August 27, 2018

Divisible Content 101: The Key to Effective Content Marketing


Modern marketers know the importance of content marketing. Content is the key to so much of what we do, from full funnel lead generation to community building via social media to becoming a serious consideration in larger, enterprise RFPs.

Divisible content graphic depiction

Content takes many different forms and is used for many different purposes, but one thing is for certain, content marketing is crucial and is not going anywhere. In fact, if you take a look at the trends, you’ll see content marketing has always been around but didn’t gain strong traction as a trending topic until 2011 (see the chart below). Today, it’s discussed in everything we do.

Interest graph

One challenge many marketers realize when executing on a content marketing strategy is it’s difficult to create enough content to feed all the different initiatives that are either being planned, or are in flight. Taking a step back and thinking about all of the different channels and initiatives in the marketing mix, there is A LOT of content you need to create!:

  • Company social posts for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
  • Executive team social posts for Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
  • Regular blog posts for the corporate website.
  • White Papers to be used in email communications and on the corporate website.
  • Emails to promote certain products / services.
  • Infographics to create compelling visuals around market problems / your value prop.
  • Webinar topics / scripts to drive lead gen.
  • Videos to be used in advertising and organic efforts.
  • The list goes on…..

Creating all of this content is no easy task, and with a small, overtasked team focused on the full marketing mix, this only becomes more difficult. This is where the concept of Divisible Content comes to play.

Divisible Content is all about creating efficiency and consistency across your content marketing efforts, and at its core can be summed up as: taking one piece of content and turning it into many. What’s so groundbreaking here, you might ask? Nothing, really. But, it’s amazing how many marketing teams are not taking advantage of divisible content marketing!


Divisible Content: How can I actually do it?

Taking advantage of Divisible Content is not a hard task. As a first step, audit of all of your current content. I recommend using Google Sheets or Excel, or any tool that allows you to create a simple, sortable “database” that can easily be shared with your team for collaboration. Take note of things like published date, whether the topic is “evergreen” or time-sensitive/point in time related, the medium, the length, and the topic. Identify where you are content strong and where you are content weak. Look at the different topics that your content speaks to – are some covered in depth with white papers, but not being covered in shorter form blog posts, infographics and social media posts? Are some only covered in short form, but never had anything more substantial developed? This exercise will immediately give you a sense of where you should first start to focus your efforts.

Once you have identified a content area that you want to beef up, sort through your content so you’re only looking at what’s related. Let’s take an example, I’ve selected “Content Marketing” as the topic that I need to start working on first. Looking at my current content library, I have a six-page white paper on the importance of content marketing, a webinar that I conducted with a partner, and a few short social media posts promoting the white paper and webinar. While this is great – I have some strong content for this topic – I’m missing opportunities to explore and push this topic through shorter form content.

Employing divisible content I can quickly turn my white paper and webinar into a number of other pieces for use across my marketing efforts. I might take each of the sections of my white paper and turn them into individual short form blog posts for my website, break out the statistics I talk about throughout for use in an infographic, and pull out key sentences or quotations for social media graphic cards. Similarly, with my webinar I can create a quick blog post, “5 Things to Know About Content Marketing – Lessons from our Webinar with XXXX”, break out the audio for a podcast episode, and promote all across my social media channels.

Bonus: For any content you create that includes a partner, you can ask them to amplify through their own channels, creating greater reach and engagement for each piece you develop!

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