Break Free B2B Interview with Stephanie Stahl

Planning events isn’t easy. Heck, scheduling a meeting with a small group of colleagues can be an exercise in strategy and patience. Now imagine if you were responsible for creating the preeminent educational experience for 4,000+ content marketers, featuring 225 inspiring speakers, and over 123 hours of amazing content? 

That’s what Stephanie Stahl, General Manager at Content Marketing Institute, and her event team does each year while planning the Content Marketing World Conference and Expo.

Joshua Nite, our Senior Content Marketing Manager, was able to snag a few minutes with Stephanie on the last day of Content Marketing World 2019 to learn how her team delivers an amazing experience year after year. Unsurprisingly, success requires a lot of work, data, and content.

In this episode of Break Free B2B, learn how Stephanie and the CMWorld team plans and creates a content stream that builds excitement and demand. One of the top takeaways for me? Building buzz, excitement, and demand is a priority 365 days a year; it’s a constant fixture—something B2B marketers should embed in their strategies.

Break Free B2B Interview with Stephanie Stahl

This short video pulls back the curtain on the data, media insights, community feedback, and hard work that goes into every Content Marketing World. 

  • 00:44 – The data that fuels Content Marketing World
  • 01:30 – Developing the program based on community feedback
  • 02:48 – How the app adds value to the planning process
  • 03:27 – The magic and technology inside the badges
  • 04:25 – Generating demand for the yearly event
  • 06:09 – Breaking free in B2B

Josh: There’s got to be a lot of data behind an event like Content Marketing World. How does that process work?

Stephanie: We’re fortunate that we have a media business that surrounds this big event every year. So we are constantly looking at the data that comes from our blogs. For example, what are the hottest topics? What’s really resonating with the community? What search terms are important to them? What are they looking for? This helps guide us on the topics, the tracks, the speakers, everything we need to program a big event like this. We rely on that data that we get from our media community.

Read: Content Marketing Gold Rush: How to Unearth Content Gold at Industry Events

Josh: How do you create content that builds demand for the event?

Stephanie: We use a lot of the topics that the speakers covered here at the event as the basis for blog content [and] as the basis for our magazine content. We’ll carry the discussions forward. We’ll just keep building on them. We often invite our speakers to contribute content. We invite our speakers to our Twitter chats. We like to keep the conversation in the community going all the time, 365 days a year, if we can.

That helps us in terms of our promotion for the next year. And we have a lot of alumni who are here, but we also have a lot of first-time attendees. And that’s an opportunity to get some really good feedback. You know, the alumni can tell us how things compare with past years … I love to hear from the first-timers, what they loved, what they didn’t like, what they’d like to see next year. 

We like to keep the conversation in the community going all the time, 365 days a year, if we can. – @EditorStahl on creating demand for @CMIContent’s #CMWorld Click To Tweet

How was excitement and demand built for the 2019 event? One way was through an interactive experience. Check out the Greatest Content Marketing Show on Earth.

Josh: What can businesses do to break free?

Stephanie: As content creators, sometimes we try to do everything that we possibly can on every channel. I think it’s important for content teams and marketing teams to go back and say, “What do we need to stop doing? What are we doing that really isn’t giving us the result that we’d like? And how can we then focus more on the things that are working?” So ask yourselves, “What can we stop doing today, so we have more time to do the things we’re really good at?”

B2B brands and marketers, ask yourselves: What can we stop doing today, so we have more time to do the things we’re really good at? – @EditorStahl #BreakFreeB2B #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet

Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few interviews to whet your appetite:

*Disclosure: Content Marketing Institute is a TopRank Marketing client.


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