It’s a great pleasure to have the CMA as a media partner for PI LIVE Global. What are you most looking forward to from the virtual event?

Rob: I’m looking forward to the mix of panels and though it’s hard to beat in-person events, virtual events like this are great (and possibly even better) for people to consume content. We’ve all missed panels or speakers because we’ve bumped into an old colleague – now we’re able to pick the events we want and consume at our leisure.

PI LIVE Global is entirely content focussed with actionable takeaways from panel discussions, problem-solving masterclasses and solo presentations. As an association supporting marketing and publishing, just how vital is content in today’s marketing mix?

Rob: It’s incredibly vital. Not only in the current pandemic which has seen sales cycles slow, but our audiences are constantly changing. We’re seeing attention spans drop because of so much noise. If you can create content which educates or engages with your audience, you can eliminate the noise and have more time to develop a relationship.

The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted the industry in many ways. What content marketing trends have you seen shift over the last few months and where do you now see the opportunities coming from?

Rob: I believe there’s been a big shift in attitude toward content. This goes for content as a whole, for content marketing purposes, but also content in the general sense: videos, podcasts, etc. I’d like to see stats from a podcast library such as Acast to see % increase in podcasts created since March. We’ve also witnessed people having more free time, which will increase as we head towards the colder winter months. There’s a real opportunity to reach far more people with your content, whether it’s a B2B content campaign teaching people who’re about to start a ‘side-hustle’ for the first time. Or maybe a travel company engaging a wanderlust audience, getting ready to build momentum for when the world finally gets moving again. 

With digital content being a huge emphasis right now, what tips can you share for publishers and businesses looking to adopt an effective content strategy?

Rob: Firstly, make it simple and accessible. Having a good user experience is vital. It doesn’t have to be Apple-esque in design, nor does it need bells and whistles – it needs to be created for your audience in mind. Simple I know, but I still see so many fail at this. Next is time. For those just getting into content, it’s all about a long term strategy. Creating goals but also being prepared to change them based on on-going analytics and feedback from the audience.

The 2020 International Content Marketing Awards are taking place next month! What can we expect from the virtual edition of the ceremony? 

Rob: This is still something we’re working on. Being a membership organisation, we’re keen on listening to what our members both want and expect. We’re incredibly fortunate to be working with a great production team who’s able to help in many different areas. As for the award programme itself. It’s been pretty astounding to see the number of entries come in this year given the circumstances. 

Lastly, looking ahead to 2021, what plans do you have in place that we should keep a lookout for?

Rob: There were so many things lined up for 2020 which got pushed back, so next year will be pretty jam-packed, we hope! However one of the big areas we’ve been looking at is ‘Grads in Content’. We’ve been working closely with a number of our members to create a scheme for content marketing and graduates. This will help graduates find out more about the industry, whilst helping our members engage with those looking to enter the industry. 

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