performance measurements 

AKA. Things you don’t want – nuh uh, not at all.   

Hear how to play the game of content chess and win BIG by deploying an integrated campaign. Get your poker face ready. 

➡️ Watch on-demand 

4) Mindless AI usage ain’t getting you anywhere; human touch is the secret to quality and more efficient content creation  

What’s a marketing event without talk of AI these days?   

In not one – but two – of Content & Beyond’s talks, we find out the appropriate, and more effective use of AI in content marketing. And no, that isn’t just a simple copy and paste situation.   

Yeah okay, AI does free up time by taking on the more mundane tasks, allowing you to be more creative as a marketer. And yeah okay, 71% of marketing and business leaders have already seen a positive ROI from using AI. It definitely has its benefits, but only if you use it right. 

Here’s the thing – if you’re looking to create new-gen content that actually appeals to your target audience, spoiler alert: you won’t get anywhere by mindlessly using AI tools. In fact, you’ll probably see more issues, including: 

  • Poor digital experience: Without any human intervention, things can get pretty bland, pretty robotic... and very repetitive (drink every time you see ‘dynamic’ or ‘skyrocket’) 
  • Too many point solutions: There’s an AI for this and an AI for that, which means you can all-too-quickly overload your martech stack and your marketing team 
  • Brand damage: Biased or inaccurate content generated by AI can pose a challenge to brand governance and compliance 

Discover how to avoid the pitfalls of a haphazard approach to AI, how to use it to make your content truly stand out, and how both Optimizely and consultants like Erika use it to drive success.  

➡️ Watch AI-powered marketing: How to leverage AI without losing the human touch 

➡️ Watch Content strategies for modern marketing: Standing out in 2024 

5) Two words: Content + repurposing  

Just imagine a world where content is created to serve audiences wherever they are and whenever they want it, regardless of channel or form.   

Alas, that’s a mere dream for many, and a reality for few.   

With the help of top tips from Deane Barker, Global Director of Content Management at Optimizely, and Cathy McKnight, Chief Problem Solver and Lead Analyst at The Content Advisory, this could be your reality – and it all comes down to optimizing your content management practice, team, technology, and processes.  

Hint: It involves adopting a healthy dose of content repurposing. 

But with lots of teams, this can be hard – and truthfully, the biggest roadblocks are people-related. 

In this talk, you’ll hear how to create a clear strategy, learn to NOT resist change in processes, align your teams efficiently, and more. 

➡️ Watch on-demand 

6) Egocentricity doesn’t sell, user-centricity does 

It’s not about providing what you want, it’s about providing what your target audience wants. The website experience, the product placement, the messaging (and the rest) should all be as user or customer-centric as possible, otherwise you’re just not going to get their attention.  

We get it, though - different teams having different requirements can often create a lot of noise, but it doesn’t need to be that way with a clearer direction of “user-first”.  

Hear how the digital team at International Fresh Product Association cut through that noise, fought bugs and 404 errors, built an award-winning, top-of-the-rankings website in under 3 months, and had fun with it. 

After all, as speaker (and musician, may we add) Jim Rucinski says:

If you're not having at least some fun... what's the point in all this?

Cheers to that.

➡️ Watch on-demand 

7) Customization, personalization and user-security are core to delivering an immersive customer journey 

If delivering exceptional digital experiences, at the same time as managing ‘hungry magpie’ stakeholders – you know, the ones that always want the next new shiny thing, straight up – rings true to your current role, you probably want to tune into Rich Hobbs, Group Technical Director at the Royal Mint’s Content & Beyond talk. 

Discussing the implementation of technical innovation and exceptional digital experience, Rich runs through:  

  • The unmissable benefits of cross-functional squads  
  • How to offer personalization in customer journeys 
  • Managing those magpies and keeping them on track 

Plus, more actional tips for your upcoming digital transformation (but only if you listen). 

➡️ Watch on-demand

Content & Beyond 2024: Read Watch all about it 

Catch all the expert discussions, examples and top tips to conquer your content strategy in 2024 (and beyond).  

Check out all the talks from our Content & Beyond event now.