You are bombarded by two to five thousand marketing messages a day.

Through the internet, tv, radio, movies, billboards, magazines, newspapers, flyers, and countless other methods of communication, your brain is presented with 2,000 to 5,000 messages that it must process.*

How can any message emerge from the rabid pack of thousands to get your attention? To reach you, the potential customer?

Through effective, efficient, engaging content.

I recently attended Content Marketing World 2012, a conference put on by Content Marketing Institute (CMI). There were dozens of excellent speakers who presented myriad topics relating to content marketing. As defined by CMI, content marketing is "a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action."

Several patterns and themes emerged throughout the conference, like the growing importance of mobile content, the necessity of setting goals for content campaigns, and how imperative it is that content be useful. We’ll delve into these topics more in future posts. To start, let’s look at some insightful quotes from speakers at the conference and explore the ideas they present.

Fresh Ideas from Content Marketing World

Creating Content

“Creating content is easy. Creating great content is hard.”

Ann Handley

Learning how to cultivate, produce, and maintain excellent content is critical for any organization that wishes to market online.

“If it's not good enough to share, don't publish it. Don't fall into the trap of more content instead of better content.

Jay Baer

When it comes to web marketing content, more isn’t always more. Sharp, well-written, targeted content will have stronger results than reams of mediocre, ambiguous, boring text.

Distributing Content

"Don't be a content hog; be a content dandelion... content needs to reside where people can find it the easiest."

Jay Baer

Make content as easy as possible to find. The more barriers you install to keep people from finding your content—the fewer customers you will have. Keep your content accessible.

“Don’t worry about giving secrets away in your content. You don’t have any secrets! Stop thinking that you do.”

Marcus Sheridan

Of course, don’t give away actual trade secrets! But be as informative as you can possibly can. People search for information using specific questions. If you answer their questions in your content, people will view your site as a source for expert information and your company as worthy of their business.

Standing Out

“When brands seek a direct relationship with consumers, they must rise above the static and the noise.”

Mitch Joel

Remember those 2,000 marketing messages? Your message must be better than the thousands of others in order to be heard. It has to be targeted to a specific audience, presented in a manner that will help the audience find it, and easy for that audience to absorb.

“Take risks, use the element of surprise. Take a stand. Embrace creativity as part of your content.”

Ann Handley

Creative content can seem daunting to create and to use a key element in your marketing strategy. But you’ll never know how sucessful it might be if you don’t try.

What do you think of these fresh ideas? Are you exploring content marketing for your business? Tell us about it.

* This figure courtesy of Michael Brenner at Content Marketing World.