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Talking Content Marketing – With Chris Marr

content_marketing_chris_marrThe Talking Content Marketing project makes a stop to Scotland and a warm welcome to Chris Marr.

Chris is the Director of Learning Everyday and the Founder of The Content Marketing Academy. He is a podcaster, blogger and a content marketing evangelist. 

Chris explains, “It’s has always been part of my nature to help people, and I use my knowledge and skills to help business people improve the way they communicate through the principles of content marketing.”

“My ultimate aim is to help businesses create better customers.”

Following on from the September Content Marketing Academy event, six questions on the importance of taking the content marketing discipline offline.

Have we got too entrenched focusing heavily on digital spaces to publish content whilst neglecting traditional channels? 

In the past five to seven years we’ve seen a number of people that we now regard as ’thought leaders’ benefit from huge success from focussing on one platform. So there’s something to be said for going all in on one platform. 

That being said, I think for small business owners that are focussing on content marketing, and specifically on digital channels, there is a lot of opportunity to get offline and create your own live events, including workshops, seminars and conferences. 

The live experience that people have when they come together simply cannot be replicated online. 

We know that trust plays a huge role in consumer buying decisions, and that consumers will judge you online before they judge you offline. 

So to bring this all together, even though we do a lot of live events, the digital platforms still play a very important role in content marketing and building awareness and trust. 


What was your biggest challenge creating/curating the Content Marketing Academy conference?

For me there were two main challenges. 

Firstly, making the money work. There are a lot of moving parts, a lot of different people doing different jobs, and multiple suppliers, and therefore a number of different expenses. Managing this effectively was a huge challenge for me. 

Secondly, managing my vision. This is directly related to the first challenge. Ever since we ran the first conference in 2014, I’ve had a clear vision of what I want the event to look like. But managing what I want, versus what we can realistically achieve with the resource that we have has been a discipline for me personally. 

I’m looking at the long term and how I can improve each event over time to eventually create the vision I have for TCMA.


What the biggest piece of learning you took from hosting a conference?

This year I realised just how much work is involved in organising and running an event, and although I delegated a lot of the work, I will be involving my team a lot more in future events. 


Your conference highlights the importance of creating a dialogue and creating participatory experiences. Isn’t this what a content marketing approach should be about?   

This is a great question, and I’ve been saying this for a long time.

A live event is, in essence, a live content marketing experience. 

Here’s why:

  • It builds trust
  • It builds a relationship
  • It’s valuable and educational
  • People who are there chose to be there
  • It builds a community spirit and a culture
  • People who are there are sharing a unique experience


What are your aspirations for the 2016 conference?

We raised the bar quite high in 2015, so I’m really looking at ways to improve the customer experience and add more value.

Obviously we want to grow the conference and have more speakers and more delegates, however, the most important part for us is to build and enhance the community culture. 


If I was your a genie in a bottle and gave you four speakers from 1.30pm, 2.15pm, 3.45pm and closing at 4.30pm, who would they be?

Great question! 

I’d have to go for four people that are highly regarded in the content marketing space by everyone. We invited Marcus Sheridan in 2015 and we’ve already got Mark Schaefer coming over to Scotland in 2016, so the other 4 would have to be Joe Pulizzi, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jay Baer and Ann Handley

Thanks to Chris for sharing his views. To find out more from Chris and for when The Content Marketing Academy 2016 is on the horizon.

Chris on Twitter: click here

Content Marketing Academy: click here 

Learning Everyday: click here

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