BY PRZEMEK BRYNIAK
I joined ACA about ten months ago. I remember the moment when I left the office after my job interview with Allan. I knew that the marketing efforts made in this company were of a totally different quality, with a different philosophy and approach to customers than others that I had worked with.
ACA does not follow traditional marketing techniques. Our marketing model focuses on solving problems and helping not only our current clients, but also anyone who dreams of building their own home. ACA’s mission is to share our expertise and educate. This philosophy is a key principle of Content Marketing, and is a model that completely changed my view of Marketing itself.
This model is effective because it encourages focusing your efforts on helping people by answering their questions and solving their problems. This is much more satisfying than designing adverts that promote the message: “our products are the best”, which would be ignored by the vast majority of our potential clients anyway.
When I got the chance to work for ACA I was given the opportunity to become a member of the Content Marketing Academy and work closely with its founder Chris Marr and other people who make this community. CMA is a really unique peer-to-peer business community, in which the members inspire and support each other in developing business by executing the best quality content marketing.
In the last ten months I have heard so many good things about the main event of the year – CMA Live, so I couldn’t wait to experience it myself. The conference took place on 8th & 9th June 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
As the next step in our marketing plans is to create regular video blogs that describe the process of self building and answer self-builders’ questions, I attended the event with the hope that it will inspire us to start our video journey. We got this inspiration following the first speech by Chris Ducker. In his presentation about live video broadcasting it was revealed that 90% of the content consumed online will be in the form of video by 2019.
The second keynote speaker, Roger Edwards also provided very good tips that are very important for our marketing strategy. His key message was to keep the language simple in order to avoid the “curse of knowledge”. This is very important for our business as we need to keep in mind that our audience does not consist of architects and construction specialist.
Therefore, when describing the processes of self building in our content we need to avoid using jargon and simplify the message in order to make them comprehensible and easier to digest for our readers and viewers.
The next presentation was about business networking, it was delivered by Stefan Thomas. In my opinion, he very accurately presented the difference between traditional marketing and content marketing. The key message was not to treat the networking meetings as a race in which you have to sell your business to as many people possible. Instead try to be a human and be interested in the people you are meeting and building rapport with them.
Don’t expect anything apart from developing a relationship that is not focused on business. We do not know what the relationship can lead to. Stefan finished with an inspiring quote ‘every big opportunity starts with a small conversation’. This is, in my opinion the essence of content marketing. Be kind, honest and helpful and all those qualities will come back to you and your business.
The very interesting, and controversial, subject of swearing in marketing was discussed by speaker, Doug Kessler. Doug claimed that swearing can be a really powerful marketing tool. He stated that it is proven that bad words are processed in a different part of the brain to the rest of language, and therefore force the receiver to pay attention to the content.
Various studies have demonstrated that using this ‘technique’ can bring results such as surprise, signalling confidence or authenticity to your marketing. Obviously, we are not going to start swearing in our content now, but we agree that it is important to aim for the results mentioned above, however, we may use different tools.
The final speaker of day one was Erika Napoletano. She advised to focus more on the emotions and feelings that the products and services give to your clients, rather than the products themselves. We like to think in a similar way: our efforts give our clients comfort and a space to experience the best moments in their families’ lives which is more than just designing a building. This is what makes us passionate about architecture and we why give 100% of ourselves in every project.
The next day was kicked off with a talk by marketing legend Mark Schaefer who made his come back to CMA Live for the second consecutive year. He discussed the most important assumptions of his most recent book “Known” that reveals the importance of unleashing a personal brand in the digital age that also strengthening the company’s brand.
In the next presentation, marketing duo from Newcastle, Andrew and Pete presented the importance of developing a unique way of creating and delivering content by every company. As a result of their talk we agreed that ACA’s content marketing’s goal is to create content for self-builders in order to educate them so they can build their dream homes without wasting money on repairing their mistakes.
The next speaker, Janet Murray delivered a talk about the importance of Public Relations in businesses’ content marketing strategy and provided very practical techniques, every business can use to appear in media coverage. To achieve it, the company can try newsjacking, using appropriate hashtags in social media to find the stories they can appear in or pitching their own stories to journalists.
“ACA’S CONTENT MARKETING’S GOAL IS TO CREATE CONTENT FOR SELF-BUILDERS IN ORDER TO EDUCATE THEM SO THEY CAN BUILD THEIR DREAM HOMES WITHOUT WASTING MONEY ON REPAIRING THEIR MISTAKES.”
All the various information gathered from different business areas were perfectly supplemented by George B Thomas, the Content Marketing expert from The Sales Lion, who presented the guide to the tools that will help us measure results and improve our content marketing. This presentation inspired me to revise my current solutions and will help me take our marketing to the next level.
The final keynote speech was by Marcus Sheridan – one of the best speakers in the world. I was really looking forward to this as I have heard from various people about the unbelievable energy that occurs during his speeches. Chris Marr – the father of CMA Live, has dedicated time to help me understand the principles of content marketing, and guided me through the Content Success Formula course developed by Marcus and George B Thomas.
In a very emotional and thought provoking talk, Marcus shared crucial stories from moments in his life to show the audience that everyone starts from bottom and supplemented it with inspiring tips and techniques to stay on track with your life and business progress.
I met Marcus the day before the conference as I attended the Video Marketing workshop with Marcus and George. I quickly understood why he makes such an impression on people, as without any doubts he is a world-class communicator and teacher. During the CMA Live 2017 every participant could easily speak to any of the speakers, this contributed to the inspiring nature of the event.
To summarise my visit at the CMA Live 2017 there is a lot to takeaway from it. First of all, before the conference I already knew that content marketing is the future of marketing in general as it totally makes sense that solving people’s problems is more effective than bombarding them with empty phrases such as ‘buy my product because it is the best!’. I learned that video is the future of content creation on the Internet – therefore the future of Marketing itself.
Because it was the first real marketing conference I attended I realised the importance of being part of a community. I was thinking, how do people stay motivated and focused on their goals for such a long time, and work through up’s and down’s until they finally achieve them. CMA Live 2017 gave me the answer.