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In a previous post, I shared this quote from Chad Pollitt on the topic of SEO, “SEO is not something you do anymore. It’s what happens when you do everything else right.” That got me to thinking more about “doing everything else right” to make SEO happen. A lot of the things Pollitt suggests, which you can see in my previous post featuring his SlideShare deck, can be related to the concept of Big Rock Content or the Content Marketing Pyramid. It’s the idea of having a major theme and a core piece of content that is then broken down into smaller content pieces and promotional messaging.

Jason Miller of LinkedIn refers to your core piece of content and it’s overarching theme as the Big Rock. He also likes to use a turkey dinner as a metaphor. The turkey dinner — also known as the Big Rock — is a big feast, but it’s also going to be repurposed into soup, sandwiches, casseroles, etc., since there are always leftovers after a big turkey dinner. Nothing goes to waste.

While I get what he’s going for, the thing about a turkey dinner is this: after a few days, leftovers go bad. We don’t want people thinking our blog posts, videos, webinars, and social media posts are just leftovers we are trying to use up before the turkey spoils. With that said, I think the turkey dinner concept does help you understand how a lot of uses can come from one yummy piece of content.

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The Content Marketing Pyramid: How to Generate More with Less

This post was co-written by Curata’s CMO, Michael Gerard. Being in charge of content marketing can feel like you’re trying to simultaneously conduct an orchestra, host a wedding and put on a broadway show. A documented content strategy is vital to keeping it all together.

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Getting Started with Big Rock Content or the Content Marketing Pyramid

Regardless of your preferred way to conceptualize this approach to content marketing, the premise is the same. You will create a signature piece of content that drives all other content creation during a given period of time — maybe a quarter, maybe six months, maybe longer (up to you). I love this representation of the pyramid from Curata.

content marketing pyramid

Items at the top of the pyramid are high-effort and low frequency tasks while the bottom of the pyramid consists of lower effort, high frequency tasks. Everything on the pyramid is driven by that top, Big Rock piece of content. Check out this table from Curata that helps us see the breakdown of effort levels and frequency for each of the levels.

Content Marketing Pyramid Levels

Everything starting to make sense now? When you take the time to develop one major, signature content asset, you’ve created a content theme that can carry you through an entire quarter or longer. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every week — you just need to repurpose it into new forms for distribution on different networks.

As you begin developing your Big Rock/Content Marketing Pyramid plan, keep in mind that you will need to establish a workflow. Your workflow needs to address:

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Strategy Personas, buyer stages, keywords, topics, audits
Production Editorial calendar, content creation and curation, workflow
Distribution Publication, promotion, sales enablement
Analytics Engagement, marketing and sales pipeline impact, operations

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New School SEO Considerations

Another topic that goes hand-in-hand with Big Rock Content and the Content Marketing Pyramid is the new way that many SEOs are discussing handling your approach (or non-approach) to keywords. Rand Fishkin’s Whiteboard Friday, “Can SEOs Stop Worrying About Keywords and Just Focus on Topics?” delves into old school vs. new school SEO approaches. Old school methods are all about creating new content for specific keywords you want to target and rank for. Some new school SEOs are preaching that all you need to do is determine searcher intent and write your content for broader topics. Rand Fishkin argues that you need to combine the idea of keyword topics (new school) and specific keyword targets (old school) in your content creation. Since your Content Marketing Pyramid method is all about developing a theme and repurposing your signature content into multiple assets, it can align with the hybrid approach to SEO that Fishkin promotes. Check out his Whiteboard Friday video below to learn more.

Conclusion

The Content Marketing Pyramid/Big Rock Content Approach is a great methodology for establishing a theme for your content marketing for a specific period of time. With this focus in place, you can create a signature piece of content that you can break into smaller chunks of repurposed content to both support the major content asset and promote it through a variety of social media and influencer marketing tactics. Have you heard of this approach before? Have you/will you try it in your organization?

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Fuel Your Content Plan with Big Rock Content

Our special edition of interviews at the Social Fresh East conference continues with Jason Miller, head of Global Content at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. Jason is a colorful thought leader with a lot to share. We discussed his valuable insights on the power of visual content and how a “big rock content” asset can fuel a content program for the entire year.

How Content Curation Helps the Modern Marketer to Thrive

Marketers are responsible for creating revenue-producing content every day. In fact, the role of modern marketing has transformed to the point where it is as much about publishing as it is marketing. The level of content production required can make content marketing an overwhelming proposition when handled solely internally.

Goodbye Keyword Optimization — Welcome To The Age of Topical Optimization

Every business should have but one goal: to be an authority in its industry. You might think the number one goal should be gaining new customers or making more sales. Obviously, that’s what any business wants. But businesses pursuing sales are often left in the dust by the businesses who are actively seeking to be industry authorities.

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