Does anyone look forward to getting on an airplane anymore? Sure, you may be excited about where you’re going or what you plan to do when you get there. But anyone happily anticipating the screening, boarding, and flying part—well, I’ll have whatever vitamin supplement they’re on.
If you’re headed to Content Marketing World, odds are there’s a flight in your immediate future. Fortunately, this trip is definitely worth the hassle. Just keep in mind how much you’re about to learn, how many amazing marketers you’re about to meet, and you can smile your way through the unpleasantness.
To help you get the most out of your trip—enough to sustain you through a legroom-free flight home—make sure you attend the following ten sessions. These first-class (get it?) marketers have all logged hours of flight time sharing their knowledge all over the world. Each one is uniquely qualified to be your marketing coach (get it?). They’re in a business class (GET IT?) all their own.
So put your tray table up, stow your carry-on, and add these sessions to your schedule. And in the case of a water landing, this post can be used as a flotation device.
Ten Can’t Miss Sessions at Content Marketing World 2017
#1: Linda Boff
Linda is the CMO of GE, with over 15 years of experience in their marketing department. Under her leadership, GE has been absolutely dominating the content game, with an energy and creativity that’s rare in B2B. Their Instagram has over 300,000 followers. They did a hit science fiction podcast, The Message. They held a robot rock concert to showcase their electricity infrastructure solutions. In short, Linda is helping make B2B content cool, and I’m excited to hear what she has to say.
The Session: Imagination at Work: Lessons in Storytelling from GE
Linda’s session is a keynote, so you don’t have to pre-register for it. Just set your alarm early and plan to get to the main hall by 8 a.m. on Wednesday the 6th.
#2: Andrew Davis
Andrew is the best-selling author of Town Inc., a sought-after keynote speaker, and a brilliant marketer with a history of fantastic content, from documentaries to blog posts. He’s also the only presenter at Content Marketing World who has worked with the Muppets. If you’ve never seen Andrew speak before, you’re in for a treat: He’s a dynamic presenter who will drop knowledge while keeping the energy level high.
We all know that video content marketing is not even the next big thing – it’s the current big thing. But connecting the marketing to the ROI is still a challenge. Andrew’s session should help you find the gold in them thar videos.
#3: Amisha Gandhi
As the Global Head of Influencer Marketing at SAP, Amisha is helping to bring influencer marketing out of the “Wild West.” She’s helping develop the best practices that will help marketers reach a higher level of influencer marketing maturity and sophistication. Her insights are a crucial component of our eBook, Influence 2.0.
Amisha is uniquely qualified to lead this session, in that she is currently implementing a global influencer program at SAP. This nuts-and-bolts session is sure to be packed with practical knowledge you can use in your influencer marketing efforts.
#4: Ann Handley
A tireless crusader in the war against mediocre content, Ann Handley has helped thousands of marketers find their unique creative voice. She’s the best-selling author of Everybody Writes and co-author of Content Rules, and is the Chief Content Officer for MarketingProfs. She’s also a whip-smart, engaging speaker, ever ready to cut through the nonsense to inform and inspire.
Ann’s sessions are always (justifiably) extremely popular, so you have two chances to catch her presentation this time around. Make sure to register early! Even if you’re not directly in a content role, Ann’s advice can help improve whatever writing you do.
#5: Heather Hurst
Heather is the Director of Corporate Marketing at Workfront, helping create content resources that match with the company’s vision of helping people be more efficient and effective at work. Under her leadership, the Talking Work blog has become a destination for smart content from her team and from experts worldwide.
Producing quality content at scale has been a thorny problem for the industry, and Heather is just the person to address it. From prioritization to resource allocation to the power of repurposing, this session should help close the resource gap.
#6: Lee Odden
You know that old Wayne Gretzky quote about not going for where the puck is, but going for where the puck is going to be? Lee is the Wayne Gretzky of marketing. He was into SEO before it was cool, was a pioneer of influencer marketing, and is now leading the charge for integrated, holistic marketing. As CEO of TopRank Marketing, Lee has turned a boutique digital agency into a global powerhouse, equally at home working with Fortune 100 companies and local small businesses. He’s also a pretty great boss (we’re hiring). And, should you meet him at one of the networking events: It’s pronounced OH-den, like the Norse god, not ODD-en.
TopRank Marketing’s philosophy of influencer marketing goes far deeper than one-off endorsement gigs. Lee’s strategy aims to create ongoing, mutually beneficial relationships with the people truly influential to your target audience.
#7: Robert Rose
Robert is the Founder of the Content Advisory and Chief Strategy Advisor at Content Marketing Institute. He’s one of the original masters of content marketing—together with Joe Pulizzi, he helped write the rules of effectively using content to drive business purposes. His latest book, Killing Marketing (co-authored with Joe), is all about achieving the holy grail of content marketing: making it a profit center rather than a budget item.
Not only can Robert’ sessions help you realize business benefits from your content marketing, he can show you how to make content itself a business. And he should know: Content Marketing Institute itself is a prime example of a business built content-first.
#8: Adam Singer
Data is what turns content into content marketing. Every content creator should have a handle on the analytics that tell us what our audience is interested in, how our content is resonating, and how our results translate into revenue. Adam is the Analytics Advocate at Google, and he’s tasked with helping marketers understand how to use Google’s tools to make their marketing work better.
If you’re a content creator, this session is a great opportunity to round out your skillset. Learn how to dive into the data and generate insights you can use to fuel your next round of content. If you’re already a data nerd, this is your chance to get even deeper inside the Google-verse.
The Content Marketing Institute named Amanda their Content Marketer of the Year last year, and she’s returning this year to share her secrets of creating award-winning content. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Amanda has both practical knowledge and creative inspiration to spare. She’s currently the Director of Content Marketing at Cleveland Clinic, helping bring compelling content to the healthcare industry.
Healthcare is a tough industry for marketers, with changing markets and regulations constantly putting pressure on content creators. That makes Amanda’s success story all the more compelling. She’s sure to have ideas you can put into action, regardless of your industry.
#10: Tim Washer
Tim has a unique pedigree as a marketer: He’s a stand-up comedian and a comedy writer for shows like Saturday Night Live, in addition to his pioneering work as the Creative Director of SP Marketing at Cisco. He clearly demonstrates how creativity and humor can spice up even the most “boring” B2B content. Simply put, this is a guy who can make hilarious videos about internet infrastructure solutions.
Improv workshops are all the rage in corporate America right now, and it’s not hard to see why: Improv requires quick thinking, teamwork, and extraordinary empathy for the audience to succeed. Tim’s session is guaranteed to crack you up and make your content livelier.
The Captain Has Turned on the Content Marketing Insights Sign
There are hundreds of sessions to choose from at Content Marketing World this year, all of them presented by some of the brightest minds in marketing. The TopRank Marketing team will be there in force, and we’ll be seeing as many of them as we possibly can. Check the blog throughout the conference for takeaways, liveblogs, and bonus content. And make sure to reserve time in your schedule for these ten sessions.
If you’re attending the conference, keep an eye out for me and the whole crew: Susan Misukanis, Amy Higgins, Ashley Zeckman, Caitlin Burgess, Tiffani Allen, and Knute Sands. We look forward to meeting all of you!