Being in charge of content marketing is often overwhelming. While juggling editorial calendars, tight budgets, inadequate resources, and ambiguous metrics, you also have to keep the C-suite and sales happy, and consistently meet the insatiable content demands of your customer audience.
What you need is an effective, documented content marketing strategy. Enter the Content Marketing Pyramid™, which:
- Improves your focus with an organized strategy that establishes clear goals and priorities
- Stretches your budget by making each piece of content work harder
- Increases your production capacity by making more efficient use of valuable resources
So you can:
- Create a predictable stream of successful content
- Engage your buyers
- Drive pipeline activity for marketing and sales
You were not given a content marketing budget in order to create content. You were given one to increase brand awareness and build your sales and marketing pipelines. Using the Content Marketing Pyramid helps you do just that. (For a deep dive, download Curata’s Content Marketing Pyramid eBook.)
The Content Marketing Pyramid enables the development of content and related assets intended to reinforce common messages/themes through multiple content formats, distribution methods, and promotion channels across owned, earned, and paid media. The Pyramid assures optimal content consumption, reuse, reach and impact. It provides a common strategic process to align different parts of an organization around “content,” ensuring consistency across functional, geographic, and business unit boundaries.
By: Michael Gerard
Why the Content Market Pyramid is so Effective
1. Unified Content Objectives
One of the most important purposes of the Content Marketing Pyramid is to align all content around corporate objectives and marketing themes. The framework helps you document and share this strategy across all departments in your organization so everyone is working toward the same goals and using the same playbook for content production.
2. Message Repetition
Marketing themes are most effective when they expose the buyer to a consistent message via multiple points of contact across a sustained period of time. The Content Marketing Pyramid facilitates intentional and strategic repetition of your key marketing messages across multiple channels and in a wide variety of content formats.
3. Content Saturation
The most effective content marketing programs extend far beyond owned properties by distributing and promoting content via earned and paid media channels. You also expand your content’s reach to include new audiences across multiple channels such as social media, sponsored content, and contributed postings. Best of all, you don’t have to reinvent your core message for each respective audience—you can adapt and strategically repurpose your existing content to get it in front of more people.
4. Format Diversity
While some audiences may enjoy an interactive webinar, others may prefer reading a print book or listening to a podcast series. The Content Marketing Pyramid framework makes it easy for you to create a plan that delivers a consistent marketing message across a variety of content formats and channels. This allows you to cater to all segments of your audience, expanding your reach and mind share.
5. Flexible Content Creation: Top to Bottom or Bottom to Top
You might begin your pyramid with the development of a cornerstone research study that you break down and repurpose into supporting assets and engagement touch points. Alternatively, you might be inspired by some particularly insightful comments on a blog post or a conversation in a social community and build up from the bottom to the top of a pyramid. One of Curata’s most successful pyramids began as a long-form blog post not intended to ever be a pyramid: The Comprehensive Guide to Content Marketing Analytics & Metrics.
6. On-the-Fly Content Maneuvers
The Content Marketing Pyramid allows you to take advantage of unexpected content opportunities like news-jacking, event-related content, and jumping into spontaneous industry conversations. Because each Pyramid gives you a comprehensive overview of all the content planned in support of a particular marketing theme, you can easily coordinate the insertion of unplanned content in a cohesive and integrated way.
7. Balanced Content Mix
The Content Marketing Pyramid makes it easy for you to adhere to best practices for balancing different types of content. Using this framework, you can efficiently plan the right ratio of:
- Created vs. Curated Content: 65% created x 25% curated x 10% syndicated (e.g., analyst white papers)
- High Effort vs. Low Effort
- Owned vs. Earned vs. Paid media
8. Operational Efficiency
The Content Marketing Pyramid helps you streamline and empower your internal operations by:
- Aligning all content marketing activities with clear corporate objectives
- Providing both a long-term road map and a short-term operational plan for content development and distribution
- Unifying all your efforts and teams around a central strategy and process
- Reducing lags and inefficiencies in your content marketing workflow
- Requiring the identification of clear and measurable goals and objectives
- Giving you a way to assign value to and measure the performance of each piece of content within a campaign
9. The Ultimate Reward of the Pyramid: Pipeline Impact
The Content Marketing Pyramid makes it easier for you to achieve these goals by helping you provide consistent, focused, and highly relevant content. It isn’t about providing more content; it’s about providing the right content–content directly aligned with your corporate objectives, that supports the needs of all functional roles within your organization, and gives your customers and prospects exactly what they want.
When you build out your content programs according to the Pyramid framework, you create an upside down funnel that draws people in and drives up from Level 5 to Level 1, at which point they are prompted to provide contact information in exchange for access to key pieces of Core Content. Each piece of content in a Pyramid Level drives the reader to another piece of content higher in the Pyramid. For instance:
- A Level 5 social media post, comment on a third-party blog, or response to a forum question might include a link to Level 4 blog post.
- That Level 4 blog post invites the reader to view a Level 3 infographic or sign up for a Level 2 webinar.
- The content in that infographic or webinar is in turn attributed to a Level 1 eBook or whitepaper, which requires contact information to download.
There are multiple points in this scenario where you might choose to gate content behind a registration form, but wherever you choose to do so, all content is ultimately driving your audience to a point where they have provided enough information to become an official lead in your pipeline.
Will content marketing ever be easy? No. But nothing worth doing ever is. Content Marketing is a long-term play that can deliver a substantial return on your investment if you build a smart strategy and efficiently execute against that strategy.
The Content Marketing Pyramid is the only framework that provides definitive and in-depth support across all aspects of your content marketing practice: the planning, process, and–ultimately–the performance. If you’re interested in finding out more, download Curata’s Content Marketing Pyramid eBook.