Everyone in social media and the wider digital marketing space knows that content is crucial. 'Content is king', as some say. But as more and more players move into the content marketing space, that space is also becoming very crowded, increasing the competition for attention and making it harder for each individual piece of content to stand out. In that deluge, how do you make your branded material rise above and connect with your audience? Jason Miller from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions has an answer:
"One of the biggest challenges for marketers is to produce enough high quality content to fuel both their social media and demand generation channels. But volume is not the answer. The solution lies in not producing more content, but instead producing more relevant content."
This is one of the insights included in a new checklist and eBook produced by LinkedIn called "Playing the Big Rock Power Chords" - the 'Big Rock', in this sense, being "a substantial piece of content based on the idea of becoming the definitive guide to a conversation that you want to own." The Big Rock guide lays out a range of steps for content marketers to take to create their own Big Rocks and promote them, as well as some notes on the metrics content marketers should be paying attention to. Here are some of the key highlights from the guide.
Not More, Better
In the accompanying post on the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog, LinkedIn notes that:
"70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago, even those who say they are least effective (58%) and those without any type of strategy (56%). But volume is not the answer. The solution lies in not producing more content, but instead producing more relevant content."
This is the jumping off point LinkedIn uses to promote the benefits of their 'Big Rock' content strategy. And those stats are compelling - no doubt we'd all like to be focussing on more effective content.
In order to help achieve this, LinkedIn lays out an eight-step plan for creating your first Big Rock in a checklist, including tips like 'Find the Right Conversations to Own', 'Invite Influencers' and 'Keep the Thunder Rolling'
The tips, logically, have a clear LinkedIn-skew - in the 'For Those About to Launch' section which looks at how to best promote your content, two of the five tips are LinkedIn-specific (and there's no mention at all of Facebook).
But even so, there's some solid advice in the guide that will help marketers establish better focus on how to create more resonant content, and also, how to measure the performance metrics that actually matter - as noted in the 'Measurement for Success' section:
"Vanity metrics look impressive but do little to convince executive leadership that you're helping your organization reach its strategic goals."
The second element of the Big Rock guide, available via download at the end of the checklist, is the Big Rock Power Chords eBook, which explores the Big Rock concepts in more detail, providing additional stats and data points to reinforce the content theory.
The more in-depth breakdown provides additional context to each step in the Big Rock process, and more specific options on how brands can deliver on each, step-by-step.
The additional info adds more meat to the bones of the checklist and helps better contextualize the points, without getting bogged down in data.
A Helping Hand
LinkedIn's Big Rock content guide is an interesting example, in itself, of Big Rock content. While neither the checklist or eBook are overly long or in-depth, they both offer some great insights from the LinkedIn marketing team, who are widely experienced in what works and what doesn't in this regard. The tips are no-nonsense, practical steps that are relevant for anyone trying to better understand and better utilize content as a marketing outreach method - and as noted earlier, that's pretty much everyone these days.
And this, in the end, is the best element of the Big Rock guide - it's not talking you round in circles or hammering you with data. The LinkedIn team has worked to create a concise, essential document of the best tips to help brands create better content and stand out from the busying crowd. While it may seem brief, following the steps provided will have your brand well-placed to maximize your content efforts and better understand the core principles and requirements of any content marketing strategy - it's worth a look at any rate.
The "Playing the Big Rock Power Chords" checklist and eBook are available for free (with sign-up) here.