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5 take-aways from the 2018 ContentDay

The most important trends for content marketers

Portrait von Susanne Holzer. | © punkt & komma
Susanne Holzer
Content editor
Those of you who attended the 2018 ContentDay know that it was another milestone in the history of the event. At the venerable halls of Imlauer Hotel Pitter in Salzburg, Austria’s biggest content conference celebrated its fifth birthday on April 11, 2018. And we had all the must-haves of a great birthday party: lots of sunshine, cool guests, tasty bites (of knowledge) – and, of course, balloons! 
Begrüßung am Content Day 2018. | © punkt & komma
#Ihavethisthingwithcontent …
About 300 participants seized the chance to mingle with the crème de la crème of German-speaking content marketing. 20 renowned speakers – ranging from German marketing guru Björn Tantau to Christian Broscheit of Searchmetrics and Mario Berger of Google Austria – shared the latest trends and tips with their keen audience.
Luftballons mit Flyer im Foyer. | © punkt & komma
Goodie Bag am ContentDay 2018.
What?! You missed it?
You were in bed with the flu or on a business trip to Timbuktu and couldn’t come to the ContentDay? Well, you definitely missed something! But because we’re nice people, we have collected the five most important take-aways of the conference day for you.

The 5 key take-aways from ContentDay18

Branded video content, SEO tricks, story marketing – the topics presented at the 2018 ContentDay couldn’t have been any more varied. However, there were a number of key trends and topics that kept resurfacing in most expert talks, making them worthy of sharing them with you …

1. Less gut feeling, more data

Creativity and gut instinct are two of the most important tools of content production. However, even the most seasoned wordsmiths should take a look at the numbers from time to time. Targeted monitoring is a vital part of modern content marketing!

Which of your articles perform well, which ones are less successful? What topics did your users like? You may think you already know the answer – but looking at your reports might paint a different picture. Define some key goals and KPIs and don’t be afraid to treat your work to a reality check. After all, this helps you to continuously improve your content! 
Dietmar Rietsch am ContentDay 2018

2. Less keywords, more context

No doubt, SEO basics and keywords are an indispensable part of any content marketer’s work. And by “less keywords”, we by no means want you to altogether skip this vital step of content optimisation!

However, ways of communicating are continuously changing – and so are search engines. To ensure that your readers find your content on a certain topic, it’s no longer enough to jam-pack your copy with a certain keyword. After all, people don’t think in keywords, they think in context – and, accordingly, search engines are looking for this kind of context.

For instance, did you know that searching for the terms “Star Trek + captain + TV series from the 60s” is enough to get the result “James T. Kirk”? Consequently, it’s important to treat all aspects of a certain topic, to answer your readers’ questions and, quite simply, produce the best piece of content there is on your topic. Following this approach, you won’t have to worry about factors like “keyword density” ...  
Ines Eschbacher und Maria Schinnerl im Gespräch

3. The focus lies on the user

Basically, search engines work on a simple principle: They want to provide the user with the best answer to his or her question. What does this mean for you? Quite simply, that you have to make your content the best answer! To be able to do this, you first have to know what your users are actually looking for. What do they like and need, what exactly do they want from your content?

To answer these questions, you have to really know your target audience. Work with personas, put yourself in their position and talk to them in an authentic and non-condescending way. After all, they will only read your content if it is of any use to them – otherwise, the next search result is only one click away!
ContentDay-Teilnehmerin schmökert in Folder.

4. Bad content is toxic

What’s the worst thing that can happen to your web content? That nobody reads it. Too bad, you may think, but still no reason not to post that boring board meeting speech your boss wants to see on your website. Right? Wrong!

Bad content isn’t just ineffective, it’s noxious! Users will immediately react to poor-quality content. If they don’t find what they are looking for, they are off to the next search result before you can even say “board meeting speech” – and won’t come back for your next good-quality article.

Successful content marketing is about having the courage to throw stuff out. Don’t be afraid to look at your content from an objective point of view and kick out everything that’s not good enough. There are many examples of websites that suddenly had more traffic after offering less (but better) content. Focus on the content that performs well!
ContentDay-Teilnehmer mit Luftballons

5. Voice search is the future of content marketing

Even if it might seem like stuff of the distant future for you: Topics like voice search, artificial intelligence and machine learning are highly relevant for today’s content marketers. Why? Quite simply, because 20 per cent of today’s Google searches are already voice-based. And if you want your content to be found by Alexa, Siri and the like, you have to structure it in a certain way. Ideally in a way that makes it better than any other content on this topic out there. After all, voice assistants only deliver one single search result – the top-ranked one.

What does this mean for you? Think about the actual question your users might ask in their voice search and try to provide a precise answer to it. Short, precise and relevant texts that answer a certain question are perfect to be used as Featured Snippets – and those are anything but a thing of the future!   
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