Big Rocks Fuel Big Results: Here’s the Hard Data.

May 10, 2016

LinkedIn Big Rock

For several years now, I’ve been advocating for a Big Rock content strategy. Our latest guide on this subject, Creating Your First Big Rock, was published almost a year ago. Today, I thought I’d offer a few examples of how stellar marquee content has driven real results for those of us following this strategy.

Example 1: Big Rock content fuels engagement at Microsoft.

Microsoft published two major eBooks in 2015: The DIY Guide to Dazzling Data and The Innovator’s Guide to Modern Note Taking. These guides build on Microsoft’s investment and expertise in the fields of data visualization and note taking to create helpful, substantial eBooks covering topics important to Microsoft and its customers.

From those guides, Microsoft carved out smaller “turkey slices” from the Big Rocks, summarizing the larger guides, telling customer stories, and offering stunningly relevant eye candy or interesting factoids. They promoted all this content via a promotional program of blog posts, infographics, email, and social updates designed to appeal to customers at every stage of the journey.

So how has all that worked out for them? Here’s what they told me

  • Up to six times more people download gated Big Rocks after viewing turkey slices. Why? Because the turkey slice content piqued their interest enough to trade personal information for more in-depth content.
  • Big Rocks drove 64% of traffic to a major product site during February 2016. That traffic included quality leads who had read the eBook and were motivated to explore tools that could enhance their productivity and effectiveness.
  • 26% of eBook readers get all the way to the last page. By focusing on strategy and quality in creating its Big Rocks, Microsoft makes sure that a significant number of prospects interact with content in the way they are meant to.

Example 2: Big Rock fuels pipeline at LeadMD.

LeadMD’s Monsters of Funnel eBook compiles greatest hits from several modern marketing experts (including yours truly), to help readers understand what marketing success looks like in the marketing automation age. It’s a great example of using a Big Rock as inspiration for a line-up of blog posts and videos, but its genius lies in the use of influencers as a central strategy.

These relaxed conversations with people who live and breathe the topic inject personality into LeadMD’s content and humanize the brand. It’s also a great way to harness influencer networks and build an audience for the content.

So how has it worked out for LeadMD? In a nutshell: The total cost of the Monsters of Funnel program was $5,500. As of March 2016, that program had influenced or directly sourced a pipeline leading to $244,700 in net new business.

Not bad for a few marketing hacks, eh?

Example 3: Big Rock fuels MQLs at LinkedIn

Early in March, LinkedIn published The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Content Marketing, which was a major undertaking for us. It’s our most substantial eBook so far—110 pages on everything a B2B marketer needs to know about content marketing.

This is our marquee content piece for 2016, translated across the globe just as the original Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn was. (It’s now in seven different languages.) We’re also turning this piece into an audio book, to test out a new format for mobile consumption.

Why spend so much time and energy on one Big Rock? It goes without saying that each of those 110 pages provides a banquet of turkey slices for at least a year’s worth of insights, updates, blog posts and infographics. But it really goes back to what the data tells us about our Big Rock content programs in the past few years:

  • 73% of all marketing qualified leads at LinkedIn are driven by content.
  • Fully one-third of those MQLs come from Big Rock pieces like this one.

So, we figure, why not push the envelope? Go bigger and better. Be even more helpful and more relevant. Content is our big thing, so why not share what we’ve learned in a really big way?

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

When your audience is drowning in an ocean of content, give them a Big Rock to climb onto. Download Creating Your First Big Rock: A Step by Step Guide for Marquee Content to get started.

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