How To Rise Above the Marketing Noise with Stephanie Stahl


Stephanie Stahl is the general manager of Content Marketing Institute (CMI), where she leads the brand event and digital print in eLearning operations.

In the past, she has served as VP of content marketing for UBM’s technology portfolio, providing strategic guidance on content development, content optimization and audience engagement.

On the podcast, Stephanie discusses some of her biggest takeaways from the recent Content Marketing World conference.

What Is the Content Marketing World Conference?

The Content Marketing World conference is the largest marketing event on the planet, Stephanie says.

It primarily exists to educate the community by dispersing practical, actionable information. Inspiration is a large part of the conference, too.

The conference also attracts a diverse crowd, as both new and established brands are known to attend. Brands that are just starting out are looking for guidance, while the older brands want to be on the frontline of innovation.

Separate Yourself from the Crowd

At the most recent Content Marketing World Conference, one of the biggest subjects discussed was the accessibility of content marketing. At this point, most businesses have a grasp on how to utilize it.

With so many companies carrying out the same content marketing technique, the question naturally arises: how do you separate yourself from the crowd?

While it might seem obvious, rising above the noise involves cranking out the highest quality content possible. This means hiring the best teams and focusing on superb writing.

Another way to set yourself apart is through authenticity, which will serve as your brand’s “human face,” as Stephanie puts it. And it can’t be faux authenticity, because consumers will sniff it out. It must be something that you and your brand truly care about.

Marketers Need to Be Strategists

For the best success, content marketers need to become a strategic leader who thinks outside the box. They need to look at all the material being produced and be able to connect the thematic dots.

Some of the best companies will even get strategic with hiring, as they’ll hire journalists for their storytelling experience and ability to ask the right questions.

With a great collection of editors, writers and creative, a modern marketing agency should almost look like a publishing house.

Video Is One of the Best Tools in Your Arsenal

Stephanie believes that every marketer should have a video strategy.

While it might seem daunting, successful video doesn’t require a full-on studio production house. Your phone is good enough. Not only that, but using your phone for video harkens back to the importance of authenticity.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to the content of the videos. Short form demos, interviews with key executives and man on the street interviews are just a few of the possibilities.

Because you’re releasing these videos on social media, they only need to be about 30 seconds to 5 minutes.

In fact, video is so prevalent that it was everywhere during the Content Marketing World Conference. Media that’s normally comprised solely of written material were walking around and capturing video.

Samantha and her team were at it, too, shooting live video for Twitter and Facebook. Live video is even more effective on social media, in terms of climbing the algorithmic hierarchy.

Which Platforms Should You Focus On?

Once you have quality content, your second consideration should be figuring out which platform it will do best on. Good content will shine anywhere you put it, but you should pay attention to who your target demographic is.

If you’re targeting millennials, you have no choice but to utilize social media. While millennials were initially criticized for being poor communicators, Stephanie contends that they actually do a lot of communicating.

Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram or Facetime, the younger generations are communicating in a whole new way. To bring it back around, video is a huge part of this new communication, so it’s important to get your foot in that world.

What Is the Future of Artificial Intelligence in Marketing?

All marketers should be paying attention to artificial intelligence (AI), Stephanie believes. While it might initially seem like a scary concept, due to its highly technical nature, its impact on marketing is easier to sift out.

For example, AI can help you to extract data and insights, which will allow you to make more informed decisions going forward.

This is particularly helpful when it comes to personalization, which is the key to good marketing. You want to make sure you’re targeting this most precise demographic for your product and AI can do wonders in finding it.

AI isn’t only the future of marketing; it’s the present. Many companies, such as Concord and Skyward, are already implementing AI into their platforms.

Some might worry that AI will push out the creatives and make marketing a cold business, but Stephanie thinks that the opposite will happen. AI will take care of all the boring, technical work, allowing the creatives to focus on the human element.

What Is the Future of Content Marketing?

While the content marketing space might get more crowded in the future, Stephanie doesn’t view this as a bad thing. With so many companies doing well, it becomes easier to discover what works and what doesn’t.

Technology will continue to advance and influence strategies. Despite this, great writing will still be the primary method for differentiating yourself and your brand.

However fancy and hands-off technology becomes, Stephanie believes that the human element and authenticity will never go out of style.

Where Can You Learn More About Stephanie Stahl?

If you’d like to hear more of Stephanie’s ideas, you can reach her at

She also regularly contributes to the Content Marketing Institute blog, which is updated daily with useful information.

Stephanie can also be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.


About Stephanie Stahl

Stephanie is an experienced content creator/editor/strategist, long-time UBM employee, and General Manager of the Content Marketing Institute.