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As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, some of us may want to turn off our brains and stop thinking about content marketing strategy for just a few days.
However, as we start to plan our meals it’s hard not to notice that the Thanksgiving table very closely resembles a content marketing strategy. Specifically, a framework we have developed called the Content Marketing Pyramid.
The Content Marketing Pyramid, as seen below, is a way for marketers to create a documented content strategy.
In addition, it will:
- Improve your focus with an organized strategy that establishes clear goals and priorities
- Increase your production capacity by making more efficient use of valuable resources
- Create a predictable stream of successful content to engage your buyers and drive pipeline activity for marketing and sales
Learn more about this framework in our 70+ page eBook on developing a content strategy.
Read on for tips on how to create each type of content.
Recipe Book (Research/Strategy)
Every meal must start off with research. Whether you are scouring Mom’s old recipe books or searching through recipes.com, there has to be some time for investigation. Once your research is done, it is easy to start planning out each dish.
Original research or thought leadership is the starting point for many content campaigns and sits atop the content marketing pyramid. Before creating content, you should ensure that you have data or strategy to back it up. An example of using research as a starting point: a survey we conducted with over 500 marketers about content marketing tactics and technology. We turned the results of this study into an eBook called 2015 Content Marketing Technology and Tactics Planner and also held a follow-up webinar discussing the same topic.
Turkey (eBooks/White Papers)
As the Holy Grail of Thanksgiving, I guess you can say the turkey is a pretty significant portion of the meal. Before you can pop it in the oven, the turkey must be prepped with stuffing and just the right amount of seasoning. Then once it’s in the oven, you need to let it roast for quite some time while tending to it every hour with a baster.
eBooks and white papers are the “turkey” of your content marketing strategy. Before you can write an this huge chunk of content, you have to create an outline of content to be “stuffed” onto the pages and compelling statistics you can sprinkle throughout the eBook/white paper. They take a long time to cook, too, and must be continuously worked during the editing process to make sure the juiciest information is kept inside and not lost.
To learn how to craft the perfect white paper, see our Ultimate White Paper Template.
For inspiration to create your own eBook, see our ultimate list of Content Marketing eBooks.
However, everyone knows that a turkey is just one part of the thanksgiving dinner. You must also make other dishes, or in the case of the Content Marketing Pyramid, blog posts, infographics, tweets and more.
Mashed Potatoes (Long-form Blog Posts & Presentations)
Potatoes, my personal favorite, make the perfect side dish to bring out the flavor in your turkey. Boil them, chop them up and add a lot of butter. In order to make a great presentation, potatoes have to be mashed until they have a smooth and buttery texture.
Like mashed potatoes, long-form blog posts and presentations will leave readers feeling full of sufficient information. These assets allow you to provide insight into dense marketing collateral and bring about the most compelling information in a smooth, visually stimulating presentation.
Need an example? Check out our recent long-form post on the Emergence of the Content Marketing Platform or our webinar The Best Content Marketing Strategies and Tactics Revealed, where our CEO Pawan Deshpande and LinkedIn’s Jason Miller took a deep dive into their respective company’s content strategy.
We also recently found that long-form blog posts generate 9x more leads than short-for content. Find out other insights we gained when we switched to a data-driven content strategy.
Stuffing (Infographics and SlideShares)
The best stuffing has the triple threat – carrots, onions and celery. Make sure these three ingredients are mixed in and seasoned evenly with the breadcrumbs before putting it in the turkey.
And what do you know? Infographics and SlideShares also have a triple threat! These include relevant statistics, charts and images that will draw readers in and display information more effectively for your readers. Because of their visual element and immense value, infographics and SlideShares are the perfect recipe to accompany eBooks and webinars.
Visual content can be made easily with design software like Microsoft PowerPoint or the Adobe Creative Suite. There are also websites such as infogr.am or Piktochart to help craft the perfect image. Take a look at our ultimate infographic of content marketing infographics for some great examples of data-driven, visually appealing infographics.
Biscuits (Short-Form Blog Posts & Contributed Content)
Biscuits are a go-to at many thanksgiving tables and are best served thick and fluffy. These can be tricky to make, so they are best when watched closely until they turn golden brown. But in the end, biscuits are always a crowd-pleaser.
Just like biscuits, short-form blog posts may not take too much time to consume, but still require time and care to create, making sure they are perfectly optimized for social sharing and SEO. They are also a favorite of readers because they are easy to read, chock-full of images and ungated content.
According to our recent study about business bloggers, 56% of the most successful bloggers are investing more money in their blog in the coming year, as you can see in the chart below.
Take portions of your eBook to create interesting blog posts. This a great way to whet your readers appetite and lead them to download an asset such as an eBook or webinar.
Some of these blog posts should also turn into contributed content (i.e. (i.e. guest posting on other blogs in your industry). Contributed content is key to spreading your message beyond the parameters of your owned media properties, and to ultimately drive outside readers back to your Core Content (eBooks) to generate leads.
Cranberry Sauce (Social Media)
Cranberry sauce – too bitter to eat all at once, but sweet enough to have little bites here and there. Add your cranberries into a saucepan with a cup of sugar. Stir for consistency and simmer until you have enough sauce to extend to each family member’s plate.
You’ll also want to ensure there is enough social media content across various networks in order to expand your reach. Tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts and Google+ posts should be spaced out to maintain consistency in day-to-day activity and assure optimal coverage. In addition, social media scheduling and management tools allow you to “cook” all your posts at once then serve them throughout the coming days, weeks and even months.
Here are a few resources that can help you with content promotion through social media:
- Content Promotion Tools: The Ultimate List
- 11 Effective Ways to Use Social Media to Promote Your Content
Gravy (Curated Content)
The secret to enhancing the flavor of your meal is in the gravy. A great batch of gravy gets its taste from your turkey and gives a boost to your side dishes, too!
Curated content is the ultimate compliment to created content. Content relevant to your topic, or turkey I should say, will bring out the best flavor in your content marketing strategy by diversifying material, improving SEO and increasing brand awareness – making you top chef.
According to our content marketing tactics study, the perfect mix of content is 65% created, 25% curated and 10% syndicated — so if you aren’t already cooking up some curated content, it’s time to start.
Learn to curate content like a pro with these guides:
- The Definitive Guide to Content Curation
- Content Curation: The Art of a Curated Post
- What Marketers Need to Know About Ethical Curation
Apple pie is the staple to ending a perfect Thanksgiving meal. Mix in all your ingredients and bake for one hour. Use a toothpick to be sure that it’s cooked to perfection before slicing it up for everyone. (Make sure you get the biggest piece!) The end result should be sweet.
Just like you can’t have a successful Thanksgiving meal without pie, you can’t have a successful content marketing campaign without analytics. What to do after all your material has been dished out? Analyze your content marketing strategy. Does it satisfy your reader’s appetite?
It is important to end every campaign with thorough measurement. Wish someone would throw you a bone when it comes to analytics? Use the following framework to prove the ultimate ROI:
Check out our Comprehensive Guide to Content Marketing Analytics and Metrics for more specifics. This guide will let you know which metrics are most important to your business — and teach you how to start measuring them.
After you’ve finished your Thanksgiving meal, you might be ready for a nap. But once you’ve finished a content campaign and analyzed the results, you should feel confident going into your next campaign (using the Content Marketing Pyramid of course!).
To take a deep dive into repurposing content and developing a content marketing strategy, download our free eBook, The Content Marketing Pyramid.