When I’m advising companies—from startups to corporations—on their paid digital marketing strategy, one of the first gaping holes that I observe is a lack of high-quality content to promote. In this piece, I provide the case for why having bedrock content is the cornerstone of digital media strategy.
What the Heck Is Bedrock Content?
In a nutshell, bedrock content is a meaty piece of content that offers a great deal of value to your customers. Valuable content comes in a variety of forms, including:
- In-depth blog posts, white papers or ebooks that address a consumer’s immediate problem; whether your product/service solves that issue is beside the point—your goal is to create, at a minimum, a tangential relationship between the topic and your company
- Benchmarking or industry analysis that sets your product/service apart from the pack
- Customer case studies or testimonials where a third party speaks to the merits of your company and its ability solve their challenges—here is an example of a customer case study that I’ve created for a high-tech company
Bedrock content is not marketing fluff—it is valuable, something that makes your reader happy they came across it instead of feeling duped for wasting their time. This kind of content takes time, effort and a lot of empathy to create.
Q: Should I Gate or Ungate Bedrock Content? A: Do Both!
What is beautiful about bedrock content is how versatile it can be in your marketing efforts. Because this content carries so much value, many companies see the benefit of gating it, requiring an email address or other contact information from a consumer before they can view the piece. This is an incredibly powerful way to get prospects into your lead nurturing program.
Don’t underestimate the power of ungated bedrock content, however, as it can provide a boost to your organic SEO. If the piece is as valuable as you think it is, there is a good chance that it could be indexed by search engines, especially if you treat it as a “hub” and link back to it from different “spoke” content pieces (more on this in a moment).
But what most companies don’t realize is that adopting one strategy does not preclude you from following the other. I advise having a version of the bedrock content ungated to try to rank on search engines, while also gating that piece on a separate landing page for paid social, search and display campaigns. This gives you the best of both worlds: you gain organic traffic while ensuring that your highly targeted, paid traffic has to trade out contact information to read the piece!
Furthermore, if you’re concerned that the organic traffic won’t net you out much contact information, make sure that within the post or article you crosslink/promote a second gated piece of valuable bedrock content and provide multiple call-to-action (CTA) options to drive that future customer closer to conversion. The idea is to always give a prospect a next step to gain more information in exchange for contact info.
Breaking Apart Gated Content into a Hub-and-Spoke Content Model
One powerful quality of bedrock content is that it can be broken apart into multiple blog posts or articles. This will result in multiple sources that can backlink to that bedrock content in a hub-and-spoke model. You can choose to link back to the ungated piece of content to help it better rank in search or to link to a gated piece of content to help you gather contact information from prospects.
Additionally, by breaking apart the bedrock piece of content into a number of smaller pieces, you create a catalog of content to use in email/nurture tracks, social media posts and digital marketing efforts. This one piece of bedrock content has now resulted in a variety of assets that your company can use across a number of channels.
Repurposing Written Bedrock Content into Other Mediums
The final bit of magic of bedrock content is that it can easily be repurposed across a number of different mediums. Because the bedrock content is extremely valuable, your company can reap further gains by turning it into webinars, podcasts, live videos or even conference talks. So much work is put into creating bedrock content that it is silly when marketers view that effort as a one-and-done proposition. Maximize its value by repurposing it in different channels to reach additional audiences.
Research Shows Content Is Key in B2B Decision Making
High-value, bedrock content is not just important to marketing efforts, it’s also important for conversion. In fact, the October 2018 issue of Customer Relationship Manager reported some astounding facts about content consumption by the B2B audience:
- 82% purchased a product/service after interacting with the company’s content online
- 53% intended to revisit the company’s website after consuming content
- 67% found a company’s content marketing efforts useful and valuable, with only 33% describing it as biased and unhelpful
With content playing a key role in B2B decision making, ensuring that you are delivering the highest-quality content in multiple ways can benefit your bottom line.
Looking to implement a bedrock content strategy? Need help on producing the pieces? I’m here to help. While finding a digital marketing manager can be challenging, I have the expertise and experience to consult and execute on your digital marketing efforts. Email me today for more information!
 Klie, L. (2018). The Four Stages of Content Consumption: The content that B2B audiences consume reflects their position in the conversion funnel, research finds. CRM Magazine, 22(8), 14.