Creating Content With Limited Resources: Strategies and Examples

May 14, 2021

Mother with child on lap looking at laptop on table.

The content machine never stops churning. Creators face the arduous task of continually spinning up media that’s attention-grabbing, informative and engaging—often, with limited resources and on a tight timeline. You’ve been there before: on the clock to create content for LinkedIn Sponsored Content ads or write a blog post, with no real starting point. Somehow, you make it work. You’re not alone.

According to marketing management and strategy statistics from CoSchedule, most creators spend between one and six hours on a single piece of content. Much of this time isn’t actually spent writing, designing or editing. Rather, it’s brainstorming, researching and coordinating. Simply put: marketers don’t often have the resources they need to focus on content creation. They spend time—a precious resource in and of itself—coming up with topics and concepts, instead of focusing on the best way to distribute the great content that exists. The result? A sea of sameness.

The timeline for content is often only a few days from concept to creation, and producers need to work fast to nail down strong messaging, wrapped in engaging creatives. The good news is, this is a skill you can learn—and it’s easy to master once you do. You just need the right strategy.

The Big Rock Strategy

It’s almost impossible to approach a big, broad topic effectively in a single piece of content. There are too many details to focus on, and the value is lost if you try to distill it down to the most basic variables. It’s simpler and more powerful to break this big concept down into smaller takeaways. Enter: the Big Rock Strategy.

The Big Rock Strategy involves taking a large, robust piece of content and breaking it down into smaller pebbles of information. These pebbles of content can be used to create a journey for your customers, moving them further down the funnel, one small piece at a time. The pebble-to-Big Rock framework doesn’t just break hefty concepts into readymade pebbles of content—it allows your brand to build and nurture a relationship with your potential customer.

Let’s look at an example. Your company creates a powerful whitepaper filled with data, insights, testimonials, tools, resources, and more. Unfortunately, it’s a stellar piece of content that’s gated. That doesn’t mean you can’t break small pebbles of content out and use them elsewhere. A social media post that features a statistic. A deep-dive blog post on one of the featured concepts. A testimonial that becomes a case study. Creators don’t need to seek out new resources to make great content. Instead, the Big Rock Strategy helps lend credence to the pillar content you’ve already invested in. We’re actually implementing this strategy now — we’ve taken a key concept from our LinkedIn Marketing Labs course, Building a Full-Funnel Content Marketing Strategy on LinkedIn, and turned it into a blog post. 

There are two approaches content creators can take when exploring the Big Rock Strategy:

  • Additive: Using existing content with the same theme to assemble a larger piece of content. For example, leveraging blog posts and infographics into an ebook.
  • Derivative: Taking one Big Rock and breaking it down to turn it into smaller pebbles. For example, breaking a recorded webinar into individual blog posts and short videos.

An additive approach is exactly the strategy ICICI Bank used to create a holistic customer journey around its services. The organization created specific value-driven content on topics such as banking innovation, leadership, career advancement, updates on economy, market, real estate and smart banking—all leading to products and services specific to young professionals and high net worth individuals. This pebble-to-Big Rock approach led customers on a journey to a larger concept, one important idea at a time.

Content creators can use the Big Rock Strategy universally, in either derivative or additive capacities, to target content consumers with more engaging, easy-to-understand content.

Remixing Your Content

You’re already short on time when it comes to creating new content. Why reinvent the wheel? Remixing is a great way to put a fresh spin on content, through a formula that’s already tried and true. More important, it’s a smart way to maximize exposure for an idea across all your different channels.

Take a high-performing email, for example. A high open rate and great CTR are proof that your message hits the mark — but it’s limited to however many people are on your email list. Why not take that same messaging to a LinkedIn Sponsored Messaging campaign? It’s your opportunity to expand your reach, without pouring over new content. 

Omni-channel solutions provider Genesys offers a great example of how remixing content can better engage audiences. As part of an ABM approach, the company appealed to prospects using thought-leadership content — including partnered-reports from Forrester and Gartner, as well as ebooks and playbooks. Genesys also established Sponsored Content campaigns to build credibility with its target audiences, delivering highly relevant content that spoke specifically to their challenges and pain points. Then, it deployed, observed and remixed.

Identifying winning campaigns and refining them netted Genesys exceptional results. The company saw 60% net new Marketing Captured Leads, as well as a 2.7% average conversion rate and a 4% conversion rate for top-performing content.

The demand for both quality and volume can force a remixing approach — but that’s not a bad thing. If your core messages don’t change, your presentation can. For example, if you’ve invested in a great survey campaign and have strong factual results you can share with your customers, keep sharing them! Case studies, infographics, social snippets, thought leadership pieces, targeted InMail — they can all leverage the same content in a new way, to a new audience.

Keep Content Best Practices in Mind

As you find creative ways to generate powerful content with minimal resources, always keep content creation best practices in mind. This means designing and disseminating with intent. Failure to differentiate will land you in the “sea of sameness,” which is where average content spends its time adrift and no one makes a splash.

Great content — content that stands out — is actionable, relevant and “snackable.” To ensure your content meets these criteria, verify that it offers an engaging visual and compelling text, presented in a medium that’s applicable to the platform and the audience. Give people a reason to engage, show them value upfront, and make the takeaway so simple it’s impossible to ignore.

Whether you’re breaking pebbles off of a Big Rock or remixing successful content through a new medium, quality matters above all else. Even if you’re short on time and resources, it’s possible to spin something great out of an idea. You just need to know where to start and the strategies available to you. Creative doesn’t always need to be new, but it does need to be great.

Explore the free course in LinkedIn Marketing Labs, Building a Full-Funnel Content Marketing Strategy on LinkedIn, to learn more content marketing strategies.