Ashley Zeckman

4 Tips for Building the Perfect Content Marketing Sundae

Ashley Zeckman     Content Marketing


There’s almost nothing better on a hot day than a frosty ice cream (or frozen yogurt) sundae that uses quality ingredients and just the right balance of toppings. You have to be careful not to overdo it with a blast of different flavors which can cause the sundae to become muddled and headed for the trash can.

Content marketing programs often start strong with a great base, but the desire to create a quantity of content instead of focusing on the quality of ingredients can cause it to fall short.

In 2011, Gartner predicted that by 2020, 85% of of customers will manage their relationships without even talking to a human. Content marketing plays one of the biggest roles in this trend. Good content marketing enables customers to self qualify themselves for your services and begin building a connection to you, before an email, phone call or in-person meeting ever takes place.

Let’s put your sundae making skills to test and discover why you scream, I scream we all scream for quality content marketing.

#1 – The Dish: Content Strategy


What happens when you build the most delicious sundae ever and realize that the bowl, dish or vessel that you chose was flimsy or too small? Well, you have a giant mess on your hands.

Diving headfirst into a content marketing program without the proper strategy in place can also have disastrous results.

Chew on this; According to Content Marketing Institute 93% of B2B marketers are using content marketing but only 44% of them have a documented content strategy.

Before diving face first into any content program, you must explore the following elements:

  • Define your target audience: who they are, how they interact and what they care about.
  • Identify what customer problems your content will help solve.
  • Map target keywords to content topics to plan for following optimization best practices.
  • Determine which stage of the buying cycle each piece of content supports.
  • Decide which content marketing success metrics are most meaningful for your business.

#2 – Ice Cream: Creative Content Topics


Even a plain vanilla ice cream can be spiced up with a little chilli powder, salt or caramel. In the same vein, content topics that may seem mundane can be spiced up by adding the use of metaphors, storytelling and situations that your customers can relate to.

Any time you’re writing a content asset (large or small) start by focusing on what will be most useful to your audience. While your intent may be to get prospects to invest in your recruiting software platform, you need to think beyond blog content that focuses just on the benefits of recruiting software. Instead you may want to consider incorporating topics such as:

  • 5 Interview Questions You Need to Be Asking Prospective Candidates
  • How to Effectively Harness the Power of Millennial Employees
  • 3 Ways to Find Your Perfect Employee Match

While the topics above may not be directly promoting the benefits of using recruiting software in the headline, they are topics that your potential customers may be searching for when looking to hire new candidates or manage existing employees.

#3 – Syrup: Content Marketing Team


If you’ve ever mixed the wrong flavored syrup with your ice cream and toppings  raspberry ice cream can lead to time wasted and desserts thrown out.

Take the same care when selecting a team to lead your content marketing efforts. Keep in mind that your content strategists, writers and all other team members involved will be setting the tone and representing the voice of your organization.

It’s important to make sure that these teams are the perfect fit for the way that you want to communicate with customers. Properly vet each team member whether you’re utilizing internal resources or a content marketing agency.

#4 – Toppings: Content Types & Social Promotion


The options for sundae toppings are immense, as are the different content tactics you can create and the way that they are promoted.

Flavor your content marketing program with a variety of content types to keep your audience engaged and entertained. Before investing in expensive tactics like video or custom illustrations, speak with current customers to determine what types of content they like to consume.

Social messages that you create to promote your content should be engaging, concise and customized for the audience. Remember that the length and message of a Facebook message is going to differ from the way that you will promote on a platform like Twitter.

Construct Your Own Content Marketing Sundae

If you aren’t servicing your clients with great content, you can bet that at least one of your competitors will. Some of you may be hesitating because you don’t know where to start. Consider reaching out to any of your existing digital marketing connections or contact an agency like TopRank Marketing to see what options are available.

If you’ve been creating content for some time but are not experiencing success, make sure that you’ve included all of the elements above to your content marketing sundae.

What do you believe is the hardest part about creating a content marketing program that connects you with the right prospects for your business?

All images via Shutterstock: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5

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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Director of Agency Marketing for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.