Few things in this world are as delicious as a corner piece of lasagna. For starters, the top layer of cheese is both gooey and crispy. The tomato sauce is sweet yet peppery. The meat? It’s flavorful and hearty. And don’t get me started on the ricotta and mozzarella layers—my favorite by far.
Lasagna is the perfect dish. And its perfection is not just defined by quality ingredients, but how each ingredient is artfully layered together to bring satisfaction with each and every bite. That’s where the magic happens.
Cooking a delectable lasagna to perfection is not unlike crafting an integrated approach to content marketing. On their own, your tactics may whet your audience’s appetite, but don’t pack the tasty punch of working together to make a lasting impact or drive savory results. Paid, SEO, content, social, influencer, design—all need to work in tandem to ensure your marketing objectives are met.
What are the essential layers for a scrumptiously integrated content marketing lasagna? Here’s a little cooking demonstration.
The Layers of a Deliciously Integrated Content Marketing Lasagna
Layer No. 1: Structural SEO Noodles
Noodles are to lasagna as SEO is to content marketing. These are the support layers, helping bind the rest of tactical ingredients together while baking. They provide the structural integrity of the marketing dish—and add some much-loved, comforting carbohydrates.
From providing insights about the competitive landscape or revealing content or optimization opportunities based on your current search positioning, SEO tactics help provide context and actionable next steps for developing (and optimizing) your best-answer content marketing strategy. And without multiple layers of topical focus or the right contextual firmness, it all falls apart.
[bctt tweet="Noodles are to lasagna as SEO is to content marketing. These are the support layers, helping bind the rest of tactical ingredients together while baking." username="toprank"]
Layer No. 2: Meaty and Savory Content
Most of the nutritional value of lasagna is rooted in the meat—or vegetables if that’s your thing. (Yes, I choose to believe lasagna is very nutritious and essential for a healthy body.) When it comes to content marketing, the content you create is what brings value to your audience. It’s what gives them delectable insights, solutions, and answers to their burning questions as they make their journey.
However, to really succeed here, your content layer needs to be flavorful, well-seasoned, and fresh. It needs to be the best answer with a great user experience, impressive visuals, incredible storytelling, and valuable information.
This means the flavor profile of your content needs to be multidimensional, including different content types (e.g. text, video, and/or audio, or interactive) and fit with your audience’s unique tastes.
Layer No. 3: Saucy and Seasoned Influencers
While well-seasoned meat and perfectly cooked pasta noodles can satisfy hunger in some cases, it does not yet make for a flavorful lasagna dish. This is where the tomato sauce comes in.
Tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic come together to make a delectable tomato sauce to mix with the meat and coat the noodles. But there’s one key ingredient content marketers can add to make an especially spicy sauce: Influencers.
Influencers add authority, credibility, flavorful insight, and even more meat to your content. Their seasoned advice also helps bring new, untapped audiences to the dinner table. But the key here is to season with care. It’s important to select, qualify, and recruit the right influencers depending on your goals, target audience, topic, and so on. Take their reach and follower size out of the equation—focus on the unique and relevant flavor they can bring to your content and audience.
[bctt tweet="Identify the topics that are most important to your audience and how they align with the topics you want to be known for. Then identify the right types of relevant influencers. @azeckman" username="toprank"]
Lay No. 4: Cheesy Brand Goodness
As I mentioned, the ricotta cheese mixture is my absolute favorite lasagna layer. This creamy goodness envelops the meat sauce, adding a subtle flavors and elevating the dish as a whole.
Your brand voice and personality is this cheesy, creamy goodness. Your audience needs to get a taste of who you are and how you can help, without having their senses overpowered with product messaging and misplaced calls to action.
While under most circumstances I’d argue the more the merrier when it comes to cheese helpings, when it comes to crafting an integrated content marketing strategy that helps your brand shine, balance is the name of the game.
[bctt tweet="Your audience needs to get a taste of who you are and how you can help, without having their senses overpowered with product messaging and misplaced calls to action. @annieleuman" username="toprank"]
Layer No. 5: The Promotional Parmesan
You know when you’re eating at your favorite Italian restaurant and you’re asked if you’d like some fresh parmesan to top off your meal? Of course, you reply in the affirmative and wait until there’s a lovely dusting (or a solid coating if you’re like me) of freshly grated cheese for you to enjoy.
That final, top layer of cheese is key for any good lasagna or any integrated digital marketing strategy. But just because it’s the last layer added, doesn’t mean it’s an afterthought. Your promotional parm has been planned all along.
Organic social media. Email marketing. Paid social, search, or display ads. Third-party editorial. Influencer activation. Cross-site promotion. As you pull your freshly baked content marketing lasagna out of the oven, the tantalizing top layer is the first thing your audience will see. How will you attract your audience? How will you entice them to take a bite? How will you ensure they’re satisfied and asking for more?
[bctt tweet="Content promotion can’t be effective if it’s an afterthought. Your best practice would be to make promotion part of content planning. @leeodden" username="toprank"]
Cook Your Integrated Marketing Lasagna to Perfection
A well-crafted and delicious lasagna has expert layers, with each layer’s flavors and textures coming together to deliver perfection in every bite. A great content marketing strategy does, too.
Leverage SEO tactics to provide foundational insights that can be built upon with meaty content. In addition, perfect your secret influencer sauce to coat your content and SEO noodles in flavor and insight. Finally, ensure your top layer of ooey gooey cheese is part of your cooking strategy from the beginning.
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