If you’re a content creator, influencer, business owner, or marketer, you spend most of your life thinking about content. If you’re not planning the content you aim to publish next, you’re engaging with other content and continuously researching the content space. You know the ins and outs of most blogs, social media content, email blasts, videos, and podcast episodes. You understand how to write, design, post, and engage (and you’re always learning). You’ve got a grasp on thinking up and creating good stuff.
You put together an excellent lineup of posts each month and publish them on time. Everything’s groovy and hey, some loyal followers are even clicking on your posts! But after you publish, your post goes away and joins a sea of other content that’s being under-promoted and under-enjoyed. It’s discouraging every time but, without fail, you’ll be back to creating brand new content all over again, just for it to die the same way.
The problem seems inevitable but the cause is obvious: you’re letting your content batteries die out prematurely. With a greater focus on longevity and performance — plus a little help from your trusted Double-A batteries — you can recharge this content over and over again without having to constantly reproduce everything. Here’s what I mean:
Supercharge Your Content with Double A Batteries
There are two content strategies that I refer to as the “Double A Batteries” that keep my content afloat and stop me from creating net-new content at break-neck speed. The Double A name comes from the two A-word actions that make up the strategy: atomizing and amplifying.
Atomize (v): Reduce something into atoms or other small, distinct units
Amplify (v): To make something louder, stronger, bigger, or more important; Also, to enlarge upon or add detail to.
These terms are both used outside of marketing to mean different things in science and music and other disciplines. I use them here because they’re the best representation of what we need to do with our content: to break it into small pieces and to deepen its impact. When we do this, we enhance and elongate the life of every piece of content we create. It’s actually pretty simple:
5 Steps to Smarter Content Atomization
Atomization is about getting more bang for your blog. Every time you create an article, video, or other large piece of content, you could also be pulling Tweets, quotes, screengrabs, stats, and stills left and right. Those things not only provide you with more content and more touchpoints to customers, but also offer cohesion to every content campaign. Instead of publishing a post about your latest software feature while Livestreaming about a completely different product, you’ll provide consistency for your audience. It’s a win-win. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Create Excellent Pillar Content
Your pillar content is the longform articles, e-books, videos, podcast episodes, and case studies that you produce fully, pour your energy into, and proudly bestow upon the internet. This is the content you’ll be atomizing into smaller, bite-sized chunks. This content should be over-the-top, full of free value, and produced to look and feel like your brand.
Step 2: Consider its Components
Look at the piece of pillar content in question and break it into smaller pieces mentally. For blog posts, these components might be each of the H2s or subheadings into which the post has been split up. For a video or podcast episode, each component might be a segment or section of the piece. For a longer book, each chapter would be a component. The way the large piece is naturally broken up can offer clues to how you can break apart relevant content into chunks, but it isn’t the only way. Instead, you might break it up in chronological order, by speaker/writer, or into some other categories or facets.
Step 3: Find the Juice
If your pillar content is excellent, it’ll be full of all kinds of great tips, quotes, and pullable insights. Find the best and juiciest bits to pull out into smaller snackable content types. For example, you might pull three of your best quotes to make into Instagram quote-style posts, grab the stats from your report to share on Twitter, and round up the best tips from the piece to share with your VIP email list.
Step 4: Re-Media Everything
The best way to make your atomized content more spreadable (and ready to amplify) is by changing the medium. If you’re atomizing a written blog post, make sound clips, graphics, or video snippets to change the format. If you’ve recorded a podcast episode, transcribe it and use your atomized pieces in written form or add them to an infographic. Re-media atomization will take your brilliant thoughts and useful advice from one platform to many, and capture audiences who otherwise don’t like to read, don’t frequent podcasts, or want to skip video.
Step 5: Atomize Your Atoms
Once you’ve gotten your massive content into smaller chunks, think smaller. If you transcribed your 40-minute YouTube video into a bulleted Linkedin update format, take those four bullets to Twitter as 4 unique Tweets. Make a short Instagram story video about the key points of a recent article and then make Pinterest graphics for each takeaway. Whenever you think you’ve gotten small enough, remember how tiny atoms can be and condense further.
Bonus Step: Fuse!
Once you have all these tiny fragments of genius floating all over the internet, you’ve given yourself a second opportunity. You can now fuse together a bunch of your favorite pull-quotes into a listicle, make a long video that rounds up your favorite podcast episode insights from the last year, or send out a huge email blast full of your best YouTube clips of each month. This will help convert your email subscribers into social followers and your YouTube subscribers into podcast listeners, and so forth. On the other hand, for customers who don’t want to follow you in every place, you’ll be providing a one-stop shop for all your best ideas no matter how they digest them.
How to Amplify Your Content Strategically
Amplification is really the process of taking your content – pillar or atomized – and making it bigger, enhancing its best features, and taking it further. Amplification is about helping your content reach more audience members and pack more of a punch.
Know Your Channels
A big part of planning a cohesive and reliable content strategy is to know where you’ll be dropping off your content. It’s a big undertaking, but it’s important to understand every social media channel, video platform, CMS, and media outlet for its merits and its limitations. Only then can you make use of every platform’s features and functions, reach its users at their level of fluency, and make the biggest splash. For example, if you’re an HVAC company hoping to educate and inspire homeowners, you should voraciously consume home improvement YouTube channels, browse Facebook groups for relevance, and read an onslaught of homeowner blogs to know how these various spaces can be used to tell your story and share your ideas.
Go Beyond the Obvious
Don’t assume you’ve only got four key social media channels and one core video platform. There’s so much more out there. Find the platforms and forums that are well-suited for your niche or blaze new trails on platforms that don’t normally see that kind of content. Maybe take your HVAC videos to Tik Tok for an unexpected wave of fresh air or find the perfect niche homeowners forum that converts 150% more than your oversaturated Facebook feed.
When you amplify one piece of content across multiple platforms, stay agile. Don’t just hop into your chosen social scheduler and blast the same link and caption across 10 platforms. Your multi-platform followers will be overwhelmed by your overshare but there’s a bigger problem, too. Every platform has unique audiences who engage with that channel in a unique way. Imagine if your grandma saw on her Facebook feed some of the audacious things that Instagram or Reddit can get away with. Make sure you read the room before you post.
Earn Loyal Referral Traffic
Reshares and word-of-mouth growth are the kinds of amplification options that pay real dividends. By piggy-backing on other people’s audiences, you grow your own. Even better, an objective and respectable cosign of your worth builds customer confidence quicker than anything.
To add depth, volume, and value to any piece of content, iterate. Make evergreen content that gets updated yearly and reshared. Add new thoughts to old posts and reshare. Create a series that links back and builds upon itself. Any time your content can compound for you with minimal effort on your part, you’re amplifying in style.
This might seem harsh, but part of the reason your content isn’t performing is because you’re not doing the most, and your competitors are. Commit full-throttle to your pillar articles, videos, audio content, and graphics. Don’t withhold or gatekeep useful information for your audience and don’t copycat content they could get anywhere – make it special. For atomized content and bite-sized chunks, go for quality over quantity — even in a numbers game. If you choose to put your customers first when building every piece of content, you’ll get what you deserve. If you don’t, you’ll get what you deserve, too.
Be Damn Proud
One of the most common barriers to atomizing and amplifying content is the fear that you’re posting too much or being too loud about your worth. There’s no such thing. If you’re making a concerted effort to provide value and help people, no matter what your business is all about, you deserve to share it. When your content is excellent, your people will be at the edge of their seats waiting for the next drop and you’ll be proud for the right reasons. Give your content the chance to shine because remember, your competitors aren’t afraid to.
Reverse Engineer Your Content Strategy
To make the most of the Double A strategy, you should be able to visualize it end-to-end before you produce and launch your pillar content. Stop producing excellent content until you know how it will be promoted, how you hope it will perform, and the actions you hope your audience will take as a result of your content. All of this should be part of the content brief and the considerations you make when producing your content. No content exists in a vacuum.
So decide, before you produce your big stuff, how you plan to share it, repurpose it, retool it, re-media it, and share it again. Have goals set for the types of traffic you hope to earn from every share, and get clear about the purpose of everything you post. In case you need it, this is your reminder that everything you post should have purpose. We’re beyond checking boxes.
Need to Recharge Your Content Batteries?
The Double-A Battery method is contingent upon something very important: your pillar content must be fully-fledged, developed, and rich with value. If it’s not, you’ll be picking meat off the bone trying to patch together enough to atomize from and amplify well. To help you get inspired, here’s my completely free e-book: 365 Days of Content Topics. If you need more support for your content strategy, let us know. We’re here to help.
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- Atomization and Amplification: The Double-A Batteries of Your Content Strategy - February 25, 2020
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- Stop Competing with Your Competitors and Do This Instead - December 19, 2019