Content Marketing 2014 – What I learned at FusionMex

Content Marketing 2014 - What I learnt at FusionmexContent Marketing is already an everyday part of many businesses.

If you are not creating content to engage your potential customers, then perhaps you should first read my previous post on why you need to be.

Recently I was in Antwerp, Belgium attending a conference on this very topic.

The conference was called FusionMex and there were some great presentations that I want to go over in this post.

I will not cover every presentation I saw, but I will instead give you the highlights as I saw them.

You can learn what I learned, without attending or paying the fee!

Can’t beat that, right?



Lee Odden – Top Rank Marketing

Attract, Engage, Convert – How to Be the Best Answer Wherever Customers Are Looking

Lee OddenLee’s opening keynote presentation, was a great start to the day. He started with some key points about content marketing:

  • figure out what do you want to be known for
  • then create content worth sharing

Sounds simple, right?

But he expanded on this of course, giving some useful pointers for your content:

  • use images because people are lazy and don’t read

(I have focused on this before in my post – Visual is the new black)

  • answer people’s questions and problems
  • connect emotionally – how?
    • inform and entertain
    • storytelling
    • customer created content

These last three are all points I see being mentioned again and again.

They are the key to modern content marketing Lee also touched on some other interesting points and ideas such as

  • content co-creation (Content marketing world – secret agent campaign) working with others to create content
  • always keep repurposing in mind – From an ebook -> blog posts and social media snippets (or vice versa)

This lead us to the next presentation, by the charismatic Doug Kessler.

He had some great ideas to share too!

Doug Kessler, Velocity UK

Taking a Stand: Content Marketing as Evangelism

Doug KesslerDoug’s presentation was very inspiring because he was extremely passionate about his topic.

He was basically talking about –



How to make home run content: content that gets loved and shared like crazy.

The fundamentals of such content are, to be:

  • helpful
  • entertaining
  • convincing

But some of the most viral content you can create is content that actually takes a stand.

Not just your run-of-the-mill content.

Something that excites people.

Gets them talking.

Gets them sharing.

Here are some of the ideas for content you could create:

  1. “What content would I produce if I didn’t need this job?”
  2. “What do I dare not say but really believe to be true?”
  3. “What could I say that would actively alienate our worst prospects while attracting our best?”

He brought up some great examples of unconventional content that he and his team had created such as – CRAP.

Here is the post on his blog – Crap: The Biggest Threat to B2B Content Marketing

I loved Doug’s ideas because today there is too much noise and it is hard to stand out in such an environment.

Not only that, but by taking a stand and writing what you believe, you fundamentally attract people who like what you do and say.

So you get to work with customers that you want to.

Not people who don’t agree with you.

Kelly Hungerford,

Master Class: Content Marketing in Practice

Kelly-HungerfordI really enjoyed Kelly’s class, not because she is a foreigner living in Switzerland like me (we bonded later on over drinks), but because she shared her experiences in the trenches.

Kelly has formed’s Content Marketing strategy from day one.


So she has had to learn things the hard way.

1. She started out (despite her team not understanding the need) creating content from the very beginning.

2. Early on she saw the necessity of creating personas (customer avatars) so that they were creating content that addressed real people’s needs.

Kelly has continued this process on a monthly basis, using real customers as the basis for her personas as well as XPlane’s Empathy Maps (a great tool for defining personas).

3. One of the best things Kelly has done at is creating a great community and leveraging that for content and engagement.

This has included having people on a weekly Twitter chat – Biz Heroes

It has also enabled her to get awesome people doing guest posts on the Paperli Blog.

She has also hired some of her most knowledgeable users and added them to the Paperli team.

4. Last but not least, Kelly highlighted that you must always be adding images to post!

We have heard that before, right?

Mike Corak, Ethology

Topics, not Keywords – How to make Content Marketing work for Brands

Mike-CorakMike was the second last speaker at the conference and managed to open our eyes even wider with his presentation.

1. His main focus was on using topics not keywords since Google started focusing on content.

You must research keywords based on broad categories that are useful to your business goals, and not focus on keywords specifically.

Prioritize your content based on the objectives of your business. That is your end goal after all.

2. Mike highlighted that you must write the best content for what the user is looking for, and do not try to cheat Google. It won’t work anymore!

3. One of the other main points of his presentation is to audit existing content to improve your outcomes, and give you an idea of where you stand.

Start by auditing your existing content based on available analytics (web, social, sales).

Find which categories are working and which are not – depending on what your business priorities are of course.

Some things to look for in an audit include:

  • bounce rate of content
  • what content is in the top 10 search results
  • what is the click through rate for that content
  • what are your conversions from that content

4. Keep in mind though, that basic on-page SEO is still very important.

5. Last but not least –  the best results are found through using a proper process for your content development:

  • plan
  • research
  • implement
  • measure
  • tweak

Mike showed an example during his presentation where they significantly increased the results for a major US insurer by following these steps and focusing on categories.

Jay Baer, Convince and Convert

Youtility – Why Smart Marketing is about Help not Hype

Jay-BaerNot considering the fact that Jay Baer is now apparently the most tweeted digital marketer, his presentation was the highlight of the day for me.

Not only was it extremely well presented, and full of great examples, the main message resonated for me and my business right now.

Be Useful.

And as an early bird for the conference, I got a copy of Jay’s great new book – Youtility, where he signed “Ashley, Be Useful!” inside the cover!

So what exactly is being useful all about?

The main ideas are:

  1. Stop trying to sell to your customers
  2. Instead provide as much help as you can – for free

Being extremely helpful to your customers in whatever way makes sense for them and your products, is the number one goal of modern marketing.

If you think about it, it makes complete sense.

Who are you going to remember next time you need to buy something?

  • The company that shouted the loudest (TV ads, billboards)
  • The company that helped you fix a problem for free through content you created?

If you chose the billboard option – you are in the wrong game.

Jay provided loads of examples of useful marketing both in his presentation and his book.

He has motivated me to completely change my content marketing focus and strategy.

I am now 100% focused on being more useful to my potential customers.
Click To Tweet

I want to be memorable.

To be their goto guy for web design and websites in general.

Are you being useful?

In Summary

I am not going to summarize all of the above, but will say this – content marketing is evolving and we have to keep up.

Stop doing what everyone else is doing – because everyone else is already doing that!

And be useful.

Be someone your customers will love.

You will get your 1000 raving fans in no time!

 If you enjoyed this post, why not share it with your followers!


About the Author Ashley Faulkes

I am an Aussie WordPress Web Designer living in Switzerland. My goal is to make your WordPress website awesome, and get you more customers via SEO and amazing content. I am also a huge fan of the outdoors, so I am often in the mountains doing crazy stuff. I discovered blogging and online marketing while recovering from a shattered leg I got while skiing, and I have not stopped learning since! Join me in reaching for the top!

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16 responses to “Content Marketing 2014 – What I learned at FusionMex”

  1. […] Mike fulfilled the promise of the integrated content marketing approach as you can read it in the interview below and further focused on – among others – how to conduct a content audit, taxonomy and working with a more developed content plan. Hummingbird was an intro to that experience-driven and integrated concept, after which Mike showed a framework to integrate efforts and create an ecosystem for search and content success.Visitor Ashley Falkes summarized Mike’s keynote – and several other keynotes and presentations – well in his blog post “Content Marketing 2014 – What I learned at FusionMex“. […]

  2. Doug Kessler says:

    Great summary, Ashley.
    It was a really great event and you’ve nailed what were the high points for me, too.
    There was a real buzz at the event — the emergence of a new marketing discipline.
    Thanks for the write-up.

  3. Samir says:

    Great post,

    Well I’m still learning content marketing stuff and I guess the post have given me a new insight and lot of informative tips.

  4. Hi Ashley,

    Well done on this post – it’s great and jam packed full of information! The most useful to me is… #2 Doug Kessler, Velocity UK.

    Great stuff – Sharing!!

    • Hey Naomi
      Glad you liked Doug’s wisdom. He was a great guy to meet and had a lot of motivating things to say!
      I am going to try his ideas soon too.

  5. Adrienne says:

    Hey Ashley,

    Sounds like a great conference and thank you for summarizing for us some of what you learned. These tips alone are tremendously helpful.

    I got something from them all but I resonated with what Jay said the most.

    I was reading a post earlier today and he was basically saying why are you doing what you’re doing. Most people’s answers are because everyone else is doing it but they couldn’t give him a real reason so they honestly didn’t know. If you’re just following the leaders and being like everyone else then of course you’re not going to stand out. What a shame but then again that just means that perhaps we will. 😉

    Thank you Ashley and I know you had a great time.


    • Hi Adrienne
      Indeed we all have the urge to just copy what the successful people are doing, but it is not that simple, right?
      The successful people have other followings and skills, and it is not straightforward to reproduce their results.
      I have learnt this the hard way myself.
      But if we try to do something a little different, perhaps we can shine!
      take care

  6. Hey Ashley,

    Sounds like a very informative, yet productive conference that you went to. Not to toot my own horn, but I do have to give myself a pat on the back. I’ve made some changes towards the end of the previous year that goes along what you learned at the conference. Within the last couple of months I’ve started seeing much better results with the fine-tuning of my blog. But in summary, I pretty much had to find my own voice and rolled with it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Hey Sherman
      Great to hear that you are seeing results from your changes.
      It is a hard thing to do, and I also am constantly tweaking. Always learning, and hopefully improving!
      I need to pop over to your blog again soon
      thanks for popping over

  7. maxwell ivey says:

    Hi Ashly; this was very generous of you to share your notes from the conference. I always thought you were being useful. I can only think of one email since I’v known you that was written to sell something. It was when you announced your twitter course. And your line up of podcast guests has been an impressive list of leaders in the fields of online marketing. Just to let you know the url with my comment is a new blog I started to share my personal story. There will be some overlap, but if I can manage it all; the result will b two blogs with clear missions and corresponding audiences. thanks for being such a good friend to me and my site. Take care my friend, max

    • Hi Max
      Was a pleasure and honor to attend the conference, and it really opened my eyes to a few things i need to be doing with my content.
      That is worth the price and visit.
      Then I can also share these learnings with others like you!
      Glad you are having fun with your hangouts and also starting a new blog. I think there is always room for more, when you have something useful to say (which you do).
      But of course you need to keep the content clear and focused!
      have a great week

  8. […] Put real people from your target audience at the center of as much content as you can and get started converting your passive audience of readers to word of mouth marketers. Not sure where to begin? Start by using a question that they’ve asked to guide your content creation (note: at the event, Kelly referred to XPlane’s Empathy Maps as a tool for defining personas, as mentioned by Ashley Faulkes in his great conference overview). […]

  9. […] Lee Odden Featured in this Event Wrap up from Antwerp’s Content Marketing Europe 2014 Conferen… […]

  10. Don Purdum says:

    Hi Ashley,

    It’s my first time to your site.

    What an amazing conference. I don’t go to as many as I should and after reading your post it re-enforces for me why I really should.

    I have to admit, of all the things you wrote here, Mike Corak’s section hit me the hardest. I’ve been struggling with the whole context of keywords for about a year now, especially with the changes Google has been making to their search engine.

    When I look in Keyword Planner, it really is driven more by phrases than keywords anyway. So, when he said, “topics not keywords” I was blown away. It’s so simple. I have known that but couldn’t think of a better way to say it.

    Thanks for sharing your experience! I came by way of Andrew Warner’s article that he posted today. I’m glad we’ve been introduced.

    Thanks again,
    Don Purdum

    • Hi Don
      Glad you popped over.
      The conference was a fun one for sure.
      There was a lot of great information and it was only a one day event.
      Mike is a great guy. He really has a lot of experience in the industry and his talk was based on his recent experience with a big insurer in the US.
      The others also work in the trenches, so it was all really valuable stuff.
      hope to see you round