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Why Do You Need Content Atomization?

Why Do You Need Content Atomization?

It takes a lot of hard work to create epic content that performs. With the changing trends and Google’s latest algorithms, there are really no shortcuts to the process, or so it would seem. Low-quality content being pumped out like there’s no tomorrow, won’t cut it anymore. Today, your focus should lie solely on quality, long-form content if you hope to make it to the top pages of your target audience’s searches. 

This means you need to develop a solid content marketing strategy, do topic and keyword research, research your competitors and target audience, write, design, refine, proofread, optimize, and promote. And once you do all of these things, the next step is to simply rinse and repeat. There’s a lot of effort that goes into content creation. And the worst part of it all is that most of your content won’t even reach the right people. In fact, surveys show that 43% of marketers say 75% of their content isn’t being consumed by anyone, let alone their intended audience. Click To Tweet

This statistic means you’re left with only about a quarter of your existing content that’s hopefully generating decent click-through rates, shares, and engagement. First, you can try to figure out what makes that content work when the rest isn’t, which is always sound advice. Second, you can look to make that performing content produce even more of the same benefits. How? You do it by using content atomization.  

What is Content Atomization?

Of all the B2B content marketing strategies, content atomization is often overlooked. Todd Defren of SHIFT Communications coined the term back in 2008. Todd is considered the father of content atomization. Jay Baer defines content atomization as the action of “taking a strong content marketing platform or theme, and executing it in many, strategically sound ways.” 

This is the practice of breaking down an existing piece of large content or even a big concept into smaller, more focused “chunks.” These can be distributed into separate forms of content like blog posts, social media posts, newsletters, videos, podcasts, webinars, presentations, worksheets, surveys, white papers, and the list can go on. 

You can even go as far as creating a board game if you’re feeling up to it, which is precisely what Radix Communications managed to do. With content atomization, they came up with a big idea and created Funnel! The Content Marketing Strategy Game.

Content atomization will ensure the existence of a piece of good content for months or even years. What’s more, this digital marketing strategy is easily accessible to every B2B business that wants to reach a broader audience. It can also help those operating with a small team or limited time and resources. 

The Benefits of Content Atomization

When done right, content atomization will provide your marketing team with many benefits and opportunities:

  • SEO Benefits – Content atomization can be used to boost your SEO. You can target a specific keyword or top-performing phrases within that topic or category to rank better in search engines. By creating different pieces of content from a single one and adapting it to various platforms and mediums, you are helping those keywords and phrases to spread. 
  • Engagement Opportunities – As a marketer, you want your content to reach every segment of your audience, wherever it may be located. Atomized content will help you do that by broadening your online presence. 
  • Conversion Assets – By splitting your content in different formats, such as a white paper into blog posts, a webinar, an eBook, infographics, Twitter posts, etc., you’re also working toward converting leads at different levels of their buyer’s journey. 
  • Cost-Effectiveness – Lastly, you have the opportunity to produce more quality content with less effort than if you were to create brand new content every single time. 

Splitting the Atom

For content atomization to work effectively, you don’t need to repost the same piece of content ten times in slightly different methods; that’s called repurposing. Instead, we recommend that you take a step back and look at individual tidbits within that larger piece of content. Ideally, these smaller pieces should provide great value and insights as stand-alone ideas. Look for micro-content and pull one-liners and bullet points from within your larger piece. Let those act as the foundation for future work.

Repurposing vs. Atomization – Both repurposing and atomization will help your top-performing content work even better. That said, their approach is somewhat different. As we said before, repurposing happens when you have the same content and format used in different channels. This is like turning a speech into a SlideShare presentation.

Atomizing content happens when you break that content down into stand-alones. This is like taking the chapters of a white paper and turning them into a series of blog posts. Both techniques have value, but atomization has a broader reach and provides enhanced SEO benefits.   

Doing More With Less

Marketers rely on content repurposing quite often and even use it as a crutch on occasion, thinking that they’ll repurpose it later. Content atomization, on the other hand, is a bit more complex and requires a bit more forward-thinking. When developing your content atomization strategy, don’t forget to do the following: 

  • Content Audit – The first step of the process will include a complete audit of all of your existing content. This will help you find any and all atomization opportunities that already exist. Determine which pieces of content are your top performers and consider the buyer persona for each piece of additional content you are looking to create. 
  • Your Content Plan and Editorial Calendar – Don’t forget to include atomization into your content plan and editorial calendar. You can use Convince & Convert’s content atomization worksheet to help you get started.
  • Account for all Atomization Segments – Never start your content atomization based on a single content concept. Keep in mind that part of the scope of atomization is ensuring that your content will reach all of your audience segments. As such, always atomize your content based on these segments and the channels and formats you will use.  

Finally, don’t forget to conduct regular analyses to see how your atomized content is performing. You can determine this based on certain KPIs like engagement, generated leads, revenue, as well as customer feedback.

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