What Content Marketing Can Learn From the Kentucky Derby

I’ll Have Another donned the blanket of roses this past weekend at Churchill Downs, which got me to thinking. There are a few things your content marketing strategy could learn from the Kentucky Derby, and a lot of it has to do with establishment.

#1: Establish Authority

The Kentucky Derby, often dubbed “the most excited two minutes in sports,” is probably what you think of first when you think of horse races. It’s the definitive horse race, steeped in tradition, and the kickoff for the US Triple Crown (which also includes the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes).

Content Marketing Takeaway: Aim to be an authority, regardless of how big or small your business is. Today, the Kentucky Derby is an event that plays host to the rich and famous, as well as the well-connected. But it wasn’t always that way. The famed race built up its status as such with traditions and time. Likewise, remember that becoming an authority doesn’t happen over night. You need to consistently produce great, useful content to attract a solid audience, thus increasing your chance for business.

#2: Establish a Unique Style

What kind of style do you think of when you think of the Kentucky Derby? I don’t know about you, but I think of elegant women in beautiful dresses – and the hats! Many people choose to throw Kentucky Derby parties each year, and no party is complete without the hats. This gives the Derby a very unique look.

Content Marketing Takeaway: Establish your own unique style in your content. If you’re blogging for business, take a look at the voice you exhibit in your writing. Is it uniquely you, or does it sound just like everybody else? Don’t be afraid to use your authentic voice. Few things will send readers scurrying faster than a blog post that’s written in the same tone as an academic research paper (not that there isn’t a time and place for that style, but make sure you know what it is).

In addition, establishing your own unique style will help you to stand out from the crowd, which holds the possibility of helping you to increase your authority.

#3: Establish a Rich History

This can be a little tricky – especially if you’re a startup. If your business is still pretty new, it’s hard to consider much of its history.

The Kentucky Derby obviously has a very rich history – it’s been around since 1875! Let this inspire you. Maybe you’re a startup, but think with the future in mind and let that lead your content marketing efforts. Create content and a content strategy that will help to shape your history as you grow. This means evergreen content that will withstand the test of time, as well as timely pieces that will show where your business stood on issues of the moment and as the industry grew.

#4: Establish Traditions

The Kentucky Derby is full of ’em. Extravagant dresses. Big hats. Mint juleps. Roses. The first Saturday in May.

What will be the traditions your business establishes? And don’t forget, these traditions will play into building that rich history.

Or, to narrow the focus a little bit more, what will be your content marketing traditions? Maybe your readers know that you post every Tuesday and Thursday to your company blog. Maybe once a month you publish a new whitepaper. Or perhaps once a year you release an eBook. What about your content marketing strategy will become a tradition?

#5: Make It a Part of Something Bigger

The Kentucky Derby may be “the big one,” so to speak, but together with the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes, it is the US Triple Crown.

Content Marketing Takeaway: Recognize that your content marketing can and should be able to stand on its own, but know that it will be even stronger when combined with other efforts, such as social media. When you round out your marketing mix in this way, you’re creating a powerhouse strategy sure to make you the Secratariat of your field, so to speak.

What do you enjoy most about the Kentucky Derby? How can you factor that into your content marketing efforts? Let us know in the comments!

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Renee is a writer currently living in Central Pennsylvania (whatever you've heard is probably true). In addition to writing for CEM, she serves as the Managing Editor for Business 2 Community and pursues her dream of once again renting her own apartment (preferably in Philadelphia), if only to house her ever-growing collection of books. She received a BA in English from Susquehanna University and an MA in English from George Mason. She's still waiting for someone to write a song about her life so she can just quote the lyrics for her author bios. Catch up with her on Twitter , LinkedIn, or reneedecoskey.com.

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