Content Marketing is a lot of fun

Content Marketing is literally transforming my daily routine. And it’s not just about all emails I get daily from field marketers who want to receive our new internal Content Marketing newsletter. It’s not about the company leaders who contact me to secure that the Marketing Automation pilot in country X will get my support in term of content.

It’s about all conversations taking place every day which are making my days fun and entertaining.

Past conversations like “we need to create assets for the new campaign” have been now substituted by “we need to complete all turkey slices to launch the next big rock!”. This is becoming so funny. In the last few months I have personally heard or read things like:

  • “Missing a few turkey slices. Please speed up”
  • “How many Big Rocks is your division launching every year?”
  • “Are white papers big rocks? or just rocks?”
  • “Please call the studios. I need few additional turkey slices”.

Funny and rewarding at the same time – one year after we started our journey, results show that our content is generating 3x results vs. traditional campaigns. We all know that. Content marketing is a long time commitment.

Of course it’s not just fun. We face continuous, disappointing, daily, challenges. But no doubts that embracing and supporting a content marketing initiative, and becoming myself a content marketer, is one of the funniest things I have done in the last years.

“Big Rock” content in a nutshell

Note. This is just a draft of what I will publish in a cleaner and improved format in a few days.

When I write or talk about content marketing strategy, I am used to get the following question – among others: OK, but what exactly is a “Big Rock”? And what’s the difference between Big Rocks and eBooks?

Let me try to answer here, publicly. Big Rock is nothing more than highly valuable content.

The Big Rock content concept was popularized by Jason Miller when he ran social media strategy for Marketo. Jason defines a big rock content asset as a substantial piece of content such as “the definitive guide to a problem you solve”. Jason is quoted as saying, “A big rock content asset can be 20, 30 or more pages long. It should be visually compelling of course. It can be gated for lead capture. Then, you “slice” up the big rock content asset into blog posts, infographics, Slideshare decks, webinars, etc.”

In a nutshell: Big Rock is a substantial piece of content based on the idea of becoming the definitive guide to a conversation that you want to own.

The current trend in content marketing is to develop an all-encompassing guide to whatever our keywords or topics are which is written strategically instead of instructionally. This type of content is very top of funnel and can serve many purposes such as SEO, fuel for social and lead generation, sales enablement, and event collateral to name a few.

Big Rock should be launched with the same emphasis of a new product.

A great example of Big Rock content is Marketo’s definitive guide series. Guys at Marketo have created a series of eBooks clocking in at close to 100 pages each. This Big Rock piece of content is something that was repurposed using the turkey analogy mentioned in a previous post. Out of this one Big Rock piece of content Marketo had carved out 15 blogs, two infographics, two webinars, two videos, two SlideShare presentations, a number of cheat sheets and much more. Imagine the pieces and parts you can pull out of a Big Rock piece of content and remember that this is the foundation that is going to fuel your campaigns for quite some time.

An eBook can be a Big Rock if it matches the definition given above: an all-encompassing guide to whatever your keywords or topics are which is written strategically instead of instructionally. Also, eBooks can be considered a Big Rock if sliced up into “turkey slices” and not just considered as a single piece of content. EBooks of course could also be just an individual repurposed pieces of a Big Rock.

Useful resources:

Content Marketing & the “Thanksgiving analogy”

Note – header image is from Jason Miller blog/book “Welcome to the Funnel”.

Thanksgiving is now approaching and marketers on the other side of the Atlantic (my side is the European) are ready to take a break, turn their brain off for a few days and stop thinking about marketing, content & ROI.

Well… ever heard about Content Marketing Thanksgiving analogy?

The concept is simple. The idea is to look for opportunities to repurpose the content that you already have – exactly as you’re repurposing Thanksgiving food for some time. The analogy comes from an interview to Rebecca Lieb. When asked about tips for companies struggling to produce enough content, she replied:

“I use a Thanksgiving analogy. You cook up this giant bird to serve up on one glorious occasion and then proceed to slice and dice this thing for weeks on end. If you are like most families you are going to be repurposing this bird as leftovers for quite some time creating everything from sandwiches, to soups, and more. Your content marketing strategy can be thought of in the same way.”

The idea here is basic, but straight forward: marketer have to look for opportunities to repurpose the content that they already have. For instance, eBooks can be repurposed into infographics, SlideShare presentations, blog posts, video and then disseminated via social media channels.

Jason Miller adds:

“This concept can be taken a step further and applied to “Big Rock” pieces of contents . The idea is to develop an all-encompassing guide to whatever your keywords or topics are which is written strategically instead of instructionally. This type of content is very top of funnel and can serve many purposes such as SEO, fuel for social and lead generation, sales enablement, and event collateral to name a few.”

Rebecca Lieb, Jason Miller, Alex Barca (Curata) all mention the analogy, with small variations (the Thanksgiving analogy, the Content Pyramid, etc). Jason Miller put the analogy, together with the Big Rock concept, at the centre of his book “Welcome to the Funnel”.

All good readings, if you are a content marketer.

Oh, I almost forgot. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Disclaimer – originally published on LinkedIn Pulse.