It’s no secret that the world of content marketing has become significantly crowded, making it increasingly difficult for businesses to stand out. More and more, businesses are realizing that simply churning out a never-ending barrage of content is not enough. It’s no longer about quantity but quality. Posting thirty or more articles and making a hundred social media posts a month means little if none of it is reaching your target audience and making an impact. As opposed to creating one significant and quality piece of content that reaches multiple audiences and yields significant results. This is the basis of the concept of “big rock content”.
So what exactly is big rock content? Jason Miller, Head of Content for LinkedIn, who helped coin the term, defines it as “a substantial piece of content that you’re creating with the purpose to own the conversation”. In other words, put simply, big rock content is a piece of content that is significant enough to help establish or in some cases re-establish your brand’s credibility and help position your business as a thought leader in the industry. More importantly, it’s a piece of content that can often be broken down into a number of smaller pieces of content, thus extending the longevity and increasing its impact.
Common types of big rock content include white papers, E-Books, webinars, research studies, conferences, etc. And while the creation and execution of a well-constructed piece of big rock content can be time-consuming, the benefits to a business are well worth it. Here are just a few of the most common benefits of investing in big rock content.
- Repurposing – As noted above, one of the most effective qualities of big rock content is that it can be broken down into a number of smaller, quality pieces of content. As a result, this makes repurposing said content a lot easier. For example, say you decide to your big rock content is a white paper that looks at how social media helped evolve your industry. From this one piece of content, you can create a video showing the same evolution discussed in the white paper in a visual format. Similarly, you can create a series of infographics using the various stats and data referenced in the paper. A series of blog articles can also be written using various key points stated in the paper. And all of these smaller content pieces can be mined for months, maybe even a whole year later.
- Longevity – Obvious right? It stands to reason that if your big rock content can be mined for months after by being repurposed into smaller and shorter content pieces, another benefit of big rock content is its longevity. A quality piece of big rock content that is executed effectively can and should have a significant shelf life for your business. And after all, if you’re willing to invest significant time and resources into creating content, you should want to be able to successfully mine it for as long as possible.
- Reach New/Different Audiences Through Different Channels – With a well-created piece of big rock content that can be broken down and shared in many ways, it allows for exploring new channels that you perhaps hadn’t before, which also means potentially reaching a new audience. Think about it – certain types of media and content are more compatible and work better with certain channels. For example videos and YouTube, long-form blog articles and LinkedIn. Having a piece of content that can be broken and changed into multiple other types of content makes the possibilities endless for reaching different target audiences.
- Drive Brand Awareness – It’s really the root of most marketing and promotional activities and your big rock content is no different. A strong piece of big rock content that is spread across various channels and mediums can drive brand awareness which of course, in turn, drives leads which potentially turns to sales.
- Increase Credibility/Thought Leadership – A strong piece of big rock content, with an effective promotional campaign in support of it can help establish a business as thought leaders within their respective industry and thus increase their credibility.
So now that we’ve established just a few of the benefits of big rock content, let’s look at a few of the steps necessary in developing a quality piece of big rock content.
- Consider Your Company Goals – Always the best place to start. What is the key message or topic or idea that you want to truly own or have identified with your brand? Answer that question and make that the basis of your big rock content.
- Exercise Social Media Listening – Research and understand what it is your target audience wants. Understand what they are truly interested in, their pain points, what they are saying about your company, your competitors, your industry, etc. This will help you better identify opportunities you may not have even been aware of and more importantly, better understand the kind of answers your target audience (or audiences) want from you.
- Establish Objectives & KPI’s – Before getting started on your big rock content, you must decide how you’re going to measure its success or failure. Are you looking to increase lead generation by 20% in the first three months of release, increase social media followers by 40%, etc? Knowing what specifically you’re looking to achieve will help you better strategize and effectively develop your content.
- Establish How You’re Going to Break Up Your Content – A great piece of big rock content as we’ve established, can be broken into a number of smaller, quality pieces of content. However, not every big rock content can be broken into every possible type of smaller content. Therefore it is important to establish the specific ways you plan to break up your big rock content, before getting started. It will help in how the big rock content is constructed.
- Decide On A Promotional Strategy – Obviously, the ultimate goal of any big rock content is to reach as many customers and potential customers as possible and in turn reap great benefits for your company. To do that, people have to know about your big rock content, which means a well-executed strategy to promote the content must be put in place. This should likely include all the bases such as SEM ads, email marketing, social media promotion and even traditional methods, such as press releases.
And there you have it – a brief background of what big rock content is, why it’s necessary and how best to successfully execute it.