2014 was the year of content marketing. I know this to be true, because when I googled “the year of content marketing”, Google was so sure about the answer that they felt it was necessary to steal my click from Mashable.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, I feel confident in my prediction that 2015 will be the year of performance content marketing. Performance content marketing is customer-centric content strategy combined with a rigorous focus on the execution of measurement, distribution, and optimization to achieve return on investment and growth (For a definition of “performance marketing” check out this great overview from the IAB: Defining Performance Marketing in Today’s Digital Landscape.)
In 2015, many marketers with a strict focus on performance will figure out how to significantly impact their bottom line at scale with content. If you’re not already one of those people or are not on the verge of becoming one of those people, you can’t afford to spend your professional development time anywhere but immersed in the world of performance marketing. Performance content marketers use Google Analytics to understand which content drives more engagement and conversions. They understand that SEO should always have a voice at the content marketing table. They optimize content, spend, distribution channels, and resources based on an attribution model and not last click. They run A/B tests on their content’s headlines, opt-in forms, images, and call-to-actions. They collect behavioral, demographic, and interest data about their visitors and customers to deliver a more personalized and helpful experience every time they interact with their brand. They’re creating content in different formats like video, slideshows, and infographics, to see what works best for their audience. Most importantly they’re looking at the data everyday, and using that data to inform their content strategy.
2015 WILL BE THE YEAR OF PERFORMANCE CONTENT MARKETING (TWEET THIS)
Learn from Performance Content Marketers
In 2015 you need to be learning from the likes of Hiten Shah of KISSmetrics, Rand Fishkin of Moz, Neil Patel of QuickSprout, Tim Ash of Sitetuners, Peep Laja of ConversionXL, Oli Gardner of Unbounce, Will Critchlow of Distilled, Wil Reynolds of SEER Interactive, Loren Baker of Foundation Digital, Rae Hoffman of Pushfire, Larry Kim of Wordstream, Andy Beal of Trackur, Sean Ellis of Qualaroo, Noah Kagan of SumoMe, Dave Snyder of CopyPress, Rob Walling of Drip, Jon Loomer of Jon Loomer , Lee Odden of TopRank and so so many more ridiculously talented performance marketers who also know and practice the power of authentic storytelling. Not only do they know the importance of great content, but they’ve used great content to impact their bottom line. They’re not figuring it out. They’ve done it many, many times because they first mastered the intricacies of performance marketing.
Aside from following them on Twitter and gobbling up every blog post they write, where do you find these gurus and more people like them? Here’s a great place to start.
Without further ado, I present to you my own wish list for conferences to attend in 2015 to help me become a better content marketer, and hopefully be among those who figure out how to significantly impact their bottom line with content marketing in 2015.
2015 Performance Marketing Conferences that Content Marketers Can’t Afford to Miss
- Search Insider Summit | 6/10 – 6/13 | Kiawah Island Resort, SC
- Marketing Sherpa Email Summit | 2/23 – 2/26 | Las Vegas, NV
- SMX Advanced | 6/11 – 6/12 | Seattle, WA
- SMX West | 3/3 – 3/5 | San Jose, CA
- SMX Munich | 3/17 – 3/18 | Munich, Germany
- SMX London | 5/20 – 5/21 | London, England
- SMX Sydney | 5/27 – 5/28 | Sydney, Australia
- SMX Paris | 6/1 – 6/2 | Paris, France
- SMX East | 9/29 – 10/1 | New York, NY
- SMX Israel | November | Jerusalem, Israel
- SMX Beijing | December | Beijing, China
- SMX Milan | November | Milan, Italy
- MozCon | 7/13 – 7/15 | Seattle, WA
- Content Marketing World | 9/8 – 9/11| Cleveland, OH
- MarTech | 3/31 – 4/1 | San Francisco, CA
- SearchLove | 9/10 – 9/11 | San Diego, CA
- PubCon | 4/20/2015 | Austin, TX
- Search Engine Journal Summit | 2/24/2015 | Santa Monica, CA
- Affiliate Summit East | 8/2 – 8/4 | New York, NY
- Affliate Summit West | 1/18 – 1/20 | Las Vegas, NV
- Search Engine Strategies London | 2/9 – 2/11 | London, England
- Search Engine Strategies Miami | 3/26/2015 | Miami, FL
- LeadsCon Vegas | 3/3 – 3/4| Las Vegas, NV
- LeadsCon NY | 8/24 – 825 | New York, NY
- Conversion Conference | 5/12 – 5/14 | Las Vegas, NV
- Hero PPC Conference | 4/27 – 4/29 | Portland, OR
- CopyBlogger Authority Rainmaker | 5/13 – 5/15 | Denver, CO
- ConversionXL | 3/11 – 3/13 | Austin, TX
- Growth Hacking Conference | TBD
I’ll be adding to this list throughout the year, so If you feel like I’m missing some big ones, please feel free to add them in the comments and I’ll update.
Now, start making the case for why performance marketing conferences need to be in your content marketing budget for 2015.
Featured image courtesy of Don Harder via Flickr.