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Content Marketing 2020 and Beyond: Current Content Trends and Predictions
Customer's expectations are constantly changing as content marketing evolves. Discover current trends and where content marketing is headed in the near future. Learn what skills you need to hone today to continue to be marketable tomorrow.
Speaker: Clare McDermott is the co-founder and head of research at Mantis Research, a marketing consultancy that helps brands publish and amplify original research. Before launching Mantis, she was the founding editor of Chief Content Officer magazine, the leading print magazine for content marketing executives. Clare also ran a content marketing consultancy called SoloPortfolio for over a decade; there she helped enterprise technology and consulting brands embrace a publishing mindset.
What I Learned from Getting Fired
Most of the time freelance writers try hard not to get fired. Being a people pleaser is often a great trait when running your own business, as retaining clients is essential to financial health. But sometimes writers make mistakes. And not every client is a good fit, no matter how good you are at your craft. In this panel you’ll hear stories from fellow writers about how they got fired. Sometimes it’s their fault, sometimes it’s not. But there are lessons to be learned – and isn’t it more fun to learn those lessons when they happen to someone else?
Moderator: Debbie Abrams Kaplan (kaplanink.com) is an ASJA member in who was fired from at least two gigs (that she remembers). The most memorable one was for a doctor’s website, after the doctor complained to the agency “the writing style is that of not more than a third grader…There are contractions such as "it's" which is acceptable in every day speech but certainly not in a web site.” While that took a few glasses of wine to get past, Debbie continues to write for health system C-suites, medical journals and oncology publications, in at least a fourth-grade writing style. Maybe fifth grade.
Panelists: Jennifer Alsever is a Colorado-based young adult author and a working journalist. She has contributed to such publications as Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Wired and Fast Company, among others. When it’s not a conflict of interest, she spent time ghost-writing for executives and providing editorial content for finance and technology companies.
Cindy Marie Jenkins is a Write-at-Home-Mom who lives somewhere between Los Angeles and Beijing. She writes advice and runs workshops on how to make it work as a work-at-home-parent and consults with employers who want to offer more flexibility to their staff. She reviewed family excursions around Beijing for both Time Out Beijing Family and Beijing Kids, and has been published at The Mary Sue, Star Trek, Theatre Communications Guild, The Clyde Fitch Report, The Mom Forum, No Proscenium, Dwarf+Giant (a blog of The Last Bookstore), Better Lemons, Theatre @ Boston Court and more. Cindy is Communications Advisor for the Women’s Theatre Festival (NC) and consults with arts organizations on how to live their mission in the virtual worlds.
Ritika Puri is the co-founder of Storyhackers and co-creator of The Aligned Storytelling Method, which she and her co-founder developed in partnership with Contramore. She works with entities ranging from startups to Fortune 500s and national governments to solve complex communications challenges through concepts in folklore, data science, and human consciousness. Getting fired, in Ritika's experience, has been an opportunity to become smarter, better, and faster. She's lifted herself from months of depression, lifelong disability, and extreme financial distress to continuously level-up, no matter the obstacles. After the last time she got fired, she built a team of high-performing consultants and education software. With this team and software, she co-developed an industry-leading framework for corporate crisis response. In her free time, she helps fellow women recover from getting fired, discover new heights to their inner strength, and make major contributions to the scientific community.
Ask the Content Marketing Editor
Content marketing is helping many freelancers grow their business. As the industry changes and companies look for new ways to engage customers and prospects, freelancers will need to be well-positioned to provide value and help companies produce content that differentiates their brands in an increasingly crowded marketplace. In this panel, ask editors from leading brands and content marketing agencies your burning questions. Learn about industry trends, the future of content marketing, how editors hire, and how you can create long-lasting working relationships with them to build a more sustainable freelance business.
Moderator: Satta Sarmah Hightower is a journalist-turned-content marketer and has been a full-time freelancer since 2014. Through her content marketing consultancy, Talented Tenth Media, she produces content for agencies and brands in the technology, healthcare IT and financial services space and has worked with clients such as Adobe, HP, Red Hat, Oracle, NASDAQ Private Market, Credit Karma, and more.
Satta previously worked as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel and for Patch Media, a division of AOL. At Patch, she was a reporter, online editor and then the senior manager of editorial operations, where she oversaw content sponsorships for Fortune 500 clients and leading brands. Satta holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School.
Panelists: Alex Hazlett is the Director of Special Projects at Mashable. She conceptualizes and executes editorially-driven content series that cover areas of special interest to the newsroom and Mashable’s advertisers. She runs Mashable’s parenting section Small Humans and works regularly with a wide range of freelancers.
Barbara R. Call is Sr. Director, Content Operations & Strategy for IDG’s Strategic Marketing Services department. Barbara combines business and technology acumen with award-winning content strategy and execution for clients including HPE, IBM, Microsoft, Citrix, Cisco, Pure Storage, Salesforce, and more.
Ash Holland is an Associate Director of Editorial at Skyword, a content marketing company based in Boston, MA. She holds a PhD in English and Visual Culture and has a background in journal production and managing editorial work. At Skyword, Ash has worked on programs for some of the world's top brands in the technology, finance, education, and communications spaces. She's particularly passionate about bringing visual design and editorial work together.
Sarah Dudley, Boston Content’s Executive Director, has content marketing in her DNA. An avid storyteller and creative, she spent 6 years as a content director focused on helping to grow and define the content marketing discipline at IBM. Recognizing that content doesn’t stop at content creation, she is now a senior product marketing manager who spends most of her days thinking about how to put the customer at the forefront of every experience.
She also co-hosts a podcast called the Entry Level Podcast, where she talks about navigating the first 10 years of your career and developing an “entry-level” mindset of always learning and growing. She has an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston. For fun, she loves reading, watching serial killer doc-series, hitting the gym, spoiling her 5 nieces and nephews, and traveling.
How I Went From 0 to $8K/Month – and So Can You! "
When travel suddenly stopped due to the pandemic, Leslie Lang who specializes in travel technology and hospitality technology content marketing writing found herself with zero paying work. But she hit the marketing harder than ever before and soon had an $8,000 month. Leslie shares how she turned her business around. Learn how to:
- Step up the way you present yourself online
- Use new marketing approaches that worked for Leslie
- Add a technology angle to your toolkit (and how to make that pivot).
You will learn lots of practical tips and ideas you can immediately apply to your own business.
Whether you, too, lost work due to Covid-19 or just want to up your marketing game, you’ll come away with a new game plan – and a worksheet to guide you through it."
Speaker: Leslie Lang is a freelance B2B technology content marketing writer who writes white papers, ebooks, case studies, infographics, articles, and more for marketing agencies and clients such as Adobe, Ameritrade, Barclays Investment Bank, The Guardian, Google, Microsoft, and NPR’s All Things Considered. She writes about AI, IoT, SaaS, food tech, hospitality tech, travel tech, banking and investment, and more. She lives and works in Hawaii.
Creating Content Marketing During Times of Crisis and Change
Throughout 2020, brands struggled to balance their own voice and perspective with the changing needs of customers as we faced tough times and issues. During this session, content marketing editors share how their brands created meaningful and relevant content. Learn tips for creating content that makes a difference in the world and shares stories that matter.
Moderator: Jennifer Goforth Gregory is the author of best selling book The Freelance Content Marketing Writer: Find Your Perfect Clients, Make Tons of Money and Build a Business You Love. She specializes in B2B Technology Content Marketing and her clients include IBM, Microsoft, Adobe, HPE, Samsung, AT&T, Epson, Apple and Verizon.
Panelists: Adam Clement is the creative content manager for AP Content Services at the Associated Press. Formerly: writer/editor for Gannett, and content marketing producer for The Huffington Post, Mental Floss, the Week, and more.
When Covid-19 hit, Kate Silver’s content marketing work went into overdrive. Since March, the Chicago-based journalist and content creator has written longform pieces on technology, banking, community health initiatives, vaccine development and mental health during Covid-19 for Politico FOCUS, which is the content arm of Politico. She’s worked with her regular Newscred clients (Hershey, Canon, Pfizer, American Express and others) to develop content about retail strategy, DIY crafts, health and wellness topics and small-business challenges and solutions, all related to Covid-19. And she works with two other small digital agencies to help them craft content for their clients, much of which touches on Covid-19. This is in addition to writing occasional travel and health-centric journalism (also Covid-19-related) for publications such as Washington Post, National Geographic, Chicago Health Magazine and other publications.
Jenna Spinelle loves a good story and has spent the past 15 years telling them as a journalist, marketing professional, and most recently, as a podcaster. She is the communications specialist for the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State, where she hosts and produces the Democracy Works podcast in collaboration with WPSU, central Pennsylvania's NPR station. She is also the founder of The Democracy Group, a network of podcasts about civic engagement, civil discourse, and democracy.
When she’s not podcasting, Jenna plans and executes all of the McCourtney Institute’s external communications. She also teaches journalism in Penn State’s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications and works with national and international clients as a freelance writer and marketer. @JennaSpinelle
5 Ways to Get and Keep Fresh Sources for Your Content Marketing
You need sources for your content marketing project. But how do you find them? And once you land the interview, then what? Learn multiple avenues to find sources. Then, identify practical ways to navigate the process that can be vastly different than journalism: clients and PR reps sit in on the interview; sources may need to review or approve the story, along with other twists and turns along the way.
Speaker: Ann Gynn has been a solo practitioner for over 15 years. Her firm, G Force Communication, works with organizations that have small communications teams on strategy, coaching, and implementation. She also is an editorial consultant to the Content Marketing Institute, editing and writing for its blog, which has over 200,000 subscribers. She has won multiple awards for her work, including being named IABC Cleveland Communicator of the Year. An Accredited Public Relations professional, Ann has a journalism degree from Ohio University and a master’s degree in communication from Cleveland State University. You can connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn - @AnnGynn.
Full-time to Freelance: How to Make the Move
Considering leaving the corporate life for freelance? Or perhaps a recent layoff or furlough thrust you unexpectedly into freelancing. Hear from our three successful freelancers how they transitioned to freelance and develop a plan for starting your own freelance business.
Moderator: Sarah Lindenfeld Hall is a longtime journalist and versatile content marketing writer with experience creating a variety of content for tech companies and startups, including case studies, web content, e-books, white papers and thought leadership pieces. Website: https://www.sarahlindenfeldhall.com/
Panelists: John Egan is a full-time freelance writer, editor and content marketing strategist in Austin, Texas. His work has been published by Experian, CreditCards.com, SHRM.org, National Real Estate Investor, U.S. News & World Report, Urban Land magazine and other outlets. John is in the midst of his second stint as a full-time freelancer. Most recently, he was the full-time editor in chief at LawnStarter, SpareFoot and Bankrate Insurance.
Panelists: Marilyn Wilkinson is a freelance copywriter and content strategist, based in Vienna, Austria, who helps technology companies get the most out of their digital marketing. At IBM, she led creative teams of designers, copywriters and programmers, working on marketing campaigns around the globe. Most recently, she managed digital marketing and content for the B2B coffee brand at Nespresso. In the midst of the global pandemic, Marilyn decided to leave her corporate role to set up her own freelance content marketing business. Marilyn is looking forward to sharing her journey so far and the insights she has learned along the way.
Panelists: Pamela DeLoatch Before becoming a full-time freelance writer, Pamela worked as Program Manager for Diversity and Inclusion at Fidelity. She now works as a B2B technology writer, specializing in HR (diversity and inclusion, culture, change management, leadership, employee experience, and HR technology) and retail (customer experience, e-commerce, and retail technology). With experience working in the trenches in both industries, along with an MBA and a degree in journalism, she combines her expertise to help businesses convey their message, build a brand, or shape a culture.
Ditch Tired Headline Tropes to Land More Work, Reach More Readers, and Raise Your Profile
Remember when writers didn’t have to worry about headlines, because that was the editor’s job? Those were the days. In 2020, when seemingly everyone is a content creator, writers need to be able to churn out snappy headline copy to set their work apart. Good headlines can help you deliver more-enticing pitches to brands, get more clicks on published stories, and, critically, grow your footprint (and earning potential) on self-publishing platforms like Medium, Patreon and more. In this session, Philip Garrity, editor of The Freelancer, dissects the anatomy of a catchy headline, shares tried-and-true methods to generate headlines ideas, and runs a quick headline-writing workshop to try out your new skills.
Philip Garrity is a freelance writer, editor and content strategist specializing in finance, consumer banking, business, travel, tech and the gig economy. He was previously director of talent and editorial services at Contently and before that, on staff at city-regional magazines Washingtonian, Westchester Magazine and 914INC. Philip is based in Brooklyn and edits The Freelancer, Contently’s blog for freelance creatives.
Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Content Ideas
Using a simple and repeatable framework for organizing your content brainstorms, this session will get your creative juices flowing and help you generate a seemingly endless number of unique content ideas for your brand. Even better, the systems you'll learn here can be brought back to your team and replicated time and again, whenever you need more content ideas to feed the machine.
Melanie Deziel is a keynote speaker, author, award-winning branded content creator, and lifelong storyteller, on a mission to share the power of compelling and credible content with others. Melanie is the author of “The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas”. She is the Chief Content Officer of StoryFuel, which teaches marketers, publishers, creators and companies of all sizes how to tell better brand stories. Prior to founding StoryFuel, Melanie was the first editor of branded content at The New York Times, a founding member of HuffPost’s brand storytelling team, and served as Director of Creative Strategy for Time Inc.
How to Write Amazing and Compelling Video Scripts
Writing branded content is always a balancing act between author, client, and story. The best results come from a natural mix of the three – an author's research and synthesis, the client's core needs, and the narrative that moves the audience forward. Now add, you know, moving pictures. Writing for video can be a dramatic shift for authors used to communicating in print. There are some core values that translate between the mediums but also some potential pitfalls, and this session will look at them through the lens of explanatory journalism. What does approaching branded content as an explanation mean? What makes branded content video truly sing? And why should you record yourself reading your scripts, even if it sounds awkward?
Daniel Littlewood is the Executive Producer of The Explainer Studio at Vox Creative, the branded content division of Vox Media. He's also an editor and producer for film and radio, including for the feature film "Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock & Roll," a New York Times Critic's Pick that A.O. Scott called "a moving and informative documentary." Go rent it on Amazon or iTunes or something! He's produced video for the Huffington Post, criss-crossed the US listening to everyday people for StoryCorps, and spent five years making all manner of media for various non-profits in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Before that, he was, I dunno, just a Portland Trailblazers fan.
From Freelance to Corporate: Making the Decision and Creating a Plan
Every freelancer at one time or another is faced with the question: Should I remain independent or hang up the shingle and work for a company or association. There are pros and cons in moving from freelancing to a full-time job. This panel will help you make that decision and give you tips on how to make that transition successfully.
Moderator: Benét J. Wilson is the Credit Cards Editor and a travel/aviation writer for The Points Guy. She has worked for myriad aviation trade publications and managed communications for two airlines, an aircraft engine manufacturer and two aviation nonprofit organizations. She has been a freelance writer since 2011 and freelanced full time for two years before going back into a permanent job. Wilson serves on the boards of the Online News Association and Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism. She graduated from American University in Washington, D.C., with a B.A. in broadcast journalism. She resides in Baltimore, Md.
How to Command Higher Fees and Grow Your Freelance Income in the Age of $20 Blog Posts
As content marketing has gone mainstream, it has created a huge demand for writers. It has also led to significant downward pressure on writing fees. Clients who would once work only with the best, most experienced writers are now willing to hire freelancers who can crank out blog posts, articles and other marketing communication pieces in record time—and for a fraction of what their peers are charging.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of opportunity for smart and talented writers who are willing to take a different approach. And in this session, business-building coach Ed Gandia will show you how to shift your mindset and your model from that of an “order taker” to that of a value-added resource who helps clients with strategy and planning. He’ll explain how you’re unknowingly including much of this added value in your writing projects. And he’ll show you how decoupling these services from the SOW will enable you to land more opportunities, command higher fees and become a trusted partner to your clients.
Speaker: Ed Gandia is a successful B2B copywriter, business-building coach and strategist who helps freelance writers and copywriters earn more in less time doing work they love for better-paying clients. His High-Income Business Writing podcast is one of the top-ranked freelancing and writing podcasts in Apple Podcasts and other podcasting platforms. And his insights and advice have been featured in Inc. magazine, Fast Company, Forbes, CBS Radio News, The Christian Science Monitor, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, DM News, and The Writer, among others.
How to Successfully Jump from Journalism to Content Marketing
The switch from journalism to content marketing can be surprisingly hard. Many journos fail. The writing style, your purpose, the power dynamic, approval processes, your paymaster... everything is different — and that requires a change of perspective if you want to win. Freelance journalist and content marketer Dan Hatch, who works with clients across the US, UK and Australia, will guide you past all the pitfalls and share his best and most practical advice for reporters and content creators.
Speaker: Dan Hatch spent the best part of a decade at the daily The West Australian newspaper. He's produced talkback radio at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and has had bylines in every major Australian newspaper (and some UK ones, too). He made the switch to content marketing and never looked back. He is a founder of editorial specialist agency Typeset, which works with content marketing clients in the US and around the globe.
YOU are cordially invited to free a live talk on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) starring Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land, Dr. Pete Meyers of Moz, Amanda Chan of Bustle Digital Group, Michael Fitzgerald of Boston Globe Media, and Kuba Koziej of Zety: Resume Builder & Career Website, moderated by Tom Gerencer, author of Think Like Google. Learn what the leaders in SEO can teach you about how Google thinks. Then see how to use that insight to create posts that rank high and get more traffic.
Tom Gerencer is an ASJA journalist, content writer, editor, and SEO expert who writes about science, tech, health, business, and the outdoors. He's a regular contributor to HP Tech Takes, Boys' Life, and Scouting, with articles in The Boston Globe Magazine, Fast Company, Outdoor Life, Costco Connection, and many more. Tom's book, "How It's Made," for the Discovery Channel, is due out by Christmas of 2020. His book, "Think Like Google - Build SEO With Empathy" is now available on Amazon.
Barry Schwartz, the CEO of Rusty Brick, a New York web service firm specializing in customized online technology. He founded Search Engine Roundtable and is News Editor at Search Engine Land. He speaks and moderates at several search marketing conferences around the world each year. If anyone knows SEO, it’s Barry.
Amanda Chan is the Director of Content Strategy for Bustle Digital Group’s lifestyle brands, including Bustle, Elite Daily, NYLON, Romper, and The Zoe Report. She’s former Managing Editor of Bustle, the destination website for millennial women. And she’s also a former editor of TeenVogue, Yahoo Health, and HuffPost. Bustle alone has over 50 million readers per month.
Michael Fitzgerald is the Articles Editor of The Boston Globe Magazine’s print and digital editions. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and has the distinction of being the only member on our panel who claims he’s not an expert in SEO. My hope is that he’ll help us pump the brakes on the SEO stampede—by championing the idea that not all that Googles is gold.
Kuba Koziej is the founder of Zety, the fastest growing career site on the web and the #1 online resume builder. Zety went from zero to 3.5 million page views a month in about three years. Kuba in my informed opinion is an SEO genius who knows exactly how to build an article so Google loves it—and so readers love it. Even better, he’s taught several writers including myself to do the same.
Dr. Pete Meyers is the non-resident marketing scientist at Moz. He built and curated the Google Algo History Project—a way to track and measure the effect of Google’s many updates. He also developed MozCast—a site that tracks the Google “weather” for lack of a better word. He has a unique way of taking complex theories and delivering them in a way anyone can understand.