"Content Atomization" as a solution to advertising overcrowding

Uninterested consumers? Catch their attention with content pills!

Would you like to make an impression on your audience? How?


If you are a huge lover of military tactics and you put on your camouflage at the first available opportunity, climbing up mountains to set ambushes for the opposing team, fully equipped with airsoft weapons, you will certainly have experienced the effectiveness of grenades when you have to hit more than one target at the same time compared with a single rifle shot: once the grenade touches the ground, it explodes, releasing dozens of pellets that have a greater impact on the group that finds itself in its path. To those who are already worrying, fear not! Airsoft pellets are made from plastic and, therefore, do not hurt. But, since they are divided and numerous, they are more likely to hit the mark.

In actual fact, the only shots that we want to see hitting the mark are those aimed at making our users’ hearts race, full of love for the brand after engaging with quality content which, by virtue of its value, has given users an excellent customer experience. But, we know that, often, in marketing teams, time and resources are limited. It is difficult to reach several user basins and distribution itself gets lost in the content chaos that the Internet provides us with every day. That is without taking into account the fact that we find ourselves in front of fully-evolved consumers, who know how to do their research independently and have clear ideas of what they want. For this reason, they would never waste time on something that they are not interested in. Their time is extremely valuable, and they make us aware of this in every possible way.

This is why we must help them as much as we can. We have content in-house; we just need to enhance its value and make it more digestible for our readers, who are already full of information. What we need are small informative snacks that whet the appetite and stimulate the user’s curiosity towards us, guiding them by the hand along the conversion funnel.


I’ll atomize your content for you


There is a philosophy that teaches us this and also has a name: “atomization”. Todd Defen from Shift Communications coined this term in the now “distant” 2008. It means taking a content marketing theme – a so-called “big idea” – and carrying it out in many strategically valid ways. There are many advantages to taking the Tatanka of content (the American bison of the native Indians) and deconstructing it into smaller pieces, or rather, content pills in different formats and on different platforms. Jay Baer from Convince & Convert lists them for us:

1) Atomized content is easier to search for

Breaking up your content into many small, quality pieces allows us to give an increased number of breadcrumbs as bait to search engines, which find themselves “working” with an increased number of keywords and links between pages, indexing your assets with greater ease.

2) Atomized content is more traceable

If you have a good idea, conveying it in different ways helps to give it weight, helping it stick in the minds of those who use it. In this way, you can set up your framework so that the idea is reused in the most varied forms, each in its own unique way, making an impression on the user. At this point, the desire for serialization arises: in the same way that readers become attached to the characters in a novel that they love in particular, consumers become attached to an idea and search for it again and again without ever getting enough of it.

3) Atomized content is consumed more

Being aware of how our users’ attention is limited, with shorter content you can guarantee an increased engagement. For a brand, asserting itself in an overcrowded advertising landscape (we are talking about 8221 million euros in advertising investments for a per capita consumption of 137 euros of advertising for each Italian citizen), it is only possible by simplifying its message: this is why we can confirm that the answer to hypercommunication can only be found in various simplified messages, to be sipped at as though they were glasses of an excellent vintage wine.

4) Atomized content spreads more

If you spread your “teaching” through different content pills to be adapted as desired to platforms and consumption experiences (with an increase in relevance), it will also be easier to obtain a larger number of shares. Sharing a small extract will never be the same as sharing a nice, full-bodied piece of content, will it? It will be more streamlined and immediate.

5) Atomized content gets into your head more

Several shared content pills have the effect of multiplying attention: your readers, seeing you everywhere, become more intrigued. Thinking small gives you more opportunities to create and support mindsharing with the media, potential customers and current customers.

6) Atomized content generates more leads

More content pills = more Calls to Action. With a single, large piece of content, we had a single Call to Action, but now, we can create different CTAs that are more targeted according to their use. To summarize, it can be said that atomizing content means acquiring Efficiency, Effectiveness and Persistence in your content marketing. But, this does not mean creating new content, quite the contrary! The value of already existing content can be optimized by deconstructing the “big idea” that animates it, offering new and more appetizing bite-sized pieces.


Atomization as the principle of omnichanneling


It is now known that the most effective marketing strategy is the one that puts customers at the center, providing them with an integrated experience across all touchpoints with which the brand communicates. But, beware, Ryan Skinner and Nick Barber from Forrester include transmitting content that is already structured into semantic pieces among the “new” principles that regulate an omnichannel experience. But what does this mean? In practice, a logic that governs content is required, otherwise marketing automation software is unable to take decisions and manipulate it in such a way as to satisfy the needs of the chosen channel.

There are three architectural units that “omnichannel” content must be made up of: 1) “cells” of content, or rather, the smallest units of meaning; 2) the labels for these “atoms”, which are called tags or “metadata”; 3) the relationships between these pieces of content. With these three bases, people and machines that transmit content can retrieve it and adapt it to various scenarios.

Content Intelligence (CI), or rather, Artificial Intelligence applied to content, is moving towards the optimization of content value: this starts from its rationalization by tagging and automatically profiling all the digital assets owned by the brand. It activates them, turning them into receptors for prompts on user interests thanks to powerful tools, such as semantic analysis, image recognition and machine learning.


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