Leftover Turkey: A Content Marketer's Dream

December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving is over, we have survived another harrowing Black Friday, and as we get back to the office chances are many of us will be enjoying leftover turkey in one form or another for the foreseeable future. What does this have to do with content marketing? A lot, as I’m reminded of one of the best content analogies of all time.

A couple of years ago at Ad:Tech in San Francisco, I was lucky enough to score an interview with one of the smartest content marketers on the planet. Rebecca Lieb is an analyst at the Altimeter Group and author of Content Marketing. I asked her, “What’s your number one tip for companies who are struggling to produce enough content?”

She replied, “I use a Thanksgiving analogy. You cook up this giant bird to serve up on one glorious occasion and then proceed to slice and dice this thing for weeks on end. If you are like most families you are going to be repurposing this bird as leftovers for quite some time creating everything from sandwiches, to soups, and more. Your content marketing strategy can be thought of in the same way.”


I love this analogy because it’s easy to understand and even easier to explain to a content team. The idea here is to look for opportunities to repurpose the content that you already have. For instance, do you have an eBook that you can repurpose into a SlideShare presentation? How about a SlideShare presentation that you can turn into an infographic or a video? Not only does this give you additional content, but in many cases it provides yet another channel where your content can be discovered.

This concept can be taken a step further and applied to what I refer to as “Big Rock” pieces of content, or a content “Stake in the Ground." The current trend in content marketing is to develop an all-encompassing guide incorporating your top keywords or topics and written strategically instead of instructionally. This type of content is very top of funnel and can serve many purposes such as SEO, fuel for social and lead generation, sales enablement, and event collateral to name a few.

There’s Too Much Value in this Content, Said No Marketer Ever

A great example of “Big Rock” content is Marketo’s definitive guide series. They have created a series of eBooks clocking in at close to 100 pages each. A couple of years ago while I was at Content Marketing World, someone walked up to me (at the time I worked at Marketo) and said, “Hey man, I love your content at Marketo, I love the definitive guides, but I have to tell you that it’s just too much content, there’s too much value there.”   I immediately thought to myself, are you out of your mind? What marketer has ever downloaded a piece of content and thought there is too much value here? No marketer that I know. This person had a very short sighted view on this type of content. What they didn’t realize is that this "Big Rock" piece of content is something that was repurposed using the turkey analogy mentioned above. Out of this one “Big Rock” piece of content we had carved out 15 blogs, two infographics, two webinars, two videos, two SlideShare presentations, a number of cheat sheets and much more. Imagine the pieces and parts you can pull out of a "Big Rock" piece of content such as this and remember that this is the foundation that is going to fuel your campaigns for quite some time.

The bottom line is that with 73% of B2B content marketers producing more content then they did one year ago and 58% planning to increase their content marketing budget over the next year, marketers are going to need to start repurposing in order to scale. With the increase in budget, it’s easy enough to find partners and agencies to help. Since this is primetime for 2014 planning, it’s the perfect time to start looking at the content you already have and planning to repurpose it for new channels, campaigns, and initiatives in the coming year.