DarthVetteBy Marisa Benton and Rachel Chandler, Bayshore Solutions

With content marketing on track to become an even larger demand in 2016, companies are on the hunt for the secret formula to creating a viral piece of content. While there is no guarantee that any process will produce viral content, this formula will certainly take any content marketing strategy to the next level.

Star Wars, Corvettes, and Content Marketing

To demonstrate this 5-step content marketing strategy formula, we’re going to take a look at a recent, successful content marketing example from our client Rick Hendrick Chevrolet. Our digital marketing strategy for this particular Rick Hendrick dealership focuses on the Corvette brand and includes PPC, SEO, Social Media management and paid ads, and content marketing.

This particular content marketing success story started with a Star Wars inspired Rick Hendrick Corvette blog. Read on to learn how we took an idea found through keyword research and turned it into content that was interesting enough to get picked up by Fox Sports and influencers like @getBlueJay; accounting for 75% of all Rick Hendrick Corvette blog traffic that month.

Step 1: Ideation

Trends are constantly setting in motion waves of new content ideas. While marketers are encouraged to join in on the surf, the real challenge is to rise above the rest. How do you do that? By taking a popular idea and making it unique to your brand.

During the first step of developing a content strategy, known as the ideation process, be sure to harness the power of timeliness, newsworthiness, research, and attention to detail. An effective ideation phase will help prevent the creation of washed out, run-of-the-mill content.

Tips to Focus the Ideation Process

  • What trends are your audiences participating in now?
  • What is happening in the news that your audience needs to hear?
  • What is your audience expecting? Think language, imagery, authenticity.

How this Worked for Rick Hendrick Corvette

A combination of keyword research and staying abreast of current events lead to the discovery of a relationship between Corvette enthusiasts and Star Wars fans. In step with the recent release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we decided to run with the idea of creating a Star Wars related piece directed toward our Corvette audience.

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Step 2: Creation

The content creation process transforms a good idea into something your audience wants to consume – copy, graphics, imagery, video or a mix of these mediums. The goal is for your content to be informational enough and entertaining enough to convince people to “waste” their time with you, that is, to choose to spend their free time looking at your piece of content. Time is valuable, but free-time is precious. Don’t waste your time producing the same content found a website over. Aim to create something truly unique.

Questions to Consider During the Creation Process

  • How does your audience behave on social?
  • What has your audience responded to in the past? Both the good and the bad.
  • How does your audience prefer to consume content (mobile, desktop, graphics, text, etc.)?

How this Worked for Rick Hendrick Corvette

Rick Hendrick Corvettes’ social audience has proven to be interactive and witty with image posts. That meant whatever we created had to fall in those categories, anything too serious or text heavy would lose their attention. We decided to create a blog that counted down the “Top 10” Star Wars-themed Corvettes we could find. We used authentic imagery from real Corvette owners rather than staged, professional photos. We also peppered the copy with Star Wars terminology that would resonate with fans.

Vette Posts

Step 3: Content Syndication

Creating great content is only the beginning. After all, what good is a masterpiece if no one else ever sees it? This is where content syndication comes in. Think of your content as living and breathing. How can it apply to your audience or to something in the news? Who else might find it interesting or useful? How many ways can you re-purpose this one piece of content?

Content Syndication is the act of broadcasting content across several channels for an extended period of time. It is not posting the link to your blog to your social media page one time.

Syndicating content is much more than pushing content out via Facebook, Twitter, and maybe an email blast… It includes turning one piece of content into several “bite-sized” posts and using the social influencers or listening tools you have available to get these posts in front of the right people. It is also being mindful of time – there is a peak time for initial posting as well as for revisiting with recycled posts.

Questions to Consider when Syndicating Content:

  • What content syndication tools are available to you?
  • Are there any relevant hashtags, etc., that you can utilize?
  • How can content to be adjusted for consumption on each platform?
  • How long is your content relevant?

How this Worked for Rick Hendrick Corvette

During the syndication process, we took full advantage of our countdown blog by spreading posts out over a length of time, including relevant hashtags and using mentions on Twitter. By slowly sharing the content and expanding the amount of time the content was in the trend space of Star Wars, the chances of being noticed increased.

Vette Posts2

Step 4: Outreach

An important follow-up to the content syndication process is outreach. Engaging with top influencers by liking, following, commenting, and sharing posts helps greatly expand the reach of your content. As an added bonus, building relationships with industry influencers adds authenticity to a brand and the content it produces.

Tips for Reaching out Effectively:

  • Establish a relationship with the influencer or brand beforehand by following, sharing and commenting on their content.
  • Show how your content is relevant to the influencer you are reaching out to and their audience.
  • Share the love when others interact with your content.

How this Worked for Rick Hendrick Corvette

Our outreach efforts were aimed at staying engaged on social media. This included responding to our follower’s reactions, interacting with brands that shared our content (such as Fox Sports NASCAR), and interacting with existing Star Wars or Corvette content.


Step 5: Soliciting Back-links

The back-linking process can seem like a daunting one, but with considering their SEO value, asking for back-links it is worth the time and effort. There is an art to building back-links, including how to communicate with thought leaders.

Questions to Consider During the Back-linking Process:

  • How updated is your site? Is the design and page speed up to par?
  • What are your page and domain authorities?
  • It is possible to offer compensation either through banner sharing or product sharing?

How this Worked for Rick Hendrick Corvette

When communicating with targeted thought leaders, we teased with the topic and goal of the blog but did not share the link. This increased the chance for a response because a reply was required in order to get the link.

Do not be discouraged if this makes you feel as though you are underwater! Save this, share it, and continue to re-read as you are presented with new content ideas and challenges. While trends will ebb and flow, best practices on how to harness the power of content marketing will not.

Need help establishing a content marketing strategy for 2016? Contact the digital marketing experts at Bayshore Solutions.


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