How a Divisible Content Strategy Gives You More Content With Less Work

by Katy French

If you’re a content marketer, you’re busy. You have projects to oversee, metrics to monitor, and an editorial calendar to keep full. It’s a delicate balancing act, which is why making the most of your resources matters, especially when it comes to your content strategy.

You should already have a comprehensive strategy that includes the essential elements (here they are if you’re not sure), and it should be documented (follow our guide to get yours on paper if you missed that step). But there are extra things you can do to make your strategy really work for you—and help you work more efficiently.

One of our favorite tactics? Using a divisible content strategy to get more mileage out of your content.

What Is a Divisible Content Strategy?

You might have heard people talk about divisible or derivative content before. Basically, it’s an approach to content creation where you use a single asset to create multiple pieces. For example, you might break an e-book into a few articles, an infographic, social microcontent, or even a brand video. Or you might use sections of an infographic to supplement a blog post or promote content on social. 

You can use this approach when you’re going to create content from scratch, or you can use it to create fresh content from evergreen content. (You can even reverse engineer it; for example, you might turn an infographic and a series of blog posts into an e-book.)

Here’s what a divisible content strategy looks like: 

How to create a divisible content strategy

However you do it, the basic strategy is the same. You create a pillar of content that supports and reinforces specific messaging, creating a vibrant content ecosystem that helps you expand your reach. Best of all, it’s an efficient, economical, and effective way to approach content creation.

How a Divisible Content Strategy Helps You Get More For Less

There are many ways a divisible content strategy can benefit your brand and make life easier for your entire content team. Here’s why we love it.

  • It saves time, money, and energy. Creating a single piece of content, especially a major asset like an e-book or white paper, is very time intensive, from research and copywriting to design and distribution. But with a divisible strategy, you can coordinate creation efficiently, reducing labor and redundancies because you know how to create and repurpose assets from the get-go.
  • All content is on-brand and cohesive. Since design assets are remixed and repurposed, you know everything adheres to your visual language and supports your brand identity.
  • It’s great for distribution. A divisible strategy is a great way to produce a bulk of teaser content for a major asset. If you want people to download your e-book, seeding articles, infographics, and shareable social content is a great way to promote it. 
  • You can tailor content for different people. You are likely using content to reach several different groups, each of which have different interests, issues, and challenges. With a divisible strategy, you can create assets that address them individually, helping you make a stronger impact.  

So, how do you start?

How to Use a Divisible Content Strategy

Whether you’re creating content in-house or relying on a content agency to help you out, follow these guidelines to put a divisible strategy to work for you.

1) Identify a Single Messaging Focus

Before you dive into specific ideas, consider your larger messaging. Whether you use this content to support a single campaign or promote a new product, there should be an underlying brand story that ties the content together. Various pieces may cover different topics or angles, but there should be a through line.

2) Create a Comprehensive Piece of Content

The divisible content strategy usually hinges on the creation of a core asset that covers a topic thoroughly. This asset can come in many forms, such as an e-book, interactive infographic, white paper, motion graphic, or slideshow. The more comprehensive the content, the more opportunity to create divisibles.

Tip: To coordinate the most efficient content creation, identify what your core content will be, as well as the divisible pieces, ahead of time.

3) Break-Out and Reformat Divisibles

If you know what you’re creating from the get-go, you can make the most of things like design assets or copy. This will reduce production time and help you create a higher volume of content with less effort.

Remember, too, that many divisibles, such as infographics and blog posts, can be broken down even further into microcontent primed for social sharing. (No matter what content you create, make sure to follow design best practices and tell a strong story.)  

4) Publish Content

Content can be distributed through both owned and earned channels, then amplified with paid media. On that note, it always helps to draft a media plan ahead of time, especially if you’re looking for placement in major publications. (If you don’t already have these relationships, follow these tips to get publishers to feature your content.)

Get Started Now

Regardless of your production process, if you are currently creating content, you can put a divisible strategy into practice immediately. And if you need a quick guide for your team, you can also share this handy infographic. (Did we condense this article into a shareable infographic as part of our own divisible strategy? Damn straight.)

How to create a divisible content strategy

If you’re ready to dive in, consider this an opportunity to experiment with new formats and challenge your creativity. We know firsthand how well it can pay off. And because we like to share everything we’ve learned, we’d also encourage you to explore more of our tips on improving your content strategy:

As always, if you need a little extra help to refine or execute your strategy, give us a holler.

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