Feed your need for compelling content more easily and efficiently by following these three atomization rules.
If developing engaging content is one of your bigger challenges, you’ll love the idea (and practice) of atomization.
Atomization is bascially curating your own content. Todd Defren coined the term atomize in 2008 to mean “sharing content in small bits.”
Related terms include repurposing and reimagining, but I like atomization for the dynamic image it conveys: pieces forming and spreading out from a larger center, but remaining connected to a central big idea.
But atomization doesn’t just happen. To develop more effective content chemistry within your organization and with your audience, you need to review, create and distribute your content with atomization in mind. Start fresh with these three rules:
1. Audit and adapt your existing content.
Adopting the new atomization mindset doesn’t necessarily require new content. Review your existing white papers, demos, webinars, etc. to see if you can edit them into smaller standalone pieces. Then reframe and distribute those pieces via blog posts (perhaps in a series of posts), newsletters, and other content outlets.
You can also review your own FAQs, company practices, and customer comments for atomizable content. And if you receive a number of comments on one of your blog posts, consider turning your response into another post.
2. Plan for atomization when creating new content.
One of the biggest mistakes marketers make when creating new content is assuming “We can just repurpose this later.”
If you want to squeeze maximum value out of new content, you have to approach content creation with atomization already in mind. Determine your core idea and piece of content, then map out and plan for the potential “content snacks” (as Jay Baer calls them) you can extract from it.
For example, when planning a video demo with atomization in mind, you’ll organize the content and transitions to be easily edited into potentially standalone segments right from the start. When writing a white paper, one of the tasks included will be to identify the bits that can be easily shared separately, and how you’ll share them (posts, tweets, emails, etc).
3. Atomize by audience, too.
This is part of the content/atomization planning described in #2, but I think it’s important enough to call out on its own. Say you’re developing a white paper that primarily appeals to decision makers. Some segments of the paper might also prove relevant to influencers. So when you atomize that white paper’s content, you should assign your content snacks to particular audiences as well as content outlets.
Of course, there’s a whole array of sources springing up to help marketers make the most of content. Here are two of my current faves:
Are you new to atomization, or an old hand at it? Please share your experiences in the comments.