Get to know a #CMWorld 2016 attendee: Meet Kyle Crafton

April 11, 2016 Cathy McPhillips

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I had the great fortune to meet Kyle Crafton in 2013 when his former employer, McMurry/TMG (now Manifest, CMWorld 2016 Platinum Agency Sponsor) was working with CMI on the Content Marketing Awards. While CMI now owns the awards program, Kyle is still very much involved in content marketing – and even started his own agency focusing on content marketing so his own clients can attract and retain their customers.
What impresses me about Kyle is his interest in CMWorld each year, his continued thirst for finding out more about our industry, and his dedication to raising the bar for agencies to excel at content marketing.

Be sure to say hi to Kyle online or in person in September, and read a little more about him here.

Name: Kyle Crafton
Title: CEO
Company: Casual Astronaut 

Is this your first CMWorld? 

No, my first CMWorld was the one held in Columbus in 2012. I missed 2014 but otherwise I’ve been back every year … 2016 will be my fourth conference.

What is bringing you back to CMWorld in 2016?

I consider this the once-a-year, must-attend event for anyone working in our field — akin to the annual convention that an industry association would hold. It’s the best place to see and hear and clink a glass with everyone who’s involved in custom publishing or content marketing — on both the brand side and the agency side.

How did your career lead you to content marketing? 

Like many in the content marketing business, I started out in traditional media. My first job was on the business side at a consumer (print) magazine, and from there I moved to digital B2B media in 2002, and then digital consumer media in 2007. I ended up in the agency world in 2010, and I’ve loved it ever since; I co-founded my own agency, Casual Astronaut, in 2014.

If you switched careers today, what would you be doing? 

I don’t think I could ever leave media … if I wasn’t agency-side doing content marketing, I’d probably be back as a publisher or GM at a consumer or trade publication (probably a digital one).

What is your biggest content marketing challenge? 

Sometimes I struggle with explaining “content marketing” using exactly that term. In many ways, I still feel “custom publishing” is a more descriptive phrase, though I realize it makes me sound like a dinosaur. It can also be challenging to articulate how the work that my team does — with veterans from journalistic/editorial teams at traditional media houses — is different than what a lot of the former SEO shops-turned-“content marketers” are peddling. Prospective clients aren’t always quick to understand the difference, even though it’s a big one. At Casual Astronaut we write for humans AND robots. A lot of agencies think content marketing is just for the (search engine) robots.

I have one additional challenge that is very content marketing specific: people mistake me for Jay Baer at CMWorld every year. :)

Where is one place in the world you’d like to visit? Why? 

I’m always trying to get back to Krakow, Poland, where I have family. Truly one of the most beautiful cities in the world with wonderful people.

If you could sit down with one person in our industry, who would it be? What would you want to ask?

I find Kirk Cheyfitz from Story Worldwide very impressive. I really admire the traditional custom publishers that aced the transition to the digital content marketing landscape and found a place for themselves at the agency table with major brands. Kirk’s presentation at CMWorld 2015 was my favorite of the conference last year.

What is one orange item in your life you can’t live without?

My dog, a pharaoh hound, has orange-ish fur…I’d have to say it’s him!

Be sure to say hi to Kyle when you see him at CMWorld 2016! He’s a great one to meet up with for both new attendees and old friends.

To meet Kyle and other members of our #CMWorld community in person, register now for Content Marketing World 2016! September will be here before we know it, and take advantage of great prices now! In fact, BLOG100 saves $100 off of current pricing! Questions? Please leave a comment here, or email cathy [at]

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