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What's current in Content Marketing, as told by Content Israel

This Wednesday I had the pleasure of spending the day at the second annual Content Israel conference, held at the very cool Naagalat Center in Yafo. From innovative Israeli startups, such as Playbuzz, Apester, and Yotpo, to strong Israeli brands, like Maccabi Tel Aviv and Sodastream, this relatively small-scale conference offered a wide variety of professionals who really know what's what when it comes to today's world of Content Marketing. Here's what they had to say:

1. A is for Authenticity: One of the big take aways of just about every single speaker's presentation was "be authentic". Whether it is a video, an email campaign, or a blog post, consumers these days can smell the BS from miles away. Itai Buchler, Sodastream Intl.'s Head of Global Digital, demonstrated this by showing us their video "SodaStream. An island of Peace." The video focuses on the story of how the company fosters coexistence in its factories, not showing a single product. The video has nearly 3 million views on YouTube. With an emphasis on storytelling vs. sales-pitching, bringing authenticity to your content is key.

2. UGC - User Generated Content: On the same note as authenticity, content made by your customers is the way to go. Talia Shani, Director of Content at Yotpo, reports that 92% of users are more likely to be convinced to purchase by UGC. As much as we like to be creators, we must now also be UGC aggregators and curators. Don't worry. From the classic product testimonials to demo videos, the high concentration of mobile devices out there makes it pretty easy for users to generate content and for you to collect it.

3. Snapchat is where it's at: To follow our theme and of authenticity, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Zcast, Hillel Fuld, dedicated an entire presentation to the hip social media application. Snapchat is a storytelling platform and a strong brand tells a strong story. The platform's number of active daily users is growing exponentially. To add to it, Snapchat provides a great venue for UGC. Sounds to me like Mr. Fuld is on to something.

4. Videos are the new black: It's no secret that the new generation of consumers has little patience for reading. They want to be shown, not told. Tal Dahab, COO of automated video application Magisto, revealed that through AB testing they found an increase of 80% conversion on landing pages. If that's not enough, Facebook's algorithm gives a 10 to 1 preference for video over text. That means in 2 years 90% of media will be video. Looks like I better download Magisto.

5. Big data makes for big wins: All of the conference's speakers emphasized authenticity and personalization. The best way to take a potential through the sales funnel is to personalize their sales journey, and with today's technology we can track user's movements through our various marketing channels. It can be time consuming, but ultimately taking the time to analyze your users data in strategic ways is worth it. In a saturated market, a comfortable and personalized consumer experience will put you ahead of your competitors.

It looks like my New Year's resolution will be to master Snapchat ;)

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