A Better Approach to Building Modular Content

Legos_renderAt this week’s Content2Conversion event in New York, we got to hear from SiriusDecisions Research Director Matt Papertsian. We talk to Matt quite a bit here; he’s always a great source of knowledge and best practices around B2B content marketing.

One of the most interesting points in Matt’s C2C presentation concerned the use of modular content. If you’re reading this, you probably already know that content is far more valuable when it can be broken down, repurposed, and delivered through a variety of formats and channels.

(Whether you’re actually doing this is a different question, and it’s one a lot of people still can’t answer with a definitive “yes.”)

Matt raised an interesting point here: Why begin with the big foundational pieces that you break down into smaller items of value? Why not work the other way around?

His point was that modular content needs to work both ways. Best-in-class B2B marketing organizations should also begin with those smaller pieces – data points, short-form content, conversations with their buyer communities – and use them to assemble the big-ticket assets like E-books and white papers.

Indeed, there’s some real value in this approach. First, it allows your content team to move more quickly; those content modules are usually easy to research and assemble, and you can deliver them over a variety of channels.

In addition, this approach allows you to test these bite-sized chunks of content, gauge audience response and then adjust (or cut) as necessary.

Ideally, what you get when you assemble those bigger assets is a library of proven content modules that have already proven their relevance and value. That, in turn, reduces the cost and risk associated with creating bigger content assets.

It’s not an approach that will work all the time. There are clearly cases when it’s still more appropriate to build the big stuff first and then break it down for repurposing. But the idea is not to replace one approach with the other – it’s to give your content marketing team more options for delivering the right content, at the right time and place, to engage with your buyers and create value.

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