Katie commutes to SixEstate by bicycle. This is her dream bike. Photo: VĂ©locia.

Have you ever noticed that when you take a break from your daily routine some of your best insights and ideas bubble up?

That’s what happened to me on vacation. Let me tell you about it and how it is relevant to your content marketing program.

A few weeks ago I participated in the world’s oldest and largest bicycling event. Organized in 1973 by the newspaper The Des Moines Register, RAGBRAI (“rag-bri”) — short for “The Register’s Great Bike Ride Across Iowa” — has grown into a statewide party of 15,000+ people riding their bikes across Iowa in one week. The experience was Americana at its best: friendly people, generous food, and good spirits. I saw just one bike with a lock on it the entire week!

Before I left, I wrote about how the organizers masterfully used content marketing to build awareness, suspense, and excitement for the weeklong event. I wasn’t disappointed.

Here are a few more insights.

Invite Controversy.

Disgraced athlete Lance Armstrong rode the event — to both the delight and chagrin of attendees. The organizers promoted this on their blog before the event and encouraged commentary online before, during, and after the event.

Small Tweaks Matter.

You can’t ride your bike across a state without a map, and, likewise, you can’t arbitrarily produce content without direction. In most cases, “direction” means coordinated effort across multiple channels using multiple media. Typically businesses find that one channel reaches their audience best — adjusting to this can yield a significant difference in response rates.

It’s the Journey.

As the adage goes, the destination is important, but so is the journey. This is an important content marketing insight, too. Delivering relevant and useful information is important the moment it is released. Let’s not forget, however, that each piece of content builds on the last. Together it can shape casual browsers into informed customers.

WordPress Image Lightbox