Website Design: Orbit Media Studios
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Content Jam is a one-day conference for people who create or curate content for the web. Experts in content strategy and creation, SEO, analytics, promotion, and marketing automation will share their smartest tools and techniques. You’ll learn how to create, manage, promote, share, and measure your content marketing efforts.
You’ll be happy. Your boss will be happy. And most of all, your audience will be happy. Learn more >>
Andy is the Strategic Director and co-founder of Orbit Media Studios, an award-winning, 30-person web design firm in Chicago. Over the past 13 years, Andy has provided web strategy advice to more than 1000 businesses.
As a speaker, Andy’s goal is to make each event as practical as possible for the audience by teaching immediately applicable techniques for anyone in a marketing role.
He addresses the tough web strategy questions directly with simple explanations. Andy is comfortable in front of large groups in a seminar format, where presentations are an "all-my-best-advice" approach based on the latest web marketing research. He's also a voice of reason in panel discussions.
Listed on Crains Chicago Tech 50
Authored 150+ articles on web marketing, posted on the Orbit blog and other sites including Copyblogger, Marketing Profs, Content Marketing Institute, Problogger, Small Business CEO, SpinSucks, and many others.
Interviewed or featured in media outlets including Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Mashable, Chicago Sun-Times, etc.
Certified in Google Analytics (GAIQ)
Jill Pollack is the founder and director of StoryStudio Chicago, overseeing writing and storytelling training for more than 1,200 students each year. She is a presenter on using stories in our personal and professionals lives and was again included in the Newcity Lit Top 50 list of literary leaders in Chicago.
As an award-winning communications consultant, writer, and editor, Jill has helped Fortune 1000 companies, higher education institutions, and not-for-profits take advantage of changing technology to deepen their connections to customers, employees, and other stakeholders.
Tim is the author of several books on media and marketing, including "Return on Engagement: Content, Strategy and Design Techniques for Digital Marketing" from Focal Press and "Managing Interactive Media Projects," an interactive media process guide from Delmar-Cengage Learning.
Tim’s books are used at higher learning institutions across the U.S. and Europe, including Johns Hopkins University, the Art Institutes, and Full Sail University, among others. He regularly presents at conferences, offering workshops on various aspects of marketing, digital media, social responsibility, and entrepreneurship.
Tim has contributed to a variety of publications, including Spin Sucks, Marketing Profs, and Business Insider. He also sits on the board of Climate Ride, a national charity bike ride for sustainable solutions, as well as the advisory council for Eco-Andersonville.
Jill Salzman is currently growing her third entrepreneurial venture, The Founding Moms, the world’s first and only kid-friendly collective of monthly meetups for mom entrepreneurs.
A graduate of Brown University and law school after that, she started Paperwork Media LLC, a music management firm and her first entrepreneurial venture. (Her parents still wonder why she opted for the music business over the seductive and alluring career of a bankruptcy attorney.) She went on to create The Bumble Brand, LLC, to sell Bumble Bells, audible anklewear for the newest of human beings (she sold it in 2011.) Having built two successful companies, she launched The Founding Moms to connect mom entrepreneurs around the globe with one another.
A sought-after speaker, Jill has been featured in national media outlets including CNN’s Headline News, People Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Daily Candy Kids, Business Matters, WGN TV and WAHM Talk Radio. Her TED talk, Why Moms Make The Best Entrepreneurs, received rave reviews. She was recently named one of the Top 50 Women To Watch In Tech. Jill’s been profiled in several books: The Solopreneur Life: 42 Solo-Business Owners Speak the Truth on Dreaming Big, Failing Forward, and Calling Your Own Shots, A Cup of Cappuccino for The Entrepreneur’s Spirit, Volume II, CRAVE Chicago and was recently featured in a film on social media. Jill currently writes for NBC5′s small business blog, Inc. Well, and she’s been published in The New York Times and eHow.com. She released her first book, Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs, published on January 12, 2012 through Piggott Press.
In her spare time, Jill enjoys kloofing, traveling to small towns, and erasing her daughters’ crayon artwork from the kitchen walls.
Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communication firm. She also is the founder of the professional development site for PR and marketing pros, Spin Sucks Pro, and co-author of Marketing In the Round.
Gini is the author of the PR and marketing blog, Spin Sucks, which is a 2012 Cision Top 100 Blog, the 2010 and 2011 Readers Choice Blog of the Year, a Top 42 Content Marketing Blog from Junta42, a top 10 social media blog from Social Media Examiner, and an AdAge Power 150 blog. And she is co-host of Inside PR, a weekly podcast about communications, social media, and where they all meet and intersect.
She delivers numerous keynotes, panel discussions, coaching sessions, and workshops across North America and Europe on the subject of using online technology in communication, marketing, sales, and HR.
Ian Belknap is a Chicago writer/performer and founder/curator/Overlord of WRITE CLUB, the world’s greatest competitive readings series that is currently in six North American cities with more on the way. WRITE CLUB has been named Best Literary Event in the 2013 Chicago Reader poll, Best Live Reading Series by Chicago Magazine, a Top Five for Literary Events in New City, the Number One Critics’ Picks in the 2012 Time Out Chicago, Best Reinvention of the Reading Series in Creative Loafing (Atlanta), and was called “the punchiest thing to hit literature since Hemingway” by the Chicago Reader.
He is author/performer of the solo shows Wide Open Beaver Shot of My Heart: A Comedy With a Body Count, Bring Me the Head of James Franco, That I May Prepare a Savory Goulash in the Narrow and Misshapen Pot of His Skull, Terminal Ferocity, and Uncle Dad is Ripshit, You Guys, as well as performing in dozens of live lit shows in Chicago. In 2014, the WRITE CLUB anthology Bare-Knuckled Lit: The Best of WRITE CLUB will be available from Hope and Nonthings Publishing.
WRITE CLUB has appeared at the Chicago Humanities Festival, the Decatur (GA) Book Festival, the Fillet of Solo Festival, and the Poetry Foundation. Ian has presented to organizations that include TEDx Greenville (SC), Arts & Business Council, League of Chicago Theatres, and has been a guest lecturer at DePaul University and Columbia College Chicago.
Ian teaches at StoryStudio Chicago and independently. Ian is partner with Samantha Irby in the comedy blog irbyandian.com, an advice column for jerks, written by assholes. WRITE CLUB site: writeclubrules.com; Ian’s blog: ianbelknap.com.
Mana Ionescu believes in purpose and storytelling as the keys to digital marketing success. Mana is the founder of Lightspan Digital where her team focuses on driving traffic to clients’ websites and building profitable connections through social media and content marketing.
From Techweek to CES, from Social Media Week to MPI TechCon, from 312Digital to DePaul University, Mana took the stage over 40 times in the past 2 years, busting social media myths and showing measurable results are possible.
Mana is a passionate SCUBA diver and opera lover and a … wannabe runner who took up half marathons a couple years ago. She was born and raised in communist Romania by her grandparents and lived in Bulgaria before moving to the United States. She is slowly forgetting four of the five languages she once spoke.
As principal advisor at Anchor Advisors, Ltd, Brad Farris guides business owners through the pitfalls and joys of growing their business. Brad is a speaker and author, and also heads EnMast.com, an online business owner community. Brad is passionate about business and helping business owners find better ways to do things, make more money and enjoy life more.
I'm a writer and social media strategist.
I craft quality social media content and audience - driven strategy for small businesses, start-ups and non-profits. I’ve worked as a community manager for higher education and mid-sized consumer brands.
I’ve written for Chicagoist, Time Out Chicago, and Not For Tourists about everything from rock concert poster art to Chicago soul food.
I'm also well-versed in digital analytics and measurement. I train bloggers, businesses and non-profits on how to use digital analytics to optimize their web presence, and how to create an online content strategy.
I also run a digital publication. The Learned Fangirl, is focused on the geekier side of pop culture, fandom, and technology. TLF has seven regular writers, and thanks to our collective insights, I’ve spoken on Chicago Public Radio and at conferences like BlogHer.
Marti Konstant, founder of Konstant Change, is a tech marketing veteran and growth hacker focused on kickstarting market demand for startups, small businesses, and B2B tech companies.
As Vice President of Marketing at Open Kernel Labs (OK Labs), she defined the mobile virtualization space for device security and created demand within the global mobile device market; taking the company from launch to acquisition in 6 years (acquired 2012).
Marti’s laser focus on lead gen programs generated a 3-year average of 72% of closed deals at OK Labs.
She began her career as a communications designer, headed up her own marketing communications firm, and launched marketing and branding programs for companies including Westell, Tellabs, Mobius Management Systems and Platinum Technology (CA Technologies).
Dark chocolate lover, persistent optimist, and avid long distance runner.
These are some of the James Ellises on Google: Fitness model, Irish stage actor, Four-star US Navy Admiral, British cryptographer, Dean of USC Business School, British stationary store, Mayor of Ottowa, Australian politician, and Co-Inventor of the Usenet. This James Ellis is not them. He is taller and knows Google Analytics.
Digital strategy is what I've been doing for more than ten years under a variety of job titles.
Specialties: Digital Channel Strategy and Content Marketing Strategy. Also: Web Marketing and Promotion, Brand Development and Repositioning, Web Analytics, Social Networking/Emergent Web Technology, Online Media Buying (SEO/SEM/PPC), Presentations, Training, and Metaphor Creation.
Susan Silver is President of Argentum Strategy Group, a Chicago marketing strategy consulting firm. After spending 10 years in Brand Management at Kraft Foods and additional time running marketing for Equal Sweetener, Susan started Argentum seven years ago.
Argentum specializes in working with small to mid-sized businesses and provides clients with team members who act like a Timeshare VP of Marketing®. Clients have ranged from Power2Switch, a technology start up to Insight Promotions, a company that has automated the process of toy insertion into cereal boxes.
As an active mentor in the Chicagoland entrepreneurial community, Susan teaches marketing at 1871, works with students at Booth’s Polsky Center, and is a TechStars mentor. She is also on the advisory board for GiveForward and ZipFit. In her free time, Susan is an intrepid traveler, passionate water skier and baker of tasty cookies.
For nearly 20 years, Deana Goldasich has built content strategies for high-profile brands such as the Home Shopping Network, Wolfgang Puck, Kodak, American Cancer Society, Janus and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Today, Deana Goldasich is CEO of Well Planned Web, a content marketing agency that helps “trailblazing” B2Bs win customers through compelling information, education and thought leadership. The agency was a finalist for the 2012 Content Marketing Agency of the year — with a client list that includes technical service providers, financial services, professional services, healthcare services and B2B e-commerce.
Deana brings a no-hype, high-energy approach to her speaking. Her passion for killer content is rivaled only by her love for Geocaching and an addiction to Jelly Belly jelly beans.
Jodi Navta is a Michigan jock (swimming), a Northwestern nerd (MS Journalism) and started her professional career at Sports Illustrated Magazine as (no not swim suit model…) a photo editor. From 2000 to 2011 she held a number of operations and strategy positions at a variety of startups and her own companies. She is an entrepreneur at heart with deep experience managing content creation, product development, marketing strategy and brand messaging. Her entrepreneurial spirit combined with a solid background in content creation and publishing work with clients like Discovery, National Geographic, Pearson and Houghton Mifflin is at the core of everything she does.
Navta joined Coyote in 2011 as the Vice President of Marketing and Communications, and has built the department and programs from scratch.
Navta earned Academic All-American and NCAA finalist status at the University of Michigan four years in a row and represented the United States at the World University Games in Fukuoka, Japan. She lives in Chicago with her husband Ryan and daughters Uma (5) and Peregrine (4).
An actor and lawyer, Sean McGinnis has been working in digital marketing since early 1999 and possesses expertise in search engine optimization, content marketing, and pay per click and a variety of other digital disciplines.
He has served as the general manager for an online learning business in the legal field, led a team of search experts, and currently leads digital marketing for Sears PartsDirect.
He frequently writes, speaks, and teaches classes on a variety of digital marketing disciplines including SEO, content strategy, social media, and more.
He recently joined the faculty of Elmhurst College as an adjunct professor, where he will be teaching a social media class to MBA students.
Keith Ecker is the Content Strategist and a former Vice President of Public Reputation Services at Jaffe PR, a full-service legal marketing and PR agency. He formerly operated his own consultancy, providing services to such clients as Travelzoo, AOL, LexisNexis, FTI Consulting, Guidance Software, DePaul University and others. Prior to that, he was the Technology and Online Editor at the national legal magazine InsideCounsel. His work has appeared in such outlets as The Huffington Post, Technori.com, Bloomberg Law, The Onion A.V. Club, TimeOut Chicago, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, ChicagoNow and the Chicago Theater Beat, among others.
Keith has spoken on the topics of social media, content marketing and PR at multiple industry events. He also is a faculty member at StoryStudio Chicago where he teaches business and creative writing.
A former stand-up comic and improviser, Keith is the creator of two of Chicago's most popular monthly storytelling series, Essay Fiesta and Guts & Glory. He also occasionally teaches writing workshops through 826CHI and Dabble.co, and he has performed at pretty much every literary showcase in Chicago, including Write Club, Story Club, The Encyclopedia Show, The Paper Machete and 2nd Story.
You can learn more about him at keithecker.com.
Luvvie Ajayi is an award-winning writer and digital strategist who believes in the power of technology for social change. She's been blogging for 10 years, AwesomelyLuvvie.com is her entertainment and humor blog where she covers all things pop culture from TV to technology to life’s random adventures.
Luvvie is a former columnist for EBONY.com, has contributed her writing to XOJane, Clutch Magazine and Uptown Magazine, and has been featured on Essence.com, The Root, Hello Beautiful and Madame Noire. She’s also winner of the Women’s Media Center 2012 Social Media Award.
Her background is in Communications and New Media, and as a social media strategist, she helps clients figure out how to use the various online tools to further their missions. She has presented at several conferences over the years on these topics. They include: The Nonprofit Technology Conference, BlogHer, AFTRA Broadcast Conference, Chicago Social Media Summit, and the Social Media For Nonprofits Conference, among others.
Luvvie is passionate about social justice and is addicted to shoes. She combined these loves and founded The Red Pump Project (Red Pump) with Karyn Watkins in March 2009. Red Pump is a national nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls, using red shoes! Their work has earned them a Congressional Record from the U.S. House of Representatives as well as recognition from the City of Chicago Council and much more.
Kate spent two years training Walmart associates throughout the United States and Canada on environmental and social sustainability. Along the way, she overhauled the structure and interface of the system Walmart used to measure the positive impact of their associate's efforts. The resulting system wound up being developed into a separate desktop product, although let's face it: it probably morphed into an app years ago!
As a project manager with Mightybytes, a web design and digital company located in Chicago, Kate ensures that her projects have goals and KPI's identified BEFORE the design and dev work is done.
Her biggest professional accomplishment is having O’Reilly Media put one of their iconic engraved animals on the cover of her book: The Civic Apps Competition Handbook. It’s a pheasant, y’all!
An engineer by education and marketer by choice, Steve uses data and analytics to help firms generate demand, establish thought leadership and strengthen the company brand. His expertise includes topics ranging from marketing automation and demand generation to email marketing.
He currently serves as the Director of Demand Generation for Crain Communications/Business Insurance, where he uses marketing automation to grow readership, increase ad sales and develop revenue-generating lead gen products.
Before Crain he led the marketing team for tech services provider Laurus Technologies, and has served in product management and marketing roles for UT Starcom, Tellabs and Lucent Technologies. And, yes, he got his start as a development engineer for AT&T.
In his free time, he volunteers for several job transition support organizations, is facilitator of the St. Raphael Job Transition Ministry in Naperville, and serves on the board of Career Place of Barrington.
Film Row Cinema Building, 8th Floor
1104 South Wabash, Chicago, IL 60605
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Sessions at Content Jam are facilitated by industry leaders and are approximately 45-60 minutes long, including allotted time for attendee questions. Our sessions are separated into four tracks:
1) Strategy sessions that cover brand messaging, personas, and best practices for creating content strategies that work.
2) Creation sessions that address storytelling, visual content, writing, and other techniques inherent to creating great web content.
3) Promotion sessions that cover SEO, keywords, social media tactics, and building engaged customer communities.
4) Measurement sessions that bring content marketing practices full circle, covering techniques that range from analytics to multivariate testing.
Attendees can attend any track they wish in any order they want. Check back for details on the specific sessions.
Lean startups build better products faster with more efficiency and less cost. What lessons can content marketers and strategists learn from these agile organizations? In this session we’ll discuss how some lean methodologies can be applied to content workflows. Don’t spend endless days planning, writing, designing, approving and launching a campaign. Keep it lean. Save time. Get results faster.
Topics covered in this session:
To paraphrase the old adage, everyone has a story...or a few dozen. Brands are no different. Customers, employees, products, services and the industry sectors in which you operate are all wellsprings of compelling narratives. To mine them, you just need the right mindset.
Identifying your brand’s narratives and selecting the optimal medium through which to express them, whether owned (e.g., website, blog and e-newsletter content) or earned (e.g., press pitches and press releases) is a key element of a content marketing initiative.
Let's have a discussion about:
The Content Marketing and SEO landscapes are as confusing as ever. Despite recent changes, the number and quality of links pointing to your pages are still a critical factor in generating search engine traffic. Join Sean McGinnis, Marketing Director at http://SearsPartsDirect.com as he walks you through a variety of specific link building techniques.
You’ll learn how to use specific types of content to build links and why content is a critical component in link building efforts. Sean will also share a handful of pro-tips; helpful hints to keep in mind as you navigate the world of content creation and link building.
Don’t rely solely on gut instinct when making decisions about content strategy, use web analytics to give context and meaning to your digital content strategy.
This session will help you outline a process for selecting and measuring content goals within Google Analytics and tips for using Google Analytics to help answer your daily content strategy questions.
“I still don’t know how I got Yanni on my home page.” – True quote from a CEO who didn’t position his company before investing in marketing.
Don’t let this very unhappy client be you! Most companies know that a positioning statement can help them, but oftentimes it’s low on the priority list. This workshop focuses on the 5 key things everyone should know when they talk about their company – whether it’s to potential customers, investors, agencies or your own employees.
And even if you already have a positioning statement, we’ll help you refine and tighten yours to make sure that all of your company’s marketing and sales efforts work together efficiently so that you’re not wasting dollars or people time.
Good writing isn't magic. It's hard work, artistry, skill, and plenty of science.
Our brains are hardwired to receive information and ideas through storytelling. How then, as content marketers, can we craft our stories to better engage our audiences? How do we satisfy the need to provide both stories and useful information?
"Story Science" will investigate just how stories work in our brains and what you need to know to tell the best stories in the best way.
In this session you'll:
Join us for a crash course in e-mail marketing. Mana, will bring over 10 years of email marketing experience to teach you everything you need to know about building your lists and powering up your e-mail campaigns.
You will learn:
Performance metrics are critical to content marketing campaigns, but how do you figure out what works best with so many options? Based on a marketing and metrics model adapted from former VP of Google, Avanash Kaushik, this session will help you choose the right metrics for any marketing campaign, content-driven or otherwise.
You will learn:
Scaling any department in a growing organization can be tough. Scaling a new kind of department in a growing organization presents a whole new host of challenges. Building a content marketing strategy requires thinking about your team, your processes, your goals and your objectives in a different way. It requires a new kind of creativity, deep strategy, a willingness to experiment, and, most importantly, the right mix of staff.
In this session be prepared to learn step by step how to build from scratch or re-organize a marketing department centered around content marketing.
Blogging is here to stay, and it can be really beneficial in helping you reach your professional and personal goals. It also allows you to tell your story, to expand your network, and create a platform where you can reach people from all over the world.
The goal of this breakout is to have you leave feeling confident that you have the know-how to blog effectively and tell your stories well online.
In this class, participants will learn about:
This will be an interactive class, with the last 15 minutes being a Q&A.
This class is for: People who want to start blogging and don't know where to start. And people who are blogging but feel a bit overwhelmed, unfocused and unsure still.
It's a fundamental aspect of web marketing: keyphrases. This is step one in every search engine optimization effort and a critical factor in getting web traffic. Ignore keywords and you'll doom your content to obscurity.
Let's not do that. Instead, let's answer these questions...
Finally, we'll talk about how to use these keywords in ways that indicate relevance, improve rankings and pull in visitors like a magnet.
If someone tried to teach you how to drive the way we usually teach Google Analytics (here is every button, switch, option, setting and variation... good luck!), we'd still be stuck in the driveway with our head in the manual. What exactly do I use the second gear for? So let's learn GA the way you learn to drive: Here are the basic concepts (accelerate, brake, steer) and we'll practice them in the mall parking lot until they become second nature.
This workshop will teach you the three pillars of GA: segmentation, campaigns and goals. This is how you learn to think about your audience smarter, how to measure all your marketing and learn its value. With these concepts as natural to you as making a left turn, GA will stop feeling like the cockpit of the space shuttle, and feel more like a go-kart. With fewer kids.
Every business has customers – but only a small percentage have fans – real advocates who not only buy on a regular basis, but evangelize that business to friends, family and co-workers. Could your business benefit from building its fanbase? In this workshop, Jill will walk you through her proven tips and methods to keep your customers coming back for more and get them talking about your business at every chance they get.
After this half-day workshop, you’ll be able to:
Description and objective of the session:
You tell your story best, right? Not always. Your existing clients and customers can provide inspiration for a plethora of new and powerful content. That is, if you let them. This session will help you discover compelling and engaging new content that literally speaks the language of your best customers. See real-life examples, how they evolved and how to weave similar techniques into your own organization’s content marketing.
Key takeaways for participants
Successful panhandling is a lot like content marketing; it's reaching a jaded audience in a saturated market by finding a message that jumps out and moves you to action. We're going to look at tactics and quotes taken from interviews with panhandlers and street performers and see what we can learn to make our content as effective as their cardboard signs.
The stats are compelling.
Using a combination of inbound marketing and marketing automation systems and processes, companies are experiencing an average of 13% increase in overall web traffic and an average of 32% increase in leads (Hupspot, MIT report 2013). Marketing automation users also have a 53% higher conversion rate from marketing response to marketing qualified leads (Aberdeen Group, Marketing Lead Management, 2012)
There are numerous systems to choose from (110 to date). Whether you are a current marketing automation user, or whether you are in the process of choosing a system, the business case for marketing automation is based on metrics and ROI.
This session will cover:
WRITE CLUB is the Live Lit phenomenon with monthly shows in six North American cities, with more on the way. WRITE CLUB is a competitive readings series where writer/performer combatants clash over opposing ideas (Fate vs. Free Will, say, or Work vs. Play) - each writer reads an essay on their topi - not to exceed seven minute - haudience picks a winner and a cut of show proceeds go to charities of the victors' choosing. So far, WRITE CLUB has donated over $10,000 to various non-profits, has built a devoted and growing fan base for this contentious and fast-paced battle of wits.
Come close out Content Jam by joining WRITE CLUB Founder Ian Belknap and a guest artist for a special edition bout on a surprise pair of opposing topics of interest to the Content Jam crowd. Come ready to holler for your favorite at this abbreviated intro to this raucously entertaining, lightning-fast, and whip-smart show.