“Content is king” might sound like an outdated proclamation from marketing days past, but the essence of the message still rings true. Valuable content that educates, motivates, and engages your audience is worth the investment—even when it doesn’t have a direct connection to ROI. This applies whether you are trying to reach a wide audience (i.e., B2C marketing) or a targeted group of decision-makers (as is the case with B2B account-based marketing).
All companies rely on good content to sell their products or services, but few (if any) have the resources they need to produce a consistent stream of quality assets. That’s why marketers must take a strategic approach to the content they do have—thoughtfully adapting it for multiple channels.
In the world of marketing and sales, this is known as content atomization.
Content That Works Smarter, Not Harder
Content atomization is the process of taking long-form content or an overarching theme and breaking it down into smaller assets. A resource-efficient approach to content marketing, atomization builds more value into your sales and marketing materials. It also keeps you relevant in the eyes of your fragmented audience, which consumes media in different forms. Better yet, it amplifies your message throughout a variety of forums, making it easier for your intended audience to recognize your name and associate it with your expertise on a particular topic.
Sometimes people think of content atomization as the process of repurposing content, but that’s an oversimplification. To repurpose content is to simply reshare it or copy pieces of it from one format into another. Content atomization, on the other hand, involves the creation of new assets based on the larger piece of content. Each new piece of content you create should feel like a fresh asset rather than stale repetition.
Let’s consider the following example.
Say your team just created a top-notch white paper. It’s filled with well-researched information that is of great value to your customers. But it’s also dense. Dense material isn’t inherently bad, but it’s a narrow audience that will actually take the time to read your work. It’s a shame, too, because there’s lots of really good information that people outside that narrow audience might find useful—if only you could find another way to put it in front of them.
So, you take some data from within that white paper and use it to create an infographic. This visual medium is easy to share on social media along with some supporting copy. If the content is solid, you might even get some decent traction from organic shares.
And hey, if you’re going to create an infographic, then you might as well take the opportunity to add more context by writing about your infographic or the data you used to create it in one of your blog posts. There might even be enough information to create a series of blogs, which provide you with another opportunity to share via social media with a different element of the overall message.
Both infographics and blogs make for great email newsletter fodder.
Where to Begin
There are several starting points for content atomization. Ideally, it will become a part of your strategic phase so there’s a plan to atomize before content creation even begins. For most of you, though, you’ll be working backward through existing assets. You might go big by forming a strategy after you conduct a content audit of your entire library. It’s also possible that you might focus on a particularly strong piece of content you know performed really well.
It’s important to remember that the key to successful content atomization is quality macro content. This is the bread and butter of your knowledge base—the thing you have worked hardest to be recognized for. Lean on robust, informative articles that deliver immense value to your audience. In most cases, this is where your atomized content pieces will link back to.
Content Atomization Tactics
The earlier example of content atomization is a great base model, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Your audience is hungry for all kinds of media outside of word-based content. Depending on what kinds of resources you have access to, you might consider including the following tactics in your content atomization strategy.
- Podcast: This format has been exploding in popularity over recent years. With a decent microphone and access to programs like GarageBand, Adobe Audition, or Audacity, almost anyone can create a podcast. Depending on the depth of the content you are atomizing, this might lead to one special episode or an entire series.
- Webinar: Business professionals love webinars because they offer an opportunity to connect with thought leaders across the globe from the comfort of their own offices and homes. Webinars offer a perfect platform to deliver your subject matter expertise and can be delivered as a one-time event or an ongoing series of online events.
- YouTube video: Marketers are putting a lot of eggs in the video basket these days. Posts with movement attract attention, so it’s worth exploring if you have the resources. This could be as simple as putting a camera on yourself while you explain a concept or perform a demonstration, and as complex as a filmed production or animation. In the spirit of atomization, consider how you might break your video down into even smaller pieces that can be easily shared via social media and the web.
- Facebook and/or Instagram live stream: This can be a challenging tactic to pull off well, but it’s great when you’re trying to capitalize on something that’s relevant at the moment. Maybe you’re attending an event or hosting a panel and want your audience at home to have access. Whatever the case, know when to pull the plug and accept that the medium doesn’t exactly set you up for a successful and polished product.
Content atomization can take many forms, so consider your audience and decide what will best help you reach them. If you have questions about atomizing your content or improving your content marketing, feel free to contact us.