Thanksgiving and Content Marketing

Thanksgiving analogy

What Thanksgiving and have in common? Why and  mention turkey slices when they explain content distribution? You will find all answers on my last post – the original has been published on NewsCred’s Insights blog.


Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and U.S. content marketers are looking forward to spending time with their families and taking a little break from thinking about content strategies, distribution, and ROI.

But in the days leading up to the holiday, we’d all benefit from reviewing the Content Marketing Thanksgiving Turkey Analogy.

The concept is simple: Look for opportunities to repurpose content you already have exactly as you would do with turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving. This analogy originated with content marketing strategist Rebecca Lieb. When asked about tips for companies 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.”

The idea is basic but straightforward. Marketers should not obsess over creating new content continuously. Instead, they should look for opportunities to repurpose the best-performing content they already have. For instance, through creative repurposing, an eBook can yield infographics, SlideShare presentations, blog posts, listicles, and videos – which marketers can then disseminate via social media channels.

Jason Miller, LinkedIn’s EMEA Head of Content and Social Media Marketing, has expanded this concept into the – now well-known among marketers – idea of “Big Rock Content.” He says:

“The Thanksgiving concept can be taken a step further and applied to ‘Big Rock’ pieces of content. The idea is to develop an all-encompassing guide to whatever your keywords or topics are, which is 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.”

Big rock content is a substantial piece, like “The Ultimate Guide to Problem-Solving,” for example. In his book “Welcome to the Funnel,” Miller explains: “A Big Rock content asset can be 20, 30, or more pages long. It should be visually compelling, of course. It can be gated for lead capture. Then, you ‘slice’ up the Big Rock content asset into blog posts, infographics, SlideShare decks, webinars, etc.” 

You then amplify those slices through owned and paid media.

My company, NewsCred, has used the Thanksgiving turkey analogy to create big rock content. For example, a long-form blog post, “Google Analytics: The Complete Guide to Setting Up Your Content Hub to Measure Conversions” spawned a webinar, a video, a gated content collection, a newsletter, dozens of social media posts – not to mention leads, deals, and revenue influenced.

Other content marketing strategists have created their own variations on the turkey analogy. Jay Baer frequently writes about “content atomization,” which is taking a strong content marketing theme (your big rock content), and executing it in many strategically sound ways. There’s also the mixology of content marketing, in which you formulate content in different ways, depending on your goals.

They’re all good concepts to consider, especially while you’re planning your 2018 content marketing strategy.

But in the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving!

Content Marketing Strategy: a Guide in 10 Easy Steps (the updated version)

This post was originally created as a script for the speech I gave at Content Marketing Fast Forward (Amsterdam, May 2016). Then updated with new concepts, samples and links to reflects the session I presented at Festival of Marketing  (London in October 2016).


Large enterprises, especially B2B firms, no longer tend to be concerned that their solutions aren’t attractive enough for Content Marketing. In fact, numbers show that Content Marketing discipline has been adopted by B2B firms at faster speed than their counterparts in B2C.

So, if you work in a large enterprise, how can you transform your marketing strategy from a traditional to a modern and successful content marketing model aligned with company growth and business goals? This can be done through proper content marketing strategy, integration of content, social media and PR and a deep transformation of the overall marketing model, facilitated by marketing technologies and tools. Technology’s influence spans all industries and continues to change and revolutionize everything it touches. The content marketing industry is no exception.

Traditional marketing has always been about pushing company products and services in front of the audience (outbound marketing). Content Marketing is about meeting the informational needs of potential customers so they become interested in you (inbound). Two years ago I led the implementation of a content marketing program for the IT Division of Schneider Electric, moving from an advanced but traditional approach to a new, modern, model based on content marketing strategy. The new model introduced elements of uniqueness, like the global editorial board and the editorial calendar – many boards and many calendars were in place before the transformation. It seamlessly integrated content, social media and PR, used to be disconnected and misaligned. It made advantage of the latest marketing technologies for content management, workflow, distribution and analytics. A summary of the full “story” can be found on the post published on Contently’s Content Strategist and on the podcast recently recorded by FIR and LinkedIn.

Based on a definition from Content Marketing Institute (CMI) “Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

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