Once you start down the inbound marketing path, you have to sustain an ongoing flow of content that attracts people to your website and nurtures your prospects. Feeding the content beast with fresh ideas and creative executions is a priority — and a struggle — for every marketing team.
Marketers love to flex their creative muscle. The problem is that if you keep trying to reinvent the wheel every time you develop content, you end up becoming inefficient and ineffective. Devoting time, energy and money to too many stories and designs can lead to scattered resources. Or worse, it dilutes your brand and confuses customers.
The “Big Rock” strategy
Rather than developing a wide range of standalone assets, one of our most effective content strategies is to invest in a single, “big rock” asset as the centerpiece of an integrated campaign. The “big rock” could be an eBook, survey, microsite or other in-depth resource that demonstrates thought leadership and provides readers with new information and perspectives.
Then, we start to chip away at the rock. We create multiple, shorter assets that focus on a single angle within the larger body of content. These snackable content pieces are easier for readers to skim and can be used as teasers to encourage the most interested prospects to download the longer big rock piece.
By transforming one asset into different formats, we expand our options for distribution platforms. For example, each chapter in an eBook could become a separate blog post. A webinar presentation could become a SlideShare and/or LinkedIn post. Data in a survey brief could become an infographic.
The process in action
Let me give you an example of how this works. Centerboard worked with the product marketing team at Metalogix to communicate the methodology it uses to help customers migrate content into Office 365 and SharePoint so the content stays organized and secure. We translated a complex, technical process into an easy-to-understand story that educates the audience on the benefits of the approach.
Once we had the story flow, we were off and running. First, we created a two-part webinar series. Part one set the stage for the challenge and described how businesses can measure return on investment for secure content management. Part two was a follow up for technical decision makers, a deeper dive into Metalogix’s step-by-step process to perform a secure migration.
We then had two separate assets we could use for ongoing campaigns. We created SlideShares for email nurturing, social media campaigns and presentation decks for the product marketing team to use for their talks at conferences.
Taking just a slice of the in-depth content, we created a post for the Metalogix blog and included the SlideShare and recorded webinars as calls to action for online visitors.
Finally, we created a one-sheet version of the content. The sheet could be used more easily by Metalogix salespeople in their prospecting efforts and as a handout for events.
The “Big Rock” approach is most effective when you keep in mind these factors:
- Adapt content assets to match the platform. Each type of content platform has its own requirements for length and style. For example, just because you have a PowerPoint used in a webinar doesn’t mean it will make a great SlideShare. To perform well on SlideShare, you need to consider that readers will not have the accompanying talk track from the presenter. Content needs to be clear and highly visual to engage your audience.
- Consider the reader’s journey. Even if you don’t create everything all at once, sketch out the order you plan to present the assets to the reader. In that way you can make sure the early assets naturally lead the reader to the lengthier, more detailed assets and you won’t present repetitive content. If someone reads more than one item in a flow, you can consider them a sales lead with interest in learning more.
Do you have a big idea you think could become “big rock” content? Do you need help developing one? Let’s talk.