20 CMWorld Sessions for Kick-Ass Marketers

Jordan Feise
August 29, 2016
Top Influencers

Content Marketing World is arguably the most valuable conference in marketing.  Whether this is your first or fifth year attending the event, mapping out your session game plan can be daunting. Between industry influencers and brands you aspire to be like, it can take a lot more than an agenda to navigate this conference. So whether you will attend virtually or IRL, I created this top sessions list, in no particular order, to help you maximize your time.

Before we get to the list, I’d like to highlight two disclaimers. First, some of these sessions occur at the same time. I’m currently working on cloning myself to solve this problem. In the off chance that doesn’t work, I’ll have to flip a coin or be that “super annoying person slamming the door too loud in the middle of sessions”. Secondly, this list does not include keynotes or workshops.

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These 20 sessions are the crème de la crème of Content Marketing World 2016:

1. Killer Content: How brilliant brands create less content and deliver bigger success

This session is dedicated to every marketer who has become a victim to the content machine (I know, that doesn’t narrow it down much). In a world where more content is often misinterpreted as more impact, Andrew Davis is flipping the script. It is possible to drive more results with fewer pieces of content because consumers favor quality over quantity. Check out this video for a preview into this session.

2. The Microsoft Factor: Scaling Influencer Marketing to Transform a Global Brand

With much confusion around influencer marketing, one thing remains constant: major change is required to scale successfully. And that’s exactly what this lunch-and-learn will cover. Pierre-Loic Assayag, Traackr's fearless CEO, will moderate a panel with Eve Psalti & Amanda Duncan to reveal insights into Microsoft’s transformation, all the way from the C-suite to daily tweets.  

3. Using Content Marketing with NO Budget or Resources to Build Your Digital Brand

Lack of resources and budget are the top two complaints marketers have about approaching a content marketing strategy. The problem? Your audience isn’t cutting you any slack. Regardless of resources or budget, there are things you can do to enhance your brand’s digital presence and ensure you convert customers. Overcome your biggest hurdles with advice from Juntae Delane.

4. The Biggest Challenges and Opportunities in Content Marketing: a Q&A with leading technology marketers

Moderated by Robert Rose, this panel will let the martech companies tell their side of the story. Why do brands struggle to commit to technology the same way they struggle to commit to their content? And what does the future hold for marketing operations that lean on tech more and more everyday?

5. Email DRIP Campaigns that Work

Email marketing can be one of the best resources to serve content to build an engaged audience. But the logistics can be complicated. What content should you serve to your audience? In what order? At what time? Gini Dietrich breaks down how to get all of your your subscribers up to speed and inspire them along the way.

6. Between the Sheets of Marriott’s M Live

Scandalous title aside, this session will uncover the ROI of M Live: Marriott International’s Global Social Media and Real Time Marketing Command Centers, which are located around the world. David Beebe uncovers how to balance quantitative and qualitative data to ensure decisions are a balance of art and science.

7. Long-Form Content for the Win at REI

While many B2C brands have turned to short form content to compete for a sliver of their audience’s attention, REI has taken the road less traveled. Eric Hess explains how this outdoor retailer has succeeded with long-form content such as podcasts and short films.

8. How to Use Customer Service and Community to Create Killer Content 

Customers and community and content? Oh my! Jay Baer,NewYork Times best selling author, will break down these buzzwords, once and for all. Stop wondering what your audience wants. Instead,learn how to have your audience TELL you what they want.

9. Tools and Technology for Building a Content Conversion Funnel 

This year, the marketing technology landscape has over 3,500 brands attempting to make marketers’ lives easier, but also (at the same time) competing for their attention. Ian Cleary (the martech master) distills this flood of options and recommends the tools that will make you more efficient at your job.

10. Opportunities for B2B Brands in Live Video

Is live video the latest shiny object in content marketing or is your brand missing out on an opportunity to engage? This panel moderated by Bernie Borges features marketers from SAP (Amisha Gandhi), Hubspot (Chelsea Hunersen) and CA Technologies (Andrew Spoeth). Find out what worked, what didn’t, and what lessons these brands learned along the way as they experimented with live video.

11. Unthinkable: How the World’s Most Creative Content Marketers Do What Others Wouldn’t Dare

If you are a creative marketer motivated by creating finished products that don’t “suck”, this session is for you. In a world of best practices and copying other’s winning strategies, Jay Acunzo is the voice of reason; a voice advocating for creativity and intuition over obsessive measurement. If you have yet to listen to the Unthinkable podcast, your commute just got an upgrade.

12. How Dell Approaches Integrated and Authentic Influencer Marketing (Hint: It’s About PR and Marketing Collaboration)

Authentic influencer relationships drive more long-term impact and build trust with your audience. But collaboration between teams to achieve integrated influencer campaigns is no easy feat. Lauren Mauro & Shelley Ryan share how Dell’s PR and Marketing teams work together in order to cross the finish line. If you are involved in building relationships with influencers, this session is for you.

13. Great Content. Now What Are You Going to do With It? Let’s Talk Native Advertising  

Native advertising can be a powerful tool, when done right. This session includes marketers from Forbes (Ann Marinovich), LinkedIn (Andrew Goldman), TripleLift (Moritz Loew), Native Advertising Institute (Jesper Laursen), and IAB (Susan Borst). Let these experts help you understand the do’s and don’ts of native advertising.

14. How Small Differences in Buyer Personas’ Behavior Impact the Global Strategy

Does your brand market to multiple countries in different languages? Are you fully aware of the ways cultural and linguistic differences impact your buyer's journey? Cassio Politi (one of the top 20 LATAM marketing influencers) walks through practical examples of how to execute a global strategy while still paying attention to local differences.

15. How B2B Executives Need to Strategize in the World of Content

Concerned with driving revenue and increasing customer lifetime value? This advanced session is for you, the executive. Some of the biggest names in content marketing (such as  Michael Brenner, Lee Odden & Carla Johnson, to name a few!) take the stage to answer your questions for planning content strategies.

16. Jumpstarting Content Marketing: A 360 View of Basic Implementation & Getting Started

Whether you’re new to content marketing or need a refresher, this session covers all you need to get started. Jillian Hillard takes you through the “five musts” to jumpstart your program, regardless of business size. You’ll become a budget-savvy, distribution-focused, clever content marketer before you know it.

17. Leveraging Content Intelligence: Lessons Learned at American Cancer Society

How does a renowned 100-year-old non-profit approach content marketing? Collen Jones & Kelley Graham will reveal how you can unlock the potential of content intelligence.

18. Sweeping Changes in B2B Content and Why

Join panelists from four multi-billion dollar brands, who will discuss creative, engaging content marketing in B2B. After attending this session, you’ll walk away with new tactics to move the needle and wow your customers. Learn more about how B2B content is changing from these superstar panelists including Frances Fortanely, Nicole Smith, and Christine Woodhouse.

19. The New Rules of Global Customer Engagement: How to build momentum for your brand around the world through content marketing

Timing is everything, right? Tami Cannizzaro, VP of North American Marketing at Oracle, thinks your brand should pay attention. It’s called “real-time” marketing, and Cannizzaro’s CM World session will help you put it into practice. Her session covers tactics needed to become part of your audience’s daily life.

20. How to Document and Architect Your Content Strategy

Most content strategists share similar skillsets: brilliant storytelling and editing, and organized, big picture thinking. What about information architecting? Not so much. Denise Kadilak, an Information Architect/Team Manager with Blackbaud, wants to help you strategize your content with important architecture in mind. Attend this session and you’ll grasp the relationship between Information Architecture and Content Strategy.

Agree with me? Don’t agree with me? What #CMWorld session are you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me at @JFeiseee or @Traackr. I’ll see you in Cleveland!  

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