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On Friday 4th September, I attended The Content Marketing Academy (TCMA) conference, here in Edinburgh.

The Content Marketing Academy conference was set-up by Chris Marr. I’ve known Chris for a few months now and attending the conference was a no-brainer.

TCMA is all about content marketing. It’s about showcasing content marketing and, in some respects, ‘selling’ the concept of content marketing to business owners to give them a better understanding of what it is, how it works, the business benefits and how they can make it work in the context of their own business.

It was the best conference I’ve ever been to and so I wanted to write a little review on the day.

 

Speakers

Gavin Oattes

Professional speaker and founder of Tree of Knowledge, Gavin Oattes kicked off the day!

Gavin had us laughing at his one-liners and on our feet doing some exercises, but he had an important underlying message: stop letting the little things in life annoy you. We are always letting little things like traffic jams ruin our day, which then ruins the day of others around us.

He pushed the importance of thinking like a child again. Be creative, have fun and use your imagination.

I told him later on in the evening that my train was delayed. His reply:

Run up to someone, tag them and shout ‘You’re it!’

 

Mike McGrail

I’ve been wanting to meet Mike for quite some time now. He runs a digital marketing agency, here in Edinburgh, called Velocity Digital. He’s got an awesome podcast and is a real expert when it comes to online marketing.

Mike spoke to us about social media and why we need to add in paid advertising for it to really work for us. I found myself nodding my head at all the points he was making, especially his statement:

[bctt tweet=”Maintain organic excellence. But add paid. Now. – Mike McGrail”]

 

Karen Strunks

I hadn’t heard of Karen before TCMA, but she is awesome.

Karen spoke about personal branding and how that links into your sales and marketing. What I loved about Karen was her complete honesty. She spoke about areas of her life that most people would keep secret.

Karen’s philosophy is to just get your content out there, every day. Whether that’s picking up your phone and making a video, writing a blog, or doing a podcast – just continually produce content. She also pushed the importance of expanding your reach every day, whether that’s through networking or contacting influencers etc.

Great talk from Karen with a lot of actionable steps.

 

Stefan Thomas

After Karen, we had Stefan, talking to us about how to network more effectively. Stefan is the author of the book ‘Networking for Dummies‘ and really knows his stuff.

I attend a morning networking meeting every week and so Stefan’s tips were really helpful. He shared funny anecdotes of his first experiences networking and how he was petrified to speak in front of everyone.

It just goes to show you – even the best get nervous! It’s about how you manage those nerves.

 

Richard Tubb

To be honest, I hadn’t heard of Richard before The Content Marketing Academy either. Richard is an IT expert and helps other IT businesses grow.

He was talking to us about how we can turn our contact into customers, specifically using Linkedin. He shared lots of actionable tips on how we can do this. The main point was to be remarkable:

[bctt tweet=”It’s remarkably easy to be remarkable. – Richard Tubb”]

For example, if you’re connecting with someone on Linkedin, rather than sending the generic ‘I’d like to add you to my professional network’ message, take a couple of minutes to read their profile and personalise the message. Or read their content. Nobody else is doing this, so if you do, you’ll be standing out in a busy online world!

 

Marcus Sheridan

The day finished with the legend that is Marcus Sheridan.

When it comes to content marketing, Marcus is the man. In his hour talk, he gave away so much information! I was struggling to keep up with my notes. Marcus’ philosophy when it comes to content marketing is a great one:

[bctt tweet=”They ask. You answer. – Marcus Sheridan”]

Whatever your customers are asking/searching online – you’ve got to answer that for them with a piece of content. Become the Wikipedia of your industry.

Marcus shared his own content journey, and how he used this philosophy in his own business. To cut a longer story short, his River Pools business was starting to crumble after the economic crash. He wrote an article on the cost of fiberglass swimming pools and guess what happened as a result:

$2.5 million pounds worth of sales.

From that single article. (He uses Hubspot to track this)

That alone should make you want to embrace content marketing.

If you want to see that article, here it is: http://www.riverpoolsandspas.com/cost

Marcus also told us the 5 big things you need to cover on your website. The 5 things are what customers look for when they’re making a buying decision. They are:

  1. Cost
  2. Problems
  3. Versus
  4. Reviews
  5. Best

I won’t go into them, but if you can cover those on your site, people are going to be much more likely to buy from you.

In summary

It was an incredible event. Right from the start, there was so much energy in the room.

It was amazing to meet all the people I know online, face to face for the first time. The community that Chris has created is just phenomenal and I’m proud to say that I call all these people friends. I was overwhelmed by the volume of support people gave me, asking how the business is going and telling me they’ve been following our journey.

I can’t wait for the conference next year. It’s important now for me to act on everything I learned!

To Chris and all the speakers, thank you for an amazing day out.

Gavin

PS. If you want to read any of the tweets from the day, search the hashtag #TCMA2015 on Twitter!

PPS. If you want to get your tickets for The Content Marketing Academy 2016, head to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-content-marketing-academy-2016-tickets-18501236697