August 4th, 2016Chicago, IL


Content Jam, a one-day content marketing conference on November 5, 2015. Experts in content strategy, SEO, analytics, promotion, conversion, and measurement will share their smartest tools and techniques. 

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Listen up, y'all.

Web Strategist and Co-Founder of Orbit Media Studios

Andy Crestodina


Andy has been in the web design and interactive marketing space since January of 2000. In that time, he's helped thousands of people do a better job getting results online. He's a true evangelist for content marketing and ethical digital marketing.

Writing is nice, but face-to-face is better. Andy is a founder of Content Jam, but also a regular speaker both locally and nationally. Andy teaches topics from content strategy and Analytics to social media and search optimization

Together with the team at Orbit Media, Andy has put out some of the best digital marketing advice available, including hundreds of articles, including posts on virtually all of the top marketing websites. Then there's his book, Content Chemistry, currently in it's third edition.

Andy's focus is on Chicago. He's a member of the Illinois Technology Association and the Economic Club of Chicago. He's a mentor and regular teacher at 1871, helping startups get started. Andy still maintains open office hours during which he helps any who signs up with anything they need, from strategy to Analytics, career advice to introductions.

He's also a member of the local B Corporation community. Part of that commitment to the local community can be found in Chicago Cause, the non-profit donation program than Andy help found. Currently in its fifth year, total donations of digital marketing services exceed $275,000.

Andy may be one of the most passionate, committed and generous teachers of marketing in Chicago.

Owner, StoryStudio Chicago

Jill Pollack


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.

CEO of SiteTuners, Chair of Conversion Conference

Tim Ash


Tim Ash is the author of the bestselling book Landing Page Optimization and CEO of SiteTuners. A computer scientist and cognitive scientist by education (his PhD studies were in Neural Networks and Artificial Intelligence), Tim has developed an expertise in user-centered design, persuasion and understanding online behavior, and landing page testing. In the mid-1990s he became one of the early pioneers in the discipline of website conversion rate optimization.

Over the past 15 years, Tim has helped a number of major US and international brands to develop successful web-based initiatives. Companies like Google, Expedia, Kodak, eHarmony, Facebook, American Express, Canon, Nestle, Symantec, Intuit, AutoDesk and many others have benefitted from Tim's deep understanding and innovative perspective.

Today, in addition to providing strategic consulting services, Tim is a highly-regarded keynote speaker and presenter at industry conferences including Internet Retailer, Search Engine Strategies, PubCon and countless others. He is the founder and chairperson of Conversion Conference and a frequent contributor to print and online publications such as ClickZ, Website Magazine, Visibility and others. Since 1995, he as authored more than 100 published articles. In addition, Tim is the online voice of conversion optimization as the host of the Landing Page Optimization podcast on

Tim earned a dual-major Bachelor of Science degree "with highest distinction" in Computer Engineering and Cognitive Science from UC San Diego while studying on under a U.C. Regent's Scholarship (the highest academic scholarship awarded by the UC system). During his PhD studies at UC San Diego he also earned his Masters degree in Computer Science.

Tim enjoys creating fine-art photography, salsa dancing, downhill skiing, and is a certified Tai Chi Chuan martial arts instructor. He lives with his wife and two children within walking distance of the beach in San Diego, California.

Marketing Optimization Advisor, Conversion Optimist

Angie Schottmuller

Edutainment at its big-80's-hair best, Angie cleverly translates complex concepts into fun, actionable insights. Recognized as a "Forbes' Top 10 Online Marketing Expert to Follow in 2015," she's known for empowering attendees with cutting-edge strategies, free "power tools" (templates, scorecards, code snippets, etc.) and tactical takeaways that'll catapult your team and marketing to the next level. With her mash-up of data-driven technology and persuasive psychology, you're guaranteed to leave her session smarter.
COO & Conversion Optimization Expert, Conversion Scientist

Joel Harvey


Joel is a seasoned digital marketing executive and entrepreneur with an 11-year background in executing complex optimization engagements. As a Managing Partner at Conversion Sciences, he and his team design and run hundreds of tests per year. He asks why a lot, challenges assumptions, laughs loud, and constantly reaches for the next level of results. Oh, and he's from the future.

President, Argentum Strategy Group

Susan Silver


Susan Silver is a marketing expert with more than 25 years of experience working with businesses ranging from pre-revenue startups to those in the Fortune 100.

Prior to founding Argentum Strategy Group in 2006, Susan’s background included selling for Procter & Gamble, market research for Westvaco, and general management and P&L leadership positions at Kraft Foods.

Susan earned her MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and graduated cum laude from Duke University with a dual degree in biology and history.

She has been a guest lecturer at Kellogg and at the University of Chicago's Polsky Accelerator. A New Venture Challenge judge, Susan is also a mentor for Techstars, Future Founders and the Polsky Accelerator, and she also teaches about marketing strategy at 1871.

Susan is on the Advisory Board of ZipFit and Po Campo, both Chicago startups, and she has also been an informal advisor to GiveForward, InContext Solutions and The Stylisted.

Digital Strategist, TMP Worldwide

James Ellis


As the Director of Inbound Marketing at TMP Worldwide, James Ellis has been a digital strategy thinker of the MacGyver/Mad Scientist school: hacking disparate digital ideas together to serve a strategic business objective. Whether it was bringing Bucky Badger to the social world or content marketing to the pharmaceutical space, James pushes boundaries regardless of the industry. He currently helps Fortune 500 companies attract and retain the best employees.

Chief Strategist, Compass(x) Strategy

Nancy Goldstein


Nancy Goldstein founded Compass(x) Strategy with a mission to make marketing a Force for Good. As Chief Strategist, Nancy brings 20 years of experience growing businesses of all shapes and sizes. Her specialties include: marketing strategy development, value propositions and positioning, brand communications, new product launches and business model development.

Prior to launching Compass(x) Strategy, Nancy was a Director of Consulting at Zyman Group, a boutique marketing strategy consulting firm founded by Sergio Zyman, the former CMO of Coca-Cola. While at Zyman Group, Nancy led projects for clients as varied as: beverages, not-for-profits, pet food, industrials and financial services.

Nancy honed her business building and marketing skills running some of the world’s most iconic brands, such as Pillsbury Baked Goods, Old El Paso Mexican Food and CorningWare.

Nancy earned an MBA from the Olin School at Washington University and a BA in Economics and Psychology from Tufts University.

In her free time, Nancy serves as Board Member for Climate Cycle, a Chicago non-profit whose mission is to “Inspire students to green our world.”  Please chat with her about music, film and all things Joss Whedon.




Amy Schmittauer


Amy Schmittauer is Founder and Face of, a resource empowering brands to embrace their amazing personality and share it with the world. Leading the charge in video blogging for business, Amy has grown a community of advocates who’ve helped the brand amass more than 1.8 million views in turn growing her personal branding and content marketing coaching business and speaking career. She is a passionate millennial, proud beagle mom, enthusiastic traveler and a Columbus original, all of which consume her Instagram feed.

CEO and Founder, 360Connext

Jeannie Walters


Jeannie Walters is the CEO and Founder of 360Connext, a global customer experience consulting firm dedicated to creating fewer ruined days for customers- improving loyalty, customer retention, and overall customer experience.

Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP), a TEDx Speaker, the Chicagoland Ambassador for the Customer Experience Professionals Association, and a member of the global Editorial Team for Social Media Club. She currently co-hosts a popular business podcast called Crack the Customer Code with Adam Toporek, a global customer service expert.

Jeannie was named one of the Huffington Post's “Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros on Twitter" and the Online Marketing Institute's "Top 20 Digital Marketing Strategists for 2015."

Founder, LightSpanDigital

Mana Ionescu


Mana Ionescu 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.

With her practical and hands-on approach, Mana has been busting digital marketing myths and showing measurable results are possible. A sought-after speaker, she’s been sharing her knowledge as Kellogg Executive Education faculty and via numerous conferences, from Techweek to SES, from Social Media Week to MPI TechCon, from 312Digital to Marketing Profs University.

A staunch STEM education supporter, Mana serves on the Board of the Illinois Math and Science Academy Fund. In 2014, Mana was awarded the “Chicago Woman Making History” Outstanding Entrepreneur Award by the City of Chicago Treasurer’s Office.

Founder/Editor, The Learned Fangirl

Keidra Chaney


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.



Where the magic happens.


Columbia College Chicago

Film Row Cinema Building, 8th Floor
1104 South Wabash, Chicago, IL 60605
Get Directions › 




Time to get schooled.

Sessions at Content Jam are facilitated by industry leaders and are approximately 50 minutes long, including time for your questions. You will have 10 minutes in between to move from session to session. The sessions are separated into four tracks:

1) Strategy sessions cover the big picture: positioning, research, personas and best practices for content strategies.

2) Creation sessions are about making content: writing, visuals, storytelling and all things related to generating compelling web content.

3) Promotion sessions are about driving traffic: keywords and search, email and social media, building connected communities.

4) Measurement sessions bring everything together into metrics. Use Analytics to continually improve; make smarter decisions with greater impact.

You can attend any track you wish in any order you want.

8:15 AM
8:45 AM
Opening Remarks
9:00 AM
Keynote | Context and the Power of Framing - Biasing Your Offer with Irrational Neuromarketing
Tim Ash - Main Room

People don't make "rational” decisions. Your online offers may be laid out in a logical way, and that is costing you a lot of money.

Understand the latest in neuromarketing research to bias visitors subconsciously, and make it more likely that they will take the desired action on your landing page. Learn the power of framing, irrational anchors, and visual biases. Find out what motivates your primitive reptilian brain, and how to skyrocket online conversion rates!

What you will learn:

  • Why you really have three brains, and which one is really in charge
  • How to limit choice overload and focus people on the desired offer
  • How to maximize value by framing and bracketing
  • Why pricing is experienced as pain by the brain
9:50 AM
Strategy | Holy Grail of On-Page Content Optimization
Angie Schottmuller - Main Room

So you found a page that needs optimizing… now what? Got specific data to drive decision making for the next step? Stop the blind, guesswork updates! Before jumping into content creation or changes, leverage data to strategically guide and prioritize the way.

Angie will walk through how to audit the first 15 seconds of a user page visit via five critical event metrics. You'll get the tracking code, target benchmarks, fail reasons, insights, and critical fixes to improve and reveal on-page user experience progression. Prepare to crush your bounce rate and optimize engagement, scrolling and action with tangible data to help prioritize your content strategy.

11:00 AM
Strategy | The Creative Brief: The Secret Ingredient That Will Make All Your Content More Powerful and Effective
Nancy Goldstein - Breakout Room

How do you make sure that every action you take, such as blog posts, videos, AdWords, is not only consistent with your brand, but brings in the customers you want for the work that you actually do? It starts with the creative brief - a one page roadmap that will make sure that everything you create is super-charged to get actions you want.

In this session we will work through the key elements of a creative brief and how to write one to make your content more powerful. At the end of this session you will be able to design a creative brief that will:

  • Articulate the specific thoughts, feelings and actions you want someone to take after engaging with your content
  • Describe why engaging with your brand will inspire people to have those thoughts, feelings or take action
  • Ensure that everything you create has a tone and language that matches both your brand and your desired audience

Let’s make that swipe right mean something.

Creation | How to Develop and Execute an Effective YouTube Strategy
Amy Schmittauer - Main Room

If you're like 100 million daily Internet users, you probably watched an online video today. Living a moment vicariously through the creator and getting a glimpse into their reality. Why not allow your audience to make that connection with your brand?

In order to have an engaging content plan on YouTube, some questions to answer include:

  • What is the perfect formula for a YouTube video and how long should it be?
  • How can you find out the best content to create based on what people want to know?
  • What's the biggest mistake my competitors are making and how can I avoid it?

Discover how a simple plan, practice and a camera as small as a smartphone can get the attention your brand is looking for on YouTube.

Promotion | A Guide to Results-Driven Email Marketing and Automation
Mana Ionescu - Breakout Room

Is email marketing dead? Far from it. But it requires a new way of doing email marketing. In this session Mana will cover what you need to know to:

  • Grow your list
  • Create mobile ready emails Over 70% of email views come through mobile devices – make sure you’re emails are optimized for mobile
  • Improve open and click-through rates
  • Use marketing automation to move contacts from subscribers to buyers
Measurement | Become Your Company’s Customer Experience Investigator™
Jeannie Walters - Breakout Room

Honest evaluation is the first step in customer experience improvement.

In today’s multichannel landscape, it is becoming increasingly difficult to identify and analyze the many touchpoints customers have with your brand. From error messages and automated emails to mobile apps and alternate points of entry (and exit!) every interaction has the potential to chase customers away and harm your brand image.

Evaluating the true experience of your customers involves more than data and includes understanding the journey of how prospects first become aware of your brand all the way through to when they leave you and why.

Jeannie Walters has spent the last 15 years examining the human side of customer experiences, from real-life interaction to digital customer journeys. In this session, Jeannie will share some of the principles and best practices behind Customer Experience Investigation™, the trademarked process which has helped companies across industries and around the globe discover and optimize their true customer journeys.

12:00 PM
Break | Lunch and Networking
12:45 PM
Promotion | Fortune and Glory: How to Make Friends, Rank High and Get Famous
Andy Crestodina - Main Room

You know who they are. They’re always getting quoted somewhere. They’re in the press and they’re at the top of page one. How did they do it?

This session goes straight to the heart of online networking, which is the key to social media, PR and SEO. Andy will outline a step-by-step process for driving traffic directly (through press mentions and social media) and indirectly (through links and rankings).

You’ll learn:

  • How to use social media like a giant phone book
  • How to meet influential people love you
  • How to automate the simple stuff and slow down for the important stuff

Few marketers do it because it takes patience and energy ...but those who do will make their competitors wonder... “How did they do it?”

1:30 PM
Creation | Feeding the Beast: How to Keep Your Content Flowing, on Point and Endlessly Entertaining
Jill Pollack - Main Room

What's Content Marketing without kick-ass content? Boring, that's what!

There’s a lot to be learned from fiction writers on what makes great copy and how to tell a long story in short chapters. Think of your brand story as a page-turner of a novel and you’ll be on your way to creating content that works—while staying true to your company’s messaging and sales goals.

A mash up of story craft, neuroscience, and thinking big, Feeding the Beast will lay out new ways to link your content over time to develop a bigger, stronger, more resonant story. We'll look at storytellers who are succeeding at engaging an audience over the long term, and we'll investigate some unique approaches to thinking big.

You'll leave with:

  • refreshed enthusiasm for your stories
  • examples of what works, and what doesn't
  • techniques for creating truly compelling copy
2:30 PM
Strategy | Great Content Starts Here: Positioning is More Than a Statement
Susan Silver - Breakout Room

Before you even start writing your content, it helps if you’ve defined your target customer and understand what your company’s core message platforms are. Developing a positioning statement will help you do both of those things and more!

In this workshop you’ll learn:

  • The 5 key things you need to know to talk clearly about your company
  • Using your positioning statement to create personas
  • Using positioning as a springboard for messaging
  • How to refine your company's existing positioning
Creation | How to Start (and maintain!) a Blog That Doesn't Stink
Keidra Chaney - Breakout Room

Want to start a blog? Awesome! Blogs are not just a way to win new readers, customers, and supporters for your organization. But make no mistake, while blogs are easy and fun to start, they are tough to maintain.

How do you get started, and more importantly, how do you keep your blog's content engaging and effective?

Key takeaways:

  • Choosing the right blog platform for you
  • Developing a basic content strategy
  • Feeding the content beast: coming up with new post ideas.
Promotion | 13 Non-Obvious Content Promotion Tricks
James Ellis - Breakout Room

So you launched your content strategy and no one came. That's rough. Trust me, I've been there. But I found a whole bunch of promotional ideas to get your content in front of the right people that have worked for me and my teams.

It's like an entire track in one hour. All killer, no filler. Also, I'm not saying Nick Cage will be there, but I'm not saying he won't be there. Who knows what the future holds?

Measurement | Applied Analytics: Insights and Actions from 12 Reports
Andy Crestodina - Main Room

The majority of websites use Google Analytics. It’s ubiquitous. But are marketers using it properly? Not really. Many marketers are using it only for reporting, not analysis. A lot of marketers are using Analytics wrong.

In this session, we’ll look at specific ways to use Analytics to do real analysis, to answer questions and draw conclusions.

  • Reporting vs. Analysis: How most marketers get Analytics wrong
  • Turning ideas into questions
  • Analytics Insights:
    • Audience Insights: WHO is visiting?
    • Acquisition insights: WHERE are they coming from?
    • Behavior insights: WHAT are they doing here?
    • Conversion insights: WHICH pieces of content are successful?

The truth waiting to be discovered in your Analytics. You just need to know where it’s hiding. Lots of marketers use Analytics. But great marketers use it to answer questions, support decisions and test theories for possible actions.

Once we're done with this session, you’ll have a new mindset for approaching your data and new tools for making the decisions that make the difference in your marketing.

3:45 PM
Measurement | Mobile Optimization Essentials: Tips for Increasing Mobile Conversion Rates
Joel Harvey - Main Room

Is your mobile traffic growing? Are your mobile visitors converting at a much lower rate than your desktop visitors? Does it make you nervous?

Come see the most interesting and lucrative things we’ve learned from hundreds of mobile tests across dozens of sites. You’ll learn how to:

  • diagnose your mobile weak spots
  • avoid the most common conversion-killing “mobile best practices”
  • segment mobile traffic for testing
  • write Calls to Action and Offers that get mobile visitors to take action
  • employ simple UX tricks that will keep those CTAs constant without distracting or irritating visitors.

You’ll also get tips for bridging the 1st screen to 2nd screen gap, maximizing phone leads from mobile visitors and building forms that mobile visitors will actually complete. You'll walk away with specific actions you can take to master your mobile conversion rate.

4:30 PM
Live Website Critiques!
Joel Harvey & Angie Schottmuller - Main Room

We're going to take a look at some real company websites and critique them live. That's right. We're calling out the good, the bad and the ugly on the Internet.

So it's your chance to sumbit your site live during the event and see them through our eyes. We'll critique based on design, search-friendliness, content and conversion optimization. All attendees will leave with new ideas on how to improve their own sites the minute they get home.

Bring your best, your worst and everything in between!

5:00 PM
After Party
The Scout, 1301 S. Wabash Ave. (2 blocks South of the event)


Let's make beautiful content together!

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Much thanks to everyone who helps us jam!

Website Design: Orbit Media Studios