Today Knotch hosted The Future of Content. Our goal was to assemble content leaders from a variety of different industries who could speak to what the future of our industry looks like, given the many changes over the past six months.
The knowledge packed into these four+ hours will be tough to summarize in just one blog post, but we’re going to try!
Here are some of the key takeaways from Knotch Presents: The Future of Content.
Be Intentional About Change
The afternoon started with a keynote from Cristina Jones, the SVP of Customer Marketing, Brand Partnerships & C-Suite Engagement at Salesforce.
A content leader in her own right, Jones spoke on the importance of content leaders taking a stand on behalf of their brand. Jones helped launch Salesforce’s Leading Through Change series, which helps businesses navigate the COVID-19 pandemic through insights, tools, and content.
“We’re telling these stories of transformation and perseverance so that our audience has the opportunity to walk away smarter,” Jones said. “We have a big presence but what’s the point of having a seat at the table if you aren’t going to drive change or make opportunities for more people?”
She also spoke on the importance of authentic storytelling, as original content is proven to be the true currency of valuable content marketing.
“A blog can be an extremely important asset if used properly,” Jones said.
Read The Room
In our next panel, “Content Hub Trends: What’s Changed and What’s Worked,” Angela Matusik, Head of Corporate Brand and Storytelling at HP, talked about how HP’s content hub has found success by reading the room and understanding what their customers need right now.
“Our most successful stories on The Garage have been lighthearted and fun,” Matusik said. “I think that speaks to the world we’re living in today.”
She told the audience that future content strategies need to be audience-driven.
“You need to think about how your content relates to people’s everyday lives and what value it provides them,” Matusik said.
Content Is a Value Exchange
Ian Cohen, Head of Global Content Innovation & Creation at PayPal, spoke about how he views content marketing as a value exchange. In other words, good content should be mutually beneficial, and give all involved parties something useful.
“Whatever our audience is thinking about, we need to have a piece of content there to help them,” Cohen said during his panel, “Proving The Value of Your Content.”
He explained that there are two different types of content: Performance content and reputation content. Performance content is what helps the business meet its goals. But reputation content is equally as important in order to entice customers to want to work with a brand in the first place.
And what does good reputation content look like?
“It’s interesting. Content marketing is all about being interesting,” Cohen said. “While it’s not journalism, content marketing is and should be rooted in the audience’s needs.”
Diversity Can Come From Content Marketing
Monica Bowie, President of BOLDForce—Salesforce’s Black Organization for Leadership & Development —spoke on how the content marketing function within an organization can foster a more diverse and inclusive culture.
“Content creators are in the unique position within companies to amplify the voices of individuals that we don’t typically hear from,” Bowie said. “As marketing leaders, we should be asking ourselves if our content reflects the cultural experiences of today, and if it will resonate with a 2020 audience.”
Bowie went on to explain that hiring for diversity isn’t only the right thing to do, but it actually drives better results for the business. And for marketing leaders in large organizations, Bowie said there is an imperative to use your platform for positive change.
“The larger your platform, the more impact you have, and the more accountable you have to be with how you use your platform,” Bowie said.
Nobody is Leveraging Their Content Hubs for Data Collection
In our panel “Building the Business Case for ContentTech,” Brandon Starkoff, CEO of Transparent Partners, explained how content hubs are an untapped source of valuable first-party data.
“A great owned content hub is like an in-house focus group,” Starkoff said. He explained that tracking metrics on how users are engaging with your content can provide valuable insight into their wants and needs, which can then be applied for sales enablement.
“In the last six months we’ve seen five years worth of digital transformation, which has created an abundance of data that brands are still trying to organize,” Starkoff said. “Brands are trying to use this data to create a more personalized connection with their audience. And that means tying the data together with the right content.”
He recommended all brands acquire the ContentTech needed to build their own data collection capability (such as Knotch).
Virtual Events Are a Content Goldmine
At Knotch we already know the value of virtual events. But Johnny Boufarhat, Founder & CEO of Hopin (which we used to host The Future of Content) really drove the point home in his panel, “Virtual Events Are The Future: Here’s How to Leverage Them for Content.”
“Today you can take any piece of content and turn it into a workshop, fireside chat, or any number of other online experiences,” Boufarhat said. “And at the same time, a virtual event provides you with lots of content opportunities before, during, and after. You can create promotional emails, recap blog posts, videos, and more.”
For this reason, Boufarhat is bullish on the future of virtual events, and the business value they provide.
"There are things you can do virtually that you cannot do physically, and for that reason I think virtual events will overtake physical events in the next 5-10 years,” Boufarhat said.
These are just a handful of the insights our speakers offered up during The Future of Content. The recordings from the event will be posted to The Future of Content webpage on Tuesday, September 29th.