Don’t Drown in Accidental Content. Relevance Speaks to Michael Brenner

Globally recognized content marketing strategist, author, and keynote speakerMichael Brenner will be speaking on “Content Marketing 101: Setting and Documenting Your Strategy and Building Your Team” at CMW 2019. We caught up with him to understand what we can expect from the session as well as get some fresh insights on the heels of his last chat with us on Content Marketing Trends, Tips, and Tricks From the Man Behind Marketing Insider Group“.

What can attendees expect this September from Content Marketing World 2019?

This year, Content Marketing World will be looking into the future of marketing and how content marketing truly is all the marketing that’s left, as Seth Godin once said. We are hearing of high-profile brands like CocaCola, McDonalds, Hyatt, Uber – all of whom have decided to get rid of the CMO role. Content Marketing helps to change the conversation from marketing is just advertising to marketing as an ROI-driving business asset that is strategic to the business.

Please share some highlights from your session in CMW2019. What issues / concepts does it address?

My session is a workshop on documenting your content marketing strategy. Too many brands suffer from so much accidental content. We are drowning in it. And it is not effective. It is also why too many people outside of marketing think of marketing as a tactical operation. In my workshop, I will help attendees understand how to position marketing overall as a strategic function, and also to get to a documented business case and action plan for content marketing that delivers real ROI.

What’s surprised you the most about content marketing so far in 2019? Any points of dissonance / alarm?

I’m still shocked at how many people think marketing with content is the same thing as content marketing. A brochure, e-book, webinar or an animated video is not content marketing. That’s just stuff. Content Marketing is NOT social media. Content marketing can not be advertising. Social media and advertising are about renting other people’s audiences. Content marketing is about building your own. It alarms me that we still have to convince some of our colleagues of this in 2019.

What is your favorite type of content, and why? Both from a distribution and / or consumption point of view.

I still love the written word, so articles are still my favorite form of content. But in today’s noisy world, written content has to be human (written by someone with some personality) and supported by strong visuals. I know that a great article with a bad feature image won’t perform as well as a decent article with a great image. So I think brands really need to step up and think about how to bring visualization and humanity into their written content.

Whats new about content marketing this year? Or is anything even new?

I think the pressure is on to start showing real ROI. The best content marketers are not just great writers, editors, storytellers, but thy are change agents inside their business. They are showing the entire organization they work for, what the future of marketing really is. So what’s really new in all that is the realization that in order to scale content marketing, we need to get everyone on board. We need to activate the storytellers inside and outside our business to create and share. That’s the biggest trend in content marketing right now.

Do you think marketing can be effectively outsourced? When does it work / not work?

I think certain aspects of marketing need to be outsourced to maximize your budget. Now I’m a former corporate marketer who started agency so maybe I’m a little biased. But the bottom line is that people like to hide in their full-time roles. I send out an email to my subscribers about 3 weeks after joining our list that talks about the wasted salary of some on-staff copywriters. Because the truth is, my agency and others like mine can create better content for less money. I’ve done content strategies for nearly 75 brands, so I’ve seen challenges and situations very few other marketers have seen. That’s why (and when) you need to look for some outside help.

CEO of Marketing Insider Group and the bestselling author of “The Content Formula,” Michael Brenner‘s has been featured by The EconomistThe Guardian, and Entrepreneur Magazine. He is the author of over 1,000 articles and In 2017 he was named a Top Business Speaker by The Huffington Post and a top CMO Influencer by Forbes. As an evangelist on leadership, culture, and marketing, he has helped companies reach, engage, and convert new customers through employee engagement and storytelling for over two decades.