Because I live and breathe (and actually enjoy) content marketing, I ponied up a ridiculous amount of money to attend the Content Israel conference this week. Although they were charging a 1500 NIS registration fee, my fellow outraged Ima Kadimas negotiated a reduced fee for all the members of our group, so I plunked down some cash and commuted to the nation of Tel Aviv, which I visit (honestly) like twice yearly. Pathetic, I know. Especially since they have Tex Mex and Indian food there.
For those of you who missed the conference, here are the highlights, so you don’t have to crawl underneath a desk from FOMO and, at your next client meeting, you can refer to these quotes and sound worldly and smart. Or like a conference geek. Same same.
We’ll start with the bummers:
Technological nightmares – the PowerPoints didn’t work. It got so bad that when Eli Packier of MRY wanted to show a clip from the latest episode of South Park (which I had obviously already seen – I am, after all, a responsible South Park consumer) there were 500 people sitting around waiting while the poor man sweated buckets on stage. Did anyone else notice, by the way, that he looks strikingly similar to Seth Rogen? Separated at birth? You decide.
The food – for this kind of money, you’d think they could do better than bug juice and tiny nasty muffins for a “light breakfast”. And lunch, although it was meat, was served like a wedding-style kabalat panim (pre-wedding reception). There was nowhere to sit. All of us were balancing briefcases, business cards and plates. Not ideal.
Hashtag confusion – this was a content conference, people. That means that all of us are content and likely social media freaks. There was no pre-conference promotion of the conference hashtag, and even once we all arrived, there was no sign anywhere. No one was certain if we were using #ContentIsrael or #ContentIsrael15 or what – we were actually tweeting and crowdsourcing hashtag at a content conference. Fail.
Smart, Strategic Swag - First of all, I must point out that while the conference, in general, was low on swag, one company was genius in their booth marketing. Run by a woman, BlogsRelease, a company that offers a database of thousands of bloggers with millions of subscribers and can therefore create buzz on any topic of your choice, gave away bubble wands. To a conference full of mothers. Nicely done, Eti Nachum. I only know about them because I saw all my fellow Ima Kadimas wandering around with their kid-requested-swag and wanted mine, too. Now I’m promoting the concept to my clients. Win-win.
The conference brought in speakers from around the world. These were some big names from some heavy hitting firms: 3M, Hubspot, Curiyo, Oracle, PowToon, Outbrain, Huffington Post. Some of them had never been to Israel before. I consider a conference a success if I can walk away with one real, usable, immediately implementable (sure, I can verbicize implement. And verb.) tip. And at this conference, I got two. Here they are:
Although traditional content works to convert (3.8% of Oracle’s visitors who came to the site for a blog became leads, and 3.5% of them became customers – which is DOUBLE industry average,) guess what? Medium effort content does way better: 11.4% of Oracle’s visitors who came to the site from an question/answer became leads, and 5.62% of them became customers. This means that question/answer converts better than blogs. If you’re not already impressed, get ready for this: 9% of Oracle’s visitors who came to the site from low effort content (user generated) became customers, and 13.5% of them converted into customers! Lesson: yes, keep blogging. But answer questions on Q&A forums – like, NOW – and encourage your users to create content. Capitalize on that content.
And, last but not least, Here are the top six lines from the conference. I tried to limit it to five, but I’m an overachiever.
6. “If anybody ever says to you, 'Be authentic' – fire them, immediately." – Alex Cheeseman, Newscred
5. “Attention is the new currency.” – Graham Nelson, Huffington Post
4. “Advertising is like grape flavored medicine while content marketing is like medicinal pot brownies.” - Eli Packier of MRY
3. “I’m used to doing this for drunk people, but Israelis like weed better; ammiright?” – Dave Rubin of RubinReport
2. “It’s amazing how good looking everybody is here in Israel!” – Carlos Abler of 3M
and the best line of the day, hands down, goes to…
1. “I haven’t been in front of so many Jews, in a tie, since my Bar Mitzvah.” – Eli Packier, MRY