Hi from sunny and hot New York City!
Last week, I attended the Render Conference at Betaworks in New York City’s Meatpacking District.
Unlike many events I attend, this one had limited promotion. My husband discovered it in his LinkedIn feed.
Headlined by Howard Rheingold, Esther Dyson and a slate of cutting edge technologists, the Render Conference focused on Tools for Thought.
The tools presented help to improve productivity and deep thinking often through the use of AI and ML.
Table of Contents
- Marketing Lesson of The Week
- Brand Beats – How National Geographic Aligns Paid Content With Their Brand
- Content Communicates
- Marketing Reads – To Prep For Fall Conference Season, Reading You Need
- Mark Your Calendar
Marketing Lesson of The Week
► How Can You Build Your Network Without FOMO?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary:
Your network consists of the people you know.
Before the Internet, you had to ask family, friends and colleagues to make an introduction to contact someone outside of your personal circle. Business, social and school groups also provided a shared basis to connect with others.
► How Do You Build Your Network Online?
With social media and other online platforms, our networks expanded beyond the people we know in real life connection or via a past interaction.
Now, we can reach out to strangers anywhere in the world via their online presence. Social media platforms and messaging forums facilitate these communications. But not everyone welcomes this outreach.
Because this networking approach lacks context or personal connection.
I get a LOT of LinkedIn requests from people with whom I have no connection. So even if I accepted them, I wouldn’t be able to refer or help them.
Most don’t take the time to write a message to give me a reason to follow up. Even worse, many lack a photo of the person.
If you don’t make this minimal investment, why should I connect to you?
Actionable Marketing Tips
- Figure out your specific networking goals and carefully select people to connect with.
- Put your best foot forward by updating your online profiles and presence on other websites. Since people will look for you online.
- Spend time researching, following and engaging with each person on your list. Do your homework including commenting and sharing their content so they see your name. Where possible, attend or participate in webinars, Twitter chats and other events.
- Check how people want to connect and what type of requests they’re interested in.
- Create a tailored outreach based on what you’ve learned. Skip the bland, pre-formatted social media outreach. Where possible, ask for an introduction through a mutual connection. Don’t be a pest with repetitive contacts. I recommend one follow up a week later including the original information.
► How Do You Build Your Network IRL?
As people, we crave human contact. It’s rooted in our biology, specifically our sense of touch.
Even hugs, considered a low-intensity skin stimulation by scientists, can release oxytocin. This hormone aids social bonding and reduces stress.
Post-pandemic, we can’t wait to see our family, friends and colleagues in person. Of course, in the process, we need to protect other people’s health and respect their desire for masks and distanced contact.
At the Creator Entrepreneur Expo (aka: CEX), Joe Pulizzi and Brian Clark did a great job of managing a live conference where speakers, sponsors and attendees felt safe. They required everyone to show their proof of COVID vaccinations.
Networking can be overwhelming, especially if you’re an introvert. While those of you who know me may laugh, I get it because I was an extremely shy child.
As my 6’4” father taught me before I started college:
“People will think highly of you if you take the initiative and talk to them.”
Marketing conferences and events tend to be easy places to network since everyone is looking to meet new people. But they can be intimidating if you’re shy.
Actionable Marketing Tips
Since this may not be enough to encourage you to walk up and talk to strangers, do this instead:
- Go with a friend or colleague. But don’t only talk to each other!
- Set a goal you must reach before you can leave. My event rule is to stay at least a half hour or speak to 3 people.
► What Is The Key To Networking Success?
As with many things in life, the key to networking success is consistency and follow up.
The best networking example to follow if you want to stand out:
My friend and colleague Dennis Yu.
Dennis is a connecting machine who doesn’t wait to follow up.
When I saw Dennis before my closing keynote at West Virginia University’s Integrate Conference, he tweeted a photo of the 2 of us to his almost 75k Twitter followers.
While we were talking at his table, he sent me a follow up email.
Last week, I received a small black package in the mail. Inside was a pillow cover printed with a photo of the 2 of us. It’s the best gift I’ve received in a long while. In addition to making me laugh, it keeps Dennis top of mind.
Actionable Marketing Tip
- Consider what you can do to stand out for the special people in your network. Jay Baer started his digital marketing journey by handing out business cards that were bottle openers.
► How National Geographic Aligns Paid Content With Their Brand
For my 10th birthday, my parents gave me a subscription to National Geographic. I remember waiting for the tulip yellow framed issues to arrive so I could get transported around the world with their high quality photos. Like many subscribers, I kept the back issues carefully stacked in a pile in my bedroom.
Fast forward to the present. Now I receive National Geographic Newsletters. They stand out in my email inbox since it’s one of very few newsletters unrelated to marketing and business. But National Geographic has earned a place in my regular content consumption due to its amazing photos and diverse stories.
Given the consistency of the NatGeo brand, I shouldn’t have been surprised to see how they created and included branded content.
This piece is sponsored by the Maine Office of Tourism and appears in their newsletter and on their website. The top of the article and the URL state that the content is paid by The Maine Office of Tourism.
What makes this paid content work?
Written and photographed by NatGeo staff it looks and feels like the publication’s own content. As a result, subscribers like me read it.
Filed under travel, the story’s yellow branded links go to the Maine Office of Tourism’s information to encourage readers to visit the state.
Actionable Brand Marketing Tips
- Ensure paid content reflects your brand. Many traditional publishers offer sponsored content. Other entities and creator entrepreneurs can use this tactic to expand revenue streams.
► Why Do You Need Tools For Thought To Improve Content?
Tools For Thought aims to help information consumers in today’s saturated content environment to keep, organize and retrieve the facts, thoughts and images they find important.
Since I’m reading How To Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens, I was excited to find John Borthwick’s video interview with Ahrens on the Betaworks site.
Actionable Marketing Questions To Consider
Do you organize and maintain the breath of content and information you personally consume so you can retrieve and use it in the future? By structuring your notes and information capture, you make content creation process easier.
Does your business organize, maintain and retrieve the content, information and data across departments and systems to keep it connected and consistent?
For most established organizations, this is a major challenge due to:
- Siloed information and systems often containing at least one dinosaur system.
- Software that hasn’t been maintained since update budgets are easily cut.
- Existing content and information that are out-of-date and lack appropriate metadata. Also legacy information may be missing.
- Loss of business knowledge due to the lack of process documentation and employee turnover.
- Politics, budget and organizational structure hinder effective change.
► Is Your Quality Content Invisible To Visitors?
Before registering for the Render Conference, I checked Betaworks’s website.
To find their amazing collection of video interviews about Web 3.0 and more, you must look under the Events tab and click on the Video Library link in the middle of the page. Then you’re then redirected to their Vimeo page.
The marketing problem:
They miss a key opportunity to attract more people interested in these topics while building their authority.
Their website lacks a holistic strategy. As a result, it has poor navigation and hosts most of their best content on other sites (like Vimeo) so it’s invisible.
How can they fix this problem?
Take a page from my friend and colleague David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR.
- Publish everything on his blog first so he owns the content and copyright;
- Then publishes the content on other platforms, sometimes immediately after publishing his blog post.
Actionable Content Marketing Tip
- Add recording of live and online events to your owned content and publish on your website first. Edit and add branding to improve quality. Then add easy-to-locate navigation and appropriate metadata before sharing elsewhere.
► How Do You Send Post-Event Follow Up Emails That Yield Results?
Whether you’re the host, sponsor or attendee, post-event follow up emails provide an opportunity to continue to build relationships for long-term results.
So it matters how you acquire the individual’s email address and what you do with it!
Earlier this spring, I had planned to attend an out-of-town conference but canceled due to illness. Yet, this didn’t stop event sponsors from sending email after email requesting to schedule follow up demos based on meeting me.
With better tracking, sponsors could have tailored an email to the attendees they met and a different email to the registrants who didn’t attend. Further, in both cases, the communications should have provided quality content to build a relationship, not blatant selling.
By contrast, Betaworks sent a great event follow up email from a real person to whom recipients could respond. In half a page of plain text, they thanked attendees without selling anything. Here’s the email:
These Betaworks links are worth your time to check:
- Full Render Event Recap by Jess Martin including his notes and event videos.
- Betaworks Think Camp Application targeted at early stage founders. Join Betaworks Accelerator Program for Tools for Thinking. Applications are due this Friday, August 26, 2022.
- Betaworks Discord Channel to continue the conversation.
Actionable Content Marketing Tips
- Send post-event emails within a week or attendees lose interest.
- Build relationships by sending quality content. Don’t use these communications to sell! Regardless of what your sales team or boss think, your goal is to build a housefile for the long-term.
- Use this opportunity to offer recipients other ways to stay in touch. Ask them to join your email newsletter, send them related, ungated content and/or join your online community.
► To Prep For Fall Conference Season, Reading You Need
As Labor Day approaches, preparations for the fall conference season are already in progress. To get the most marketing value from conference attendance, use this help.
- The Only Conference Advice You Need To Make You Better
- How To Get Useful Conference Results On The Cheap Without Being Physically There
- Conference Blog Posts: 20+ Ideas To Steal That Will Make You Shine![/RR]
Download this free eBook from Content Marketing Institute to sharpen your storytelling, speed your writing process, and strengthen the impact of every word.
Also receive a $100 discount to attend Content Marketing World 2022, September 13-16 in Cleveland.
Plan Ahead: Mark Your Calendar
► Open Voice Network Interoperability of Conversational Assistants
August 24th at 12:00pm ET
► Agorapulse’s Agency Summit Master Class
Thursday, August 25th (Virtual – Free)
► Accelerating Your CX Transformation Workshop Led by Kane Simms
September 1, 2022 9:00am ET (Virtual – Free Registration Required)
► Content Marketing World
September 13-16th in Cleveland, OH.
► Adrian Hon speaks at Betaworks Author of You’ve Been Played! How Institutions Use Games to Control Us.
September 21, 2022 6:30 pm – Live event
Registration and vaccination proof required.
October 10-13th, 2022 in Arlington, VA.
Join me and the top people working to transform the user experience. Use code: Cohen20 for 20% off of any ticket.
► MarketingProfs B2B Forum
October 12-14th, 2022 in Boston.
Ann Handley brings B2B back to Boston with 49 Sessions. 4 Keynotes and shenanigans!
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