A Review of Content Marketing World 2011: The Movement Has Begun

by Marcus Sheridan

I don’t know about you, but I like being a part of something special– something that can change lives and help people around the world. And although these words may seem over the top to some, this is exactly what I am feeling about the first Content Marketing World event that was held in Cleveland Ohio this week, put on by the folks at Junt42 and their incredibly affable and inspiring leader, Joe Pulizzi.

Content Trailblazers

For 3 years now, I have found myself at conferences trying to convince businesses that content is the future. Some folks have listened, but the majority, sadly, have not.

But that’s how truth and change work. They don’t come easy. Leadership is required. Faith is necessary. And a whole lot of guts are needed for a special group of people to say, “You know what, the way this has always been done is messed up….and we’re going to do something about it.”

650 of these people, guts and all, made such a statement this week by flying in from around the world (12 countries I believe) to learn and grow together in an industry that is in its complete infancy.

In It Together

As you might imagine, for me, this was thrilling. As a speaker in the event(video coming soon), I wasn’t there to convince any longer. Nope, these folks had already bought in. My job was to give the vision….and that’s dang sure what I did (more on that Monday). :-)

I certainly wasn’t the only one though. Major thought leaders in the areas of blogging and content marketing all heeded Joe Pulizzi’s call to be a part of something special, most of which paid their own way simply to show others the amazing impact content had on their lives and businesses. A few of the names you’re probably familiar with were:

  • Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner (Wow, what an amazing guy. We literally spoke for hours. As for his site, if you stink at Facebook for business like me, make a visit, it’s amazing, and you’ll learn a ton.)
  • Brian Clark of CopyBlogger: (Here’s some advice– Go read every headline on Brian’s site from the last 6 months. When you’re done, you’ll likely change everything you currently think about how to write amazing blog headlines/titles.)
  • CC Chapman and Ann Handley: (Remember how I wrote about their book Content Rules? It’s an amazing piece of work, a pioneer in many ways. Read it.)
  • Jay Baer of Convince and Convert: (Jay spoke twice at this event. The dude is awesome, seriously had my brain on overdrive with his message.)
  • Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer: (Want clear, no-holds barred communication about Social Media that’s impossible not to understand? That’s Jason.)
  • Sally Hogshead: (Talk about a fascinating lady with energy to carry a room of 650 people on her shoulders, Sally  makes marketing magical, and meeting her face to face was awesome.

A Shared Vision

I could literally go on and on about the great people that attended this event, but I mainly wanted to stress that every speaker I talked to was not there to collect a check. Nope, not at all. Like me, content marketing has affected their lives and businesses so very much that they know it’s time everyone else caught this vision.

So as I sit here in my hotel room tonight, I find myself in great contemplation of where the state of marketing is headed in this world. And although some folks are always going to be slow to embrace a new and better way, I’m thrilled to say the industry is in good hands, content and inbound marketing are a wave just beginning to form, and their influence on this world cannot be imagined by any of us–it’s that profound.

And I’m just glad to be a part of it. :-)

Your Turn:

If you attended CMW, what were your impressions of the inaugural event? Also, for those that didn’t make it, how do you see the future of content? Are you enamored as I am with the impact content and inbound marketing will have on businesses going forward? And finally, how long do you think it will be until this style of marketing will be in the majority, instead of the minority? As always, your thoughts are much appreciated.



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