Atomize your approach to content marketing

tipsHave you heard of “content atomization”?

Like so many other terms, it’s a slightly convoluted way of describing something that’s actually just good common [marketing] sense. Many of you will even be doing it already, but here’s a refresher and introduction to those looking to build a great content marketing practice in your organizations.

Atomizing content describes the processes of breaking down a core content asset or value proposition and tailoring it to suit a variety of audiences. That means not just recycling content, but reimagining it and building a new asset that meets the need of i) a certain target group or ii) a particular stage in the sales cycle / lead generation funnel.

Too often, a content marketing strategy is disjointed and resource intensive. Being able to atomize your content successfully should not only deliver greater engagement (different audiences will want different things from your content, and different ways of consuming it) but will also deliver a more efficient means of planning and producing content.

First, let’s look at how you might atomize a piece of long-form B2B marketing content. Perhaps an annual research report, case study or whitepaper.

Stage 1: Serialize

Identify how your long form content can be broken down into more digestible chunks that speak to one of your key customer segments. You are essentially breaking the piece into chapters; for example around research geographies, products or key findings. This not only ensures greater relevancy but, quite simply, it gives you more bait and makes you more discoverable by your audience. Understand and build out the message for each of these chapters, but ensure that the chapter can stand independently and tell its own story. You’ve now increased your potential calls-to-action exponentially.

2: Package

How will your audience want to consume this content? Create a content pack around each chapter; perhaps comprising multiple blog posts, Tweets, infographics, a press release, videos, direct mail, podcasts etc. But don’t just blindly populate links; pay attention to where in the lead generation funnel you need to make an impact and identify the right tool for the job.

For example, tweets help to spread your voice, building awareness and driving traffic back to a blog or other piece of downloadable content where leads can be captured and further nurtured. Press coverage enhances your credibility with leads a little further down the funnel, while richer more personalized assets such as a targeted mailer of your full paper gives leads greater confidence in your brand as a thought-leader (vital during vendor evaluation or contract renewals).

3: Schedule

There are two considerations here. Firstly you need to schedule your content packs; are they being launched simultaneously to different target groups / geographies or are you targeting a single audience and creating a longer calendar of sustained activity to fill the next two quarters?

You then need to look at scheduling the assets of each individual content pack; how many tweets do you need to drive traffic back to the website, validate a lead and nurture them through to the next piece of content? Do you want to secure press coverage in advance of a customer mailer to show third-party endorsement? The answers will depend on your own requirements, but schedule blog posts and tweets down to the day and hour if necessary.

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Atomizing Content is good practice. Here’s the why.  

  • More chances: Reimagining your content and atomizing it gives you incrementally more calls-to-action. Serializing your long-form into five parts gives you five times as many opportunities to engage.
  • Greater consumption: Few leads at the thick end of the funnel will give your brand the time it needs to consume a 50-page research report (no matter how valuable you think it is). Do the work for them, serialize your content and break it down into discrete chapters that roll-up over time to tell the bigger picture.
  • Greater relevancy: Your targets in the US don’t (possibly) care about your research findings in Europe, and vice versa. Break your long form content down to be relevant to your audience.
  • Greater shareability: Attracting leads into the funnel requires your content to be shared as far and wide as possible, enable this through shareable assets such as videos or infographics.

Good luck, and remember to build this thinking and logic into your next content investment before you put to paper.

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